In Focus: Trump’s Disastrous Coronavirus Response, Volume #4

The coronavirus pandemic in the United States is getting worse because of President Trump. Full stop. The seeds of this public health disaster were planted on President Trump’s first day in office. 

Volume #4: In a Public Health Outbreak, The President’s Lies Could be Deadly

In a public health emergency like the global coronavirus pandemic we are now facing, it’s vital that the public be told honestly the severity of the crisis, the level of preparedness of the government and the public health system, what steps to take to prevent the spread of the virus, and what to expect in terms of disruption to people’s lives and the economy. Yet President Trump, in an effort to protect his own poll numbers and boost his chances for reelection, has lied about all these things and misled the public in virtually every public appearance and speech on the issue since the crisis began.

His efforts to downplay the seriousness of this crisis has real consequences for public health as polls show many Americans are not treating the virus seriously enough and are ignoring the advice of public health experts to stay home and avoid public gatherings – increasing the likelihood that the coronavirus will continue to spread. Among the president’s misleading statements and blatant lies:

  • Claims that the virus has been contained and will soon disappear:

    • “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” 1/22/20, CNBC

    • “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.” 2/2/20 Sean Hannity interview

    • “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.” 2/10/20 campaign rally.

    • “When you have 15, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” 2/26/20 news conference

    • Regarding community spread: “I don’t think it’s inevitable. It probably will. It possibly will. It could be at a very small level, or it could be at a larger level. Whatever happens, we’re totally prepared.” 2/26/20 news conference

    • “This blindsided the world. And I think we’ve handled it very, very well.” 3/9/20 news conference

    • “This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history.” 3/11/20 Oval Office address

    • “It’s something that we have tremendous control over.” 3/15/20 news conference

    • “Many states don’t have a problem.” 3/25/20 news conference

  • Claims that the coronavirus is similar to the seasonal flu and has an overblown death rate:

    • “This is a flu. This is like a flu.” 2/26/20 news conference

    • “I think the 3.4 percent is really a false number. Now, this is just my hunch, and — but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this.” 3/4/20 Sean Hannity interview.

    • “I think we’re substantially under 1 percent because the people that get better are not reporting.” 3/24/20 Fox News town hall

    • “We lose thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu. We don’t turn the country off.” 3/24/20 Fox News town hall

  • Claims that the U.S. nearly has a coronavirus vaccine and game-changing treatments ready to go, and that testing and treatment are readily available for all:

    • “We’re very close to a vaccine.” 2/25/20 news conference

    • “The companies are the best in the world and they’re working on it and they think they’re pretty close to having it… But they have other things that can help – I guess I’d use the word ‘cure’ it, fix it.” 3/2/20 local interview

    • “Anybody that wants a test can get a test.” 3/6/20 remarks at CDC

    • “I met with the leaders of health insurance industry, who have agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments.” 3/11/20 Oval Office address

    • “Ultimately, a vaccine, which takes a little bit longer because of the test periods and a couple of other reasons, you’re going to have it very quickly because of the great knowledge.” 3/13/20 news conference

    • “Normally the FDA would take a long time to approve something like that, and it’s — it was approved very, very quickly and it’s now approved by prescription.” 3/19/20 news conference

    • “HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine.” 3/21/20 tweet

    • “The testing is going very well.” 3/21/20 news conference

Needless to say, as the Washington Post and other news outlets have shown, all these claims, some which President Trump made on several occasions, are false or misleading. The U.S. does not have the coronavirus outbreak under control, it won’t miraculously disappear when it gets warm, and we aren’t close to a vaccine. Insurance companies have not agreed to waive copayments for treatments, it’s a damnable and verifiable lie that anyone who wants to be tested can get tested, it is not just like the flu, and the world–certainly the U.S.–was not entirely blindsided by this and squandered weeks of preparation time.

In Focus: Trump’s Disastrous Coronavirus Response, Volume #3Volume #5

In Focus: Trump’s Disastrous Coronivaurs Response, All Volumes