Trump Continues To Pass The Buck
March 26, 2020
At his press briefing today, Trump continued to skirt responsibility for America’s response to this global pandemic.
FAILURE TO LEAD:
Trump is deferring to states to respond to this national crisis.
TRUMP: “We look from behind … it’s their first responsibility.”
After three years, and as millions of Americans are losing their jobs and health insurance, Trump still has no plan to get more Americans covered.
TRUMP: “We’re doing a lot of different things on health insurance.”
CNN’s Daniel Dale: “For almost five years now, he’s been relentlessly vague on this subject. Lots of talk of unspecified ‘things.’”
SPINNING HIS FAILURES:
Trump bragged that testing was going well and that he fixed it, despite the fact that widespread testing was significantly delayed by his own failed response.
TRUMP: “Testing is going very very well, it was obsolete and broken and we fixed it.”
Associated Press: “Testing blunders crippled US response as coronavirus spread”
Trump brushed off concern that the U.S. has surpassed China as the country with the highest number of confirmed coronavirus infections.
ABC News’s Jordyn Phelps: “Questioned about US surpassing China with COVID-19 infected rate, Trump says it’s a ‘tribute to our testing’”
Trump again tried to favorably compare the testing in the U.S. to testing in South Korea — no one’s buying it.
Business Insider’s John Haltiwanger: “Trump continues to tout that the US has done more raw tests than South Korea. But it’s only by a slim margin, and South Korea (pop. 51 million) has far outpaced the US in testing per capita. The president’s comments on coronavirus testing have been extremely misleading of late.”
Yahoo News’s Alexander Nazaryan: “Trump is misrepresenting how aggressively we’ve tested. South Korea has tested a far greater share of population, about 6 times as many as we have. And just one of China’s 31 provinces/regions (Guangdong) had tested 320,000 people — as of late February.”
After previously bragging about the U.S. stockpile of medical supplies, Trump turned to blaming his predecessor for the lack of supplies he has delivered to states.
TRUMP on March 16: “We have stockpiles now and we’re ordering tremendous numbers of ventilators, respirators, masks.”
TRUMP on March 18: “We have tremendous numbers of ventilators, but there’s never been an instance like this where no matter what you have, it’s not enough.
TRUMP today: “We took over an empty shelf.”
NBC News’s Peter Alexander: “In the fourth year of his presidency, Trump again blames his predecessor for US’[s] stockpile of supplies for dealing with a pandemic.”