Trump Puts His Political Interests Ahead Of American Lives
May 4, 2020
Trump puts his political interests ahead of saving lives. Trump used projections by political staff to issue health guidance on reopening the country, instead of experts, because it was more favorable to his reelection prospects. The model was “a catastrophic miss.” Yet Trump wouldn’t change course and began to declare victory anyway.
Trump used a model made by political staff to issue health guidance on reopening, instead of scientists, because it served his political interests.
Washington Post: “The epidemiological models under review in the White House Situation Room in late March were bracing. In a best-case scenario, they showed the novel coronavirus was likely to kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans. President Trump was apprehensive about so much carnage on his watch, yet also impatient to reopen the economy — and he wanted data to justify doing so. So the White House considered its own analysis.
Washington Post: “For Trump — whose decision-making has been guided largely by his reelection prospects — the analysis, coupled with Hassett’s grim predictions of economic calamity, provided justification to pivot to where he preferred to be: cheering an economic revival rather than managing a catastrophic health crisis.”
However, the model Trump used was “a catastrophic miss.” Instead of changing course, Trump doubled down and began declaring victory.
Washington Post: “By the end of April — with more Americans dying in the month than in all of the Vietnam War — it became clear that the Hassett model was too good to be true. ‘A catastrophic miss,’ as a former senior administration official briefed on the data described it. The president’s course would not be changed, however. Trump and Kushner began to declare a great victory against the virus, while urging America to start reopening businesses and schools.”
Trump ignored the advice of health experts altogether and left out critical CDC guidance in his plan to reopen the country.
Washington Post: “As the White House prepared to roll out new guidelines for reopening, CDC and FEMA officials sent a 36-page document on April 10 outlining in detail the recommended stages of reopening, including detailed instructions for schools, child-care facilities, summer camps, parks, faith-based organizations and restaurants. But on April 16, when Trump and Birx released their guidelines for a slow and staggered return to normal in places with minimal cases of the coronavirus, many of the details fine-tuned by the CDC were stripped out.”
Trump has repeatedly refused to listen to the experts and continues to force them to the sidelines or even silence them when they disagree with him.
CNN: “White House blocks Fauci from testifying next week”
New York Times: “President Trump moved on Friday night to replace a top official at the Department of Health and Human Services who angered him with a report last month highlighting supply shortages and testing delays at hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Instead of dealing with the sober realities of this crisis, Trump continues to focus on spinning the reality to his political benefit.
Washington Post: “Trump’s boast about ‘winning’ came as he once again seesawed over his estimate of the number of Americans who will die from the contagion. ‘Look, we’re going to lose anywhere from 75,000, 80,000 to 100,000 people,’ he said, arguing that more than 2 million might have died if he hadn’t acted to slow the spread. ‘I really believe we could have saved a million-and-a-half lives.’ The president has increased the number of probable deaths multiple times after initially insisting that Americans had nothing to worry about.”
New York Times: “President Trump predicted on Sunday night that the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the country may reach as high as 100,000 in the United States, twice as many as he had forecast just two weeks ago, even as he pressed states to reopen the shuttered economy. Mr. Trump, who last month forecast that fatalities from the outbreak could be kept ‘substantially below the 100,000’ mark and even as low as 50,000, acknowledged that the virus has proved more devastating than expected.”
Despite Trump’s spin that we’re through the worst of this crisis, the virus continues to spread because of Trump’s failed efforts to contain it.
New York Times: “The virus is still spreading in the United States, because efforts to contain it have been incomplete at best, public health experts warned on Sunday, saying that there were signs that the country may face a steady flow of new cases and deaths for many months to come.”
New York Times: “As President Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of cases and deaths from coronavirus over the next several weeks, reaching about 3,000 daily deaths on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, nearly double from the current level of about 1,750.”