hardly a “hit job”, Trump is definitely responsible for at least 36,000 COVID deaths

Now we know the range of the death toll more directly attributable to Trump.

What if those sweeping measures imposed by March 15 — a federal warning against large gatherings, health screenings at airports, states of emergency declared by governors and mayors — had been announced a week earlier?
New research from Columbia University epidemiologists offered one possible answer on Wednesday. If the same kind of social distancing had been in place seven days earlier, their study found, the United States could have prevented 36,000 deaths through early May — about 40 percent of fatalities reported to date.
“If you don’t take steps to fight the growth rate aggressively, you get much worse consequences,” Jeffrey Shaman, an environmental health sciences professor who led the study, told The Washington Post.
His team’s analysis used infectious-disease modeling to examine the spread of the virus from March 15, when many people nationwide began staying home, until May 3. The researchers examined transmissions within each county, movement between counties and deaths to chart how the virus spread — and killed — over seven weeks.
Then, Shaman and other researchers modeled another scenario: What if government officials had closed everything down one week earlier?

www.washingtonpost.com/…

Trump calls a Columbia University report that predicted there would have been fewer US deaths with earlier social distancing a “political hit job”

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