The nation is now reaping the consequences of the Trump regime’s massive inaction and ignorance in the face of actual warnings, mechanisms, and planning initiatives.
By the time Donald Trump proclaimed himself a wartime president — and the coronavirus the enemy — the United States was already on course to see more of its people die than in the wars of Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq combined.
The country has adopted an array of wartime measures never employed collectively in U.S. history — banning incoming travelers from two continents, bringing commerce to a near-halt, enlisting industry to make emergency medical gear, and confining 230 million Americans to their homes in a desperate bid to survive an attack by an unseen adversary.
Despite these and other extreme steps, the United States will likely go down as the country that was supposedly best prepared to fight a pandemic but ended up catastrophically overmatched by the novel coronavirus, sustaining heavier casualties than any other nation.
It did not have to happen this way. Though not perfectly prepared, the United States had more expertise, resources, plans and epidemiological experience than dozens of countries that ultimately fared far better in fending off the virus.
The Trump administration received its first formal notification of the outbreak of the coronavirus in China on Jan. 3. Within days, U.S. spy agencies were signaling the seriousness of the threat to Trump by including a warning about the coronavirus.
And yet, it took 70 days from that initial notification for Trump to treat the coronavirus not as a distant threat or harmless flu strain well under control, but as a lethal force that had outflanked America’s defenses and was poised to kill tens of thousands of citizens. That more-than-two-month stretch now stands as critical time that was squandered.
A thread on our month-long investigation:— Greg Miller (@gregpmiller) April 4, 2020
1) Trump team got clear warning Jan. 3 of outbreak in Wuhan; within days the virus was mentioned in Trump’s president’s daily brief.https://t.co/nUJCQS0kBg
2) HHS Sec Azar sought to brief Trump on Jan. 18, but Trump cut him off, lit into him about vaping issues before Azar could mention virus.3) Task force spent early days consumed with travel bans, repatriating Americans, paying scant attention to testing or supplies problems that have become major crisis to US4) Pottinger pushed in Jan. to block travel from Europe, but Mnuchin/others blocked him, citing concern for economy. Travel continued for weeks.5) Problems at CDC lab so extensive that an FDA officials blew up on a call, saying lab should be “shut down”6) Officials at CDC/HHS/FDA have been derailed repeatedly by demands from Jared Kushner for ill-conceived corona projects.7) In midst of corona crisis, Trump found time for at least 6 golf outings and 8 political rallies crammed with people.8) GOP polling in March showed Trump’s base putting itself in real peril by ignoring warnings about virus spread. Republicans far more likely than Dems to ignore social distancing demands, etc.
Even by the standards of this White House, that was a shitshow.— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) April 4, 2020
Because Trump insists on building his border wall, thousands of workers are crowding into Arizona motels and living many to a room in rented houses in the middle of a pandemic. https://t.co/7oAH3Q6fG5— The Nation (@thenation) April 4, 2020