Writer: Trump pandemic response is a ‘failure’
The coronavirus world pandemic is quickly becoming President Trump’s Pandemic in the U.S. The president has consistently downplayed the seriousness of this, or even the possibility of any pandemic. Here is an abbreviated timeline of Trump’s response to the pandemic currently ravaging the world.
-- March of 2018: Trump named John Bolton as the National Security Advisor.
-- May of 2018: Beth Cameron, director of the National Security Council’s Pandemic Response Team, responded to a question and said the United States was not prepared to handle a pandemic. The next day Bolton ordered the response team to close and Beth Cameron was out of a job.
-- Jan. 30, 2020: Wilbur Ross, Trump’s Commerce Secretary, signaled the Trump Administration’s awareness of the pandemic surging in China and instead of offering assistance, said he, “didn’t want to talk about a victory lap,” but the coronavirus “will help accelerate the return of jobs to North America.”
-- Feb. 28, 2020: Trump referred to the coronavirus pandemic and the Democrats by saying, “And this is their new hoax.”
-- March 13, 2020: When asked whether it was true that eliminating the Pandemic Response Team two years earlier contributed to a slow response by his administration, Trump said it was a “nasty” question. He went on to say, “I don’t know anything about it.” Trump, admitting his lack of vision said, “This is something that you can never really think is going to happen.” As he often does, Trump said the fault lies with President Obama and continued on to say, “I don’t take responsibility at all.”
-- March 17, 2020: in response to tens of thousands of people losing their jobs and going without any means to support their families, Trump suggested reducing the payroll tax that funds Social Security, as a means of helping people. Greg Mankiw, an economic advisor to George W. Bush, responded, “a payroll cut makes little sense in this circumstance, because it does nothing for those who can’t work … President Trump should shut-the- hellup.”
-- March 22, 2020: During a lengthy news conference, Trump refuses to have the federal government coordinate efforts to get medical supplies to where they are needed.
-- March 23, 2020: The New York Times reports business executives confused about who is to produce what, how much and for whom. “Corporate executives say they face a bewildering number of requests from dozens of nations around the world, along with governors and mayors around the country, for scarce supplies. The White House has not said who will set the priority list for deliveries.”
Unlike almost every president before him, Trump continues to refuse to take responsibility and demonstrate leadership during a national emergency. His press conferences are short on information, but heavy on self-aggrandizement, often laced with misstatements and finger pointing. It is through his failure to lead, and his failure to act, that compounds the number of infections, the deaths and the misery facing Americans. It is quickly becoming Trump’s Pandemic.