Coronavirus: Trump Can’t Have it Both Ways
He called the crisis a “hoax,” now he blames the WHO for downplaying its seriousness
Just days after appearing to finally understand the gravity of the Covid-19 outbreak, Trump has suddenly done an about face, bizarrely and recklessly supporting fringe protest movements to “liberate” various states from the very lock-down orders that he claims the “absolute” power to lift. Whilst well-meaning governors are forced to chose between jobs and lives, Trump is playing the country against itself for his own personal gain. And once again, millions of Americans are foolishly falling for this shameless ploy.
By supporting the “liberate” movement, Trump seems to again be embracing that idea that the Covid-19 outbreak is a hoax…or at least something more akin to the everyday flu and not something to be taken seriously. Yet, at the same time, he has shifted his wrath toward the WHO for allegedly downplaying the pandemic in its early weeks. Therein lies another of Trump contradictory positions…the pandemic cannot be both an exaggerated threat but one that the WHO failed to adequately warn us about.
If this needs repeating, the best data that we have right now suggests that the Sars-Cov-2 virus, more commonly known as Coronavirus or Covid-19, is at least ten times more deadly than the common flu. Assuming the same infection rate as the flu, which killed (according to Trump himself) 37,000 people last year, Covid-19 could kill ten times that, or 370,000 people. For comparison, 405,000 Americans died in WW2. That number, however, assumes a similar infection rate to the common flu. Given that this virus is unknown to the immune systems of 330 million Americas, none of who would have any immunity to slow its spread, the infection rate could be much higher. In short, if nothing is done about the virus, millions could die. This is worth repeating: millions could die.
It is also worth repeating that China and the WHO warned the world about the virus in early January. China, the world’s second largest economy, shuttered every factory, every movie theater, theme park, halted all weddings, and completely locked down entire provinces. China’s warnings and its actions should have been a wake-up call for the Trump administration that it had better prepare for the outbreak here at home.
Instead, for the next two months, Trump downplayed the virus and failed to take any reasonable and prudent actions. Sure, Trump will point to his China travel ban, but this only bought time. The US needed to prepare to contain the virus and treat the ill, but no such actions were apparently taken.
Two months were wasted. Were supplies of PPE secured by the millions? Were ventilators being mass produced and stockpiled? Were temperature check stations positioned at airports for screening? Were testing kits ordered and readily available in mass? They weren’t. I can attest to this. In my own circle of family and friends, six have fallen ill in the last few weeks. Only one of them received a test for Covid-19. The rest remained untested because of critically short supplies. Donald J Trump and his team of billionaire advisors are criminally negligent in their handling of this crisis for failing to take even the most basic preparatory measures to head it off.
Now, with over 40,000 dead (and rising every day), we are back to notion that Covid-19 was/is not a threat and we should return to normal, or as he puts it, “liberate.” Again, we are not witnessing the actions of a reasonable and prudent leader, but rather the ranting and raving of an egomaniac who simply goes where the wind blows and when things don’t work out, directs the anger frustration, and blame elsewhere.
America, stop looking elsewhere. Don’t blame China. Don’t blame the WHO. Look your President in the eyes. He ignored the warnings for months. He failed to take any responsibility. He failed to take an ounce of leadership. Now, he wants you to “liberate” states from lock-downs that he claims to have “absolute” power to remove. He wants you to blame the WHO/China/Media for a failure to warn, but then forgets that he called the whole thing a media/democratic “hoax” early on. Trump wants to have it both ways. Don’t let him.