A Complete List of Trumps Attempts to Play Down Coronavirus

Leadership depends on integrity and trust to make it credible. This President has earned neither.

The following data is from an interesting article and opinion from David Leonhardt of The New York Times on March 15, 2020. This peice clearly details and addresses just how wrong President Trump and his administration was in handling the coronavirus crisis.

Make this clear, Trump is in no way responsible for the coronavirus hitting the United Sates.  What he is responsible for as documented are his poor and delayed actions to slow down this crisis.

No matter what political side you are on, you need to read and see the Actual Facts that came straight out of Trump’s mouth, tweets and his own, as well as his adminstration’s actions. His own words and tweets clearly portray how he felt about the crisis and his attempts to be dishonest and deflective in his responses.

Again, this stuff was not made up.

January 2020

  • January 22, 2020: Trump makes first public comments about the coronavirus in a television interview from Davos on CNBC’s Jow Kernen.  Kernen asked Trump, “Are there worries about a pandemic at this point?” The president responded: “No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”
  • January 24, 2020: Trump repeatedly told Americans that there was no reason to worry. He actually tweeted “It will all work out well.”
  • January 28, 2020: retweeted a headline from One America News, an outlet with a history of spreading false conspiracy theories: “Johnson & Johnson to create coronavirus vaccine.”
  • January 30, 2020: during a speech in Michigan, he said: “We have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five. And those people are all recuperating successfully.”
  • January 31, 2020: 8 (EIGHT) Days from his first coronavirus comments, Trump took his only early, aggressive action against the virus by barring most foreigners who had recently visited China from entering the United States.

February 2020

  • Feb 2, 2020: Trump appeared on Fox News and exaggerated the impact in an interview with Sean Hannity. “Coronavirus,” Hannity said. “How concerned are you?” Trump replied: “Well, we pretty much shut it down coming in from China. We have a tremendous relationship with China, which is a very positive thing. Getting along with China, getting along with Russia, getting along with these countries.”  NOTE: confirmed coronavirus cases doubled to 14,557 since his January 31st action.
  • February 5, 2020: CDC begins shipping out coronavirus test kits to labs around the U.S. However, the tests suffered from a technical flaw and didn’t produce reliable results, labs discovered. The Trump administration failed to use functional tests from the World Health Organization.  They also failed to act to remove regulations that prevented private hospitals and labs from quickly developing their own tests.
  • February 10, 2020: Trump repeatedly said — in a speech to governors, at a campaign rally and in an interview with Trish Regan of Fox Business — that warm spring weather could kill the virus. “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away,” he told the rally.
  • February 19, 2020: Trump told a Phoenix television station, “I think the numbers are going to get progressively better as we go along.”
  • February 23, 2020: Trump actually pronounced the situation “very much under control,” and added: “We had 12, at one point. And now they’ve gotten very much better. Many of them are fully recovered.”  NOTE: On this date, the World Health Organization announced that the virus was in 30 countries, with 78,811 confirmed cases, a more than fivefold increase over the previous three weeks.  Trump continued his messages that the Coronavirus is still a small problem.
  • LATE FEBRUARY, 2020: Trump actually started blaming others:
    • criticized CNN and MSNBC for “panicking markets.”
    • said at a South Carolina rally — falsely — that “the Democrat policy of open borders” had brought the virus into the country.
    • tweeted about “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer,” mocking Schumer for arguing that Trump should be more aggressive in fighting the virus.
    • blaming an Obama administration regulation for slowing the production of test kits. There was no truth to the charge.
  • LATE FEBRUARY AND INTO MARCH, 2020: Trunp continued claiming that the situation was improving when it clearly was not.
  • February 26, 2020: Trump falsely said: “We’re going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down, not up.”
  • February 27, 2020: Trump falsely predicted: “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.” 
  • February 29, 2020: Trunp falsely said a vaccine would be available “very quickly” and “very rapidly” and praised his administration’s actions as “the most aggressive taken by any country.”

By the end of February, there were 85,403 confirmed cases, in 55 countries around the world.

By early March, experts already were arguing for aggressive measures to slow the virus’s spread and avoid overwhelming the medical system.  Trump could have specifically encouraged older people — at most risk from the virus — to be careful. Once again, he chose not to take action.

Early March is when people in the United States started realizing was falling way behind on testing.

Instead, he suggested on multiple occasions that the virus was less serious than the flu. 

  • March 2, 2020: Trump said “We’re talking about a much smaller range” of deaths than from the flu.
  • March 4, 2020: Trump told Hannity “It’s very mild,” 
  • March 6, 2020: Alex Azar, the secretary of health and human services, told ABC, “There is no testing kit shortage, nor has there ever been.” Trump, while touring the C.D.C. on March 6, said, “Anybody that wants a test can get a test.”
  • March 6, 2020: During the CDC tour, Trump also suggested that he knew as much as any scientist:  I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it. Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.
  • March 7, 2020: Trump said “I’m not concerned at all.”
  • March 10, 2020: Trump promised  “It will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”

On March 10, the World Health Organization reported 113,702 cases of the virus in more than 100 countries. This is the time Trump actually started taking the crisis serious.

  • March 11, 2020: Trump gave an Oval Office address meant to convey seriousness. It included some valuable advice, like the importance of hand-washing. But it also continued many of the old patterns of self-congratulation, blame-shifting and misinformation. Afterward, Trump aides corrected three different misstatements.

After March, 11, 2020 Trump started his Coronavirus Task Force with Vice President Pence in charge.  Pence was doing a good job, deflecting to the experts. That did not last long, as Trump started appearing and taking over the sessions.

You know by now what has happened since then in New York, California, Washington State, Florida and New Orleans.  You know what has happened to the Stock Market and our 401Ks.

And this week, Trump is making statements that the economy needs to be opened up by Easter – against his own experts and some in his administration.

Make sure to read the entire peice by by David Leonhardt of The New York Times here.

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