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OPINION

President Trump continues to praise COVID-19 handling. 

The United States has not been able to plateau the COVID-19 curve. At the time of this writing, the United States has had 4.8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 158,000 thousand deaths. 

Yet the President and the administration continue to talk about the United States in recovery despite data showing otherwise. 

Since the onset, the President has made some interesting comments. 

On January 6th, 2020 The CDC issued a Level 1 travel advisory for Wuhan, China. Level 1 advisories tell travelers to “practice usual precautions.” It added: Travelers to Wuhan “should avoid living or dead animals, animal markets, and contact with sick people.” (Source)

This was followed by China on January 11th releasing the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus, enabling scientists worldwide to develop testing for the virus. 

On January 17th, 2020 Dr. Nancy Messonier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC said “This is a serious situation. … [W]e believe the current risk from this virus to the general public is low. … The situation could indeed change quickly. Therefore, we are taking a cautious approach to this outbreak and we’re preparing ourselves to respond quickly to any new developments.” in a briefing with reporters.  

How did the administration respond? 

On January 22nd, 2020, in an interview with CNBC, President Trump said of the first confirmed case in the USA “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.”

And that has set the tone for the rhetoric. At best it’s blind optimism and at worst it’s just a failure to admit the full gravity of the situation. The proceeding months continued to see this kind of verbiage. 

On January 24th, 2020 the President tweeted “China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!”

This is a far cry from the President’s sentiments towards China today. Today he routinely touts COVID-19 as the China or Wuhan Virus. 

On January 30th the President said “We only have five people. Hopefully, everything’s going to be great. They have somewhat of a problem, but hopefully, it’s all going to be great. But we’re working with China, just so you know, and other countries very, very closely. So it doesn’t get out of hand. But it’s, you know, it’s something that we have to be very, very careful with, right? We have to be very careful.”

On February 7th, 2020 the President said “when we get into April, in the warmer weather—that has a very negative effect on that, and that type of a virus.” Yet, April saw a massive upswing in hospitalizations. 

In an interview with Geraldo Rivera on February 11th the President said “In our country, we only have, basically, 12 cases and most of those people are recovering and some cases fully recovered. So it’s actually less.”

After signs of communal transmissions the President said in a rally “Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. … One of my people came up to me and said, ‘Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia.’ That didn’t work out too well. They couldn’t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything, they tried it over and over. … And this is their new hoax.”

But this hasn’t been a hoax. Thousands of lives have been lost and the economy has stalled out. 

On March 6th the President tweeted “Gallup just gave us the highest rating ever for the way we are handling the CoronaVirus situation. The April 2009-10 Swine Flu, where nearly 13,000 people died in the U.S., was poorly handled.”

Yet today, the President is suffering from all-time lows in popularity and most of the country disagrees with his handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Even as cases soared, the President and the administration on April 15tth said “We think some of the states can actually open up before the deadline of May 1. And I think that that will be a very exciting time indeed.” At the time we were just shy of 30,000 deaths. 

And that’s the thing, the President has incredible optimism and has verbally tried to will this virus away. Even the President’s detractors admit a good portion of his success is due to his stubbornness. President Trump has an uncanny ability to project, manifest, and create. He might have met his match with COVID-19.

This is not a time to ignore reasonable data and replace it with spiritual upbeat words. We need defining, if not drastic, actions. Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday that there are “significant advances” and “very encouraging” signs and celebrated “plateauing” cases.

The President must trade-in talking points and favorable charts from questionable sources and even more questionable data references for a dose of reality. The interesting thing is we have a blueprint right here in the United States. CONEG (Coalition of Northeastern Governors) have successfully plateaued the curve. 

The situation takes a bit less stubbornness and a bi-partisan, united effort to truly overcome this pandemic.

In his Axios interview President Trump said about the COVID-19 death toll “They are dying. That’s true. And you — it is what it is. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. It’s under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague that beset us,”.

And when Dr. Deborah Birx gave a grave warning the President tweeted it was “pathetic”

The same tone since January exists as evident in the Axios interview.

“We are beginning to see evidence of significant progress nationwide, An encouraging sign. Very encouraging… The virus is receding. In hot spots across the south and west, we’ve seen slow improvements from their recent weekly peaks.”

He continued to say “I think we are doing very well and I think … as well as any nation,” Trump said baselessly, given that the United States has less than 5% of the world’s population but around 25% of global deaths from Covid-19.

With that we say to President Trump, we get it – COVID-19 impacted a great economy. That can not be denied. However, sir, you did not cause it. It’s okay to lead with science, not be stubborn, not have to will the virus away with toughness. You haven’t done the job to get rid of it but there still is time. 

Take the pass, it’s not pathetic to admit we aren’t doing so great and uniting around doing great. 

Author Details
JEM
VoiceBig.com Contributor

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