Trump Caused 90% of US Covid 19 Deaths
Millions of Americans are suffering and dying because of Trump’s incompetence and massive failure in leadership.
- The US has more cases of covid 19 and more deaths from it than any other nation worldwide.
- The US covid death rate is 100 times higher than it is in China.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cures.
Timing is everything in an epidemic. To limit one, you must:
- quickly get people to avoid crowds
- establish widely available diagnostic testing
- isolate the infected
- trace all the contacts of the infected
Trump ignored the threat for months on end. This is like ignoring your smoke detector and waiting to call the Fire Department until your whole house is burning down.
To control a pandemic, you also need clear, consistent, regular communication from leaders about how to manage the infectious disease.
The city-state of Hong Kong and all the following countries did a great job:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- Costa Rica
- United Arab Emirates
They all either prevented widespread cases of covid 19 or successfully flattened the curve of the disease early on and largely controlled their outbreaks.
After very bad starts, Germany, Spain, France, and Italy all managed to reduce their infection curves to low levels and to reopen without causing a new spike.
The Director of Harvard’s Global Health Institute said our “response is much, much worse than almost any other country that’s been affected.”
For all the reasons detailed in this article, the Boston Globe said Trump was “a president unfit for a pandemic” and “the president has blood on his hands.”
Dr. Fauci and other experts on the White House coronavirus task force tried to get Trump to announce social distancing measures as early as February 21.
Instead, Trump waited until March 16 to urge Americans to limit travel, avoid groups, and stay home from school.
Two scientific studies show if Trump had done this just two weeks earlier, it would have saved the vast majority of deaths from covid 19.
- A study in April at the University of Washington estimated we would have avoided 90% of our deaths from covid 19 if we had established social distancing policies just 2 weeks earlier.
- Another study in May at Columbia University estimated we would have avoided 83% of our deaths from covid 19 if we had established social distancing policies just 2 weeks earlier.
If Trump had simply listened to his own health experts on his own coronavirus task force, he would have recommended social distancing over 3 weeks earlier!
Even After Italy and South Korea had started aggressively responding to the covid 19 pandemic, President Trump refused to cancel campaign rallies and refused to tell people to stay home or avoid crowds.
In contrast, some of our governors also did a good job with quick, effective action and clear, consistent science-based communications.
- For example, Governor Cuomo of New York managed to turn his state from the highest rate of infections in the US to the lowest rate among states.
Trump Ignored Early Warnings & Eliminated Pandemic Prevention
For decades, officials, experts, and leaders like President Clinton, President G. W. Bush, Al Gore, President Obama, Bill Gates, and James Clapper have warned about a pandemic and the need to prepare better.
During Trump’s administration, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Warren, Trump’s own health experts Anthony Fauci, Tom Frieden, and Alex Azar, and Trump’s Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats had all warned about the dangers of a pandemic. Some of these warnings specifically mentioned coronavirus.
There were many other warnings. For example:
- From January to August 2019, Trump’s own experts had conducted an exercise simulating a pandemic.
- Their October 2019 report showed poor readiness that would devastate the US economy with deaths, disability, and job losses.
- In January 2020, the US intelligence annual global threat assessment also warned that a pandemic could cause massive rates of death and disability and severely affect the world economy.
- eliminated the international cooperation on pandemics established because of Ebola.
- eliminated the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) expert embedded in China’s CDC whose role was to detect disease outbreaks in China.
- eliminated a centralized White House director in the National Security Council for Global Health Security and Biodefense and its team, which was created to effectively coordinate pandemic response.
- cut 80% of CDC funding for fighting global pandemics.
- eliminated CDC pandemic control teams in 39 countries, including China.
- cut funding for our Global Health Security Agenda, a program designed to identify outbreaks and other emerging threats around the world.
- cut funding for the World Health Organization, the National Institute of Health, and many other US public health agencies.
- cut funding in the fall of 2019 for the US Agency for International Development’s Predict program that trained and funded scientists to test high risk areas for new viruses that could jump from animal to human in 31 countries including China.
- Ending the Predict program last fall stopped our field work providing eyes and ears on the ground in China to counteract Chinese misinformation, just before the coronavirus pandemic began.
- eliminated USAID’s $30 million Complex Crises Fund for emerging or unforeseen crises.
With Trump firing people, eliminating the pandemic response team, and others leaving, Trump’s White House had nobody with any expertise in global pandemics.
When Coronavirus Hit, Trump Ignored the Expert
Pandemic Guidebook Obama Gave Him
President Obama did a great job with the H1N1 epidemic in 2009 and the Ebola outbreak in 2014.
After the Ebola crisis, the Obama National Security Council wrote a 69-page expert guide on how to fight a pandemic. It detailed advice on:
- tracking new viruses
- key questions and decisions when a threat becomes credible
- how the White House should oversee and coordinate the various branches of government
- the importance of early action, including extra funding from Congress
- the need to stockpile emergency supplies
- how to ramp up testing effectively
Obama was so concerned about a pandemic, his transition team carefully prepared Trump’s team by:
- highlighting the threat in a tabletop exercise for Trump’s incoming officials.
- giving Trump the expert pandemic guidebook so they could just follow the step-by-step instructions if an outbreak occurred.
As far back as November, US intelligence officials first warned about a new coronavirus spreading in China.
- A November 2019 report from the US military’s National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI) found “it could be a cataclysmic event.”
- Throughout December 2019, experts briefed the NCMI report warning multiple times across the US government, including to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, and the White House.
Experts briefed President Trump on the NCMI warning about coronavirus in early January. And he got many more warnings in January:
- The CDC declared a warning about coronavirus on Jan 6.
- The CDC activated an emergency management system for coronavirus on Jan 7.
- Health & Human Services Secretary Alez Azar briefed Trump on coronavirus on Jan. 18.
- In a meeting on Jan. 27, White House Domestic Policy Council head Joe Grogan warned coronavirus would dominate public life for months and if the administration didn’t take it seriously, it could cost Trump the next election.
- On January 27, the CDC’s Nancy Messonnier warned we need to prepare for a possible coronavirus pandemic.
- On January 29, Economic advisor Peter Navarro warned the National Security Council that coronavirus could kill half a million Americans and wipe out $5.7 trillion from our economuy.
- On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a global health emergency.
- On January 30, Alex Azar again warned Trump about the threat and Trump dismissed him as “alarmist.”
Yet the Trump completely ignored the expert pandemic guidebook, never launching a focused, intense, well-coordinated response.
Throughout January and February, there was no clear chain of command for dealing with the pandemic.
So Trump wasted months, when he could have stopped the virus in its tracks like other countries did.
Trump Minimizing the Epidemic Fueled Explosive Spread
For 3 crucial months as the virus spread across America, Trump’s lies and disinformation led many Americans to ignore the epidemic and helped it explode.
- On January 22, Trump said, “We have it totally under control.”
- On February 10, Trump lied and claimed the coronavirus “dies with the hotter weather. … when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”
- On February 24, Trump claimed, “The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.”
- On February 26, Trump tweeted that “fake news” MSNBC CNN “are doing everything possible to make the coronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible.”
- On that same day, Trump insisted the number of cases “within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”
- On February 27, Trump claimed, “It’s going to disappear. One day—it’s like a miracle—it will disappear.”
- On Feb. 28 at a rally in South Carolina, Trump compared coronavirus to the flu, said “the press is in hysteria mode,” and called Democratic criticism of his response “their new hoax.”
- On March 10, Trump said, “It will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”
On March 2, Trump lied “they’re going to have vaccines, I think relatively soon. And they’re going to have something that makes you better and that’s going to actually take place, we think, even sooner.”
Meanwhile Dr. Fauci was saying a vaccine would take a year to a year and a half.
Even as late as May 8th, Trump claimed, “This is going to go away without a vaccine.”
Polls during the spring show Trump and his Fox News state media propaganda machine led the vast majority of Republicans to dismiss covid 19 as similar to the flu during the early months, while most Democrats took the epidemic far more seriously.
Trump’s lies and rosy predictions discouraged prevention measures like social distancing and wearing masks in public, especially among his base of skeptical Republicans.
This just fueled explosive transmission and deaths from coronavirus. It also led Republican governors in states like Mississippi, Texas, and Florida to refuse stay at home orders.
Trump’s denials also meant:
- New Orleans didn’t know enough to cancel Mardi Gras.
- Florida didn’t know enough to cancel spring break.
This made both Louisiana and Florida hot spots for coronavirus outbreaks.
MORE COMING SOON
When things got worse and worse and the stock market dropped 1,000 points, Trump finally realized he had a problem and had to declare a national emergency.
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