Trump could’ve prevented this


Graphic by Sarah Morgan

Aaron Gorman

As of writing this, more than one million people across the U.S have been infected with Coronavirus and over 80,000 have died, including at least 6,300 infections and 328 deaths in DC. This disease has caught the U.S completely off guard, and, despite his attempts to blame China or the WHO or Obama, it’s entirely and undeniably President Trump’s fault.

In recent weeks it has been discovered that U.S. intelligence was well aware of the risk the Coronavirus posed as early as November 2019 and immediately began to sound the alarm to the Trump administration. Donald Trump, instead of preparing our country and ordering necessary medical supplies that would have slowed the spread of the disease, decided to ignore the warnings. 

Then, on January 30th, health and human services secretary Alex Azar warned Trump that unless direct and immediate action was taken, Coronavirus could become a pandemic. Two days later, Trump was playing golf and attending Super Bowl watch parties. 

Starting in February, Trump began to speak on Coronavirus publicly for the first time, choosing not to warn and prepare the American people, but to downplay the threat. On February 10th he claimed that by April, Coronavirus would be completely gone because “when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.” This was a claim that was not supported by any U.S. intelligence or infectious disease experts, instead coming from Chinese President Xi Jinping, a man who Trump has recently attacked for his own response to Coronavirus. Throughout February, Trump held five rallies, only briefly addressing Coronavirus at two of them, both times claiming that his administration had done “a great job.” By February 28th, when Trump claimed that “within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero,” at which point there were already 60 cases in the U.S., four times as many as Trump claimed there were. One week later, on March 6th, there were 39,000 reported cases.

Donald Trump’s behavior in the early days of Coronavirus shows a clear and extremely dangerous pattern. Despite repeated warnings, Trump failed to do his job and prevent Covid-19 from becoming what it is today, a public health crisis. He ignored the advice of his own intelligence, instead opting to continue hosting rallies and attacking the “impeachment hoax.” This pattern of downplaying facts in order to support his political agenda is one he’s displayed before, but this time it is directly responsible for the loss of tens of thousands of lives.

When asked about claims he made in February, Trump will either fully ignore the reporter asking or claim that he did a fantastic job and deny ever downplaying the threat. It is, like everything he does, a clear political ploy, meant to trick our most vulnerable citizens; first into thinking that Coronavirus wasn’t a risk at all, and then, when that backfired, into thinking that the ‘fake news media’ is lying to them. Trump had the opportunity to accept the gravity of the situation and do something about it, he made the decision not to, knowing full well that the economic fallout a global pandemic would cause would harm his reelection chances. 

When pretending Coronavirus wasn’t a threat stopped working for him, Trump had the opportunity to admit his mistakes and be honest with the American public, something he declined to do. Instead, he opted to lie and spread confusion to save his own job. This pandemic has made it clear that Trump cares only about himself and is willing to risk the safety of the entire country if it means he is in a better position to stay in office. And despite the fact that Trump could’ve saved thousands of lives had he simply accepted the truth and taken action, his loyal and brainwashed supporters are yet again following him into a deadly pit of lies and confusion. •