Politics

Has the Trump Administration handled the coronavirus crisis well or poorly?

 
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WRITTEN BY
Apr 21 05:22 pm

Mandy

President Trump’s response to Covid-19 has been timely, and he has handled the crisis extremely well--despite the media alleging otherwise. On January 6th, governmental agencies issued China-travel restrictions [1]; on January 11th these restrictions were heightened, until January 31st when all nonessential China-travel was banned outright [2]. Trump mentioned the coronavirus in his SOTU address on February 4th, already assigning taskforces to investigate the China-outbreak [3]. Though politicians characterized this as “xenophobic” [4], and the media openly decried it [5], Trump’s administration knew this was the correct course of action. 

Once the virus was clearly present stateside, Trump unleashed the FDA and CDC to produce the necessary test manufacturing [6]. Soon after, he allocated hospital ships [7], and army hospitals to the cities requesting additional hospital beds [8].

Despite Trump inheriting a depleted National Stockpile of protective gear after the Obama and Bush administrations used them for the SARS (2002) and H1N1 (2009) outbreaks [9], Trump advocated States working directly with private industries to acquire gear. And he has met every request possible from the States hardest hit [10]. 

Trump even used the Defense Production Act on General Motors to quickly produce ventilators [11], but hasn’t had to rely on it heavily as companies voluntarily commit to making the necessary equipment without being compelled by the Act [12]. 

The media are gaslighting Americans, claiming Trump called coronavirus a “hoax” [13], and unfairly blaming the President wholesale [14]. Trump has fostered government and private industry partnership, and he has defied bureaucracy in record time, reacting more quickly than any other politician in order to persevere during this pandemic.


Kiande

While the coronavirus itself is not the fault of anyone, the Trump Administration’s poor response to the outbreak has resulted in the United States becoming the epicenter of the global pandemic [1]

Back in April 2018, the Trump Administration dismantled the team in charge of federal response to possible pandemics [2]. On January 3, 2020, the CDC was first alerted to a possible public health emergency brewing in Wuhan, China; on January 18, HHS Secretary Alex Azar spoke with President Trump directly about the coronavirus [3]. Despite the early warning signs, the federal government did not begin to issue guidelines for the American people to follow until March 16 [4]. Many health experts believe that the late response to the pandemic is directly correlated to the mountain of cases plaguing the United States today [5]. In other words, if those guidelines had been issued in mid-January, it is likely that the number of cases in the US would be much lower than what they are now. 

Aside from the delayed response, President Trump’s rhetoric has made an already catastrophic event even worse. He has constantly downplayed the effect of the coronavirus in his infamous Coronavirus Task Force briefings, attacking the media and state governors for various reasons [6]. In fact, President Trump has even gone so far as to say that he “takes no responsibility at all” when asked about the federal government’s poor response [7]

If you look at the numbers, it is clear that the US’s response to COVID-19 has been very poor. The number of cases in the United States is over 800,000--more than the next 5 countries combined [8]

Fact Box

  • A recent Pew Research Poll indicated that 65% of Americans feel that President Trump has been too slow to take major steps to combat the coronavirus [1]. 
  • The first reported case of COVID-19 in the US was on January 20, 2020 [2].
  • In early April, a RealClearPolitics average of polls revealed that Donald Trump’s approval rating was at 47.3%--the highest of his presidency [3]. 
  • Projected deaths from COVID-19 continue to decrease, with a marked decline between March 26th and April 8th from 81,000 to 60,000 [4]. 

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