Is This a Trump Epidemic in the United States?

Although President Trump, in his daily press conferences, attempts to show that his administration is succeeding in containing the epidemic, the April 22, 2020 report from worldometers.info demonstrated the opposite — the United States had 1/3 of the Corona Virus cases and 1/4 of the corona virus deaths worldwide. Could the response be more catastrophic?

  TOTAL CASES TOTAL DEATHS
World 2,592,234 181,062
USA   820,600  45,967

On April 22, compared to April 19, the already significant number of daily cases increased by 4000.

On April 21, compared to April 19, the already shocking number of daily deaths increased by 1100.

On April 23, the United States, whose population represents roughly five percent of the world population, had almost 50 percent of the active cases, or almost as many active cases (750,000) as the rest of the world combined. This figure suggests that the number of deaths, resulting from COVID-19 in the United States, will rise more rapidly than in other nations.

Trump and his sycophants term these statistics as improvement and progress.

Is Trump responsible for the United States’ catastrophic response to the COVID-19?

Definitely; the statistics, his statements, and actions prove it. Unfortunately, a delinquent White House press corps has failed to convince the public at the press briefings. Where are the Walter Cronkites, Peter Jennings, Ted Koppels, and Diane Sawyers of yester year?

Trump Administration was Late in Responding

December 31: A Chinese government official telephones The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta and informs that office of a new pneumonia like disease in Wuhan. The Chinese government, on the same day, also informs the World Health Organization (WHO), of which the United States is a member.

Trump has said the Chinese were two months late in informing the United States of the epidemic. Yet, after U.S. administration organizations were informed, the U.S. administration took no action for one month.

January 20: The same day China declares that human-to-human transmission has been proven, the disease is noted in a patient in the state of Washington. Coincidentally, the Republic of Korea reports its first case of novel coronavirus.

January 26: A patient in Pennsylvania contracts the virus.

January 31: Travel restrictions prohibit non-U.S. citizens, other than the immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who had traveled to China within the previous two weeks, from entering the United States. Americans returning from China are allowed into the country, but they face screening at select ports of entry and are required to undertake 14 days of self-screening. Those returning from Hubei province, the center of the outbreak, are subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine.

Note: This was not a total travel ban between the U.S. and China.

The New York Times, April 4, 2020, “430,000 People Have Traveled From China to U.S. Since Coronavirus Surfaced” reported:

There were 1,300 direct flights to 17 cities before President Trump’s travel restrictions. Since then, nearly 40,000 Americans and other authorized travelers have made the trip, some this past week and many with spotty screening.

… In interviews, multiple travelers who arrived after the screening was expanded said they received only passing scrutiny, with minimal follow-up.

“I was surprised at how lax the whole process was,” said Andrew Wu, 31, who landed at Los Angeles International Airport on a flight from Beijing on March 10. “The guy I spoke to read down a list of questions, and he didn’t seem interested in checking out anything.”

… Mr. Wu, who has had no symptoms and has not become ill, said he was told to stay inside for 14 days when he landed in Los Angeles. He said he received two reminder messages the next day by email and text, but no further follow-up.

Another traveler, Chandler Jurinka, said his experience on Feb. 29 had an even more haphazard feel. He flew from Beijing to Seattle, with stops in Tokyo and Vancouver.

At the Seattle-Tacoma airport, he said, an immigration officer went through his documents and asked questions unrelated to the virus about his job and life in China. At no point did anyone take his temperature, he said.

“He hands me my passport and forms and says, ‘Oh, by the way, you haven’t been to Wuhan, have you?’” Mr. Jurinka said. “And then he says, ‘You don’t have a fever, right?’”

Like others, he left the airport with a card that recommended two weeks of self-quarantine and a promise that someone would call to check up on him. He said he never got a call.

March 13: After labeled a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, Trump declares the virus a national emergency. Social distancing guidelines for the country are outlined. On the same day, more than a little late, travel restrictions from 26 European countries are applied.

ABC News, April 9, 2020, “New York coronavirus outbreak originated in Europe, new study finds” reported:

COVID-19 cases in New York City were found as early as February.

A new study has found evidence that the first COVID-19 cases in New York City originated in Europe and occurred as early as February.

… Researchers found that COVID-19 in New York City “predominately arose through untracked transmission between the United States and Europe, with limited evidence supporting direct introductions from China,  where the virus originated, or other locations in Asia.”

April 21: Two thousand eight hundred and four (2804) deaths are recorded in one day in the United States, more than the total number of deaths in Turkey, and 50 percent of the total number of deaths in Germany to that date.

Testing

Press briefings pedal the line that the U.S. has the most testing in the world. Left out of the claims is that, except for China and India, the U.S. has magnitudes more population than other nations. Statistics from worldometers.info indicate almost a dozen major nations have more testing/1 million population, including Spain and Italy.

South Korea and the United States had their first confirmed COVID-19 case on the same day in January. South Korea took the threat seriously, and, by the start of March, had tested 100,000 people for the virus. The United States, under Trump, did not take it seriously and had tested just 1,000 people by the start of March.

“Anybody that wants a test can get a test. That’s what the bottom line is,” Trump told reporters on March 6, during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. PolitiFact fact-checked Trump and ascertained he had equivocated. “At that time, current supply of the test was limited, and clinicians were the ones who decided whether a patient met criteria to warrant testing. Testing was not as easy as just calling your doctor or pharmacy, saying you want to be tested for COVID-19 and getting it done.”

“…on its website, the CDC said, ‘Clinicians should use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested.’”

Ventilators

Trump boasted of U.S. mass production of ventilators, as if he was directing the assembly lines. He did not relate that the accelerated production did not start until April 1, and, after the need had been mostly filled by other sources.

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security reported on Ventilator Stockpiling and Availability in the US. Updated April 1, 2020:

Manufacturers of ventilators are currently ramping up production to meet demand during the COVID-19 outbreak, and companies such as GM, Ford, Dyson, Rolls-Royce, and Tesla are all beginning to look into how they can shift their manufacturing facilities to create ventilators.

A Courthouse News investigation “found that awards to the top-five ventilator contractors in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic topped $2.3 billion, more than $1.9 billion of which went to four companies with a foreign parent or owner. All of those contracts had delivery dates scheduled well after the apex of Covid-19 infections in New York, the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic. The data contradicts Trump’s bluster about U.S. dominance over the life-saving machines.”

Falsifications

Trump claimed the federal stockpile of emergency medicine and supplies which he inherited, was an “empty shelf.”

As of 2016, there were at least six warehouses holding “approximately $7 billion in products across more than 900 separate line items,” according to a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Trump said nobody knew how to contain this epidemic.

Taiwan, Korea, and China have contained the epidemic.

Trump said we did not know about COVID-19; that it is a new epidemic.

Yes, before it started in China, and after that time it was known to everyone.

Trump has repeatedly said that we are winning. Is 50,000 deaths, and more predicted, a winner?

Trump said that predictions had hundreds of thousands of deaths in the United States, and his “strategy” saved lives. What strategy? Undoubtedly, with no tactics, the virus would have caused hundreds of thousands of lives. A well-planned and well-coordinated strategy, such as was done in Taiwan (428 cases and six deaths), would have decreased the number of deaths in the United States to the thousands and not to the tens of thousands.

Trump said he inherited a broken system. If so, and that statement is dubious, he had three years to fix the problems. Why did he remain complacent?

FACTCHECK POSTS

In an updated post on March 19, 2020 on “Trump’s Statements About the Coronavirus“:

Jan. 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” — Trump in a CNBC interview.

Jan. 30: “We think 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. But we’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for us … that I can assure you.” — Trump in a speech in Michigan.

Feb. 10: “Now, the virus that we’re talking about having to do — you know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape though. We have 12 cases — 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.” — Trump at the White House.

Feb. 14: “There’s a theory that, in April, when it gets warm — historically, that has been able to kill the virus.  So we don’t know yet; we’re not sure yet. But that’s around the corner.” — Trump in speaking to National Border Patrol Council members.

Feb. 23: “We have it very much under control in this country.” — Trump in speaking to reporters.

Feb. 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” — Trump in a tweet.

Feb. 26: “So we’re at the low level. As they get better, we take them off the list, so that we’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time. So we’ve had very good luck.” — Trump at a White House briefing.

Feb. 26: “And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” — Trump at a press conference.

Feb. 26: “I think every aspect of our society should be prepared. I don’t think it’s going to come to that, especially with the fact that we’re going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down, not up.” — Trump at a press conference, when asked if “U.S. schools should be preparing for a coronavirus spreading.”

Feb. 27: “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.” — Trump at a White House meeting with African American leaders.

Feb. 29: “And I’ve gotten to know these professionals. They’re incredible. And everything is under control. I mean, they’re very, very cool. They’ve done it, and they’ve done it well. Everything is really under control.” — Trump in a speech at the CPAC conference outside Washington, D.C.

March 4: “[W]e have a very small number of people in this country [infected]. We have a big country. The biggest impact we had was when we took the 40-plus people [from a cruise ship]. … We brought them back. We immediately quarantined them. But you add that to the numbers. But if you don’t add that to the numbers, we’re talking about very small numbers in the United States.” — Trump at a White House meeting with airline CEOs.

March 4: “Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number.” — Trump in an interview on Fox News, referring to the percentage of diagnosed COVID-19 patients worldwide who had died, as reported by the World Health Organization. (See our item “Trump and the Coronavirus Death Rate.”)

March 7: “No, I’m not concerned at all. No, we’ve done a great job with it.” — Trump, when asked by reporters if he was concerned about the arrival of the coronavirus in the Washington, D.C., area.

March 9: “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!” — Trump in a tweet.

March 10: “And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” — Trump, after meeting with Republican senators.

A day later, on March 11, the WHO declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Conclusion

Trump’s prevarications, misinformation, misdirection, and careless attention in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the United States demand extensive disclosure. Together with the unreasonable and catastrophic epidemic totals, they compound the charge that the Trump administration has not contained the contagion and has turned it into a cataclysmic epidemic. These actions, which could have been prevented, are criminal in appearance, and complicity in this behavior includes all those who share the daily mendacious briefings.

If a plurality of Americans are unaware of the damage done by their president, and may vote him for another term, it is imperative to expose the punishing actions to the American people by President Trump.

If it were not masks and gloves that its frontline soldiers needed, but guns, smart bombs, bunker busters, submarines, fighter jets and nuclear bombs, would there be a shortage?
Arundhati Roy

The measure of a nation’s civilization is not how high its buildings, how fast its cars, how strong its military, how advanced its technology, or how many tourists it can send out to consume the whole world’s goods are, “There is only one test for you: how you treat the weak and vulnerable.”
LA Times on Fang Fang, Wuhan Diary

Dan Lieberman is Editor of Alternative Insight, a monthly web based newsletter and author of the book A Third Party Can Succeed in America. He can be reached at: alternativeinsight@earthlink.net. Read other articles by Dan.