One month after Donald Trump spent the weekend fundraising, partying, and golfing at Mar-a-Lago while downplaying the impending threat of the coronavirus pandemic, the number of cases in Florida tragically continues to rise, with over 14,500 confirmed cases. Trump continues to make the situation worse with his chaotic response and misleading rhetoric.
On March 7th in Florida, Trump boasted, “We’re doing very well and we’ve done a fantastic job with respect to that subject.” He also tweeted a misleading statement comparing the common flu and coronavirus, though top U.S. health officials are clear that coronavirus has a much higher mortality rate.
“Trump’s Florida visit one month ago epitomizes his negligence during this crisis. Trump wasted time golfing at Mar-a-Lago and spreading misinformation instead of taking the pandemic seriously at the onset, as health experts pleaded with him to do,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo. “Three months into the crisis, we still lack federal coordination, a federal stay-at-home order, and adequate personal protective equipment for our front line medical and emergency personnel. This is unacceptable.”
Associated Press: US ‘wasted’ months before preparing for coronavirus pandemic: “As the first alarms sounded in early January that an outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China might ignite a global pandemic, the Trump administration squandered nearly two months that could have been used to bolster the federal stockpile of critically needed medical supplies and equipment. A review of federal purchasing contracts by The Associated Press shows federal agencies largely waited until mid-March to begin placing bulk orders of N95 respirator masks, mechanical ventilators and other equipment needed by front-line health care workers.”
Daily Beast: Army Warned in Early February That Coronavirus Could Kill 150,000 Americans: An unclassified briefing document on the novel coronavirus prepared on Feb. 3 by U.S. Army-North projected that “between 80,000 and 150,000 could die.” It framed the projection as a “Black Swan” analysis, meaning an outlier event of extreme consequence but often understood as an unlikely one. In other words, the Army’s projections on Feb. 3 for the worst-case scenario in the coronavirus outbreak are, as of this week, the absolute best-case scenario—if not a miraculous one.
New York Times: 430,000 People Have Traveled From China to U.S. Since Coronavirus Surfaced: “Since Chinese officials disclosed the outbreak of a mysterious pneumonia like illness to international health officials on New Year’s Eve, at least 430,000 people have arrived in the United States on direct flights from China, including nearly 40,000 in the two months after President Trump imposed restrictions on such travel, according to an analysis of data collected in both countries.”
Washington Post: The U.S. was beset by denial and dysfunction as the coronavirus raged: “The Trump administration received its first formal notification of the outbreak of the coronavirus in China on Jan. 3. Within days, U.S. spy agencies were signaling the seriousness of the threat to Trump by including a warning about the coronavirus — the first of many — in the President’s Daily Brief.
“And yet, it took 70 days from that initial notification for Trump to treat the coronavirus not as a distant threat or harmless flu strain well under control, but as a lethal force that had outflanked America’s defenses and was poised to kill tens of thousands of citizens. That more-than-two-month stretch now stands as critical time that was squandered.
Trump’s baseless assertions in those weeks, including his claim that it would all just “miraculously” go away, sowed significant public confusion and contradicted the urgent messages of public health experts.”
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