DEBUNK: RNC Falsely Paints Trump as a Decisive Leader on COVID-19, Ignoring Deadly Failures

7 mins read
Coronavirus War Room

The Truth is Trump Downplayed the Threat; Implemented Travel Bans That Didn’t Work; Tanked the Economy; Failed to Get PPE to States 

One day into the Republican National Convention, and President Trump and his allies are already rewriting the history of the coronavirus pandemic, an admission they know they are losing the election because of the public’s disapproval of the Trump administration’s botched response. 

That’s why they played a video riddled with falsehoods, somehow erasing the 177,000 lives lost on Donald Trump’s watch, and distorting the fact that President Trump failed to take decisive action to protect Americans. 

They will likely do that again this evening. So here’s the truth: as a result of Donald trump’s failed leadership, the United States still faces the worst outbreak in the world. 

Some facts that they didn’t tell you in the video:

THE LIE: “One leader took decisive action to save lives…”


  • President Trump has downplayed the threat of the virus since the very beginning, falsely claiming that it would “disappear.” 
    • Trump repeatedly downplayed and ignored warnings about the severity of the virus during “the lost month” of February by calling the virus a “hoax”, comparing it to the flu, praising the Chinese government’s response, and saying it was under control. 
    • On February 27, Trump promised: “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.”
    • On March 31, Trump said: “It’s going to go away, hopefully at the end of the month. And, if not, hopefully it will be soon after that.”
    • Trump said on April 28:  “I think what happens is it’s going to go away. This is going to go away.”
    • On August 5, Trump still claimed: “This thing’s going away. It will go away like things go away.”
  • President Trump refused to listen to the advice of experts who tried to keep our country safe, routinely ridiculed masks, and pushed junk science 
    • President Trump has attacked his own experts — including Dr. Anthony Fauci — and embraced fringe conspiracy theories.
    • President Trump has aggressively pushed junk science and dangerous “miracle cures” like hydroxychloroquine. 
    • Trump repeatedly ridiculed mask wearing. He stated in July that Americans “don’t need” a mask, in June that people were wearing masks to show disapproval, mocked a reporter for wearing a mask at The White House in May and has flouted mask-wearing guidelines at his campaign events. 

THE LIE: President Trump’s Decision to Ban Travel From China and Coronavirus Epicenters Saved Lives


  • President Trump’s Leaky Ban Allowed Thousands to Enter the United States Before and After It Was Implemented
    • Between New Years’ Eve, when Chinese officials first disclosed the existence of the virus, and mid-April, more than 400,000 travelers entered the United States on direct flights from China.
    • At least 40,000 travelers entered the United States from China in the two months since the ban was first implemented in early February.
  • President Trump’s European Travel Ban Was Too Little Too Late
    • Research indicates that the virus began circulating in New York City (which was, for a time, the epicenter of the United States’ outbreak) as early as mid-February — and that travelers brought the virus from Europe. President Trump did not implement a travel ban on Europe until mid-March.

THE LIE: Video Falsely Claims Trump Provided Relief to American Families, Workers, and Businesses


  • President Trump’s Botched Response Allowed The Virus To Get Out Of Control, Causing the Worst Economic Downturn in American History
  • President Trump Left Americans to Struggle While He Bailed Out Donors and Corporations
    • President Trump first allowed enhanced unemployment benefits to expire on July 31, and then slashed payments and excluded the lowest-wage workers. 
    • As much as $273 million in PPP loans were provided to more than 100 companies that are owned or operated by donors to Trump.
    • President Trump and Republicans walked away from the HEROES ACT that was passed by House Democrats in May and let enhanced unemployment benefits expire for Americans that were relying on them after losing their jobs.

THE LIE: The Video Falsely Claims President Trump Got Enough PPE to States


  • President Trump’s Mismanagement of Supplies Put States and Care Workers at Risk
    • Trump ignored a 69 page National Security Council playbook that said the Administration should have begun procuring personal protective equipment in January.
    • As the virus spread in late March, Trump declared that states, “have to get that gear themselves.”
    • The government’s failure to shore up supplies of equipment forced states to bid against one another on the open market, jacket up prices.
    • President Trump’s sparing use of the Defense Production act has left frontline workers struggling to protect themselves throughout the pandemic.
  • President Trump Failed Care Workers on the Front Lines
    • A July 10 administration briefing noted that states had only received a fraction of the PPE requested to fight the pandemic.
    • In June, a National Nurses United survey found that 87% of 23,000 respondents were forced to reuse single use N95 respirators.
    • More than 900 health care workers have died of COVID-19 in the United States since the pandemic began. 

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