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Sunday, 5 April 2020

What Trump said: Don’t forget his sluggish and confused response to the coronavirus

Believe what he says today, even if it's the completely opposite thing tomorrow.
Believe what he says today, even if it's the completely opposite thing tomorrow.(Alex Brandon/AP)

In the midst of a 100-year pandemic, getting accurate information to the public is vital. China, original sinner in its mass coverup as the pathogen spread, cost countless lives.
Here at home, many leaders have made many mistakes; a learning curve was inevitable; calling “gotcha” over every misstatement helps no one.
But the record must reflect that one level of the U.S. government has consistently minimized the threat, mismanaged the response and then deflected blame: President Trump and his brain trust.
Friday, hoping the record vanishes down the memory hole, Trump said, “We have done a job like no one has done a job.” Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence said, “I don’t believe the president has ever belittled the threat of the coronavirus.”
Flatly untrue. Multiple times he said that concern over the coronavirus was the “new hoax.”
In January, he denied the nation faced a pandemic, saying “We have it totally under control."
In February, he said, “We’re in great shape.”
Then said: “This is a flu. This is like a flu...Now, you treat this like a flu...we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.”
On numbers, “We’re going down, not up.” The same day, Trump said that the 15 cases would soon be “zero.”

In the midst of a 100-year pandemic, getting accurate information to the public is vital. China, original sinner in its mass coverup as the pathogen spread, cost countless lives.
Here at home, many leaders have made many mistakes; a learning curve was inevitable; calling “gotcha” over every misstatement helps no one.
But the record must reflect that one level of the U.S. government has consistently minimized the threat, mismanaged the response and then deflected blame: President Trump and his brain trust.
Friday, hoping the record vanishes down the memory hole, Trump said, “We have done a job like no one has done a job.” Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence said, “I don’t believe the president has ever belittled the threat of the coronavirus.”
Flatly untrue. Multiple times he said that concern over the coronavirus was the “new hoax.”
In January, he denied the nation faced a pandemic, saying “We have it totally under control."
In February, he said, “We’re in great shape.”
Then said: “This is a flu. This is like a flu...Now, you treat this like a flu...we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.”
On numbers, “We’re going down, not up.” The same day, Trump said that the 15 cases would soon be “zero.”

On a March 6 visit to the CDC, Trump declared, "Anyone who wants a test can get a test.” One week later, the president declared he had no “responsibility” for there being a lack of tests.

One week ago, Trump dismissed the notion that New York needs 30,000 ventilators and held back invoking the Defense Production Act to get private companies to start producing them.

Friday, Trump says that the federal government is only supposed to have a “backup” role in pandemic preparation.

He wishes that were so.

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