Trump slams media for not putting positive spin on his botched coronavirus response - Business Insider
Category: News & PoliticsVia: jbb • 2 weeks ago • 18 comments
By: John Haltiwanger (Business Insider)
There is no "good news" to report on Trumpism...
- More than 120,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 as of Tuesday, but President Donald Trump wants the "Fake New" media to report on his coronavirus response in a more "positive" light.
- Trump refused to take the virus seriously in the early days of the outbreak, downplaying the threat for weeks.
- His administration botched key aspects of its response, most notably setting up a robust testing system.
- The US has the highest number of reported coronavirus cases and confirmed fatalities in the world.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday slammed the "Fake News" media for not putting a positive spin on his disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to over 120,000 reported deaths and devastated the US economy.
In a pair of tweets, Trump said, "We did a great job on CoronaVirus, including the very early ban on China, Ventilator production, and Testing, which is by far the most, and best, in the World. We saved millions of U.S. lives.! Yet the Fake News refuses to acknowledge this in a positive way. But they do give Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is with us in all ways, a very high 72% Approval Rating. So, if he is in charge along with V.P. etc., and with us doing all of these really good things, why doesn't the Lamestream Media treat us as they should? Answer: Because they are Fake News!"
Trump's depiction of his handling of COVID-19 is ahistorical.
In the early days of the virus, Trump ignored warnings from top experts and advisers of an impending pandemic, as he simultaneously downplayed the threat for weeks. On February 26, for example, as senior public health officials warned that coronavirus infections in the US would rise, Trump told the public that the number of cases would be "close to zero" in a couple of days. As of Tuesday, there were over 2.3 million reported cases of coronavirus in the US, per Johns Hopkins, the highest number of confirmed infections in the world by far.
Trump has also declined to follow his own administration's guidance when it comes to the virus, refusing to wear a mask or face-covering despite strong evidence it can help prevent the spread and save lives.
The US and South Korea had their first confirmed cases of coronavirus on the same day in January. The South Korean government responded swiftly and took the virus seriously from the start. The Trump administration reacted slowly, led by a president who refused to acknowledge the reality of the situation. South Korea has seen less than 300 reported deaths from coronavirus, while the US has the highest number of confirmed fatalities in the world.
Workers moving bodies to a refrigerated truck from the Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Home in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. AP Photo/Craig Ruttle
Though Trump boasted about his travel restrictions on China in his Tuesday tweets, they were imposed after the virus had already reached the US. Moreover, roughly 40,000 people still came to the US from China after the restrictions were announced due to exemptions.
And though testing for the virus in the US has improved, a large part of the reason the country was hit so hard by COVID-19 is due to the fact it struggled to set up a robust testing system and lagged behind much of the world in this regard for weeks. This made it hard for officials to gain a picture of the full scale of the outbreak within America's borders.
The federal government aso struggled to provide essential medical supplies to states, leaving frontline health care workers in the wealthiest nation on the planet to wear trash bags as protective equipment in some cases. Some states accepted help or ordered supplies from other countries, including China.
Trump has also strongly condoned rapidly reopening the country, despite warnings from public health experts that doing so could exacerbate the US outbreak. States that were among the first to ease coronavirus restrictions, such as Texas and Florida, have recently emerged as hotspots. Trump has falsely blamed this on increased testing, even as rates of positive tests go down in other states like New York and New Jersey that were among the most hard hit in the country in the early days of the outbreak.
The president has spent much of the coronavirus pandemic deflecting blame instead of looking for solutions to a plethora of problems associated with the federal government's response. Former US diplomats have warned that his coronavirus response has left the US alone and embarrassed on the world stage, greatly damaging US credibility with other countries. And top public health experts have characterized Trump's handling of coronavirus as "abysmal."
The first reported coronavirus death in the US was 115 days ago, on February 29. In the time since, more Americans have died under Trump's watch than all of the combat deaths in US wars since 1945 combined.
Trump wants the media to discuss his coronavirus response in a "positive way," but doing so would be at odds with reality. Meanwhile, the virus continues to rip through communities across the US and the Trump administration has begun to behave as if the pandemic is a thing of the past...