As the United States exceeds 1.3 million novel coronavirus cases as the most “heavily affected country” worldwide, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik praises President Donald Trump’s “decisive action in banning travel to the U.S. from heavily affected countries …”
With only 4.25 percent of the world’s population, the United States recently had 32 percent of worldwide cases with 1,012,517 out of 3,115,977 coronavirus cases globally. Even removing New York’s 300,000 cases leaves the United States with more cases than any other nation, including India with 1.3 billion people and 31,324 cases and China with 1.4 billion people and 83,938 cases. We have experienced 27 percent of the deaths in the world.
A president who ignores warnings and deceives the public is responsible for this.
In early January, the National Security Council office responsible for tracking pandemics received intelligence reports about the virus spreading to the United States; Trump avoided following their recommendations until mid-March.
On Jan. 29, trade adviser Peter Navarro described a potential worst-case scenario of up to a half-million deaths and trillions of dollars of economic losses. On Jan. 30, Trump referred to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azaz as “alarmist” when he warned Trump for the second time of a potential pandemic.
The president’s deceptions:
Jan. 22, with 1 case: “No, we’re not at all worried about a pandemic.”
Jan. 31, with 8 cases: “We pretty much shut it down.”
Feb. 26, with 57 cases: “It’s going to be down, close to zero.”
Feb. 27, with 58 cases: “It’s like a miracle, it’s going to disappear.”
During February, the United States chose to not use a WHO coronavirus test. Our first test had problems, leading to a tragic and consequential loss of opportunity to test early, trace contacts of positive cases, and contain this highly infectious disease. South Korea’s first confirmed case was the same day as the United States’. According to Reuters, South Korea conducted nearly 300,000 tests within two months of diagnosing their first COVID-19 patient, while the United States only conducted about 60,000 tests in that same time period. With one-sixth of our population, South Korea has 1 percent of the cases we do and only 244 deaths compared to our more than 82,000 deaths. Thirty nations have tested more per capita than the United States.
And while the United States careens past 1 million cases, Trump distracts Americans by blaming the WHO and focusing on “overflowing churches,” injecting Lysol, and the economy.
Rep. Stefanik, this is what incompetent, not “decisive,” leadership looks like.