“Everything we do before a pandemic will seem alarmist. Everything we do after will seem inadequate.” – M. Leavitt
President of America, Donald Trump said at a briefing on Wednesday, March 25th “I can hear it... It’s time... America wants to be working.” Trump has indicated that restrictions in some parts of the country can be lifted and that ‘Americans want to go back to work’. He said that America can start working by ‘beautiful Easter’ i.e. by 12th April. He stated, “It’s just about the timeline that I think is right.”
Are you wondering if it’s really alright for Americans to resume work at this point? let’s consider the facts –
WHO has stated that the U.S. might be the next epicenter of ‘new CoronaVirus.’ Even Public Health Officials are against removing ‘Social distancing restrictions’ at this stage. Then why does President Trump insist so?
President Trump Tweets on March 27 2020
“Our great Oil & Gas industry is under siege after having one of the best years in recorded history. It will get better than ever as soon as our Country starts up again. Vital that it does for our National Security?”
It is clear that Trump is considering the economic consequences important than health. Pertaining to this he stated, “We can’t let the cure be worse than the disease.”
However, if Trump’s statement was to come true, America might face unimaginable consequences.
So, the question remains – ‘Can Trump make his statement come true?’
Trump is the President of the U.S. However, the ‘health welfare, and safety’ of the residents is under the control of the local authorities of the state. Many mayors and governors are against Trump’s idea, and he cannot overturn the local and state decrees.
The reason for strong opposition to this statement of President Trump is the fact that the US has now surpassed China and has the highest confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world. The death toll has passed 1,000 in the U.S. And if you are wondering how it came about to be, let me break it down for you.
The Coronavirus Pandemic
On 31st December 2019, in Wuhan, China, cases of pneumonia with unknown cause was reported. 7th January 2020 identified this outbreak was as a new coronavirus. And on 11th February 2020, the new coronavirus disease was named COVID-19 by WHO.
Since then, the number of COVID-19 positive cases and deaths has been on increase with 400,000 reported positive cases.
Trump’s Response To Coronavirus Pandemic
WHO had declared the new Coronavirus as an International Public Health Emergency as early as 30th January 2020.
On the contrary, Trump signed an $8.3 billion emergency spending package bill on 6th March. He declared a ‘National Emergency’ with access to $50 billion dollars on 13th March.
Within 11th March to 18th March 2020, the number of restrictions were announced on for each traveler from Europe, outbound trips of cruise lines, gatherings of 10 or more, ‘non-essential traffic’ along the borders, admission of refugees, etc.
Finally, on the 18th of March, Trump signed the Coronavirus aid bill into law – The Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
The glaring disparity between the dates is a telltale of the new Coronavirus threat being downplayed. Trump took action much later. At a point, Trump had even stated that Coronavirus was just a ‘Democratic Hoax’. With inadequate measures, Trump’s administration then struggled to meet up the medical needs to combat COVID 19.
Trump’s Response To Lacking Healthcare Essentials
Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak; the Doctors, nurses, etc. in the U.S faced (and still are facing) shortage of Personal Protective Equipments (PPE). They have taken to social media to with #GetMePPE to tell their difficulties.
On Mar 19, 2020, Jahan Fahimi tweeted,
“When you get sick and have to come to the hospital, I assume you want a doctor and nurse to take care of you.
If we are forced to keep reusing masks or run out of them, there may not be enough of us left #GetMePPE for #COVID19”.
Trump when questioned about the lack of protective gear, stated: “We are there to help them, they have to get that gear themselves.... we have done a lot.”
Donald Trump In Response To Coronavirus And China
In the 18th March White House Press conference, President Trump referred in context to China suppressing information of the Outbreak by stating that ‘they could have given us a lot earlier notice’.
Trump here seems to be shifting the complete blame onto China instead of accepting responsibility for the incompetence he and his Republican allies have shown. During the White House Press conference, he even referred to Coronavirus as ‘Chinese Virus’.
It’s agreed that China is not exactly blame free, but blaming others is not enough to cover own inadequacies. The steps that China took to contain the outbreak are commendable and its consequences are for the whole world to see.
The next Presidential elections in November 2020 seems like a waving flag to President Donald Trump so as to recover the American economy as fast as possible.
However, this is the time that every factor needs to be taken into consideration before taking drastic steps. And more than anything, it is time for all to work with brotherhood and humanity.
We all stand together in a crisis.