Trump’s alternative universe. Op-ed

The United States recorded more than 77,000 new cases of Covid-19, the most ever in a single day. Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump’s historic Covid response speaks for itself… And yes, it does.

UNITED STATES  – Trump refuses to fulfill his oath and defend his country against perhaps the worst enemy since World War II, the coronavirus. Mister Trump seems more negligent every day that passes.

Trump is refusing to act appropriately to the magnitude of the emergency. He is using his power to discredit a man with guaranteed knowledge. Dr. Anthony Fauci, his new enemy since Dr. Fauci is a man of science. Trump is also determined to undermine every effort by local officials to convince people to wear masks to slow the spread of the disease.

Trump’s reluctance is more notable since he’s happy to use presidential power quite often in an anti-constitutional way, in pursuit of personal and political gain. 

This week, states such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona have set records for coronavirus infections, and intensive care units and morgues have filled up, has exposed the willful blindness of a White House that seems bio-sealed from the reality of the pandemic.

On Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said: “We believe this President has great approval in this country. His historic Covid response speaks for itself.” We wonder what country she is speaking about. Perhaps a Marvel/DC Comics strange parallel universe, because in this real world, Trump’s administration faces one of the most disastrous failures regarding handling the pandemic. 

Here’s what Trump said in multiple public remarks, interviews, and tweets from January 22 to March 10 -– one day before the World Health Organization declared the global outbreak a pandemic. FactCheck.org has checked all of the below statements.

January 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” — Trump in a CNBC interview.

January 30: We think we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five — and those people are all recuperating successfully. But we’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for us … that I can assure you.” — Trump in a speech in Michigan.

February 10: “Now, the virus that we’re talking about having to do — you know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape, though. We have 12 cases — 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.” — Trump at the White House. (See our item “Will the New Coronavirus ‘Go Away’ in April? “)

February 14: “There’s a theory that, in April, when it gets warm — historically, that has been able to kill the virus. So we don’t know yet; we’re not sure yet. But that’s around the corner.” — Trump is speaking to National Border Patrol Council members.

February 23: “We have it very much under control in this country.” — Trump in speaking to reporters.

February 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” — Trump in a tweet.

February 26: “So we’re at the low level. As they get better, we take them off the list, so that we’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time. So we’ve had very good luck.” — Trump at a White House briefing.

February 26: “And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” — Trump at a press conference.

February 26: “I think every aspect of our society should be prepared. I don’t think it’s going to come to that, especially with the fact that we’re going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down, not up.” — Trump at a press conference, when asked if “US schools should be preparing for a coronavirus spreading.”

February 27: “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.” — Trump at a White House meeting with African American leaders.

February 29: “And I’ve gotten to know these professionals. They’re incredible. And everything is under control. I mean, they’re very, very cool. They’ve done it, and they’ve done it well. Everything is really under control.” — Trump in a speech at the CPAC conference outside Washington, DC.

March 4: “We have a very small number of people in this country [infected]. We have a big country. The biggest impact we had was when we took the 40-plus people [from a cruise ship]. … We brought them back. We immediately quarantined them. But you add that to the numbers. But if you don’t add that to the numbers, we’re talking about very small numbers in the United States.” — Trump at a White House meeting with airline CEOs.

March 4: “Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number.” — In an interview on Fox News, Trump referred to the percentage of diagnosed COVID-19 patients worldwide who had died, as reported by the World Health Organization. (“Trump and the Coronavirus Death Rate.”)

March 7: “No, I’m not concerned at all. No, we’ve done a great job with it.” — Trump, when asked by reporters if he was concerned about the arrival of the coronavirus in the Washington, DC, area. 

March 9: “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment, there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!” — Trump in a tweet.

March 10: “And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” — Trump after meeting with Republican senators.

A day later, on March 11, the WHO declared the global outbreak a pandemic. 

So far, it can be concluded that Mr. Trump never fully understood the pandemic or its repercussions. He refused to lean on science, to let those who know about it do their jobs. That is why he has made the most unfortunate remarks, such as using bleach and UV light to treat COVID-19 patients.

A new surge is coming not in the blue cities and states but in red ones—such as Arizona and Texas, which he won in 2016. There is a correlation where businesses, bars, and restaurants were open a few weeks ago with the number of new infections. Those places that took Trump’s advice, reopened are now they are paying the price.

Somehow, Trump believed he could talk the virus into submission, the way he’s done it to many business and political opponents before… except that COVID-19 doesn’t care about speeches and threats. Now Trump attempts to convince voters into believing he’s done a great job regarding the pandemic that is ravaging the United States; however, the polls suggest otherwise. 

The Yucatan Times
Editorial Board.

The editorial board of The Yucatan Times is made up of a group of 9 people of different nationalities and qualifications. They are selected for their background and objectivity, who rely on research, analysis, and individual expertise to reach an accorded view of important issues.

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