How the Government Botched the Coronavirus Response (LegalEagle’s Real Law Review): The Trump Administration’s response has not been . . . perfect or beautiful
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Summary from Time.com:
Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, an ominous question has hung in the air: How would he handle a truly serious crisis? Now we know. The novel corona-virus pandemic has infected more than 200,000 people around the world to date and is spreading rapidly in the U.S. Experts project that COVID-19, the respiratory disease that corona-virus causes, could afflict millions worldwide and kill hundreds of thousands of Americans. … The 45th President made matters worse.
A few weeks after the outbreak began in China’s Hubei province in December, U.S. health officials warned Trump of the seriousness of the threat. But in his first public comments about the virus, on Jan. 22, Trump told the public he wasn’t worried. “Not at all,” he said. “We have it totally under control.” Throughout February, Trump dismissed Democrats’ alarm about the virus as their new “hoax,” blamed “the Democrat policy of open borders” for the pathogen’s spread and insisted that his Jan. 31 decision to restrict travel from China had contained the outbreak. By Feb. 29, officials reported the first coronavirus–related death of an American on U.S. soil.
As epidemiologists and infectious-disease experts begged Americans to self-quarantine and cancel social events, many of the President’s supporters in the media and Congress echoed his cavalier tone. The disease, meanwhile, continued to spread throughout the country, largely undetected. As other nations tracked and prevented new infections by testing tens of thousands of people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had administered fewer than 500 tests in the entire month of February.
The government’s top infectious-disease -expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, called the feds’ testing program “a failing,” but it was hardly the only one. Trump’s team ignored an alarming shortfall of basic medical supplies, like masks, hospital beds and -ventilators—necessary to handle an expected surge of patients requiring -hospitalization—and tussled with governors, who were begging the White House to release federal funds to aid in preparation efforts. Trump brushed aside the mess.
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