Trump and the Developing Coronavirus Crisis

As a regular reader of The Secular Jurist blog, I’ve found that Robert Vella frequently publishes some very informative posts related to current events and happenings.

As a general rule, Robert begins his posts with some personal commentary, then includes links to several news sources (including brief excerpts) that support his outlook.

I felt his most recent post — “Trump’s Pandemic Failure: First he denied it, then he tried to steal the headlines, now he’s covering it up” was too good not to share. In it, Robert discusses several events taking place in Italy and So. Korea related to the coronavirus pandemic, and also offers some observations on President Trump’s recent speeches and actions (or non-actions) within the U.S.

Feel free to offer your comments on whether you agree or disagree with Robert’s reflections. (A link to the actual post is provided at the end of the commentary.)

On January 20th to 21st 2020, the first reported COVID-19 cases were reported in South Korea and the United States respectively – virtually, on the same day.  Because of its proximity to China, the coronavirus outbreak in South Korea progressed much more rapidly.  However, the democratic government of that Asian nation took an aggressive response to combat the pandemic including massive testing and quarantines to stop the spread of the disease (see:  One chart shows how South Korea got its coronavirus outbreak under control in less than a month).  In the U.S., the Trump administration denied the impending crisis calling it a conspiratorial “hoax” and describing the new virus as nothing more than a seasonal flu.

As the reality of the pandemic became undeniable by late February in the U.S., President Trump was forced into a different strategy.  He appointed Vice President Mike Pence to lead his administration’s response, and soon after began holding daily press conferences where he could steal the news headlines by announcing optimistic breakthroughs and bold proposals.  It sounded reassuring, but Trump’s pronouncements were filled with numerous inaccuracies, outright falsehoods, and promises which could never be fulfilled in the near future.

Just as events overtook his denial early on, events are now overtaking his media strategy.  The developing crisis in the U.S. has become so acute that Trump is returning to tactics he used during the Mueller investigation and impeachment proceedings – that is, to withhold as much information as possible from Congressional oversight and from the American people in order to conceal his administration’s egregious failure on coronavirus ahead of the 2020 election.

For comparison, South Korea currently has 8,652 COVID-19 cases in which 100 people have died, but the rate of new infections is steadily declining.  Its government was able to “flatten the curve” which lessened the pandemic’s impact and prevented its healthcare system from being catastrophically overwhelmed.  In contrast, the U.S. currently has 16,607 cases and 219 deaths, but the rate of new infections is skyrocketing.  The U.S. curve looks identical to that of Italy‘s two weeks ago whose healthcare system is now being dangerously overwhelmed by sick and dying people.  It should be noted that the failure in Italy resulted from similar government inaction even though it has a highly rated (by the WHO) healthcare system.

The following stories help illustrate how big Trump’s failure on this pandemic really is.  They also factually refute his recent assertions that the coronavirus “caught everyone by surprise” and that his administration is doing “everything it can” to remedy the situation.  To put it more bluntly, Trump is blatantly lying to the American people;  and, that should surprise no one.

For the supporting news articles, please click this link, which will take you directly to Robert’s post.

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Image by Vektor Kunst from Pixabay