The Partisan Party: Trump’s lies about the coronavirus are hurting Americans

By Sahil Venkatesan

President Donald Trump is lying to the U.S. when he claims he knew the coronavirus would become a pandemic. In reality, Trump downplayed the severity of the virus and gave a false sense of security to Americans in a time when we needed to prepare for the virus.

“I’ve always viewed it as very serious,” Trump said in a press conference on Monday, according to CNN.

But let’s review what Trump actually said when the coronavirus first surfaced in January.

According to The New York Times Trump said in a television interview with CNBC on Jan. 22, “[W]e have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”

At this point in time, there were 547 cases of coronavirus in Wuhan and all airports and railway stations in the city were closed, according to KVIA . This was a signal that Trump should have prepared enough testing kits and stressed that Americans be careful if they showed flu-like symptoms. 

Because of Trump’s inability to take action and inform the public, hospitals all over the country are being overwhelmed as their ICUs fill with patients who need life-saving medical supplies which have already been depleted.”

On Jan. 24, Trump tweeted: “We have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment.” 

That same day, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus an international public health emergency with 7,818 cases around the world. 

A month later, there were around 76,000 cases worldwide, according to WHO. Italy then shut down multiple towns and schools as they saw a spike in the number of cases, according to CNBC.

Instead of warning the American people and urging states to initiate preemptive social distancing policies, Trump said in a  White House briefing:  “We’re going very substantially down, not up … It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.”

Trump refused to admit that the virus was a significant threat to the American people and instead imparted blatant lies and a false sense of security. 

According to The New York Times, all of Trump’s claims that the coronavirus was not a serious threat were factually incorrect and misled the American people.  

Trump was able to brag that there were not as many cases in the U.S. compared to other countries because the U.S. was severely behind in testing, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Furthermore, Trump also bragged that the U.S. had less cases than other countries in Europe in an attempt to say that his efforts to curb the virus had been successful.  

With the safety of the Americans at stake, you would think Trump might take preventive action instead of misleading Americans around the country.  Instead, the American people were treated to lie after lie as our president informed the public that the travel of goods and people from Europe would be banned and health insurers would waive the cost of coronavirus treatment. 

According to NPR the travel ban from Europe did not apply to U.S. citizens, residents and economic trade contrary to what Trump told the American people.  According to Common Dreams, a White House official had to correct Trump and clarify that insurance companies would only waive the cost of coronavirus testing, not treatment.  

Trump did not stop at lying about whether the number of cases was going up or down — instead, he politicized the virus and used it to attack Democrats.

According to CNBC, Trump called the coronavirus the “[Democrat’s] new hoax” and even went so far as to say “[Democrats are] doing everything they can to instill fear in people, and I think it’s ridiculous, and I think they’re very disreputable,” according to France24.

Trump had multiple opportunities to take action against the coronavirus before it hit U.S. shores. Instead, he downplayed the virus and lulled Americans into a false sense of security, which ended with America being vastly unprepared when the coronavirus began to spread. 

Because of Trump’s inability to take action and inform the public, hospitals all over the country are being overwhelmed as their ICUs fill with patients who need life-saving medical supplies that have already been depleted.  According to Quartz, the U.S. has 100,000 ICU beds available while experts have found that at least 200,000 will be needed.  

Experts agree: The U.S. healthcare system is woefully underprepared to deal with the coronavirus.  

Although Trump maintained he had already known the coronavirus would become a pandemic, it is clear Trump took every opportunity to downplay and  make the coronavirus a partisan battle against the Democrats in order to manipulate Americans into thinking they were safe. Trump had the power to prepare Americans for the virus, yet he refused to use it and instead lied to the American people for months while the rest of the world crashed and burned.

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