After two months without a public briefing from our nation’s wonderful Coronavirus Task Force, Vice President Pence, in yesterday’s briefing, hailed that group’s “truly remarkable progress.”
Spirited Reasoners will agree that the Trump Administration’s response to COVID-19 is indeed remarkable, but not for the reasons asserted by Mr. Pence. Given the self-congratulatory nature of his comments, it seems fitting that we review, and update, the timeline we published in this space on April 4th. Following is a list of statements from the mouth of President Trump regarding the pandemic:
January 30, via Twitter: “Working closely with China and others on Coronavirus outbreak. Only 5 people in U.S., all in good recovery.”– @realDonaldTrump
February 24, via Twitter: “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!”–@realDonaldTrump
February 28, during reception in White House Cabinet Room: “We’re doing incredibly. Think of it: 15 people. Out of billions of people, 15 people. They’re getting better and soon they’re all going to get better, hopefully. One is in very serious shape, and we understand that, and we understand it very well, but — but we also have the other group and they’re all getting better. So, I think it’s an incredible achievement that our country has done … “
March 4, during phone interview with Sean Hannity: “So if, you know, we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better, just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work, some of them go to work, but they get better.” Followed by: March 5, via Twitter: “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work. This is just more Fake News and disinformation put out by the Democrats …”
March 6, remarks to media during tour of CDC: “Anybody that needs a test gets a test; they’re there, they have the tests, and the tests are beautiful.”
March 9, via Twitter: “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!”–@realDonaldTrump
March 13, during remarks from the White House Rose Garden: “National emergency, two very big words.”
April 23, during a White House briefing (while his medical advisors cringed): “And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that [–as he leans toward one of his advisors–] by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and does a tremendous number on them, so it’d be interesting to check that.”
May 14, during remarks while touring the Owens & Minor distribution center in Allentown, Pennsylvania: “Don’t forget, we have more cases than anybody in the world. But why? Because we do more testing. When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.”
June 20, during remarks at a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma: “You know, testing is a double-edged sword … when you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down, please.”
Rather than challenge any of those remarks, let’s allow the facts to speak for themselves.
Yesterday, June 26, 2020, the United States registered 47,341 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily total to date. (Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/ )
Death toll in the United States as of that same date: 127,640.
Truly remarkable progress, indeed.