President Donald Trump has no experience or evidence-based capacity to be responding to the threat of the Coronavirus, which is slowly but surely creeping into the United States. — yet, he remains leading the charge. Now, CNN’s John Berman is reporting that public health employees at agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are feeling “demoralized” by Trump’s relentless political meddling, which has even included a claim that news coverage of the virus is just a conspiracy to make him look bad. Apparently, the Trump team has even forbidden top public health officials from explaining basic facets of the situation without the approval of top response coordination officials like the vice president — and these details do not exactly bode well for an effective response.
The Trump administration has already been fumbling virus handling efforts. New reporting has emerged that staffers were tasked to deal with Coronavirus-affected patients without proper precautions, and now, the first community-transmitted case of the virus has been reported in the U.S. — and it’s in the vicinity of that apparently bungled quarantine. Exactly how many people got affected by this situation remains an ominously open question.
CNN’s health contributor Dr. Sanjay Gupta commented:
‘You start to amplify that situation in places around the country, and I think it’s gonna expose two things. One is that we may not have enough personal protective gear for our health care workers, and then if they’re potentially exposed, they’re out of the system. they really can’t take care of patients for a while. Who’s going to backstop that? Two is this idea of surge capacity. You know, look, we’ve got about a million hospital beds in the United States… so what happens to these patients?’
That and similar questions currently remain unanswered, even as the World Health Organization steps in with a warning that the virus is a potential pandemic. Community transmission is crucial for pandemic status — and it’s been reported, even in the United States, even as Trump winds himself up with claims that the situation is completely under control and the virus will die out soon, whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Gupta continued, referring to his public health administration sources:
‘We’re now being told that, you know, they can’t talk to us anymore unless they get approval from, you know, the vice president essentially on this, which is hard to believe that simple information can’t come from the people who have the best information right now without all these hoops they got to jump through.’
Berman added the negative effect that this situation is having on healthcare workers themselves. He explained:
‘I have to say I’ve heard from friends that I had within the health community and the CDC who say it’s demoralizing the mixed messages that are coming from the top and front line health care workers. They’re working their butts off right now and they’re not hearing at the top what they think needs to be said.’
President Trump and his allies have consistently been accusing Democrats of trying to weaponize the Coronavirus situation as some kind of anti-Trump fodder, but it’s the White House that is fumbling the situation in the name of — what exactly? Political expedience?