Investigation Announced Into Trump’s Bungled Coronavirus Response


That was fast. Days after the first community-transmitted case of the Coronavirus was reported in the United States, and an even shorter time after reporting tied that case to a botched quarantine attempt carried out by the Trump administration, the Inspector General’s office overseeing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced an investigation into the situation. The office said in their brief public explanation that more details would be forthcoming, but it’s not exactly reassuring that officials have already had to resort to this measure. Just two days prior, on Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump proclaimed to the nation that everything was fine during a press conference at the White House.

The Inspector General’s office said:

‘Protecting the health & well-being of people across the country is a mission we take seriously. We will conduct a comprehensive review of @HHSGov’s #coronavirus response efforts. The details are still being coordinated. We will provide more information when it becomes available.’

It’s unclear what precisely may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak and sparked an investigation, but there’s already a lot of ground for an investigation to cover. Reportedly, HHS tasked staffers with dealing with quarantined Coronavirus patients who’d been taken back into the U.S. from China, but the department failed to set up actually fitting and appropriate quarantine procedures. That first community-transmitted case in the U.S. was subsequently reported in the area of the allegedly failed quarantine.

There also remain serious questions about the development of other material preparations for the potentially further spreading virus. Around half of the $2.5 billion in emergency funding that the Trump administration is seeking is planned to be taken from existing HHS programs, a plan which Democratic leaders have criticized. Legislators on both sides of the aisle have insisted that the overall initial number isn’t enough in the first place. Whatever exact sum is settled on, plans include the production of medical masks ordinarily imported from China, where the Coronavirus originated. At present, the illness has affected large groups in South Korea, Iran, Italy, and more.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has insisted:

‘The House will be advancing a strong, strategic funding package with transparency and accountability that fully addresses the scale and seriousness of this public health crisis.’

Meanwhile, Trump keeps insisting that duly proceeding news coverage of the virus is part of some kind of conspiracy against him.

Recently, he tweeted:

‘Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape!’

And he added:

‘So, the Coronavirus, which started in China and spread to various countries throughout the world, but very slowly in the U.S. because President Trump closed our border, and ended flights, VERY EARLY, is now being blamed, by the Do Nothing Democrats, to be the fault of “Trump”.’

That’s all nonsense. But it gives the investigation plenty of material!