President Donald Trump has consistently refused to acknowledge the grim realities of the Coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., but officials like the National Institutes of Health’s Dr. Anthony Fauci have helped fill in the gap. Besides his past attempts to counter Trump’s parade of a potentially dangerous, unproven drug combo as a supposed Coronavirus treatment, this weekend on Face The Nation, Fauci acknowledged that yes, medical professionals are facing severe supply shortages. He added that the federal government would be working to direct supplies like medical masks to the areas that needed them.
That’s more than could be said for Trump. At a press conference the day before, when he was asked about the reported supply shortage, Trump glibly insisted that “many doctors… can’t believe the great job we’ve done.” It’s unclear if there’s any evidence for that claim whatsoever.
After Trump basically labels a reporter's question about a lack of surgical masks as fake news, Fauci takes the mic and tells the reporter, "you're not making things up. I know that." pic.twitter.com/3Yq5iQ1a5b
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 21, 2020
This Sunday morning, Face The Nation host Margaret Brennan commented to Fauci:
‘The mayor of New York has said this week that he was going to run out of medical equipment in a matter of two weeks.’
Fauci interjected to note that Bill de Blasio’s claim was true.
Brennan followed up:
‘Will the federal government get him what he needs?’
And Fauci explained in response:
‘Let me explain: we were at the task force meeting yesterday, and it was very clear that the issue in New York was right on the front burner. And the situation is now the resources that are being marshaled are going to be clearly directed to those hotspots that need it most. And clearly that’s California, Washington state, and obviously, New York is the most hard hit. So not only is New York trying to get resources themselves, but we’re going to be pouring it in from the federal government.’
Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledges medical professionals are suffering from a lack of supplies and does not dispute the potential for running out.
Says resources are being directed to "hotspots" like New York and California pic.twitter.com/N4AOnDSpsW
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) March 22, 2020
Fauci’s account suggests that federal officials are working against the president’s own dismissal of the Coronavirus situation. While Trump has stuck to praising himself months into the crisis with potential months to go, Fauci and others have been attempting to spread crucially useful information for the American public.
Trump’s proposed drug combination to combat the Coronavirus, which Fauci countered, even included an antibiotic. Those are meant to combat bacteria. The Coronavirus is a virus.
Asked about supposed evidence for Trump’s claimed treatment miracle, Fauci commented at a recent press conference:
‘The information that you’re referring to specifically is anecdotal. It was not done in a controlled clinical trial, so you really can’t make any definitive statement about it.’
One might hope that a U.S. president would clearly understand the difference between anecdotes and clinical trial, especially in times of public health emergency.
Mnuchin on Fox News Sunday on the stimulus plan: "I think we have a fundamental understanding and we look forward to wrapping it up today."
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) March 22, 2020
Next on the agenda, besides the supply work, is an economic stimulus package meant to help alleviate some of the negative economic effects of attempts to stem the spread of the virus. Businesses across the country have mostly or entirely closed.
Over the weekend, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the plan included, in its present tentative form, an average of $3,000 in direct payments for a family of four.
Massive aid program is aimed at supporting US economy through NEXT 10 to 12 WEEKS, Mnuchin says.
Trump admin nearing agreement with both parties, he says on Fox News.
“If for whatever reason 10 weeks from now, this virus, we haven't won this, we'll go back to Congres again.” pic.twitter.com/gMxtOsGFpM
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) March 22, 2020