President Donald Trump and his allies have majorly fumbled the government’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic — that much is clear. In a new op-ed that was published in The Washington Post this week, Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan, who chairs the National Governors Association, hammered the Trump administration for the brazen inadequacies and failures of their response. In one particularly jarring example, he reveals that the offices of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) — an arm of the federal government — asked Hogan, a governor, if he could help them procure Coronavirus testing. That’s how unprepared that the federal government was.
In his op-ed, Hogan wrote:
‘Eventually, it was clear that waiting around for the president to run the nation’s response was hopeless; if we delayed any longer, we’d be condemning more of our citizens to suffering and death. So every governor went their own way.’
The Trump administration could have stepped in to help coordinate an earlier effective national testing regimen, and, among other issues, they could have also worked earlier to secure adequate supplies of Personal Protective Equipment, otherwise known as PPE. That equipment helps protect health care workers and other high-risk individuals from contracting the virus. Without the equipment, they’re more susceptible to catching and spreading the virus. Among the about 140,000 Americans who’ve lost their lives so far, there could be a large number whose infection and death could have been averted through proper PPE.
‘So many nationwide actions could have been taken in those early days but weren’t. While other countries were racing ahead with well-coordinated testing regimes, the Trump administration bungled the effort.’
Even now, Trump endlessly talks up U.S. Coronavirus testing, but there are still inadequacies. As of early Thursday, the U.K., for instance, has conducted far more tests per capita than the United States. Recently, Trump has ridiculously claimed that testing “creates cases,” which just has no relationship to reality. Without conducting a single test, the Coronavirus would still be sickening and killing people across the country. The cases would still exist, and they’d still be relevant. Hogan notes that during the early days of the crisis, “instead of listening to his own public health experts, the president was talking and tweeting like a man more concerned about boosting the stock market or his reelection plans.”
Hogan elaborates, referencing a briefing that governors got from public health experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci:
‘It was jarring, the huge contrast between the experts’ warnings and the president’s public dismissals. Weren’t these the people the White House was consulting about the virus? What made the briefing even more chilling was its clear, factual tone. It was a harrowing warning of an imminent national threat, and we took it seriously — at least most of us did.’
Separately, he explains how the NIH wanted his help procuring tests, commenting:
‘I could only shake my head at that. The federal government — a much bigger and better-funded institution, with tens of thousands of scientists and physicians in the civil service — wanted my help!’
Throughout the crisis, Trump has consistently dismissed outcry from those on the front lines who’ve sounded alarms over lacks of equipment and supplies. He lives in a self-imposed delusion.