Trump fired America’s pandemic response team and 6 other ways he ‘sabotaged’ our coronavirus response

  • 02/07/2020 10:26 am ET Shaan Chagan
‘Unthinkable’: Trump retweeted name of whistleblower

Source: Screenshot/YouTube.

Trump has sabotaged America’s coronavirus response,” as one leading expert has explained.

That’s why experts are speaking out and saying the U.S. is NOT prepared—even as the global death toll races past over 1,000 people.

Here’s how Trump has misled the public about the Coronavirus threat and undercut our ability to respond.

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1. Trump fired the pandemic response team

George Conway's hilarious list proves Trump has issues with Geography 7

Screenshot / YouTube. 

In 2018, the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command was let go.

Trump shut down the global health security unit within the NSC, and the DHS epidemic team was also pushed out. No one was ever replaced.

This fact caused a ripple effect of panic in many federal and state programs while the news spread of the Coronavirus in China. If the virus was to spread in the U.S., there is no playbook on how to respond.

Why did Trump decide the pandemic response team was dispensable? Simple. It was another part of Obama’s legacy that he felt the need to destroy.

2. The CDC is getting its budget slashed

Trump has 'sabotaged' America's power to fight Coronavirus. Here's how. 1

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Trump’s budget request for 2021 cuts the budges for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC by nearly 16%. The CDC is responsible for disease prevention and control in the United States.

But Trump isn’t worried about cutting funds to the entity that stops disease prevention because “it will all work out well.”

In addition to the cuts being made to the CDC, Trump is also proposing a cut to the global health fund, lowering it from $571 million to $532 million.

Short-sighted decisions such as these have many people worried the current administration is crippling the country’s ability to respond to coronavirus. Former Vice President Joe Biden pointed out in a USA Today piece that “diseases do not stop at borders. They cannot be thwarted by building a wall.”

Yet, a wall is exactly where Trump is throwing the money. His 2021 budget also calls for $2 billion to be allocated for construction on his border wall.

For now, the majority of the confirmed cases are in China, but the director-general of the World Health Organization warns that there is still a “very grave threat” to the entire world.

3. Emergency funds are drying up

Trump has 'sabotaged' America's power to fight Coronavirus. Here's how.

Source / Canva

Along with the missing response team, there is also the lack of a budget to contend with.

The Department of Health and Human Services has already notified Congress that it may need to transfer up to $136 million in funds to help combat the fast-moving epidemic.

This is partially because the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has already gone through the $105 million that was set aside for emergency public-health responses for infectious disease outbreaks.

Hawaii Lt. Gov Josh Green voiced concerns about the White House’s gameplan to tackle the Coronavirus issue.

“The way this was rolled out is concerning. This is not the kind of thing you want to do on the fly because it creates chaos.”

4. Trump spreads misinformation

Trump retweets fake pic of Pelosi and Schumer in Islamic garb in front of Iran flag. Twitter loses it.

Screenshot / YouTube

President Trump isn’t worried about the coronavirus because “the heat” will deal it, apparently.

Trump keeps repeating a false claim that Americans don’t have to worry because the Coronavirus will be defeated by warm weather.

There’s one big problem with this: scientists say the opposite.

Infectious disease experts told CNN last week that they don’t know enough about this strain of Coronavirus to make that judgment. Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, calls the assumption that spring weather will kill coronavirus “reckless.”

“We don’t really understand the basis of seasonality, and of course we know we absolutely nothing about this particular virus.”

While it is true that respiratory viruses can be seasonal, not all of them are. Americans get the flu even during summer, for example.

5. The administration doesn’t heed warnings

Gates Strongly hinted he prefers Elizabeth Warren with her wealth tax over Donald Trump

Flickr/ OnInnovation

Experts have been warning the administration, but those concerns have gone completely unheeded.

Ron Klain, for one, has been telling the Trump administration for two years that the United States was not capable of handling a pandemic. Klain served as Chief of Staff for two U.S. Vice Presidents and was also the Ebola response coordinator in 2014.

Even Bill Gates, the philanthropic billionaire, repeatedly met with John Bolton about the issue. Bill Gates warned that ongoing cuts to the global health disease infrastructure would make the United States vulnerable to “significant probability of a large and lethal modern-day pandemic occurring in our lifetimes.”

The Trump Administration didn’t listen to the words of Klain or Gates. The CDC’s global health section has been cut so drastically that staff members have been laid off in droves. The section used to work in 49 different countries, but now they have a presence in just 10.

6. The President creates a Coronavirus Task Force

I hate deficits, says Trump, even as it has ballooned to nearly a TRILLION on his watch

Screenshot / C-Span

A potential epidemic is here.

In addition to waiting for spring weather to weaken the virus, the only other move Trump has made to prepare the country is the creation of a task force.

The “President’s Coronavirus Task Force.” contains a dozen men, five of whom are directly from the White House staff. According to the Press Secretary, the task force will be responsible for “efforts to monitor, contain, and mitigate the spread of the virus.”

While a task force might seem like a good idea, the details on how its goals will be accomplished have been left quite hazy.

7. More misinformation from his administration

Trump has 'sabotaged' America's power to fight Coronavirus. Here's how. 2

Flickr / Gage Skidmore

The Trump administration sent Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to a Fox Business appearance. Ross’s main talking point was the hypothetical business opportunities from Coronavirus saying it “will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America.”

Ross claims that the losses in China will lead to a surge in American business prospects.

The Commerce Secretary words were proven to be nothing but more misinformation by Paul Krugman of the New York Times. Krugman says:

In such a world, anything that disrupts imports — whether it’s tariffs or a virus — raises production costs, and as a result if anything hurts manufacturing…if the virus seriously disrupts Chinese production, its impact on the U.S. economy will be like an extreme version of Trump’s trade war, except without any compensation in the form of tariff revenue.”

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