The Golfer-In-Chief vs. coronavirus—a timeline


Flickr / The White House

“The virus will disappear like a miracle.”

By the end of March, the coronavirus had killed more people in the United States than 9/11. By Easter, it had claimed more casualties than the War of Independence.

Trump played a timeline video Monday showing the “benchmarks” of his coronavirus fight. Paula Reid from CBS noticed actions were sparse in February which prompted her to ask:

“What did your administration do in February with the time that your travel ban bought you?”

The president lashed out at Reid while claiming that he had done “a lot.”

Let’s take a look at exactly what Trump was doing during the early days of the pandemic. Spoiler alert: There’s a lot of golf involved.

January 3-4

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Screenshot/ MSNBC

On January 3, the Trump administration was given its first “formal notification” of the coronavirus outbreak.

To put that in perspective timewise, it was the same day Trump ordered a drone strike that killed the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. The United States continues to impose sanctions on Iran even during the pandemic and the risk of conflict is high.

On January 4, Trump went golfing at Trump International in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was his 112 day golfing since taking over the Oval Office.

January 5

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On January 5, the World Health Organization published the first Disease Outbreak News on the novel coronavirus. Wuhan, China has 58 suspected cases with seven people in critical condition. All those believed to be infected are quarantined.

Trump is playing golf again in Florida.

January 18-19

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The United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar briefs the President on the virus.

Azar warns Trump about the potential severity of the outbreak. The President interjects to ask when flavored vaping products will be back on the market.

The briefing is done over a phone call because the President is at his Mar-a-Lago resort. What is he doing there? He is playing his 113th round of Presidential golf.

On January 19, the first U.S. case of COVID-19 is found in Snohomish County, Washington. Trump was playing golf.

January 22

Trump urges sick people to go to work—directly contradicting CDC’s coronavirus advice


On the 22 of January, the President did an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box where he made a promise:

“We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”

The Mayor of Wuhan Zhou Xianwang announces on the same day that over 5 million people traveled out of the city before Wuhan was placed in quarantine

January 27-February 2

Golf Balls


On January 27, then Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney reportedly held an intervention in attempt to get Trump to pay more attention to the rapidly spreading virus. Also, on that same day, Joe Biden did an op-ed for USA Today issuing warnings of a global pandemic on the horizon.

On February 1 and 2, Trump was in Florida…

February 10-15

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Trump reassures the American public on February 10 with the unproven claim that the coronavirus “goes away in April with the heat.”

February 15—More golf!

February 28-29

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At a campaign rally on February 28, Trump calls the coronavirus a “hoax.” He claims the Democrats are “politicizing the coronavirus,” and calls it “their new hoax.”

He continues to downplay the threat:

“You hear 35 and 40,000 people and we’ve lost nobody and you wonder, the press is in hysteria mode.”

Before adding, “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”

On February 29, the United States sees its first virus-related death.

March 7-8

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On March 7, the Democrats get busy crafting the Relief Bill—working through the weekend. While Trump is announcing, “We’ve done a great job” before running off to play golf.

Meanwhile, there are 444 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States. 19 fatalities are reported.

He then plays golf again the next day.

March 13

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Trump officially declares a National Emergency on March 13 as the number of cases in the United States climbs over 2,000 and 49 people have died.

At the same press briefing, Trump says the infamous words:


No, I don’t take responsibility at all

Today the total death toll from the coronavirus in the United States is over 22,000 and the numbers continue to rise. 6.6 million new job losses were reported just last week with 1 in 4 Americans reporting job loss because of the pandemic.

The Government’s relief package has promised struggling citizens a paycheck of $1,200. Many fear the checks could be delayed by up to 5 weeks as demand surges.

One wonders what could have been different if the President had worked as hard to tackle the coronavirus as he did to bring down his golf handicap.

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