Make no mistake with regard to the title, the author of the Politico article, John Harris, is still very much in the belief that Trump has been utterly disastrous with his response to the Chinese coronavirus because he is part of the Leftist club that bafflingly believes any Democrat could/would have done a better job (even though Democrats have gone on record signaling they wouldn’t have shut down international travel and shutting of borders even though that is an obvious step towards mitigating the spread of a virus). However, for a brief moment, a Leftist fake news media source is making an attempt at relatively objective reporting, so Harris ought to get some points for it.
The article begins by noting that Melinda Gates, someone who everyone knows is no fan of Trump’s, gave the President a “D-“ in terms of his handling of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. Harris, though he still writes with the assumption that Trump has been disastrous, ponders the possibility that Trump might have done better because one of his colleagues brings up the argument that just about everyone in the media agrees with Gates’ views and as a result, they “risk group-think – becoming hardened in perceptions and impervious to either improvements in his performance or reasonable counter-interpretations of his pandemic record.”
While initially, he declined to try and be even remotely objective, he did eventually come around to at least somewhat playing “devil’s advocate” and make some arguments in favor of Trump.
At one point, Harris writes: “*The country did mostly shut down and the public health system did not comprehensively fail.” (Bold was from Harris himself).
“Everyone has been surprised, not just Trump. I don’t know many people who supposed on March 11 (the night of the president’s error-filled Oval Office address on coronavirus) that by Memorial Day much of the country would still be working from home, or not working at all, and that campuses, baseball stadiums, and much else would be closed. On the positive side, only in the New York area, and only for a brief window, was there anything like the collapse of the health system in Italy, the fear of which is what prompted the shutdown.”
John Sexton at Hot Air has also commented on Harris’ piece, noting following his quotation of the paragraph I just shared that “in most places we did bend the curve and avoid overwhelming the medical system. Could we have avoided even more deaths? Probably, but that would have required an earlier shutdown (or more focus on protecting care homes rather than hospitals). And that was never really going to happen for several reasons.”
One of those reasons is something that Harris somewhat shares:
“*The United States is a lumbering giant”
“A sprawling and diverse country with a complex federal system of government is often caught flatfooted, before summoning strength. Before Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Army was smaller than Portugal’s. In the case of the pandemic, many of the acute shortages that marked early coverage have been mitigated. Testing on a per capita basis has surged, including in comparison to many hard-hit countries, though it is still far short of what health experts say is needed. The same is true of early shortfalls in protective equipment and ventilators.”
In other words, an earlier shut down wasn’t going to happen in part because of our federalist system of government. The federal government is above the local and state governments, but it is not in complete control over them. Trump never had the power to shut down individual states and he still doesn’t (and that’s a good thing). California, under orders of Gov. Newsom, began to shut down on March 19. New York shut down three days later on the 22nd.
Due to our system of government, the decision to shut things down didn’t come from Trump, though he agreed to it. The decision was ultimately up to the governors, which is why someone like Governor Whitler can just about indefinitely (and unnecessarily) extend the lock-down of her own state. She is the one who can make the decision to close the state or open it back up (there will be questions about the Constitutionality of arbitrarily shutting down businesses and whether or not a governor can deem a business “essential” or “non-essential” but that’s beside the point).
To argue that Trump should have shut things down sooner is an illogical and ignorant Leftist talking point. For one, Trump never had the power to shut states down himself. Two, as a result of one, the governors are the ones who made that decision and the Democrat governors began to shut things down in late March.
On March 1st, the death toll stood at 2, and ten days later, it stood at 38. At the time, no one knew how bad it could get and the response reflected caution but not exaggeration. Only once the death toll began to go up by a lot did state governments get more aggressive.
As Sexton remarks in his own piece: “the idea that Trump should have shut down the country by mid-February is a progressive fantasy with no basis in reality.”
The truth is that, if the Left can say that Trump should’ve acted sooner or that he wasted weeks, then the Democrat governors can be accused of the same because they are the ones who had the authority to shut down their states. Not to mention that we lost weeks not because of anything that Trump did but because of China’s lies and withholding of information.
Ryan Saavedra has a great thread of the timeline of actions the Trump administration took with response to the virus (in a thread responding to “comedian” Sarah Silvermann’s attempt at painting Trump as someone who did nothing positive towards fighting the virus).
The Trump admin:
“01/03: Tried to get CDC into China (numerous attempts made/China never allowed)
01/06: Began issuing travel notices (issued multiple)
01/07: Created issue management system
01/17: Began screening at airports
01/20: Announces work on development of a vaccine
01/21: Activated its emergency operations center to provide ongoing support to the coronavirus response
01/23: Sought a ‘special emergency authorization’ from FDA to allow states to use its newly developed coronavirus test
01/23: CHINA finally quarantines Wuhan, had lied to the world for weeks about what was going on and how contagious the virus was and deadly it was. Dr. Birx even said scientists misjudged the disease because of China’s lies and deception
01/29: Created Coronavirus Task Force
01/31: Bans travel from China/Declares public health emergency/suspends entry from foreigners who pose risk of transmitting coronavirus…”
And keep in mind, that was just in JANUARY. Remember what the Democrats were doing in January? TRYING TO REMOVE TRUMP AND FAILING MISERABLY! This is why I say Trump was among the first people in Washington to do anything about the coronavirus. He began to prepare for it even amidst the attempts from the Democrats to remove him.
You can read the rest of the thread yourself if you wish, which is quite detailed and offers a lot of good information, but I don’t think there’s enough room for it here alongside the general commentary I wish to share with you all here.
My overall point is that, unlike what Harris thinks and what the rest of the fake news media and the Left (but I repeat myself) think, Trump hasn’t done a bad job at all with regard to the coronavirus. Any argument levied against him, such as “he shut things down too late” can easily be countered with not only the fact that he never had any power to shut things down but that the governors, including Democrat ones, were the ones who decided when to shut things down, so if anyone were to bare the blame, it would be the governors.
The argument that the N95 mask supply was depleted is more of a knock on Obama because his administration, even while the country was going through the swine flu epidemic, was the one that had depleted the supply of masks and didn’t restock it.
The idea that Trump didn’t do a good job with the response to the coronavirus is ridiculous. That’s not to say there were no bumps on the road, but the major screw ups that occurred along the way were not Trump’s doing. Cuomo, not Trump, was the one who sent sick people to retirement and nursing homes, which contribute to a sizeable portion of the total deaths (which is a rather dubious number, considering Washington was counting gun deaths as COVID-19 deaths, among other things).
I won’t say Trump was perfect because that is an impossible standard for any person. However, the idea that he has been a disaster or even that he has done a poor job is entirely devoid of facts and is nothing more than “a progressive fantasy with no basis in reality,” as Sexton said.
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
Author: Freddie Marinelli.
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