The outbreak of the deadly coronavirus has rendered into stark relief the gross, widespread incompetency of the Trump administration in a way no other crisis has to date. There are over 95,000 confirmed infections worldwide and over 3,000 people have already died.
Meanwhile, the American president has appointed Vice President Mike Pence as his coronavirus czar, this despite the fact that Pence proved incapable of handling HIV outbreak hit the state of Indiana while he was governor. Criticisms of the federal government are piling up as it becomes clear that the White House has botched its response with inconsistent leadership and a lack of clear guidance to health service organizations.
On top of that, Trump himself has been trying to paint fears about the virus as a hoax propagated by Democrats and the “Fake News” media. He’s absolutely terrified that the spread of the virus and the related economic fallout will hurt him going into the 2020 election but rather than conduct himself like a real leader and avoid such an outcome by taking decisive action to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Trump is once again playing the blame game.
The New York Times reports that during a meeting today with airline representatives President Trump tried to lay some of the responsibility for the difficulties his administration is experiencing with the virus at former President Obama’s feet. It’s been one of his favorite misdirection tricks since he assumed office, but seeing him employ it so shamelessly at a time like this is especially disturbing.
“The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing, and we undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place at a much more accurate and rapid fashion. That was a decision we disagreed with. I don’t think we would have made it, but for some reason it was made. But we’ve undone that decision,” claimed Trump without offering any real details or proof (as he is often wont to do). He also failed to explain why, if this regulation was really a problem, his administration didn’t address it at some point in the last three years or even immediately after the coronavirus was discovered to be spreading.
The Times explains what Trump was probably referencing:
“He appeared to be referring to a regulation that limited the ability of laboratories run by states, universities and private companies to conduct medical screenings not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. On Saturday, the F.D.A. commissioner, Stephen M. Hahn, allowed those labs to use tests they independently developed after submitting evidence that they work before the F.D.A. completes its review,” writes Peter Baker.
While Obama is unlikely to respond to Trump’s pathetic scapegoating directly, the former president did take to Twitter to offer some important advice for avoiding the virus. Going forward, Americans would be wise to listen to people like Obama and organizations like the CDC while tuning out the lies and obfuscations trickling out of the White House.
Protect yourself and your community from coronavirus with common sense precautions: wash your hands, stay home when sick and listen to the @CDCgov and local health authorities. Save the masks for health care workers. Let’s stay calm, listen to the experts, and follow the science.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 4, 2020
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.