Has the Trump Administration handled the coronavirus crisis well or poorly?


Fact Box

  • In the beginning of President Trump’s presidency, he started out with a 45% approval rating, bounced between 39% and 49% during the height of COVID-19, and ended his term at 34% support.
  • A 2020 Pew Research poll indicated that 65% of Americans feel that President Trump had been too slow to take major steps to combat the coronavirus. 
  • The first reported case of COVID-19 in the US was on January 20, 2020 from samples taken on January 18 in Washington state.
  • On August 23, 2021, the FDA announced the first COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer-BioNTech, as available to those as young as 12 years old.

Mandy (Well)

President Trump's response to Covid-19 has been timely, as he has handled the crisis extremely well—despite the media alleging otherwise. On January 6, governmental agencies issued China travel restrictions; on January 11, these restrictions were heightened until January 31, when all nonessential travel to China was banned outright. Trump mentioned the coronavirus in his State of the Union address on February 4, already assigning task forces to investigate the China outbreak. Though politicians characterized this as 'xenophobic,' and the media openly decried it, Trump's administration knew this was the correct course of action.

Once the virus was present stateside, Trump unleashed the FDA and CDC to produce the necessary test manufacturing. Soon after, he allocated hospital ships and army hospitals to the cities requesting additional hospital beds.

Despite Trump inheriting a depleted National Stockpile of protective gear after the Obama and Bush administrations used them for the SARS (2002) and H1N1 (2009) outbreaks, Trump advocated States working directly with private industries to acquire gear. And he has met every request possible from the states hardest hit. 

Trump even used the Defense Production Act on General Motors to quickly produce ventilators but hasn't had to rely on it heavily as companies voluntarily commit to making the necessary equipment without being compelled by the Act. The media are gaslighting Americans, claiming Trump called the coronavirus a 'hoax,' and unfairly blaming him wholesale. Trump has fostered government and private industry partnerships, and he has defied bureaucracy in record time, reacting more quickly than any other politician in order to persevere during this pandemic.

Kiande (Poorly)

While the coronavirus itself is not the fault of any sole person or group, the Trump Administration's poor response to the outbreak has resulted in the United States becoming the epicenter of the global pandemic. 

In April 2018, the Trump Administration dismantled the team in charge of the federal response to possible pandemics. On January 3, 2020, the CDC was first alerted to a potential public health emergency brewing in Wuhan, China; on January 18, HHS Secretary Alex Azar spoke with President Trump directly about the coronavirus. Despite the early warning signs, the federal government failed to issue guidelines for Americans to follow until March 16. Many health experts believe that the late response to the pandemic is directly correlated to the mountain of cases plaguing the United States today. If those guidelines had been issued in mid-January, the number of cases in the US would likely be much lower than what they are now. 

Aside from the delayed response, President Trump's rhetoric has worsened an already catastrophic event. He has constantly downplayed the effect of the coronavirus in his infamous Coronavirus Task Force briefings, attacking the media and state governors for various reasons. In fact, President Trump has even gone so far as to say that he 'takes no responsibility at all' when asked about the federal government's poor response. 

When looking at the numbers, it is clear that the US's response to the COVID pandemic has been very poor. The number of cases in the United States swelled to around 100,000,000—more than the many countries combined.

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