While Donald Trump tried to change his tone on Monday, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pointed out that the federal government still doesn’t have a national plan for how to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
The MSNBC host trashed a new set of guidelines released by the White House on Monday, saying it looks like it was thrown together in five minutes.
“The White House today released this sort of ad hoc, photo copied, Microsoft Word list of what they’re calling the president’s coronavirus guidelines for America,” Maddow said. “It’s not clear if this is now meant to be the national plan, and who wrote this in a spare five minutes today.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) March 17, 2020
There is no federal standard for what states should do and for what cities should do, and there hasn’t been from the beginning, and so the American response to this catastrophe lurches along, inching toward some national standard some day of what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it. But we really are – policy-wise and in terms of the way we are dealing with this as a public health matter – we’re a blob inching along right now, sort of finding ways forward without clear direction. There is a clearer view now than there was two or three days ago in terms of what measures were going to be tried in the United States. But it’s still ad hoc. Today, oddly, I’m not sure they meant to roll it out this way, but the White House today released this sort of ad hoc, photo copied, Microsoft Word list of what they’re calling the president’s coronavirus guidelines for America. It’s like a list of ideas attributed to the president. It’s like a weird word processing document with a bunch of different kinds of bullet points and asterisks and notes and pieces of advice – things that do seem helpful, but it’s not clear if this is now meant to be the national plan, and who wrote this in a spare five minutes today.
State and local governments are going it alone
The good news in all of this – if there’s any to be found – is that state and local governments have come to the realization that the federal government, led by an incompetent president, is asleep at the wheel.
So instead of waiting on the White House for some type of clear national policy to combat this global pandemic, they are going it alone.
From coast to coast, governors in both parties are taking steps to protect their people by closing schools and shutting down various types of establishments where large numbers of people gather.
But as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said earlier today, there’s only so much state and local governments can do to fill in the gaping holes left behind by this flailing administration.
When it comes to ramping up testing and increasing the number of hospital beds in places that are most likely to be impacted by this outbreak, the federal government will need to step in.
A change in tone by the president on Monday was not enough. The administration still has yet to release a concrete national plan to fight this pandemic.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.