President Donald Trump recently shifted gears and said earlier this week that he always knew a coronavirus pandemic was on its way. But while that may be a CYA move by the president in a blatant attempt to make it seem like he’s not failing when it comes to responding to the CODIV-19 outbreak, others noted that it’s, at best, a sign of negligence.
“This is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic,” Trump said on Tuesday.
That contradicted a number of statements he made in the past, however — including calling previous complaints about his slow response to the disease a “hoax,” and claiming the number of individuals infected with coronavirus would be “close to zero” within a “couple of days” in late February.
Trump says he knew coronavirus was a pandemic 'long before' it was declared https://t.co/1iTTfE45j5
— #TuckFrump (@realTuckFrumper) March 17, 2020
But according to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski, even if we suspend all logic and go with what Trump is saying here, it’s indicative of poor planning and management by the president.
“The president said he knew it was coming. It’s almost worse when you look at it that way,” Brzezinski said on Thursday morning. “That’s just malpractice. You know something like this is coming, and you do nothing. That’s what he’s telling the American people. He did nothing from the get-go.”
Her husband and “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough also complained about Trump’s recent claims, adding that, if he really knew this was coming, why was the president so ill-prepared to do something about it — and why is his administration still failing to test people for coronavirus?
2,000+ new cases today. Total U.S. coronavirus tally at the end of each Wednesday:
• Jan 15 — 0
• Jan 22 — 1
• Jan 29 — 5
• Feb 5 — 12
• Feb 12 — 14
• Feb 19 — 25
• Feb 26 — 60
• Mar 4 — 160
• Mar 11 — 1,262
• Mar 18 — 8,264https://t.co/74QzWYbn1p
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) March 19, 2020
“Why do we still not have tests? We keep getting promised a million tests here, a million tests there,” Scarborough said. “Yesterday, we heard reports from a health official that we don’t have a lot of the supplies that are needed to apply the tests.”
According to the New York Times coronavirus tracker, as of Thursday morning, more than 8,300 individuals have tested positive so far for the illness, though that number is expected to rise significantly once more testing is done. Nearly 150 patients have died as a result of contracting COVID-19 this year.
Chris Walker is a freelance journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin, who focuses on news, politics, and analysis of world events. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, since 2005 Chris has reported on workers’ rights protests in Wisconsin, opined on four separate presidential elections and written on a number of other political subjects for a variety of national online publications.