As Donald Trump continues to brag about what a great job he’s done managing the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci cracked open another cold can of straight talk on Thursday.
During an interview with FiveThirtyEight, Fauci – the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – said that the United States as a whole is performing poorly compared to most countries around the globe.
“I don’t think you can say we’re doing great,” Dr. Fauci said, directly contradicting Trump. “I mean, we’re just not.”
Fauci did, however, praise state and local leaders in New York for responsibly following the guidelines for reopening their economies.
“You have a governor and mayor in the city who understand what it means to go by the guidelines for the gateway, phase one, phase two, phase three,” he said. “So you’re doing well.”
An excerpt of Dr. Fauci’s interview with FiveThirtyEight’s Anna Rothschild:
ROTHSCHILD: How do you think the U.S. is doing right now? If you’re looking across the world, what are your feelings about how we’re doing right now?
FAUCI: Well, let me say there are parts of the United States, like where you live right now [in New York], that are doing really well, that you’ve been through something really bad and you have things under control. And you have a governor and mayor in the city who understand what it means to go by the guidelines for the gateway, phase one, phase two, phase three. So you’re doing well. Other cities are doing well. But as a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don’t think you can say we’re doing great. I mean, we’re just not.
Six months in, Trump still can’t manage this crisis
It’s been roughly six months since the first case of coronavirus was reported in the United States, and Donald Trump still hasn’t figured out how to competently deal with this crisis.
To be sure, the U.S. wasn’t the only country initially caught flat-footed by the virus. In March, when the outbreak started to take hold, the U.S. and Europe were on similar trajectories in the number of cases being reported.
The difference is that other countries took quick, tough steps to contain their outbreaks, while Trump squandered the last three months playing politics. As a result, the United States doesn’t just lead the world in deaths and infections, but the number of cases are skyrocketing here while they’ve declined and stabilized in most other countries.
To make matters worse, as Rachel Maddow pointed out this week, the Trump administration still hasn’t solved the coronavirus testing shortage – arguably the most critical piece of beating and containing the outbreak.
The president can rage tweet all he wants, but the data doesn’t lie. The U.S. response to this crisis was bungled from day one, and Donald Trump is directly to blame.
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.