“We basically wasted two months”: Experts say Trump wasted two critical months before ordering more medical supplies
From hoax to pandemic, we’ve seen the almost sudden change in response from the Trump administration during this coronavirus outbreak. Now, a report from the Associated Press shows that the government did not start placing orders of necessary supplies until mid-March.
On Jan. 11. China reported its first recorded death. By Jan. 20, the United States reported its first case of coronavirus. Then on Jan. 30, the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency. Jan. 31, President Trump restricted travel into the United States.
The reporting from AP said that U.S. officials should have noticed the rise of cases in China, as early as mid-January. The overwhelmed hospitals in China’s Hubei province was an indication of what the rest of the world might expect.
By Feb. 24, Congress sent a $2.5 billion funding request to lawmakers to address the coronavirus. During this time, the CDC was also sending out briefings about how this virus could seriously disrupt the lives of Americans.
Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar did not heed the warning, and on Feb. 27 said: “the immediate risk to the American public remains low.”
This lack of urgency and preparedness is why it was not until Mar. 12 that President Trump ordered $4.8 million worth of N95 masks from 3M.
“We basically wasted two months,” Kathleen Sebelius, health and human services secretary during the Obama administration, told AP.
But why wait so long when there was intel about COVID-19 in January?
Trump claimed that the federal government shouldn’t involve themselves and should instead leave it to the states.
When an Associated Press reporter pushed the president about his slow response, he quickly passed over the question and ended the press conference.
When an AP reporter attempted to ask Trump ab it on Sunday, he cut off the Q.
“FEMA, the military, what they’ve done is a miracle,” Trump said with a flash of anger. “What they’ve done is a miracle in getting all of this stuff. What they have done for states is incredible.”
— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiNBC) April 6, 2020
The administration echoed this deflection of federal responsibility when Jared Kushner told media that the federal stockpile is for the federal government and “not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use.”
The exact opposite is true. Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said as much during an interview on “State of the Union.”
“The President doesn’t understand the word ‘federal,’” said Pritzker.
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 5, 2020