“I think China is very, you know, professionally run in the sense that they have everything under control,” Trump said. “I really believe they are going to have it under control fairly soon. You know in April, supposedly, it dies with the hotter weather. And that’s a beautiful date to look forward to. But China I can tell you is working very hard.”
Feb. 10, campaign rally in Manchester, N.H.:
“I spoke with President Xi, and they’re working very, very hard. And I think it’s all going to work out fine.”
Feb. 13, Fox News interview:
“I think they’ve handled it professionally and I think they’re extremely capable and I think President Xi is extremely capable and I hope that it’s going to be resolved.”
Feb. 29, Coronavirus Task Force press conference:
“China seems to be making tremendous progress. Their numbers are way down. … I think our relationship with China is very good. We just did a big trade deal. We’re starting on another trade deal with China — a very big one. And we’ve been working very closely. They’ve been talking to our people, we’ve been talking to their people, having to do with the virus.”
There are some other instances through the month where Trump said similar things about how great China was doing in containing and beating the virus and how they are “working very hard.” In addition to that, the theme of “we are working with them” and emphasizing how closely we were working with them are repeated through the month. In the interest of not being too repetitive, we won’t list all of them here — the point is made.
In mid-March, Trump began to change his tune. He began criticizing the Chinese and charging that they had been deceptive in their reporting of the virus.
In March, Trump said this in a press conference where he dubbed the coronavirus “The China Virus”:
“Certainly we didn’t get an early run on it. It would have been helpful if we had known about it earlier. But it comes from China, and it’s not a question about that – nobody’s questioning that.”
By mid-April, he was beginning his unilateral withdrawal from the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) and blaming them for not calling the Chinese out. He said this:
“Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China’s lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death. Instead, the W.H.O. willingly took China’s assurances to face value.”
Now let’s look at what Trump was telling Bob Woodward behind the scenes. In February, he was praising China while telling Woodward privately that “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu…This is deadly stuff.”
In March, as most US states went into various forms of “lockdowns” and mask mandates, (not on Trump’s orders or recommendations, but on their own) as they saw “on the ground” what was really happening — Trump was telling Woodward that ““To be honest with you…I wanted to always play it down. I still want to play it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
In April, while lashing out at and scapegoating the W.H.O., Trump apparently confirmed to Woodward that he actually knew all along that “it’s a killer” and a “plague.” He desribed how it would “rip right through a person” and some people “wouldn’t have a chance” of survival against the virus.
It is obvious that Trump knew all along just how deadly the virus is. China might have been downplaying the threat, but so was Trump. The W.H.O. wasn’t responsible for any negligence, as again, Trump knew just how deadly the virus was. Trump could have corrected the W.H.O. if it wasn’t getting the full scoop, as he knew the real deal to be. Was he afraid the W.H.O. would be in a panic if they knew what he knew?
Probably not — and probably is more accurately defined as “definitely” here.
In fact, well before Trump withdrew their funding, The W.H.O. was urging every nation on Earth to fight the virus with “the boldest” actions they could take. While they were saying that, Trump was talking about it “miraculously” going away as the weather got warmer among his many lies about the virus.
Yes, China was downplaying the virus publically, so was Trump, as he admitted to Woodward on the recorded interviews. But Trump wasn’t doing it because he believed the Chinese, as the recordings clearly show in Trump’s own words. Also, it wasn’t because Americans weren’t being told how deadly the virus is — the state lockdowns were harsh evidence of that. After all, the lockdowns weren’t happening because those Governors thought it wasn’t serious.
The American people were told how bad things could be with the virus. They already knew. The problem was that Trump was calling anyone who was honest about the virus a liar or mocked them and charging that they were doing it for “political purposes” just to hurt him. The fact is, the only one lying about the virus for political purposes was himself.
That deception by Trump caused his “base” — almost half the country — to mock the virus and anyone who adhered to the CDC guidelines. That mocking and non-compliance is what made things worse — far worse in the US than any other nation. With only about 4.5 percent of the world’s population, the US quickly had about 25 percent of the cases. A number that still holds true today.
Trump gambled that “it wouldn’t be that bad” and lost. He treated the expert and scientific advice like a weather report — like when the weatherperson says it will rain tomorrow and it doesn’t rain. That’s what Trump hoped for. The problem is that he didn’t just lose that selfish bet politically, he literally lost lives. His lust to be re-elected was his only guide. As far as the American people were concerned, well … he wasn’t concerned with them or their lives whatsoever.
China didn’t do that to the American people. The W.H.O. didn’t do that to the American people. Donald Trump did that to the American people. No one else bears the responsibility as he does — as would ANY American President if they so blatantly lied to the American people — especially for political purposes exclusively.
If Trump would have stood up in February — or March — or April — or whenever — and said “hey, this thing is deadly. Wear a mask. Obey the lockdown restrictions. Do as the experts and scientists recommend and we will all get through this and be stronger for it.” — we would be in a much nore “normal” state by now. like other nations are.
But he didn’t. He did the opposite. He mocked everyone who asked for prudence. He held massive rallies that endangered lives and caused the virus to spread faster. He told the nation that all would be well when it got warmer.
He endorsed “cures” that weren’t cures and in fact caused harm to some who followed his advice. He promoted quack doctors who were willing to say what he wanted them to say. He pushed the actual experts like Dr. Fauci to the side. He suggested disinfectants and UV lights were the answer.
He tweeted out things like “liberate Michigan” and “liberate Minnesota” to appeal to his cult of followers and encouraged them to revolt against the guidelines that were helping to curb the virus.
Why? His re-election was and is all that matters to him. His power. His fleecing of the American treasury for his cronies, family, and himself.
That is all that mattered to Trump — not you, your family, or your loved ones. It has become painfully obvious — and lethally obvious to the friends and families of the 200,000 dead (and counting) mean nothing to him.
He still is holding “super-spreader” campaign rallies to feed his own ego. Of course, as he told a reporter before a recent one in Arizona, that he wasn’t worried about the virus because he was kept at a safe distance from the crowd.
Whatever China did to down play the virus is irrelevant. Trump is the President — Not China. Other people and entities who are also not the President are Nancy Pelosi, Dr.Fauci, The W.H.O., Democratic Governors (and some GOP Governors who tried to curb the virus with quarantines and other pro-active measures), Joe Biden, and the rest of the world. There is one President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. As Harry Truman said “the buck stops here.”
Trump doesn’t want anyone to remember Truman’s truthful statement as he continues to “down play” the virus and do everything he can to distract the American people from realizing how much he has lied and that those lies had no noble purposes — it is only about him, his ego, and his re-election.
It seems that the military isn’t the only ones he considers “suckers” and “losers.”
That’s what he thinks of his followers.
Alive or dead.