Trump’s Severe Mishandling of COVID-19 is Concerning

Hannah Thompson, Staff Writer

Watching Trump talk about the coronavirus in the many press releases that have aired since the virus has hit the U.S. is scarily similar to watching a kid give a book report on a book they have not read: ignorance and limited knowledge, all “masked” by arrogance.

Trump and his administration have not handled the COVID-19 outbreak appropriately.  He often seems as though he has either been misinformed or simply ignores the facts. 

For weeks he minimized the issue. On Feb. 28, Trump referred to the outbreak as the Democrats’ “new hoax.” He said, “Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus.”

Due to the undeniable severity of the situation, Trump has since changed his tone on the matter. But, his early denial set back preparational measures and the early isolation of the virus.

Lying is not a new defense mechanism for President Trump. However, with millions of human lives at risk and facts proving themselves daily, his lies are more dangerous than ever.

Trump has lied on multiple occasions about the availability of testing. He said in a press release that “anybody that wants a test can get a test.” This is untrue. 

In reality, there is a crippling shortage of testing in the country. According to AP News, CDC data showed that government labs only processed about a dozen tests a day when Trump made this claim in early March.  

Due to the shortage, there are currently strict government guidelines regarding who is allowed to get tested for the virus. In many places, you will only be tested if you recently traveled to a nation with a high number of coronavirus cases (including China and Italy), even if you are exhibiting symptoms, according to the New York Times.

As the leader of our country, deceiving Americans about one of the most crucial issues regarding the virus is unacceptable.

Not to mention the fact that he often refers to the virus as the “Chinese Virus.” I presume this mislabeling is an effort to shift the blame from his administration’s mistakes in taking limited action onto China.

This disgusting behavior encourages prejudice, xenophobia and racism within our country. Trump defended his terminology to a reporter saying, “It’s not racist at all.” Yet, some Americans have taken it upon themselves to alienate Chinese-Americans.

“Chinese-Americans and other Asians lumped together with them by racists are being beaten, spat on, yelled at and insulted from coast to coast, driving some members of the maligned minority to purchase firearms in the fear of worse to come as the pandemic deepens,” the New York Times reported.

No one can know exactly what would have happened if Trump and his administration took measures earlier to recognize and prevent the spread of the virus. Schools still may have been canceled and people may still have to self-quarantine. However, it would have weakened the spread of the virus by some degree and thus saved human lives.