Trump Administration´s COVID-19 Messaging Response

In late September, the U.S. coronavirus death toll surpassed 200,000 — the most in the world, and more than the next three developed nations amalgamated.

That number has only grown in the days since. And in the face of that cataclysm, President Donald Trump has a message for the American people: the pandemic is China’s fault and the sole reason the U.S. death toll isn’t much worse is because of his quick and decisive action in banning travel from China.

In actual fact, there are a plethora of reasons why the US death toll is so high, including a mismanaged federal response, wishful thinking on the part of President Trump, and the marginalization of public health officials such as Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Brix. Both are members of the White House’s coronavirus task force led by Vice President Mike Pence. The marginalization of public health officials is a part of the pointed campaign led by the Trump administration in an attempt to spread false hopes about the virus founded on faulty science.

Rather than defend the effectiveness of the federal government’s response to the pandemic, the Trump administration has chosen to focus its efforts against China as its benchmark for success. Trump’s pivot to China is a carefully crafted strategy, supposedly backed up by the Trump campaign’s internal polling and designed to obscure the US’s inadequate national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The President himself took a much different route on everything from China to the severity of the virus to how disastrous things might turn out here in the US.

Fauci admitted in early March that COVID-19 could kill as many as 100,000 to 200,000 Americans. “I just don’t think that we really need to make a projection when it’s such a moving target, that you could so easily be wrong,” Fauci said. Despite this, the President had his own ever-shifting ambitions for what he perceives as a victorious pandemic response. On April 20, he predicted 50,000 to 60,000 deaths from Covid-19. A week later, he revised his estimate to 70,000. On May 4, it was 80,000 to 100,000 deaths, and we now know it will, and has continued to climb past that mark all the way to 200,000 deaths and counting. Throughout the pandemic, however, much of the Trump administration’s spin — regarding Trump’s own response, China’s role, and more — has been misleading, if not outright untrue.

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