Op-Ed: COVID-19 Why Trump Has Failed Us

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Leonard Blachly-Preston, Staff Writer

The response was not quick enough.

Our government in the United States of America failed to respond to what seemed to be an evident evolving crisis. Our President Donald Trump still refuses to wear a homemade mask, and at first, we are able to pinpoint all the blame for the slow reaction from the government on him. 

At first, when the what would become a global pandemic of COVID-19 was spreading, and China had been hard hit, and Italy was becoming a crisis location, the Commander in Chief of our country called the pandemic a hoax by the democrats to help them gain power if he cracked, and looked weak. He offered very little help to places that are now very hard hit. Had he offered more help, and his belief that this pandemic would become a huge crisis if we did not treat it, places like New York and New Jersey may not be over their heads from this crisis right now. It was Trump’s disbelief of this crisis that led to the United States being so hard hit.

On top of that, in the time when we need our president to be a good role model for citizens, he failed us yet again! He has now defied the requests of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) at least twice. The first time, he simply refused to self-quarantine after meeting with someone who had symptoms of the Coronavirus, and that led to a lot of controversy between the president and his medical advisors. On top of that, the CDC has now sent out a request that people wear homemade masks, from tee shirts, or cloth masks. In places like New York — where a lot of people are using medical masks — there is a huge shortage of medical supplies because so many people are wearing them. The City has asked people to wear homemade masks, but Trump went ahead to claim that scarves were better protection from the coronavirus than medical masks. That was one of the reasons the city and other places have asked people not to wear medical masks. 

Trump’s claim was strongly regarded as untrue, and the CDC and other government officials are chiding the president for spreading false information. His claim has already been proven to be incorrect: medical masks and cloth masks offer more protection than a scarf over your face. Trump is being regarded very badly for these mistakes that he has made, some are saying that they are shocked that the president has not contracted the virus already, especially after he refused to self-quarantine. 

As more and more celebrities and world leaders contract the virus, some are being comforted, because they see that celebrities are just as vulnerable and cannot use their money to buy their way out of the pandemic. But all of those feelings disappeared on April 4th, when British prime minister Boris Johnson was admitted to a hospital in a dire condition less than two weeks after testing positive for the coronavirus. Now some are saying that Trump should now see that he, too, is vulnerable. But not yet, he has said.

Trump has also had a very delayed reaction when it comes to providing medical supplies to places in need. When New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo declared that the city would run out of their supply of ventilators in less than a week, Trump claimed that Cuomo was not being realistic, that he was not this needy, and that if his state was using their supply of ventilators so quickly, they should just make more. This was regarded as unhelpful, unprofessional behavior from our Fommander in Chief, and he still has not stepped up his game.

New York City has been in desperate times, with completely overrun hospitals.  The refusal from Trump for more ventilators may have been the last straw, had China and the state of Oregon not stepped in to help. China claims to have gotten over the curve of the virus outbreak, and on April 6, 2020 reported their first day without any deaths from the coronavirus for almost 4 months.  They donated over 1,000 ventilators to NYC, while the state of Iregin gave 140 of theirs to aid dying people. It was thanks to the cooperation from these foreign governments that some people in New York City are still alive. 

Trump has still been uncooperative with the NYC hospitals. He refused to provide them with more medical supplies until he was strongly pressured.  Some states took their own actions by declaring a state of emergency, which allowed them to do this without the president’s permission. This angered Trump for many reasons, but there is an aspect to this that is perhaps more relevant than it seems.

Our current President, Donald John Trump, has a love for power that affects him each day he is in charge. He wants to be the one who makes all of the decisions for the entire country. He thinks that his judgment is the most important for the country. Whether or not the Russians cheating in the 2016 presidential election to help him win was asked for by the President is still unclear. But what we are able to take from that is simple and precise: The President may be willing to cheat in order to win. That is why he has gotten so angry when officials have asked him to let states choose their measures themselves because the crisis is not the same in every state. That is why he refused to self-quarantine. He could not lead the country while having to isolate himself! He could not attend important meetings, hold a press conference, or talk to his cabinet while in self-isolation! That is why he has failed to respond to the needs of the country during times of crisis.

Now, at a time when the federal stockpile of medical supplies has nearly eroded into dust, and we only have 10% of what we should, our President decided that it was safe to say that people could go out and vote in the primary that Wisconsin was supposed to have postponed, and even though this decision was ultimately a US Supreme Court judge decision, the president did not veto this decision, he did not talk to the Wisconsin Governor, but instead, he gave no response, basically saying that it was OK to hold the primaries to the governor of Wisconsin. There was a lot of controversy, saying that Trump did not take adequate safety measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus from state to state, and many people made the right decision and did not vote. This was key in stopping the virus’s spread, and the number of people who stayed home resulted in less than 25% of the state’s population who can vote coming out to give their support to their candidate. This was the lowest voter turnout in the history of Wisconsin in a primary election, and the lowest voter turnout of any state whatsoever in a presidential primary election. Even the lowest voter turnout in the history of Wyoming, the state with the lowest population does not compare at all. Wyoming is the state with the smallest population, and their record low voter turnout is 213,159 people in a primary election, and Wisconsin had a little less than that, at around 210,500 people vote in their primary election, which some are calling a surprisingly large amount under such conditions, but no matter the number of people who came, it is clear that the president made a huge mistake in not trying to defy the order of the supreme court, and if all else had failed, he could have at least issued a national stay at home order or talked to the governor of Wisconsin to ask them to encourage people to stay at home. 

Though Bernie Sanders once said in a very recent Democratic debate, “If we are going to beat Donald Trump, and have a democratic president in office, we are going to need the biggest voter turnout in the history of the United States,” the smallest voter turnout has just been registered, which is not helpful for removing Trump from office. But the race is now quite one-sided, because Bernie Sanders announced on Wednesday, April 8th 2020 that after looking at recent statistics and going over this for a long time, he was suspending his campaign for president. But over the past 5 years, he has made a huge impact on politics, and how many people view the very much complicated subject. The race is now Democrat Joseph R. Biden Jr., who was vice president under the first African-American president Barack Obama, against current President Donald John Trump.  Who has more support is still unclear, but with Trump’s actions in responding to this crisis, it is increasingly clear that he will lose some support, and some Republican delegates may go against their states’ wishes, and vote for Biden.

On top of all this, Trump went so far as to call the pandemic that has killed thousands and infected millions a hoax. When the news first came around, and only a few people had been infected in the United States, Trump made up one of the lies he has somewhere in the back of his head and called the coronavirus a hoax set up by the Democrats led by “crazy Bernie” and “sleepy, lazy ol’ Biden.” This has now enraged many people because while our leader was worried about only his own political benefit,  the virus spread across the country, and he did nothing to stop it. Many people are saying that if Trump contacts the coronavirus, he will accuse the “Aliens” who came from Mexico last year, and how if he had built his border wall, then it all would have been fine. Though this is not a time for humor, as dirty and fun as it may be, this is the way that many people are expressing their anger towards the President.

On top of all of these mistakes, and his terrible response to the pandemic, Trump has decided that now, it is a great idea to stop funding the world health organization! President Trump, who has been under criticism for his handling of the response to the coronavirus and has seen his poll numbers drop, on Tuesday blamed the World Health Organization for what he called its failures in the crisis and said he planned to stop American funding of the organization.

The announcement came as Mr. Trump continued to be angered by criticism of his response to the pandemic and as he sought to gain credit for how he has performed. “Everybody knows what is going on there,” he said, blaming the organization for what he described as a “disastrous decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations.”

Trump has repeatedly pointed to his decision to impose travel restrictions on China as proof that he responded early to warnings about the dangers of the coronavirus. This means that some doctors may have cuts in payment, when they should be getting paid double, for working so many shifts and helping so many people. 

The US economy is under a lot of pressure because with so many small businesses on pause, not doing business, the US government needs to give them a lot of money so that they can pay employees, and we recently ran out of funding for small businesses to stay up, so we are taking money out of our funds for other things, such as factories, and transit systems so that we can keep small businesses alive, which is very important, because these local businesses are the way that many working class people get their pay, and if they do not have an income, then their families will suffer a huge blow, and they may become homeless, which is why the government is taking money out of the other funds and reserves, but this is putting a lot of pressure on the economy, which isn’t easy for Donald.

Trump has also decided to say that he may reopen the country when no states are around the curve yet. This means that Trump may cause an even bigger eruption of the virus in some places by declaring that the social distancing guidelines in those states will be softened, which is not good for many reasons. Not only will more people be infected with COVID-19, because Trump may soften the as of now necessary social distancing guidelines.

This is outrageous because he could endanger the lives of everyone in the United States. You would think that for a man who is so proud of his support, he should not endanger people just to help the economy. Guaranteed, he will lose some supporters to COVID-19 even if he keeps the country on lockdown, but he has made an awful decision.

President Trump has done a terrible thing, all because he is a greedy money-grabbing businessman, and that has led him to support protests against the closing of places such as golf courses, and non-essential businesses, because should his golf courses close, he will lose a lot of money, because people pay a lot of money to go to his golf courses, and this is part of his huge income. He also did this at the beginning of the crisis, when he made a travel ban to every place in Europe but the UK and Britain because he has almost all of his golf courses there, and he wanted to be able to leave the country himself and play golf, and leave the option of his friends and supporters going golfing to make him money, and if they did go golfing, they would not be arrested for breaking travel ban and quarantine rules. 

President Trump has also asked for the freedom from social distancing measures in three states with democrat governors, according to the New York Times, he said on Twitter, “In a series of all-caps tweets, Mr. Trump declared “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” — two states whose Democratic governors have imposed social distancing restrictions that have shut down businesses and schools and forced people to remain at home. He also tweeted “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!” This means that he does not want social distancing measures to be taken in these states, and a very possible reason proposed by many journalists is he wants his supporters to be happy. 

His tweets sparked many protests against social distancing measures in those states and a few more as well, such as Texas, an almost all Republican state. People have decided to spread the coronavirus through these protests defying social distancing measures, because they are standing close to each other, holding signs that have their germs all over them, and should any of them be Asymptomatic carriers of the virus, while they breathe close to others, they transmit the virus to the other people in the crowd of protesters unconsciously, and many more people get the virus, which actually means that social distancing measures need to be enforced more because the virus spread so rapidly through the protests, so the protests are ultimately a terrible idea, because they do not achieve any of the wanted goals in reducing social distancing measures, and they spread the virus more, so Trump loses more supporters to the virus. Not a great plan for reducing social distancing measures.

The New York Times journalists also had something to say on Trump’s tweets, writing, “Demonstrators across the country violated social-distancing orders to call for the reopening of states and the American economy.”

The rallies, like the one outside the state Capitol in Austin, Texas, above, rode a wave of similar protests this past week. On Saturday alone, people also gathered in Indianapolis, Ind.; Carson City, Nev.; Annapolis, Md.; Salt Lake City, Utah, and Brookfield, Wis.

President Trump on Friday openly encouraged the right-wing protests in states with stay-at-home orders, even after officially and publicly conceding that reopening was up to governors.”

There is one good thing that came out of all this, which is that a group of Republican congresspeople who have served in our government for a long time have looked at Trump’s response to the pandemic, and said enough is enough, and they have formed a group called the traditional Republicans, and they do not think that Trump upholds the values of the Republican party, and they are endorsing Joe Biden for president of the US, which is very important because they were Trumpians in 2016, and he has lost their support which will be a big blow to him.

Bernie Sanders is out of the race, Republicans are going for a Democrat for president, and once again, the race for president is between two white men. Not the greatest times we are living in, but you can help. If we stay home and do not violate social distancing measures like the protesters, then you will be able to stop the spread of COVID-19 and get NYC around the curve.

How do you feel about the way that our president has responded to the crisis of pandemic?