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Honored Social Butterfly

How White House Bungled Response to Coronavirus

Mismanagement, missed opportunities: How the White House bungled the coronavirus response
Trump’s own advisers acknowledged to NBC News that the failure to focus on widespread testing was a major misstep.
Image: President Trump declares coronavirus pandemic a national emergency during news conference at the White House in Washington
President Trump declared a national emergency at the White House on Friday, with LHC Group Executive Vice President Bruce Greenstein; National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci; and Vice President Mike Pence.Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
 
March 14, 2020, 9:45 AM CDT
By Ken Dilanian, Carol E. Lee, Dan De Luce, Laura Strickler and Suzy Khimm

 

Luciana Borio once worked on President Donald Trump’s National Security Council, but she left last year after a purge of the global health unit.

So when she realized how bad the coronavirus outbreak was likely to get — and saw that the Trump administration was not taking the necessary steps to contain it — all she could do was take her case to the public.

 

“Act Now to Prevent an American Epidemic,” was the headline of her Jan. 28 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, in which she called for widespread testing and beefing up hospital preparedness. “The Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread at an alarming rate,” she warned in a subsequent op-ed a few days later.

Image: Luciana BorioDirector of the Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of the Chief Scientist, Luciana Borio, testifies during a hearing before the Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on "Global Efforts to Fight Ebola" on Capitol Hill on Sept. 16, 2014.Alex Wong / Getty Images file

 

Trump saw the situation much differently. While he blocked some Chinese nationals from entering the country in late January, his public message was simple: This is no big deal.

“We only have five people. Hopefully, everything's going to be great,” he said on Jan. 30. A few days later, he said, “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”

But in fact, the Trump administration hadn’t shut down the coronavirus. The testing that Borio and other experts called for never took place, even as Trump continued to downplay the risks and make a series of false statements that experts say muddied public understanding.

As the virus continues to spread across the United States, the nation is reeling, with schools closed, sporting and cultural events shut down, and an economy in danger of lapsing into recession. As many as 50 Americans have died.

 

An examination of how the Trump administration responded to the coronavirus outbreak that was first documented in December reveals a story of missed opportunities, mismanagement and a president who resisted the advice of experts urging a more aggressive response. All the while, Trump made a series of upbeat claims, some of which were flatly false, including that the number of cases was declining in the U.S. and that “anybody who needs a test gets a test.”

On Friday, Trump moved to take steps that experts said should have been done weeks ago, declaring a national emergency and launching a new, broader testing program.

 

 

Trump’s own advisers acknowledged to NBC News that the failure to focus on widespread testing was their biggest misstep. The U.S. is behind most industrialized nations in understanding the extent of infection within its borders.

“If we all went back, we obviously would’ve hit on the testing part more,” one official told NBC News.

“So far, the Trump administration has failed miserably,” Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser, wrote Friday in The New York Times. “The number of cases in the United States is growing exponentially, and our health system is ill equipped to determine the scope of the disease or to treat the explosion of serious cases that will almost certainly soon present.”

 

Missed warning signs

The outbreak began late last year, experts believe, in a seafood market in Wuhan, China.

On Dec. 31, an Associated Press report out of China was one of the first English language news accounts of a mysterious new virus.

“Chinese experts are investigating an outbreak of respiratory illness in the central city of Wuhan that some have likened to the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic,” the story began.

Initially, the language of the World Health Organization was conservative. In a statement about the disease on Jan. 14 — about the first case outside of China, in Thailand — the WHO said, “there is no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.”

The agency soon stopped saying that, and by mid-January it was clear that the virus was spreading well beyond China.

 

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans on Jan. 6 to take precautions if traveling to China. The next day, the CDC’s Emergency Operation Center activated a COVID-19 Incident Management System — an emergency management tool used to direct operations, deliver resources, and share information.

Image: CDC exteriorExterior of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta on Oct. 13, 2014.Jessica McGowan / Getty Images file

 

On Jan. 8, the CDC issued an alert about the disease. But the agency was without one of its crucial partners in combatting such a threat. The CDC would have worked closely with the NSC’s global health unit, but that had been disbanded.

 

U.S. intelligence analysts also flagged the mysterious Chinese outbreak. The National Center for Medical Intelligence, which is part of the Defense Intelligence Agency, reported in early January that 59 people had been stricken ill, a U.S. intelligence official told NBC News. Then the numbers quickly mushroomed to 548 sick and 17 dead, the official said.

“That gets your attention,” the official said.

On Jan. 21, authorities disclosed that a man in Washington state was infected, the first confirmed case in the United States.

Eight days later, on Jan. 29, Trump announced the creation of a Coronavirus Task Force to lead the U.S. response. At the time, the White House said the task force was being led by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.

Azar was a logical choice because there was no senior person at the White House with experience in public health.

 

In 2018, Trump fired his homeland security adviser, Thomas Bossert, whose portfolio included global pandemics.

 

The next month, national security adviser John Bolton disbanded the NSC’s global health unit.

 

Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer, the top official in charge of a pandemic response, also left his job. So did Borio, whose title was director for medical and biodefense preparedness.

 

None of them was replaced. That meant Trump had no top advisers in the White House with expertise in global pandemics.

 

“You organize your NSC around the threats you care about,” said Jeremy Konyndyk, who led the U.S. government’s response to international disasters under the Obama administration.

Pandemics were deemed a lower priority for the Trump national security team, Konyndyk and other public health experts said.

 

MUCH More At Link:

 

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/mismanagement-missed-opportunities-how-white-house-bung...


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Honored Social Butterfly

President Trump bungled the response to the coronavirus in two very real ways:

1.  From the beginning, Trump spent the bulk of his time "denying" the seriousness of the disease and declaring Democrats' cries for action as some kind of plot to damage his continuance as president.

 

And then,

 

2.   It's now the middle of March (approximately three months since the advent of this epidemic) and it is just now that the Trump Administration has made the moves that he should have made back in December or January in order to prepare to deal with what now has truned out to be a pandemic.

 

And in this  instance, saying "better late than never," is NOT good enough!

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Honored Social Butterfly


@LydiaN586309 wrote:

President Trump bungled the response to the coronavirus in two very real ways:

1.  From the beginning, Trump spent the bulk of his time "denying" the seriousness of the disease and declaring Democrats' cries for action as some kind of plot to damage his continuance as president.

 

And then,

 

2.   It's now the middle of March (approximately three months since the advent of this epidemic) and it is just now that the Trump Administration has made the moves that he should have made back in December or January in order to prepare to deal with what now has truned out to be a pandemic.

 

And in this  instance, saying "better late than never," is NOT good enough!


You are right of course.  Trump took no action when he should have. Test kits should have been obtained from the World Health Organization in January, they were plentiful and cheap. Spreading them across the country into key health providers' hands could have curbed the spread of this virus. Many actions could have been taken sooner, he botched it.


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
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Honored Social Butterfly

I wonder if FOX is showing this article on their website?

 

Let's not forget all the CDC budget cuts Trump implemented.

Honored Social Butterfly


@CriticalThinking wrote:

 

Let's not forget all the CDC budget cuts Trump implemented.


Need to check your facts-

 

Factcheck.org - March 2020 - Democrats'Misleading Coronavirus Claims 

Honored Social Butterfly


@GailL1 wrote:

@CriticalThinking wrote:

 

Let's not forget all the CDC budget cuts Trump implemented.


Need to check your facts-

 

Factcheck.org - March 2020 - Democrats'Misleading Coronavirus Claims 


Gail: Are you saying that because the Democrats would not let him cut the budget for CDC the cuts he proposed in his budget do not count?  Kind of like if you shoot your grandmother and she doesn't die it doesn't count?

 

It’s true that the president’s budget proposals have consistently called for reduced funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but Congress hasn’t enacted those cuts. Some Democrats have correctly said Trump “tried” to implement such cuts,

Honored Social Butterfly

trump wants to seen as the only person who has answers, yet when pressed for answers he then shirks all responsibility. 
He makes all department heads acting, so that if anyone questions him, he can immediately get rid of them. And why would we expect leadership, when trump takes no good advice, and has gotten rid of the upper levels of knowledgeable leadership within our Govt Deartments, replacing them with trump worshipping yes people. 
And trump is not a leader, so how can we expect anything other than bumbling political motivation, and ignorance of facts during a crisis...that's what we have gotten!

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@GailL1 wrote:

@CriticalThinking wrote:

 

Let's not forget all the CDC budget cuts Trump implemented.


Need to check your facts-

 

Factcheck.org - March 2020 - Democrats'Misleading Coronavirus Claims 


Nice long article which really says nothing. Yes it says Congress gave more money than Trump asked for, but fails to say how much was spent as Trump can always get around what Congress does. The fact is we were not ready for this, and still are not at the Fed. level due to Trump and that is something no one can change no matter how hard they try. This was like the straw that broke the Camels back on Trump. The whole world knows Trump is a total disaster, and lies all the time. He is not a leader like other Presidents, but a destroyer and not a day goes by with out him hurting something, and never helping anything. The support article  tries to cover for Trump and make him look like a normal person and that is not possible. Support Trump and you support destroying the USA, oppose Trump and you help the USA, and the world.

Honored Social Butterfly

So far Trump is doing a much better job than Obama in did in 2009.--
Swine flu has killed up to 17,000 in U.S.: report - Reuters

Honored Social Butterfly


@easyed598 wrote:

So far Trump is doing a much better job than Obama in did in 2009.--
Swine flu has killed up to 17,000 in U.S.: report - Reuters


tRump is responsible for what happens now, why keep going to the past and ignoring what happens now?  Because tRump is incompetent?  Unfortunately the past can't change that. Denying distracting and discrediting someone else doesn't change that. Nothing changes that.


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Recognized Social Butterfly


@easyed598 wrote:

So far Trump is doing a much better job than Obama in did in 2009.--
Swine flu has killed up to 17,000 in U.S.: report - Reuters


More than that have died from this years flu strain.  So what is your point?

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