I keep seeing this argument that President Donald Trump didn’t act quickly and decisively enough to combat the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. However, I don’t think that is an accurate or reasonable position to take.
Of course with black-swan events like this it’s always easier to look back with 20/20 vision and criticize activities than it is to deal with a crisis in real time, but from my reading of the timeline of events I just don’t know what more we could have expected of the American President. He was ahead of the World Health Organization, his European counterparts, and the leaders of his opposition party. Suggesting the American President didn’t act quickly enough ignores everything that has happened up until the time being.
Below is a timeline of important and relevant events as they took place with regard to the actions of world leaders with regard to the covid-19 outbreak of 2020.
December 31, 2019
The first time China reported the existence of covid-19, the novel coronavirus. [source]
January 14, 2020
The World Health Organization, the organization which advises the world on matters of health was following China’s lead in saying there was no evidence of human to human transmissions of the coronavirus. They were wrong.
At this stage, there is no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission in the novel #coronavirus (2019-nC0V) outbreak in #Wuhan, #China🇨🇳. However, the Chinese authorities continue intensive surveillance and follow-up measures, including environmental investigations. pic.twitter.com/lWUgOMkedB
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 12, 2020
A man in Washington State who had just returned from Wuhan, China was identified as the first case of covid-19 in the USA. [source]
The WHO advised against applying ANY international travel restrictions due to the virus. They were wrong. [source page 2]
President Trump declared the coronavirus a public health emergency and stopped flights from China and six other countries, and suspended entry for foreign nationals who pose a risk of transmitting the virus, DISREGARDING the recommendations of WHO. He was correct. [source]
Italy finally decided to start taking the virus seriously and issued a national stay at home order. [source]
Austria catches up with POTUS and closes its border with Italy. [source]
German Chancellor Angela Merkle was still procrastinating on emergency measures [source]
WHO finally catches up with POTUS and declares coronavirus a pandemic. [source]
President Trump suspends travel from Europe to the US. [source]
EU leaders finally catch up with POTUS and close off EU borders to foreign travel. [source]
Compared to the greatest minds and leaders of the world and those of his opposition party, the president was ahead of the curve. I don’t know what foresight the critics think President Trump should have had that no other world leaders or the World Health Organization had that would have caused him to act even sooner when he was already taking more decisive action than everyone else.
It’s all political bullshit. Can we just work together to get through this mess without politicizing a pandemic is full swing?
(This article will be updated as more information is discovered.)