Monday on CNN, anchor Jake Tapper critiqued President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tapper said, “Health experts say the United States is in desperate need of a vaccine because President Trump and other leaders have so seriously mishandled any serious attempt to contain the virus within our borders. As of this afternoon, the U.S. is nearing 4 million confirmed cases in the United States, and that’s growing, almost 141,000 lives have been lost. That number is also sadly growing.
He continued, “We have already seen months of examples of what the president does at these briefings. He often downplays the threat of the virus. He frequently lies about what is really happening. Here’s the president four months ago today at one of these briefings. March 20, when more than 200 Americans had already died.”
After a clip of Trump saying testing “was going very well,” Tapper said, “That’s right. Four months ago, the president said testing was going very well. It was not, and labs continue to lag in being able to test people who need tests, who want tests, and to turn around quick results. Now, three months ago, to this day on April 20, with more than 40,000 Americans dead, President Trump continued to try to paint a rosy picture of this tragedy, saying that the administration had tremendous testing capability.”
In a clip, Trump said, “This capacity is sufficient to allow states to conduct diagnostic testing to treat patients as well as contact tracing to contain outbreaks.”
Tapper said, “Contain what outbreaks? What outbreaks are being contained? Which ones? It was not sufficient then. And health experts say it is not sufficient today. In some parts of the country, any serious contact tracing campaign is nonexistent. Just minutes ago, President Trump tweeted this image saying, quote, ‘Many people say that it is patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more patriotic than me, your favorite president.’ This image comes after months of President Trump only mocking people who wear masks and refusing to set an example by wearing one publicly. Two months ago today, on May 20, the death toll had surpassed 92,000. And Michigan’s attorney general was publicly pleading for President Trump to wear a mask when he visited a Ford factory. And the next day, the president visited that Ford factory and did not wear the mask for the public portion of the tour. He said he didn’t want to, quote, ‘Give press the pleasure of seeing him wearing a mask.'”
“Mask wearing, according to health experts, is a critical tool to containing the coronavirus,” he continued. “And the message the president has sent has been clear. His supporters across the country, as well as others, are constantly pushing back on health requests that please everyone wear a mask in public. The horrible example that the president set may have actually peaked one month ago today, June 20, with nearly 120,000 Americans dead, President Trump held an indoor rally no masks were required. “The Washington Post” obtained video of his staffers removing stickers from chairs. These stickers encouraged social distancing. The president at this rally used a racist term for the virus, and he claimed inexplicably that he wanted his administration to slow down the testing.”
He added, “The virus is spreading because the virus is spreading. It’s not spreading because of the testing. And that brings us all to today. With nearly 141,000 Americans dead from coronavirus, and the Trump administration’s testings czar Admiral Brett Giroir admitting that testing is still not where it needs to be with long wait times continuing across the country. Yet, there is still no new presidential strategy to get us out of this spiraling crisis. This refusal to lead has a body count.”
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