MSNBC network contributor Dr. Vin Gupta said Monday on MSNBC’s “Deadline” that it was a “moment for all of us to clamor for a non-partisan 9/11-style commission to investigate” the failures by former President Donald Trump to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Trump, Anchor Nicolle Wallace said, “Six-hundred thousand people died because they did not prevail. They botched the testing. Here is what the new book has to say about testing. This is from the ex-president, quote, ‘testing is killing me,’ Trump reportedly exclaimed in a phone call to then HHS Secretary Alex Azar on March 18th. Yelling so loudly that Azar’s aides overheard every word. Quote, ‘I’m going to lose the election because of testing. What idiot had the federal government do testing?’ Azar responds, quote, ‘Uh do you mean Jared?’ There may be the first time I’ve ever agreed with Trump on the I-word, but this is the idea it was never about diagnosing, curing, and protecting and containing a pandemic. It was only ever about his re-election.”
Gupta said, “What I will say this has to be the moment for all of us to clamor for a non-partisan 9/11-style commission to investigate not just the root causes of the pandemic but more importantly, the failures in the response. This will not be the last time we deal with a respiratory pandemic. To your point, the ex-president knew, and I think most glaringly, he knew this was an airborne virus. As a military member myself, that should have alerted a five-alarm fire, something akin to what Pearl Harbor was doing right after they knew they were about to get attacked. This was that same level of urgency. They had a warning this was an airborne virus. Nothing was done. We know if something was done in February upon receipt of that knowledge, 80% of lives could have been saved from that point on until early May. That is number one.”
He continued, “Number two, I’ll just say there has to be in this era where Ron Johnson or Tucker Carlson and others still go on and say that the vaccine kills people, that it might magnetize you, this has to be the moment we have a deterrent to medical misinformation which was obviously given a lot of fodder and fertilization by the ex-president in his response.”
Gupta added, “Number two, we need policy, playbooks, and standards around pandemic response so that every four years, another president who doesn’t believe in science doesn’t decide that he or she will throw that playbook out the window. We need to be ready. We need to have the personnel in place. We had none of that in place this 2018, a year well before the COVID pandemic actually ended up being a major threat.”
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