Writing in The Bulwark this Wednesday, Tim Miller chronicled how President Trump “downplayed the threat of and ignored warnings” of the burgeoning threat of coronavirus in the early days of the outbreak. Despite the documented evidence of the White House initially attempting to minimize the threat, the Trump administration is trying to establish an “alternate reality” that paints Trump as a competent leader who was ahead of the situation.
“On March 18 the Trump campaign put out a list of actions the U.S. government took to prepare for COVID-19. They meant this as exculpation; instead, it highlights just how asleep Trump was at the switch, despite warnings from experts within his own government and from former Trump administration officials pleading with him from the outside,” Miller writes. “Most prominent among them were former Homeland Security advisor Tom Bossert, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration Scott Gottlieb, and Director for Medical and Biodefense Preparedness at the National Security Council Dr. Luciana Borio who beginning in early January used op-eds, television appearances, social media posts, and private entreaties to try to spur the administration into action.”
Speaking to Miller, Borio described the steps the Trump administration should have taken in January to get ahead of the outbreak — steps that include tech solutions for “tracing that protects civil liberties.”
According to a timeline showing the opportunities squandered by the Trump administration, Miller details how warning signs about the impending outbreak were made known to the Trump administration as early as 2018 but were subsequently ignored, missteps that were compounded by an 80 percent cut to the CDC in its efforts to prevent global disease outbreaks, specifically in countries like China, Pakistan, Haiti, Rwanda and Congo.
Also noted in Miller’s timeline is the fact that it took Trump around 10 weeks to finally start taking the situation seriously after disease control experts became aware of the virus.
Read Miller’s full timeline over at The Bulwark.