Stat News this week interviewed a dozen different doctors from across the United States, and they all said that the federal government had failed to act in a timely manner to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in San Diego, minced absolutely zero words when asked to evaluate the Trump administration’s response to the crisis.
“The American public doesn’t know that a large portion of this catastrophe was preventable, if not for the sinful incompetence of our leaders,” he said. “It didn’t have to be like this.”
Barry Schapiro, an orthopedic surgeon practicing in Palm Beach, similarly told Stat News that he was “livid” with the government’s performance so far.
“This is all being mismanaged, and we’re being put at risk unnecessarily,” he said. “We had ample time to prepare. It didn’t have to be like this.”
Terry Adirim, a trained pediatric emergency physician who previously worked as a senior Department of Defense and Homeland Security official, said that Trump was to blame for constantly downplaying concerns about the virus and for not even mobilizing resources behind the scenes despite having ample warning about the danger the virus posed.
“There’s still no real leadership,” he said. “On a national scale, who on earth is in charge of handling this pandemic? I’m flummoxed.”
Many doctors who spoke with the publication preferred to remain anonymous because they are being instructed not to publicly criticize the federal response.
“I alternate between anxiety attacks and rage over this … everything is shrouded in secrecy,” said one Los Angeles-based primary care physician. “It’s an American shame.”