Trump ‘dawdled and thousands died’ while he was tweeting: conservative columnist

Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin bashed President Donald Trump for trying to dodge responsibility for delaying action on the coronavirus for weeks.


Writing Monday, Rubin explained that it doesn't matter how many angry tweets Trump fires off, there is enough hard evidence to contrast with his rally speeches and tweets to pin responsibility for the substantial deaths in the U.S. on him.

Trump also "rage tweeted" an interview between Fox News' Chris Wallace and Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University.

“Doctor, let’s start with that New York Times report that from January on, top public health officials were warning the president about the threat from the pandemic and that he did not take action until mid-March," Wallace asked Inglesby. "One, what’s your reaction to the report? And how much did those lost weeks cost us?”

The answer was that the New York Times report was spot on.

“That seems pretty clear now. And I’d also say that if we had acted on some of those mornings earlier, we would be in a much better position in terms of diagnostics and possibly masks and personal protective equipment and getting our hospitals ready," he continued.

In early January there was already a conversation among scientists and epidemiologists saying that something was happening in Wuhan, China and it could very well be the "big one" they've been fearing.

"Trump could not bring himself to believe them, for to do so would have acknowledged his reelection was at risk and his legacy headed for the historical dumpster," wrote Rubin.

While Trump issued a soft-ban on China travel, a whopping 430,000 people came into the United States from China after the first of the year. The United States likely already had the virus by the time the ban began. After the ban was ushered in, 40,000 Americans were able to come back to the United States from China without any screening or testing.

The New York Times also found that the branch of the virus that hit New York City so hard came not from China, but from Europe. Trump didn't usher in a ban on European travel until March.

Rubin noted that Dr. Anthony Fauci made it clear that in January he and others in the government were hammering the administration with information about why action was needed and not merely a ban on Chinese travel.

"Trump and Republicans want that issue to be lost in the political ether," Rubin wrote.

In South Korea and Singapore, the action was swift and far fewer people have died there. South Korea lost 200 people and Singapore fewer than 10.

"Germany, for example, got hit hard by the virus with more than 100,000 cases, but it kept the death rate low," said Rubin before quoting another New York Times report.

"Germany has been testing far more people than most nations. That means it catches more people with few or no symptoms, increasing the number of known cases, but not the number of fatalities,” the report said. The country also benefitted from “plenty of intensive care beds and a trusted government whose social distancing guidelines are widely observed.”

Rubin made it clear, concluding that Trump's resistance to act cost valuable time and far too many lives.

"No matter how many angry tweets Trump sends or how furiously the right wing points to China or the World Health Organization, the facts are unequivocal: Trump dawdled. Time was lost. Tens of thousands died," Rubin closed.

Read the full column at the Washington Post.