'Worse than I could have imagined': Epidemiologists rain hell on Trump's 'appalling' pandemic performance
President of the United States Donald Trump speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Several professional epidemiologists have told The Atlantic that they've been shocked at the Trump administration's failed response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which so far has killed 155,000 Americans in just five months.

In the story, journalist Ed Yong writes that he has spoken with more than 100 different infectious disease experts over the last several months and has "learned that almost everything that went wrong with America’s response to the pandemic was predictable and preventable."

"The U.S. fundamentally failed in ways that were worse than I ever could have imagined,” Harvard Medical School epidemiologist Julia Marcus told Yong.

Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, similarly told Yong that it has been shocking watching a federal response that has not even tried to control the spread of the disease.

"There are instances in history where humanity has really moved mountains to defeat infectious diseases," she said. "It’s appalling that we in the U.S. have not summoned that energy around COVID‑19."

Sarah Dalglish of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health similarly told Yong that no one should have ever expected Trump to rise to the occasion.

"When you have people elected based on undermining trust in the government, what happens when trust is what you need the most?" she asked rhetorically. "Trump is president -- how well could it go?"