Statement of Dr. Michael Carome, Director, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group
Note: According to various news outlets, as of today, the U.S. has more than 75,000 cases of novel coronavirus and is about to surpass the number of cases in China.
History will show that President Donald Trump was responsible for one of the most catastrophic public health failures in the nation’s history.
For weeks, Trump repeatedly has bragged about the “tremendous” response of his administration to the pandemic. But Trump’s self-laudatory claims are belied by facts as the U.S. is about to reach a grim milestone: The number of cases of coronavirus infection in the country will eclipse the number in China, the country where the pandemic began.
Had Trump heeded the warnings from the intelligence community and public health experts months ago about the grave threat posed by the coronavirus outbreak in China, the current explosion of coronavirus cases in the U.S. could have been prevented. Trump should have ordered the prompt deployment of an expansive nationwide testing program in combination with an aggressive containment strategy – both in close coordination with state and local public health agencies across the country – instead of downplaying the risk and offering false assurances.
Because of his historically inept presidency, Trump allowed the coronavirus to spread silently throughout the country for weeks as he oversaw a slow-motion, chaotic and grossly insufficient response.