Trump mismanages virus
The president must be held accountable for mismanaging the coronavirus pandemic. In 2017, the Obama administration presented Trump officials with a 69-page document of recommendations for government response to a pandemic. In 2018, the committee within the National Security Council responsible for global health security was disbanded, and team leader Admiral Ziemer’s position was eliminated. In 2018, the CDC funding for staff helping other countries to prevent epidemics was canceled for 39 of 49 countries, including China.
On Jan.3, 2020, Secretary Azar was alerted regarding the virus through discussion with the CDC and Chinese colleagues. On Jan. 22, Trump stated: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China.”
The supposed travel ban from China was mismanaged. Since Feb.2, nearly 40,000 people have arrived on 279 flights from China, with haphazard screening.
Feb.19: “I think it’s going to work out fine.” Feb.24: “The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.” Feb.28: “and we’re totally prepared.” If we are totally prepared, why in April is there still a severe shortage of coronavirus tests with hospitals scrambling for equipment and staff? Why now over 10,000 dead?
By refusing to issue a national stay at home order, with three states bordering Colorado not in compliance, Coloradans are more at risk. Rather than politicize the pandemic, this is an urgent call to unite the nation around the scientists and public health experts, rather than the commander in chief who claims: “No, I don’t take responsibility at all.”
Scott Johnson, MD
China is the problem
Communist China is not our friend. They are building military bases on their shores in the South China Sea. While we were fighting the virus they were flexing their muscle in the South China Sea. China gives North Korea the things they need to threaten the United States. China isolates Taiwan, hoping to take them over. China shot people protesting in Hong Kong. China has re-education camps for their people who don’t believe in what they want. They have camps for Muslims they use for slave labor. Chinese people are not free in Communist China. China lies and steals our tech knowledge. The CODVID-19 virus started in Wuhan, China. Some people think it started at lab in Wuhan where China was experimenting with viruses. So people think it started at wet market where exotic animals are sold for food. Some people think it was horseshoe bats.
Taiwan said the virus started in December and could be transmitted to other people. China said it could not be transmitted between humans; they lied. They started cornering the market on medical devices in January. They have lied about the viruses. Two doctors who spoke out are gone.
Previous administrations have not done anything about China. President Trump is trying to slow them down. I wish he would do more. China went ahead and reopened wet markets last week.
Trump ignored warnings about potential epidemic
In 2014, Obama created the Directorate of Global Health Security and Biodefense on the National Security Council in response to lessons learned during the SARS, H1N1, and Ebola epidemics.
In January 2017, the Obama transition team met with the Trump team and lead a joint exercise on preparation for a pandemic and warned that there was a serious shortage of related medical equipment.
In 2017 and 2018, Bill Gates met repeatedly with National Security Advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton in the wake of Trump administration efforts to reduce national health spending by $15 billion and the elimination of the $30 million Complex Crises Fund. Gates argued that ongoing cuts to the global health disease infrastructure would make us vulnerable to, in his words, the “significant probability of a large and lethal modern-day pandemic occurring in our lifetimes.”
In 2018, the Trump administration fired the head of the pandemic task force, eliminated that position from the National Security Council, and disbanded the related team of pandemic professionals.
On Jan. 29, 2019, the director of National Intelligence released an annual report with warnings similar to the reports issued in 2017 and 2018: “The United States … will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or large-scale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to massive rates of death and disability, severely affect the world economy, strain international resources, and increase calls on the United States for support.”
On Sept. 30, 2019, Trump discontinued funding the Predict program of the USAID. The program essentially was a pandemic early warning system.
On Feb. 7, 2020, Secretary of State Pompeo announced, “This week the State Department has facilitated the transportation of nearly 17.8 tons of donated medical supplies to the Chinese people, including masks, gowns, gauze, respirators, and other vital materials.”
Photo was example of what not to do
As well-intentioned as it was apparently meant to be, the photo accompanying the front page article Monday was alarming to me. The caregiver on the left in the photo does not have her face mask adequately placed — her nose is uncovered as she leans in to the elderly resident, essentially breathing on her. Face masks are meant to, and need to, cover both mouth and nose, otherwise they aren’t doing their intended job of preventing transmission through oral and nasal inhalation and exhalation. Neither caregiver is wearing gloves, and the caregiver on the right appears to have her ungloved hand close to the resident’s face. Ironically, the article is captioned “Sister caregivers more ‘vigilant’ against virus.”