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Has the Trump administration responded well to COVID-19? Show more Show less

Government responses to emergency situations like the coronavirus outbreak can have a critical impact on the health and wellbeing of the public, and on the economy and society at large. So how have President Trump and his team responded? Will the American people benefit from or be hurt by the actions of the Trump Administration?

No, the Trump administration has failed in its response to COVID-19 Show more Show less

Delays, botched testing kits, infrastructure degradation, half-truths, have all put the American public at significant risk, and made the dangers of the pandemic much more real.
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President Trump downplayed the risk of the pandemic, misleading U.S. citizens and causing them to turn away from precautionary measures

President Trump has left the United States with very little guidance when it comes to COVID-19. He assures the population that the virus will disappear on its own and questions whether a vaccine is entirely necessary. This misinformation confuses the public, seeing as medical professionals’ advice is inconsistent with his own. They claim the virus is far more lethal than President Trump believes.
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Context

The Argument

So far, 2 million people have been infected with COVID-19, according to CNN Health. By October of 2020, they warn, just a few months down the line, the U.S. will likely have endured over 200,000 deaths.[1] Although the globe is still in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. is no exception, President Trump is intent on lighting a fire under the American economy and “reopening.” Now that the official coronavirus task force is following Trump’s lead and condoning economic focus, there is an absence of even a general nationwide consensus on how to handle the immense threat COVID-19 continues to pose. (white) States have the say on how strictly they follow suggested protocol. According to Vanity Fair, many states are racing to find medical equipment like ventilators with little to no “guidance” from President Trump.[2] There has been substantial uproar over President Trump’s discourse on the pandemic. According to CNBC reports, during a conference explaining new vaccine development plans in May, President Trump both confirmed “we’re going to have a vaccine in the pretty near future” and added the clause “if we don’t, we’re going to be like so many other cases where you had a problem come in, it’ll go away at some point…” Previously, he has asserted that sometimes a vaccine helps, and sometimes you don’t need it, a misleading and confusing comment to make as the nation awaits his word on the state of national health and immunization likelihood. Leaders of President Trump’s new Operation Warp Speed to procure a vaccine, Moncef Slaoui and Gustave Perna confirmed that this is a “Herculean task.” Other health experts remind the public, contrary to President Trump’s claims that this will all just go away, that we may see dormancy in the summer and surgent waves in the fall.[3] Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warns that “reopening” will likely only feed the incoming surge of COVID-19 cases. Yet, President Trump is facing re-election and his attention has turned to campaign manager Brad Parscale. If Trump wants to remain in office, there is a certain anxiety in closing his first term with a weak economy, seeing as he was originally elected for his business-savvy nature. During Trump’s Fox News special “America Together: Returning to Work,” it became clear that the President’s focus is on reestablishing the economy rather than acknowledging the daunting and rising death toll.[4]

Counter arguments

President Donald Trump is not alone in his eagerness to get the country back in business. According to CNN, governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas states, “We can’t live life on hold for six months to a year until there’s a vaccination…we have to be able to carry on life and business.”[1] Trump actually acknowledged the fact that he avoided revealing the enormity of the COVID-19 threat and dealt with the calamity behind closed doors all along. “This is really easy to be negative about,” he said, according to Business Insider, “But I want to give people hope too. You know I’m a cheerleader for the country- we are going through the worst thing that the country has probably ever seen.”[5] The Harvard Business Review does confirm that surviving the COVID-19 disaster entails “striking the right balance” between infection and mortality rates, and the inevitable recession. According to the HBR economists, such a sudden and steep economic decline will introduce a myriad of problems and the best way to prevent the worst of the financial decay is to slowly open business “starting with those least likely to generate a substantial resurgence of the virus.” HBR claims the U.S. lockdown has already cost the nation 14 billion dollars per day. While it would be best to remain in lockdown until a vaccine is offered, a potential two year accrued economic lost seems impossible to come back from. Rather than mislead the public, it appears that Trump is most interested in building morale, saving the U.S. from economic downfall, and ensuring his reelection.[6]

Framing

Premises

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/16/health/us-coronavirus-tuesday/index.html
  2. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/05/trump-obama-coronavirus-pandemic-response
  3. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/15/trump-downplays-need-for-coronavirus-vaccine-itll-go-away-at-some-point.html
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/05/donald-trump-coronavirus-economic-recovery
  5. https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-admits-downplayed-coronavirus-i-knew-it-could-be-horrible-2020-3
  6. https://hbr.org/2020/05/the-case-for-reopening-economies-by-sector

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This page was last edited on Friday, 10 Jul 2020 at 16:11 UTC