Fingers Start Pointing to Trump’s Inaction, ‘Fairy Tales’ for Unnecessary COVID-19 Deaths

Fingers Start Pointing to Trump’s Inaction, ‘Fairy Tales’ for Unnecessary COVID-19 Deaths


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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After weeks that he has been delivering falsehoods and incorrect information to the American people looking for answers in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak and COVID-19 pandemic–and now growing accusations that he’s not taking enough action–fingers are now pointing to Donald Trump for directly causing unnecessary deaths from the virus.

There have been more than 350,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The virus has killed more than 15,000.

In the United States, 33,404 have been sickened with a total of 400 deaths reported, according to the most recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Chuck, the truth is, and New Yorkers and all Americans deserve the truth, it’s only getting worse,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in an interview with NBC News host Chuck Todd. “April and May are going to be a lot worse. Right now, we are a third of the cases in the country. That’s going to get worse. We’re about two thirds or more of the cases in New York state. That’s going to get worse.

“But Chuck, the president of the United States is from New York City, and he will not lift a finger to help his hometown. And I don’t get it. I don’t get it,” de Blasio added. “Right now, I have asked repeatedly for the military to be mobilized, for the Defense Production Act to be used to its fullest to get things like ventilators so people who can live who would die otherwise, Chuck, I can’t be blunt enough. If the president doesn’t act, people will die who could have lived otherwise.”

Meanwhile, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow took Trump to task for his multiple instances of misinformation, and broadcasters for being party in disseminating them.

“President Trump today again was just flat out wrong in public about this Malaria drug that has gotten stuck in his mind quite distant from the fact. President Trump said it would be available almost immediately for use,” Maddow said. “Within moments the [Food and Drug Administration] had to clean that up because that is not true at all. It is not at all approved for coronavirus treatment.

“But the president loves saying things like, ‘You know, there’s a drug we’ve got. It’s very effective. It approved already. Everybody is going to get it.’ He loves saying things like that because that would be a lovely thing to tell people, unless of course, that’s not true and telling people a fairytale like that is cruel and harmful and needlessly diverting and wildly irresponsible from anyone in any leadership role.

“It would be wildly irresponsible if someone said that to you from a bar stool, if we could go to bars anymore, but to get it from the presidential podium [it’s worse], nevertheless, he keeps doing it,” she added. “In the weeks leading up to now, we heard claims that the virus was well contained, that it was well under control and would disappear, remember that.

“In terms of material tangible promises, President Trump claimed we would have 1.4 million tests available this week. Of course, we’ve seen nowhere near that. We’ve done a tenth of that. He said Google was developing a website to help people decide if they needed testing and where to go to get it. It would be very quickly done he said unlike websites of the past. Turns out of course, that website is still in the early stages of development and currently only being tested in one part of California and not even really working just for that,” Maddow said. “President Trump announced this week that the Navy was sending two medical ships, one to New York City, one to the West Coast help treat patients. He said the ships would be launched over the next week or so depending on need. Wrong. That was also wrong as NBC’s Courtney Kube puts it: ‘It’s anybody’s guess when those ships will come in.’ One of those ships is currently undergoing maintenance and has no medical personnel on board and the other lacks a medical crew all together. Remember the president said it will be there next week. It won’t be there next week. The president has claimed that the government has ‘massive amounts’ of ventilators. Maybe in normal times, I guess, you might say but in a crisis like this the government’s stockpile of ventilators will not be enough to satisfy the demand. We need literally tens of thousands more than we have. He has said similar things about face masks and other protective equipment for health workers and told a grown up of nurses this past week that the government ordered 500 million N95 respirator masks and declined to mention the order will take 18 months to fill, if we’re lucky. Millions of masks. Don’t worry. Nurses, what are you worrying about? Millions of masks are coming. Wait a year and a half before you might. There is a clear pattern here in this crisis of the president promising stuff he knows America would love to hear but it’s not true. And even stuff that he’s saying that he will do, that the federal government will do, he’s not doing. And so the specific way in which the president is failing now is clear.

“We have said from the very beginning, watch what they do, not what they say. That’s very, very, very relevant here and I say this not to vent my outrage. I’m over that frankly at this point. I’m just saying it because I feel like we should inoculate ourself against the harmful impact of these on going pulse promises and false statements by the president recognizing when he’s talking about the coronavirus epidemic more often than not, he is lying. Even when he’s talking about what he has done or what he will do, he’s consistently lying and giving you happy talk that is stuff that the federal government isn’t actually doing,” she added. “And it’s making people around the country count on the fact the federal government is doing that stuff when they’re not. There may be people in the federal government saying stuff that the not true but it’s a lit knee of things from the president that would be awesome if they were true and happening but they’re not and so the sooner we come to terms with that, I think the better for all of us.

“If it were up to me and it’s not, I would stop putting those briefings on live TV. Not out of spite but because it’s misformation. If the president does end up saying anything true, you can run it as tape. But if he keeps lying like he has been every day on stuff this important, all of us should stop broadcasting it,” Maddow said. “Honestly, it’s going to cost lives. Honestly, it’s going to cost lives.”

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