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How Trump failed with coronavirus

DEAR EDITOR:

So, as we watch maskless Donald Trump brag that he was blessed to have contracted COVID-19 and that he’s found a cure for it, let’s look at some facts.

The therapeutic drug the president was prescribed, antibody Regeneron, has shown even more promise as a prophylaxis to prevent people from contracting COVID-19. In April and May, taxpayer dollars were set aside to pay pharmaceutical firms to mass produce Regeneron. But, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, reported the Trump administration took no action. Now quantities are extremely limited, and the drug will have to be tightly rationed. Said Dr. Gottlieb, “We definitely missed the window. And this was raised many times.”

The Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team forecast that “in an unmitigated epidemic we would predict … approximately 2.2 million (deaths) in the U.S.” over its course. As president, wouldn’t you take immediate action given that number, mandating masking, distancing, hand washing and following CDC guidelines? Many of us have done so to benefit our fellow Americans, to keep numbers below the dire prediction. Yet, Donald Trump took no meaningful action and then used the current death number to brag “only 215,000 died, that’s pretty good.” Shamefully, he’s compared the current number of deaths to the predicted final death number. This pandemic is not over. Donald Trump’s behavior minimizes the seriousness of this deadly disease and is not helping to slow the spread. He seldom masks and packs unmasked followers into rallies.

Donald Trump knew the facts, as did Mike Pence, the leader of the COVID-19 task force. In fact, they inherited a Pandemic Plan and 44-member task force team from the Obama / Biden administration, created specifically to help mitigate an inevitable global pandemic. The Trump administration dismantled the plan and team and then wrote their own plan — a plan that was never implemented.

For the president to say, “I didn’t want to panic them” is irresponsible. It is like knowing a Category 5 hurricane is barreling to our shores, and not warning us to prepare and take action. We have lost more than 223,000 lives due to his incompetence.

If Donald Trump had set the example and followed guidelines set by the CDC, there would be fewer deaths, the infection rate would be lessened, and businesses would more safely be able to reopen. He does not seem to care. Donald Trump has set many alarming examples, but in this instance, his lack of leadership has resulted in the death of nearly a quarter-million Americans, all of whom had friends and family members who loved them and now mourn their loss.

ELIZABETH BRAHAM

North Lima

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