70 Days
Published April 5, 2020 / Updated July 21, 2020

70 Days

It took 70 days for the White House to take Covid19 seriously; in that time they squandered hundreds of thousands of American lives.

by Chris Thomas

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Person wearing a surgical mask

Photo by Tai's Captures on Unsplash

There’s a story in the Washington Post that describes the failures that have brought the United States to the place we are now — a quarter-million COVID-19 cases and a thousand deaths a day. Those failures lay squarely at the feet of Donald Trump. As a president, as a leader, and as a person, he has failed the American people. His failure will cost more American their lives than our wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, and Vietnam… combined.

Those Americans will be buried beneath the avalanche of Mr Trump’s failures: failure to heed CDC warnings about repatriating sick Americans, failure to properly quarantine repatriated COVID patients, failure to stockpile medical supplies, but most of all failure to act when they saw what was coming.

And yet, it took 70 days from that initial notification for Trump to treat the coronavirus not as a distant threat or harmless flu strain well under control, but as a lethal force that had outflanked America’s defenses and was poised to kill tens of thousands of citizens. That more-than-two-month stretch now stands as critical time that was squandered.

More than 70 days ago the alarms were blaring in the President’s daily briefings and Mr. Trump did nothing. Worse than nothing — he mocked and scorned those who suggested that an emergent virus burning through China could be a threat to American lives.

70 Days. Nearly two months. Rewind the clock 70 days. Imagine instead a chief executive without the hubris to spit in the face of science. Imagine a President with the humility to trust experts. Imagine a leader who believed in the power of government to do good and so supported it rather than tearing it down.

70 days. Imagine what could have been done in those 70 days. We could have ramped up ventilator manufacturing, built field hospitals, begun stockpiling PPE. We could have accepted the World Health Organization’s test offers while seriously investing in domestic test production as well. We could have instituted shelter at home orders sooner instead of discrediting those policies at every turn.

Instead we did none of those things. And now the President of the United States is claiming that if he does everything perfectly we will still see more than 200,000 American souls lost to Mr. Trump’s pandemic. Worse, he’ll expect praise for such a ghastly “accomplishment.”

It didn’t have to be this way. It should never have been this way. This blood — oceans of it, coughed from the lungs of our parents, our children, and our grandparents — is on this administration’s, this President’s hands.

And we will not forget.

They knew. They knew for 70 days. They knew, and they did nothing.

What Can I Do?

You can remember. When this administration and the one after it have faded into the history books, you can remember the thousands upon thousands of lives lost to the incompetence, arrogance, and willful disregard for knowledge and decency that dwells at the heart of this administration. Then you can do everything in your power to ensure that those that stood up to be counted with them never stain the doorstep of another public office as long as they live.

In the meantime, you can vote. You can write to Congress, to your State Government, to anyone who will listen and demand justice. You can scream from the rooftops that this atrocity of inadequacy will not stand. Resistbot can help with that. Just text, message, or tweet monthly to Resistbot on SMS at 50409, Facebook Messenger, or Twitter.

Mr Trump once quipped that he could kill someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and not lose a single vote.

Well, this is 5th Avenue today; in November, we’ll see if he was right.

View of a field hospital located in Central Park, NYC

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