As of this publishing, here are some of the recent news stories that, frankly, are shocking:
Italy's death toll rises to 3,405, overtaking China. The total number of cases is now 41,035 which equals to over 8 out of 100 people who have the virus have died. This is a very far cry from the “fraction of 1 percent” that President Trump was pitching weeks ago.
According to the experts, the United States case rates are very similar to Italy, not like South Korea, which controlled the spread.
While some of our kids are swimming and sunbathing on the white beaches of Trump’s pal, Governor Ron DeSanto’s Florida, for spring break, we now have new very frightening information that should make your head spin. CDC shows that about 20% of hospitalized patients in the US are aged 20 to 44 and another 18% were between the ages of 45 and 54. This is not a disease restricted to the elderly and now we have hundreds more young people at large, ready to infect one another and others. The numbers from this spring break holiday will surely add to our misery and put families at risk.
Our hospitals and health infrastructure is getting close to the breaking point. Today, Louisiana’s Governor John Bel Edwards told the president that the state may run out of the ability to treat patients within a week.
"My fear based on modeling I've received today is that as early as seven days we can start to exceed our capacity to deliver healthcare," Edwards advised Trump.
These are hard numbers. Hard facts.
However, our president ignores hard facts and he makes up those that fit his own agenda. He is not alone. He has Fox News on his side. His sidekick Kellyanne Conway had been only one falsehood away, claiming the virus has been contained.
For many weeks now, Trump has been told that the coronavirus is worse than the flu. Yet, for roughly six weeks, he has been told that the country’s medical infrastructure could not withstand the pressure. Ever since January 27, the media and others complained that we needed more masks, more respirators, more beds, more ICU equipment. Just last week, his own taskforce leaders ignored demands by the media for these items and said their strategy was to keep the numbers down by separating people from work, restaurants, bars, schools, and movies.
Just yesterday, Trump decided he could wait no longer and declared he was using emergency powers to up the numbers of these medical necessities. For many people in Louisiana, and throughout this fruited plain, it just might be way too late.
While the media and yes, the left, slammed him and Fox News and Limbaugh for not telling the truth, for completely abandoning all decency by politicalizing the virus consistent with the campaign narrative, the numbers and the virus risks grew. As they did, the president, Conway and others claimed the virus was contained.
Then, suddenly, this weekend, the nonsense had to come to an abrupt end. The lies just would not hold water. Instead, as we know, the president’s tone changed. It got more serious. Shockingly, earlier this week, he said he knew we had a pandemic long before it was a pandemic. Hannity is now claiming he never called the virus a hoax, he only condemned the left and the media for exaggerating it to hurt the president.
These are quite frankly lies, falsehoods upon falsehoods.
Anybody watching Trump and Hannity knows that neither one ever warned of a very foreseeable emergency. For weeks, they told us the flu was worse than the virus. For weeks we heard that the left and the media were destroying the stock market and the US economy because they wanted to bring the president down.
Below are some of the statements made by the president over the past few weeks. There is no chance whatsoever he is telling the truth. He lied to us for his own political benefit and now our nation is at a major risk.
He slept as this country got infected and played golf on the job.
Look at his statements and ask yourself—when he and when Hannity and the rest of the right-wing loudmouths were telling us that there were only a few cases, that it might just suddenly disappear, did you know that President Trump apparently knew all along that we had a pandemic? At least, he now said he did. Why didn’t he tell us? Could it be that he could not stand watching his stock market numbers would make him more politically vulnerable?
Donald Trump deserves the liar of the century award for his utter incompetence here, but more than anything else, he's lying while managing one of the worse crises in the last 100 years. And don’t think those falsehoods did not make matters worse.
According to a recent Pew Poll, only 38 percent of the people who are Fox News watchers are concerned about the virus? Nearly 70 percent of those regularly watch CNN are concerned. Who watches Fox News? They have a very large audience who are at the highest risk, the older and the elderly.
This means that the people who follow Trump and Fox, those in the greatest risk don’t believe much of the risk. Of course not, they have been fed lies, falsehoods, distortions and propaganda by the president and his disciples. They have been told not to worry; it is just a lot of noise coming from the left. They have been told not to believe the mainstream media nor the government.
Now, they are more prone than anyone in this country to end up in a hospital, assuming they can find a bed available.
This is Trump’s Katrina.
“Donnie, you're doing a heck of a job”.
“This is a pandemic,” President Donald Trump said at a March 17 press conference. “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”
While it’s not possible to know what Trump “felt,” there’s no doubt that Trump had minimized the threat of the new coronavirus for weeks in statement after statement.
Here’s what the president said in public remarks, interviews and tweets from Jan. 22 to March 10 -– one day before the World Health Organization declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Jan. 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” — Trump in a CNBC interview.
Jan. 30: “We think we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five — and those people are all recuperating successfully. But we’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for us … that I can assure you.” — Trump in a speech in Michigan.
Feb. 10: “Now, the virus that we’re talking about having to do — you know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape though. We have 12 cases — 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.” — Trump at the White House. (See our item “Will the New Coronavirus ‘Go Away’ in April?“)
Feb. 14: “There’s a theory that, in April, when it gets warm — historically, that has been able to kill the virus. So we don’t know yet; we’re not sure yet. But that’s around the corner.” — Trump in speaking to National Border Patrol Council members.
Feb. 23: “We have it very much under control in this country.” — Trump in speaking to reporters.
Feb. 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” — Trump in a tweet.
Feb. 26: “So we’re at the low level. As they get better, we take them off the list, so that we’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time. So we’ve had very good luck.” — Trump at a White House briefing.
Feb. 26: “And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” — Trump at a press conference.
Feb. 26: “I think every aspect of our society should be prepared. I don’t think it’s going to come to that, especially with the fact that we’re going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down, not up.” — Trump at a press conference, when asked if “U.S. schools should be preparing for a coronavirus spreading.”
Feb. 27: “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.” — Trump at a White House meeting with African American leaders.
Feb. 29: “And I’ve gotten to know these professionals. They’re incredible. And everything is under control. I mean, they’re very, very cool. They’ve done it, and they’ve done it well. Everything is really under control.” — Trump in a speech at the CPAC conference outside Washington, D.C.
March 4: “[W]e have a very small number of people in this country [infected]. We have a big country. The biggest impact we had was when we took the 40-plus people [from a cruise ship]. … We brought them back. We immediately quarantined them. But you add that to the numbers. But if you don’t add that to the numbers, we’re talking about very small numbers in the United States.” — Trump at a White House meeting with airline CEOs.
March 4: “Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number.” — Trump in an interview on Fox News, referring to the percentage of diagnosed COVID-19 patients worldwide who had died, as reported by the World Health Organization. (See our item “Trump and the Coronavirus Death Rate.”)
March 7: “No, I’m not concerned at all. No, we’ve done a great job with it.” — Trump, when asked by reporters if he was concerned about the arrival of the coronavirus in the Washington, D.C., area.
March 9: “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!” — Trump in a tweet.
March 10: “And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” — Trump after meeting with Republican senators.
A day later, on March 11, the WHO declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Update, March 19: This article was updated to include a video.