Trump Killed 500,000 Americans
"About a hundred thousand deaths... came from the initial surge," says Dr. Birx. "The rest... could have been mitigated or decreased substantially."
The US death toll from COVID-19, as tracked by Worldometers.info, is now at 600,000. That’s 1 in 555 Americans. Equivalent to the population of Baltimore or Milwaukee. Or St. Louis and Pittsburgh combined. More people have died of COVID-19 than live in the entire state of Wyoming.
It didn’t have to happen.
As Stephen Collinson wrote on CNN.com at the end of March:
The hundreds of thousands of citizens whose deaths from Covid-19 could have been avoided are owed national and political accountability, but the polarization of America that exacerbated the pandemic threatens to deprive them of their due.
Collinson’s article accompanied a CNN Special in which Dr. Deborah Birx, who served as the White House coronavirus response coordinator under Trump, tells CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta:
I look at it this way. The first time we have an excuse. There were about a hundred thousand deaths that came from that original surge. All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.
Collinson adds that Dr. Birx’s “haunting admission”:
Throws new scrutiny on the negligent management of the pandemic by former President Donald Trump and his willingness to put economic and political goals above science and the public well-being.
As a New Yorker, I take exception to Dr. Birx’s casual dismissal of the first 100,000 U.S. dead for a simple reason:
Trump Failed New York
In the early days of the pandemic, other countries recognized the urgent need for testing and contact tracing. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration bungled the U.S. testing rollout and Trump labeled the virus a “hoax.”
As the virus, in Dr. Fauci’s word, “seeded” in New York in February 2020, Trump lied that passengers coming from Europe were being tested, held multiple rallies and fundraisers and even threw in a trip to India. Trump then welcomed COVID-19 to Mar-a-Lago in early March, carried by members of Brazilian President Bolsonaro’s delegation. (Trump and Bolsonaro both contracted COVID-19 later in 2020.)
Trump’s failure to protect New York came against a backdrop of his political feuds with Governor Cuomo and the ongoing threat of prosecution in NY for Trump’s multitudinous financial crimes.
On March 24 last year, Jennifer Senior wrote in the New York Times that Trump’s abandonment of New York City was “madness,” warning correctly that Trump’s attempt to play to his base and punish a city that was “multiculturalism personified,” would not only kill New Yorkers. “Other states will soon follow,” she wrote.
Trump Caused a “Blue State Genocide”
In April 2020, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington DC, remained far-and-away the hardest hit areas in the US, based on cases per 1,000 residents.
As Vanity Fair’s Katherine Eban reported last July, Trump and Jared Kushner looked at those numbers and decided, “because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national (testing) plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically.”
Trump and Kushner actively pursued a “Blue State Genocide” strategy. An ad from The Lincoln Project summed it up: “It was deliberate. Cold. Political. Premeditated... Evil.”
And not only that. As Vanity Fair’s Katherine Eban wrote: “It soon became clear that ceding testing responsibility to the states was a recipe for disaster, not just in Democratic-governed areas but across the country.”
Trump Let the Virus Ravage the Entire Nation
By July 2020, Trump’s failure to contain the virus—and his constant downplaying of the risks—was hurting MAGA voters most. Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arizona were recording the most cases per 1,000 residents, with states including Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and Utah not far behind.
Now it’s May 2021 and 600,000 Americans are dead because Trump failed the country every single step of the way. He failed on testing and contract tracing. He failed to invoke the Defense Production Act as the country’s PPE shortage grew desperate. He failed to implement social distancing measures quickly enough. He even failed to communicate consistently the most basic public health measures that could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
As NBC News wrote in March:
Within weeks of Covid-19 shutdown measures being put in place, Trump, who would later contract the virus and be hospitalized, began pushing for cities and states to reopen. He also pitched unproven treatments for the virus and questioned the need to wear face coverings.
And now even Dr. Birx admits it: If not for Trump’s lies, incompetence—and his reckless, psychopathic behavior as the virus ravaged the nation—half a million Americans who died during the pandemic could still be alive today.
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Excellent forecasting in your April 21, 2020 tweet. Too bad people in power weren't caring.