The Trump administration, medical experts clash over COVID-19


Photo by Public Domain

The tensions between the medical and scientific communities and President Trump and his administration have been a subject of much discussion in the press.

So far, 2020 has unequivocally surpassed any sort of expectations people may have had going into it this past January. 

Coronavirus is a strain of virus that affects the sinuses, throat, lungs and head, and while most of the time it is relatively harmless, the newest strain called COVID-19 is proving to be much more of a problem than anyone could have predicted. 

It is no secret that one of the biggest problems that the U.S. faces currently is the issue of healthcare. Of course, most people recognized just how grotesquely unfair the cost of medical treatment is in the U.S., but the COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on just how truly terrible the system is. Hospitals are swamped as those infected and in critical condition fill room after room. The U.S. does not have an adequate amount of masks to properly suit the needs of Americans, nor do they have the necessary funding or staff to keep patients comfortable and safe. This is not to mention the quickly failing economy that is leaving 30 million Americans out of a job, and with an already highly inequitable healthcare system, it is nearly impossible for the average American to afford the essentials. 

The U.S. isn’t the only country struggling to keep up with the constant demand for treatment for COVID-19 victims, but it is in the limelight for a reason. The U.S. has the highest GDP out of any other county in the world, and while it may not seem like it, the individual wealth here is miles higher than the individual wealth in countries like China. So why is it that, with all of this overwhelming wealth, the U.S. has the highest death toll? 

First, the obvious answer: the U.S. has the world’s third-highest population, so obviously there will be more people infected, and, in turn, more people to die, but the U.S. comes after both China and India in population size. China was ground zero for COVID-19 and could very well be lying about the amount of Coronavirus-related deaths, but arguably the largest contributor to the needless spread of the pandemic is none other than the President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump. 

Whether or not you agree with his politics, it is undeniable that President Trump’s response to COVID-19 has been a direct detriment to the lives of many Americans. Instead of giving Americans the information they desperately needed, he took his position of power and used it to stroke his own ego, claiming to be extremely knowledgeable on the topic, yet he dismissed and joked about the experts that attempted to warn him about the crisis the U.S. could face, dismissing criticisms against him and calling it a hoax. 

“Now the Democrats are politicizing the Coronavirus,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Charleston, SC, on February 28, before the worst of COVID-19 hit the U.S. “One of my people came up to me and said, ‘Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia.’ That didn’t work out too well. They couldn’t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything, they tried it over and over. … And this is their new hoax.”

He chose instead to push his own false narrative, making COVID-19 seem like just another example of corrupt democrats trying to push him out of power. Now that we know that COVID-19 is indeed dangerous, it’s too late. 

One figure leading the charge against COVID-19 lies is Dr. Anthony Fauci, an American physician and immunologist who is the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci has been steadily giving tips and guidance to the American people throughout the entire quarantine and has been actively rebutting false information that has been given to the public. Unsurprisingly, Fauci has been met with backlash, mainly due to the fact that he has been butting heads with Trump over the course of the quarantine.

The effects of the story that Trump and his supporters have woven is hindering the U.S.’s ability to recover quickly. Americans are out marching in the streets to protest the quarantine order because their “personal freedoms are being taken away.” A prominent example of this is Michigan, where people are blatantly disregarding social distancing, and are flat out refusing to wear masks in public. Although now it seems that Trump has finally started to realize the severity of the whole situation, it is infuriating to think about how the worst of this could’ve been avoided if those few Americans had taken the threat that COVID-19 poses more seriously. If Trump had taken the necessary precautions and listened to his advisors, the U.S. would most likely be seeing the same results as countries like South Korea, New Zealand and Australia who are beginning to open back up, but he directly ignored and brushed off many experts warning him and his team about the threat COVID-19 posed. It is because those warnings fell on deaf ears that the U.S. is in this awful position.

With many states beginning to open businesses and restaurants back up, it may seem like things are quickly improving, and while there is an overall decline in the number of new cases per day, it is important to note that opening up prematurely will undo all of the hard work and sacrifice people have made in order to flatten the curve. The economy is failing, and the damage done to the U.S. is something that the country will spend a decade trying to recover from, but with every politician seeming to play the blame game. This is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue, it’s not a liberal vs. conservative issue, it is simply an issue of not taking responsibility. 

The road to recovery will begin when those in charge of our country finally listen to the facts that experts like Dr. Fauci are trying to tell them, and although the damage is done, Americans can recover, as they always have in the past.

Editor’s Note: All views expressed in stories in the Opinion section of The Heights Herald are that of the author and no one else.