The simple truth of the coronavirus is that no one saw it coming.
There’s not a person in our government, at any level, who predicted six months ago, a year ago, four years ago, that we would be hit soon with a pandemic. And certainly no one predicted we would shut down one of the strongest economies in the history of our country because of it.
It’s that simple.
That some pundits, politicians, and members of the media are trying to cast blame tells us that this isn’t so deadly that we can’t make it political.
And so, the New York Times took the lead in the blame Trump movement.
I don’t usually use this space to way in on popular news items that are already being covered by hundreds of columns, blogs, podcasts, and opinionists.
But knowing the media is going to never accurately cover the timeline of events, I want to repeat something here.
We know they’re all saying Trump did nothing or took too long to respond. I think he’s perfectly capable of addressing that, and so he will.
But I think everyone needs to know what Dr. Anthony Fauci’s responses were. And so, here’s a brief compendium of Dr. Fauci quotes, with dates, just for the record:
“Coronavirus is not a major threat for the people in the United States and this is not something the citizens should be worried about.” January 21st, on Greg Kelly’s show on Newsmax.
“If you look at the masks that you buy in a drug store, the leakage around that doesn’t really do much to protect you. People start saying, ‘Should I start wearing a mask?’ Now, in the United States, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask.” February 17, USA Today.
On NBC’s Today Show, Dr. Fauci was asked if Americans should stop enjoying their daily routines. Fauci answered point blank, “No. Right now at this moment, there is no need to change anything that you’re doing on a day-by-day basis. Right now the risk is still low, but this could change. I’ve said that many times, even on this program. You got watch out, because although the risk is low now, you don’t need to change anything you’re doing. When you start to see community spread, this could change, and force you to become much more attentive to doing things that would protect you from, spread.” February 29, on NBC’s Today Show.
“I think if you’re a healthy young person that there is no reason; if you want to go on a cruise ship, to go on a cruise ship. Personally, I would never go on a cruise ship, because I don’t like cruises. But [laughs at own joke] that’s another story. But the fact is, if you have the condition that I’ve been speaking about over and over again to this group, namely an individual who has an underlying condition, particularly an elderly person who has an underlying condition, I would recommend strongly that they do not go on a cruise ship.” March 9, White House briefing.
“This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.” March 26, from the New England Journal of Medicine.
I don’t fault Fauci, and I don’t think he’s doing a poor job. My goal is not to pick on him. My point is that even our experts didn’t fully understand the disease. And they’re still learning.
Trump reacted quickly with shutting down flights to and from China, and then did so again with flights to and from Europe. We can argue forever about whether he could or should have done it sooner, but it was early on enough, that I don’t think there’s much to see here.
Unless, of course, you’re goal is to politicize this and ignore that it is something affecting all of us.