|In the Rose Garden four days ago.
Photo Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
But from mid-January, when the Chinese government published the genome of the novel Coronavirus, through most of last week, Trump was actively muzzling the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to keep all the talk about a pandemic tamped down in order to keep the only thing Trump seems to care about -- the Dow Jones Average -- plumped up and soaring like a fat goose.
Where we are now -- sequestered in our homes as the economy crashes and unknowing what a visitor might be bringing to our door -- is largely because little accurate testing for the Coronavirus existed in this country from mid-January through the end of February, and if you don't think Trump's muzzling of the CDC had something to do with that, then you're possibly eager to attend a big Trump rally right now.
Trump's public performance, whether on Twitter or in front of the press -- until his about-face yesterday -- has been ignorant and dangerous:
Jan. 22: “We have it totally under control.”
Jan. 24: “It will all work out well.”
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 it. So that I can assure you.”
Feb. 10: “I think the virus is going to be — it’s going to be fine.”
Feb. 14: “We have a very small number of people in the country, right now, with it. It’s like around 12. Many of them are getting better. Some are fully recovered already. So we’re in very good shape.”
Feb. 19: “I think it’s going to work out fine. I think when we get into April, in the warmer weather, that has a very negative effect on that and that type of a virus. So let’s see what happens, but I think it’s going to work out fine.”
Feb. 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. … Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”
Feb. 25: “You may ask about the coronavirus, which is very well under control in our country. We have very few people with it, and the people that have it are … getting better. They’re all getting better. … As far as what we’re doing with the new virus, I think that we’re doing a great job.”
Feb. 25: “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus, including the very early closing of our borders to certain areas of the world.”
Feb. 26: “Because of all we’ve done, the risk to the American people remains very low. … 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."
Feb. 28: “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”