By all accounts, Trump’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic has been a disaster, for months.
He has repeatedly ignored expert advice, from the day that he ignored warnings from security staff in January that a pandemic was heading toward the U.S.
Earlier this week, historian and Washington Post columnist, Max Boot labeled Trump as the “worst president, ever” saying that “with his catastrophic mishandling of the coronavirus, Trump has established himself as the worst president in U.S. history.”
Documenting Trump’s chaotic and contradictory statements on the pandemic would be a full time job. Max Boot picks out some examples, where Trump said in January “it was totally under control,” to February where he added the outbreak would soon be “down to close to zero.” Now, Trump is arguing that if only 100,000 to 200,000 people die it will mean as Commander-in-Chief, he has done “a very good job.”
Yesterday, CNN pointed out that the “chaos and confusion rocking President Donald Trump’s administration” was “exceptional even by his own standards.” While a record number of Americans have died, Trump bragged that “we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel.”
He then attacked the World Health Organization, the United Nations’ organization helping coordinate the pandemic response globally for no reason. Everything about the president’s response has a “sense of farce,” reported CNN.
The bottom line is that most commentators believe that Trump’s farcical response has – and will – cost lives, by both not taking the pandemic seriously enough and by doing nothing when he should have acted way faster and sooner.
His actions to appease the oil industry in the crisis could also be costing lives, too.
As I have blogged after oil industry lobbying, on March 20th, the CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, Mike Sommers, wrote to Trump, demanding assistance in the form of “temporarily waiving non-essential compliance obligations.”
In a follow up letter to the head of the EPA on March 23rd, the API lobbied for a range of measures to help the industry. Only three days later, on March 26th, the EPA issued what The Hill called “a sweeping suspension of its enforcement of environmental laws.”
By relaxing these rules, air pollution will get worse.
And now researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have examined air pollution and COVID-19 fatalities and determined that air pollution will exacerbate COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.
They found that because “long-term exposure” to small particulates, known as PM2.5s, “adversely affects the respiratory and cardiovascular system, it can also exacerbate the severity of the COVID-19 infection symptoms and may increase the risk of death in COVID-19 patients.”
They concluded that a “small increase in long-term exposure to PM2.5 leads to a large increase in COVID-19 death rate, with the magnitude of increase 20 times that observed for PM2.5 and all-cause mortality.”
They added that “the study results underscore the importance of continuing to enforce existing air pollution regulations to protect human health both during and after the COVID-19 crisis.”
This is exactly the opposite to what Trump has done.