It takes a great deal of audacity to deny the scientific facts staring you right in the face. You have to be truly arrogant to do so.
And when such arrogance, coupled with the utter disregard for the lives of other human beings, is characteristic of the U.S. President, thousands of people die very preventable deaths.
* * *
Donald Trump’s ignorance started costing American lives even before the coronavirus had become a pandemic.
Fatal Mistake #1: A Missed Opportunity
On Jan 21, 2020, the United States reported its first case of the ‘Wuhan coronavirus’.
The very next day, the owner of America’s largest surgical face mask producer, Mike Bowen, contacted the Department of Health and Human Services. He said that his company, Prestige Ameritech, could produce 1.7 million N95 masks every week; however, it needed funding to resume the use of inactive manufacturing lines.
Bowen explained the need for American production of face masks: almost 90% of the country’s masks were internationally imported. Should those foreign imports cease, America would find itself in great danger.
As made apparent by the dire shortage of surgical face masks and other personal protection equipment (PPE), the government had turned down Bowen’s offer.
Their reasons for declining the offer?
Some officials said the government didn’t have the money to pay for the production of masks. Others, like White House economic adviser Peter Navarro, claimed that the mask company was too hard to communicate with or work with.
Basically, Trump and his administration did what they do best: they lied, and then blamed someone else for the problems they themselves had created.
Except that this was not just any problem; it was a matter of life and death.
Because when nurses, doctors, hospital sanitation workers, and other healthcare workers lack the proper equipment, when they are forced to reuse masks and protection that was only designed for one-time use, they get sick. Hundreds of essential healthcare workers have already died as result.
And when medical workers get sick, they cannot care for patients, and this can lead the entire healthcare system to the brink of collapse.
* * *
Fatal Mistake #2: Another Missed Opportunity
In the early days of the coronavirus, cases were rising exponentially and silently.
Countries like Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea initiated strict lockdown measures soon after the first case of COVID-19 appeared in the country.
The U.S., however, has a president whose arrogance led him to believe that he was smarter than every scientist or doctor, so he kept America open.
Trump’s ignorance towards science cost 54,000 lives. Because, according to epidemiologists at Columbia University, a lockdown on March 1 (which is only two weeks before America did go on lockdown) would have prevented 83% of deaths in America due to coronavirus.
If American officials had taken heed of the COVID-19 death toll in Italy, and had decided to go under lockdown a few days after them to ensure that we too did not suffer this death toll, 54,000 more people would be alive.
But Trump doesn’t care about saving people’s lives. He cares about money, as he proudly tweeted on March 9th:
“Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on.”
Unfortunately, thousands of American’s lives did not go on.
And their blood is on Trump’s hands.
* * *
Fatal Mistake #3: Undermining the Importance of Preventive Health Measures
For the first time ever, Trump acknowledged that the coronavirus could pose a health issue within the United States; this was on March 13th, 2020.
He declared a national emergency, which allowed him to increase federal funding to fight against the virus.
However, he also made sure to emphasize his belief that testing for the virus was “totally unnecessary.”
Considering the fact that, in less than two weeks after his statement, the U.S. had the most cases of the coronavirus in the world, it is clear that testing was not “unnecessary.”
On March 26th, Dr. Sara Keller, infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins, reported that America was the “new global epicenter of the disease.”
And the reason for this was not at all unclear.
Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University, explained that “this could have been stopped by implementing testing and surveillance much earlier — for example, when the first imported cases were identified.”
Unfortunately, Trump’s ignorance of the threat posed by pandemic, despite the mass graves filling with corpses worldwide, cost lives. His arrogance in undermining the effectiveness of testing cost more lives. And the easily-preventable shortage of masks cost even more lives.
But it only gets worse.
* * *
Fatal Mistake #4: Inciting Divisiveness, the Exact Opposite of What a Leader Should Be Doing During a Time of Crisis
As the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in America rose, Trump’s poll numbers started falling.
Apparently, even his Republican devotees were starting to lose faith in his abilities to lead a country during a pandemic.
And that did not make Donald Trump happy.
So, in a series of tweets that can only be described as unimaginably selfish and stupid, Trump urged his followers to protest the social-distancing and lockdown orders.
His tweets to “liberate” states like Michigan and Minnesota led citizens to engage in massive protests against the very public health measures that were keeping them safe.
At a time when Americans were already scared for their wellbeing, Trump was busy furthering the confusion and conflict.
The Governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, warned that the president’s messages would“encourage illegal and dangerous acts”, “putting millions of people in danger of contracting Covid-19.”
But Donald Trump couldn’t care less about the health and safety of other human beings. He was too focused on staying in power.
Meanwhile, countries like New Zealand and Taiwan were showing the world that eliminating the virus was not impossible. Their leaders urged their citizens to take this pandemic seriously.
They did not bring politics into this. They appealed to the humanity of their citizens, asking them to cooperate with the medical experts during this time of crisis, in order to protect themselves and their loved ones.
All they asked of their country’s citizens was to focus on the greater good, which was to save lives.
They have shown that common sense, cooperation, and a bit of self-discipline are all it really takes to combat COVID-19.
But this requires the country’s leader to possess a certain degree of common sense, empathy, and self-discipline.
It requires him to possess the desire for cooperation.
Unfortunately, Trump and his supporters lack all these traits. Especially common sense.
* * *
Fatal Mistake #5: Expressing Unimaginable Stupidity
My five-year-old sister knows that cleaning solutions like Lysol and Clorox are only for cleaning.
Unfortunately, Trump seems to have skipped essential learning milestones in his life, because he didn’t seem to know this, as he actually suggested that perhaps an “injection” of disinfectant could prevent the coronavirus.
And, as he does with most topics of which he has no knowledge, Trump spoke about it on television.
Thankfully, most people are not at that level of stupidity.
But some were exactly that stupid. That same week, a man in Kansas drank a cleaning solution.
When Trump was asked about whether he claimed any responsibility, he actually said, “I can’t imagine why,” referring to someone drinking disinfectant.
Does this man have no conscience at all?
* * *
Fatal Mistake #6: Blaming Everyone Else
It’s no secret that Trump loves to point fingers, to deflect any blame from himself.
Initially, when the pandemic first hit America, Trump had no idea who to blame, so he blamed the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO is made up of doctors and public health experts, and it has one job: to make the world a safer and healthier place.
By cutting crucial American funding from the WHO, Trump has endangered not just all of America, but the entire world.
After refusing to take any responsibility for the 100,000 plus Americans who had now died of the virus, Trump needed a new target to blame.
So he decided that his new theory is that China, which suffered from 4,600 deaths due to the coronavirus, started this pandemic on purpose, to hurt America.
At this point, the entire world is pitying America because of their ignorant president and his complete lack of leadership, but Trump is too focused on himself to care.
* * *
Fatal Mistake #7: Making Everything About Himself
He really believes that people wear face masks to signal their disapproval of him.
We have a narcissistic, narrow-minded child in charge of this country.
While COVID-19 patients are overwhelming hospitals nationwide, while so many people are dying every single day, Trump’s main concern is that he is re-elected.
He just recently sent the national health secretary, Alex Azar, to visit the swing states — where Republicans were now reluctant to vote for Trump — and convince them to vote for this narcissist.
Trump realizes that most Republicans no longer trust his ‘leadership’, so he is willing to tell any lie that will boost his plummeting poll numbers.
He had the nerve to claim that 99% of coronavirus cases were “totally harmless.”
I would like him to say that to the faces of the families of the 144,963 Americans who died from this virus.
I would like him to say that to the doctors and nurses who are sacrificing their time, energy, and emotional well-being to save lives.
I want him to say that to the thousands of people who are now on ventilators, and the thousands more who will experience respiratory problems for the rest of their lives, because they were infected with this virus.
* * *
Fatal Mistake #8: Fostering Mistrust of Medical Professionals
Despite being in the depths of a deadly pandemic, the president has proven too ignorant to lead this country. Even today, after 144,963 deaths due to the coronavirus, he retweeted this:
“Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most, that we are told to trust. I think it’s all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I’m sick of it.”
That is pathetic. He truly believes all of America exists solely to revolve around him.
Furthermore, the fact that he, along with his administration, keep trying to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci, a well-respected researcher and doctor, is appalling.
Not only did Dr. Fauci, along with his research colleagues, develop a cure for vasculitis — a disease in which inflammation of the blood vessels results in death — but he has since then saved countless lives while serving under six federal administrations. He helped saved numerous patients amidst HIV/AIDS crisis the during the presidency of George H.W. Bush, guided George W. Bush through the anthrax attacks following 9/11, and helped President Obama with both the Ebola and Zika viruses.
But Donald Trump is too ignorant to listen to Dr. Fauci’s medical expertise, even when his arrogance costs thousands of American’s lives.
Unfortunately, Trump’s words are blindly accepted by most Republicans, many of whom are elderly and need medical attention. Now, he has stirred up doubt and mistrust in the minds of millions of Americans in regards to medicine and healthcare, which will undoubtedly cause even more deaths in the near future.
* * *
Donald Trump is responsible for the deaths of 144,963 Americans, and his ‘leadership’ will cause the coronavirus to take the lives of thousands more.
Trump has expressed zero remorse for those who have died from the coronavirus.
He has shown no empathy — at all — for their families.
And he has taken absolutely no responsibility for his role in their deaths.
The president’s response to the pandemic has proven his grave lack of humanity.
And his ignorance is only helping the virus spread.
A message to Trump supporters:
If you are still a Trump supporter, if you still vote for him, and if he wins the upcoming election, then there is blood on your hands, too.
You will be responsible for the deaths that will result from a lack of political leadership in a time of crisis.
You will be responsible for the deaths that will result from a lack of common sense in a time where mind-numbingly simple strategies will save countless lives.
Because Trump will not change.
But this country’s political leadership must.
So please, develop a conscience.
The lives of the remaining 328.2 million Americans depend upon it.
Previously published on “Equality Includes You”, a Medium publication.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: Charles Deluvio