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Did Trump Play the Fiddle?

March 29, 2020

Friends –
We are in the middle of a global fight against a pandemic. At this point we must all pull together for the sake of our country and the world.

The news on the pandemic was slow coming. When the news hit, like the pandemic, it hit hard. We were all thrown into a state of controlled chaos. As of today, there are 124,217 confirmed cases in the United States. We are told the worst is yet to come. We are in the eye of the storm waiting and hunkering down.

In time, if we are fortunate, we will survive this pandemic. Hopefully the loss of life will be limited by brave healthcare providers. A pandemic by its very nature is global and not easy to stop. Even under the best of circumstances lives will be lost.

History will eventually tell the story. Our government at all levels is trying to do the best it can. While I support our government, I also believe that our government was not as prepared as it could or should have been. Our local, state and federal government could and should have been far better prepared.

We do know that the Trump administration was warned they would very likely face a global pandemic. The outgoing Obama administration warned the Trump team. Again in 2017, Dr Anthony Fauci rang the alarm bell. He warned the Trump administration that the federal government must prepare for a global pandemic. Most of Dr. Fauci’s calls for action and preparation went unheeded by Trump. Then what the Obama Administration and  Dr Fauci predicted finally occurred.

As early as November 2019 , the White House was made aware of  a report from the National Center for Medical Intelligence regarding  COVID-19. According to ABC News, the report, Which contained  data intercepts and satellite imagery, determined that the coronavirus was a potential threat to U.S. troops in the region. “Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event,” 

By December 2019, the Chinese government  was forced to acknowledge the threatening pandemic. While Our government claims it was not aware of the pandemic’s threat before early January, it seems that our Government likely knew of the pandemic much earlier.

At a minimum, it’s undeniable that by early January, President Trump was provided intelligence briefings regarding the pandemic. The first death in this country was in Washington state on February 29, 2020.

I calculate that President Trump had at least two months to prepare to fight this pandemic. He had January and February. I wanted to know what the President of the United States did during the two months he had to prepare for the pandemic. I wanted to know what steps he took to protect us.

Two months is not a long time to prepare to fight a global pandemic. I would think every day would count. With just two months to prepare to fight this pandemic Trump did very little. In his public statements he minimized the pandemic. By his actions he mostly seems to have ignored the enormous threat.

I started with a calendar of Trumps activities. I added to it Trumps tweets, statements and golf outings. It is not comprehensive. Nor is it pretty. It reveals Trump’s lack of attention to the pandemic. You can judge for yourself whether he did enough to protect us. In my opinion, he was focused on almost everything but the pandemic. While He took some steps, ultimately he failed to provide the leadership that one would expect from a President. Given his history, Trumps failure to provide critical leadership comes as no surprise.

Robb Fickman

Trump Timeline

December 31
Health officials in Wuhan, China, announce they’re investigating a pneumonia outbreak that is spreading in their city.

January 1, 2020
Chinese authorities close Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.

January 5
Trump returns to DC after spending holidays at Mar-a-Lago

January 8
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes a health advisory regarding the “pneumonia of unknown etiology” that appears to have originated in Wuhan.

Trump received intelligence reports warning him of the virus and urging him to take action.

One US official said, “The system was blinking red. Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other people in the government were — they just couldn’t get him to do anything about it.”

January 8
Trump wishes North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un happy birthday calling him a very good friend

January 9
Trump holds rally in Toledo

January 14
Trump holds rally in Milwaukee

January 15
House votes to impeach Trump
Senate trial begins

January 17
The CDC sends 100 staffers to US airports to screen passengers arriving from Wuhan, a highly unusual step only taken during major health crises.

January 17
Trump entertains LSU football team

January 18
Trump plays golf at West Palm Beach

January 19
Trump brags on the greatness of his administration to the American Farm Bureau

January 21
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, a senior CDC official handling respiratory diseases, tells the press “ we do expect additional cases in the United States and globally.”

January 22
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump says he isn’t worried that the outbreak could turn into a global pandemic. Trump says “We have it totally under control,”

January 23
CDC advisers announce that Chinese officials haven’t released basic epidemiological data, making it more difficult to contain the outbreak.

January 24
Trump posts his first tweet about the virus,
“China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!”

January 25
The WHO reports that there are more than 1,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

January 26
Chinese government health officials reveal that people who are infected with coronavirus can spread the disease before they show any symptoms.

January 28
Trump holds rally in Wildwood New Jersey

January 29
The White House announces a coronavirus task force, which is led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
Trump tweets the experts “are on top of it.”

January 30
The World Health Organization declares a public health emergency of international concern. The State Department issues a “ do not travel” warning for China due to the virus.

January 30
Trump holds rally in Des Moines, Iowa

January 31
The Trump administration declares a public health emergency in the United States because of the coronavirus and blocks foreigners who visited China from entering the country. 200 Americans are evacuated from China.

February 1
The WHO says there are more than 10,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

February 1
Trump plays golf at West Palm Beach

February 2
Trump plays golf at West Palm Beach

February 4
Azar and Mulvaney brief lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Few lawmakers are in attendance.

February 4
Trump delivers State of the Union Speech. The speech lasted 1 hour and 18 minutes.
During the speech Trump spoke less than one minute about the pandemic. He said,
“Protecting Americans’ health also means fighting infectious diseases. We are coordinating with the Chinese government and working closely together on the coronavirus outbreak in China. My administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat.”

February 6
The WHO announces there are more than 25,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

February 6

In Santa Clara California, New information suggests the first US death from the virus  occurred on this date.Read in San Francisco Chronicle:

February 6
Trump celebrates his acquittal
and fires Lt C. Vindman

February 7
Trump speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Trump tweets China “will be successful” in stopping the coronavirus, “especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone.”

Scientists snd health experts reject Trump’s theory saying it’s too early to know how the weather will effect the virus.

February 9
Trump attends the National Governors Association Dinner.
In his short remarks he brags about his new deal with China and makes no mention of the

February 10
Trump holds a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire,
Where he again states that “in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”

February 11
Trump tweets complaining about the sentence for Roger Stone

February 13
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield Contradicts Trump saying the coronavirus “is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year

February 15
The WHO announces there are more than 50,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

February 15
Trump plays golf at West Palm Beach

February 17
Trump commutes sentences of
Ron Blagojevich and Michael Milken

February 19
The WHO announces there are more than 75,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

Trump fires acting director of National Intelligence

Trump holds rally in Phoenix

February 20
Trump holds rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado

February 21
Trump holds rally in Las Vegas

February 24
The White House requests
$2.5 billion to deal with the coronavirus emergency.

Trump tweets, “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.”

Trump begins 2 day visit to India and visits Taj Mahal

February 25
The CDC announces that it’s inevitable that The coronavirus will spread in the US and that Americans need to prepare for disruptions to their daily lives.

February 25
Trump states that the virus is “a problem that’s going to go away.”

Trump states
“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.”

February 25
Speaking on Fox Business, Trump spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said because of travel policies enacted by the President, coronavirus would not continue to come, “We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here.

February 26

At a White House press conference, Trump defends his administration’s response to the coronavirus. Trump
contradicts the CDC stating
“I don’t think it’s inevitable. I think that there’s a chance that it could get worse, a chance it could get fairly substantially worse, but nothing’s inevitable.”

February 26
Trump states,
“ Because of all we’ve done, the risk to the American people remains very low. …

Trump announces Vice President Pence will be in charge of US response to pandemic

February 27
The WHO announces there are more than 82,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

February 27
Trump holds rally in North Charleston, South Carolina

February 28
Trump states, “ It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”

February 29
Washington state announced what was then believed to be the first coronavirus death inside the United States.

Trump administration issues new travel warnings for South Korea, Iran and Italy.

February 29
During White House press conference Trump
concedes that “additional cases in the United States are likely.”

March 1
Trump holds rally in Charlotte, North Carolina

March 5
Trump signs the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriation Act

Trump refers to the governor of Washington state as a snake

March 7
Trump plays golf at West Palm Beach

March 8
Trump plays golf at West Palm Beach

March 10:
Trump states
“And it hit the world. And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”

March 12
DOW drops 10%, the worst day since 1989

March 12
Trump declares National Emergency to combat Coronavirus

March 15
Trump States , “This is a very contagious virus. It’s incredible. But it’s something that we have tremendous control over.”

March 16
Trump states,
“If you’re talking about the virus, no, that’s not under control for any place in the world.”

March 17
Trump States
“ I’ve always known this is a, this is a real, this is a pandemic … I’ve felt that it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”

March 18
Trump tweets
“ I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the “borders” from China – against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!”

March 18
Confirmed cases worldwide
Confirmed cases in U.S.
Confirmed cases in Texas
Confirmed deaths worldwide
Confirmed deaths in U.S.
Confirmed deaths in Texas

March 29
Confirmed cases worldwide
Confirmed cases in U.S.
Confirmed cases in Texas
Confirmed deaths worldwide
Confirmed deaths in U.S.
Confirmed deaths in Texas

March 29
Trump asserts that millions could have died so if his administration keeps the death toll to 100,000, it will have done “a very good job”.

April 5, 2020

Trump claims all hospitals had what they needed

April 6,2020

Hospitals around the country complain of shortage of PPE and lack of support from Federal Government. Trump encourages use of unproven drugs and refuses to let Dr Fauci answer questions about the dangers of unproved treatments. Dr. Fauci says “ the US is struggling to get virus outbreak under control.”


-Timeline: How Trump was out of step with the CDC during coronavirus response
By Marshall Cohen and Curt Merrill, CNN
Published March 2, 2020

-Business Insider, A comprehensive timeline of the new coronavirus pandemic, from China’s first COVID-19 case to the present
* Holly Secon, Aylin Woodward and Dave Mosher Mar 27, 2020, 12:59 PM


Houston Chronicle

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