FROM THE LEFT
Trump’s medical advice is dangerous
Warning: Trump’s medical advice at daily briefings could be dangerous to your health, putting you, your family and friends at risk of infection from COVID-19.
A short and frightening history of President Donald Trump’s leadership during this pandemic: In 2018, Trump disbanded the White House office setup by Obama to manage a global pandemic threat, eliminated the position of senior director for global health security and biodefense as part of a broader downsizing of the NSC spearheaded by then-National Security Adviser John Bolton, oversaw the loss of 61 disease prevention staff from the Center for Disease Control and tried to cut their budget, putting lives at risk from this pandemic.
Jan. 20, the first confirmed cases in the U.S. are reported in Washington state. Late January, Peter Navarro, Trump’s trade adviser, memo said, “This lack of protection(immunity, vaccine or cure) elevates the risk of the Coronavirus evolving into a full-blown pandemic, imperiling the lives of millions of Americans.” Jan. 31, Health and Human Service Secretary Azar, advises, Trump to finally halt air flights from China.
February, CDC virus testing materials are defective, causing weeks of delay for controlling COVID-19. Feb.28, Trump compares the coronavirus to the flu, calling it ‘the new Democrats’ hoax,’ at his rally. Later, Trump begins his TV show — daily news briefings, giving Americans a vision of his magical thinking; his estimate of virus cases going away in days, millions of test kits that will be available in a week or two, a vaccine will be available in just a few months and he begins pushing hydroxychloroquine, an unapproved drug, as a miracle cure.
COVID-19 infections spread to all 50 states, doctors and hospital staff, don’t have enough testing materials, personal protection equipment, masks, swabs or ventilators to meet the needs of patients or the protection of workers.
In March, when governors ask the federal government for these medical supplies, Trump tells them to find supplies, themselves. Trump has not invoke the Defense Production Act. Private companies are retooling to produce ventilators that won’t be available until June. Testing materials are being developed by private and university labs.
April 2, Jared Kushner, explains the Strategic National Stockpile of emergency medical supplies are not for use by the states; they are ‘ours’ — federal. At this same briefing, Trump’s supply chain is explained: government medical supplies are sent to private companies, governors then participate in high dollar bidding wars for those supplies. This isn’t a reality-TV show, it’s a national emergency and people are dying.
The facts of COVID-19: highly contagious, no immunity, easily transmitted by sneezing, coughing or touching contaminated surfaces that remain active for over two weeks. Severe cases can result in a temperature of 104, coughing up blood as it attacks the lungs, severe headaches, pneumonia and lung failure requiring a ventilator to breath, for weeks, often resulting in death. Seniors and people with pre-existing health conditions have a higher risk of severe illness .
The U.S. has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, over 500,000 to date and deaths predicted to be between 100,000-200,000.
We need a federal task force lead by someone with the distinction of General Russel Honore’, to oversee the purchase and distribution of medical equipment to all states, not just those politically connected to the White House. Task force news conferences would report their progress, plans for testing people before they return to work, with reliable medical information.
Stop televising Trump’s selfcongratulatory, propaganda filled news briefings, where he dispenses dangerous medical advice.
Testing remains dangerously limited in Lake County, testing is less than 1% of our population, while the infection rate of people tested is 6%.
Easter will be very difficult for everyone this year, especially for our first responders, front line medical personal, workers in our grocery stores, pharmacies, etc., all risking their lives to provide needed services for our community. We can support and help them by continuing to shelter in place, maintain social distancing and wearing face masks in public, to stop the spread of this deadly virus.
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