WASHINGTON, D.C. – One hundred days ago today, the Trump administration announced a 15-day plan to “Slow the Spread” of COVID-19 in the United States. The unveiling of CDC guidelines seemed to mark a shift in tone from top administration officials and poor example-setting by the president himself. But even at the press conference where Trump proudly claimed that, “with several weeks of focused action, we can turn the corner and turn it quickly,” he still refused to rebuke practices like going out to eat — widely denounced by health experts for being too risky — saying he’d consider the position of state leaders still encouraging their residents to do so.
In recent weeks, many states across the country have not appeared to adhere to social distancing and other public health guidelines to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, and states including Texas, Arizona, and Florida are seeing record COVID-19 cases. President Trump has also been pushing economic reopening at the expense of resurging infections.
While the United States and South Korea each diagnosed their first case of COVID-19 on the same day, by March 16, South Korea had tested 286,716 of its people and had 81 deaths whereas the United States had tested only 60,242 of its people and 100 had died. South Korea never instituted a nationwide lockdown. And despite a continued increase of about 30,000 new positive cases per day, exactly one month after the release of the “15 days to stop the spread” plan, the Trump administration released the “Opening Up America Again” plan.
“One hundred days ago, after weeks of reckless mismanagement, the Trump administration unveiled a 15-day plan to help curb the spread of COVID-19 — only to swiftly cast it aside in favor of ‘reopening’ plans,” said Jenna Kruse, spokesperson for Accountable.US. “The opportunity was there: we could have had national, impactful guidelines to curb the spread of infection and death in the United States. But the Trump administration refused to prioritize the health and safety of the American people.”
100 DAYS AGO WEDNESDAY: March 16, 2020
- The administration and CDC announced “15 days to slow the spread,” a tactic that relied heavily on social distancing and with the intent of limiting community spread.