In that time “long before” he claimed the threat of the pandemic’s severity was widely acknowledged, Trump himself ignored multiple intelligence briefings warning him about the impending crisis and tossed aside the National Security Council’s 69-page playbook with guidelines on responding early to a pandemic.
And in the 100 days since Trump’s claim, even as the U.S. has seen over 114,000 deaths, he has moved to disrupt and dismantle even the limited infrastructure the administration had set up to address the crisis.
Trump disbanded the Coronavirus Task Force, reassigned testing czar Brett Giroir, and even suggested yesterday his intention to pull support from community-based testing sites nationwide — including in Texas, which is seeing a new surge in cases of the virus.
100 DAYS AGO THURSDAY: March 17, 2020
- Trump: “This is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”
… BUT BEFORE MARCH 17:
- On January 22: When Trump was asked in a CNBC interview whether he was concerned about a pandemic, Trump responded, “No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control.”
- On February 10: Trump suggested that the virus would “miraculously” go away by April.
- On March 7: Trump said “I’m not concerned at all” about COVID-19.