I’m sure you remember watching hours of pandemic press conferences featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Dr. Deborah Birx (who CNN called a “legend in global health”). When the two doctors spoke, President Trump listened.
Armed with graphs, data, and knowledge, these two professionals got the floor for long periods of time during the pressers. The nation watched intently as they spelled out what they believed was before us. They implored the citizens of the United States to “flatten the curve” so that hospitals would not be overrun with critical COVID-19 patients. The country unified around that mission, and then we flattened the curve.
The curve has been flattened for some time now. Hospitals never had to choose life or death between an elderly patient and a younger patient. We ended up manufacturing more ventilators than we needed. Free COVID-19 tests have been available for months across the country. We have been experiencing a shortage of personal protective equipment because we’ve been relying so heavily on China to provide that PPE, but now we understand why it’s so important to keep critical manufacturing within the United States.
I’m sure you will also remember the food and goods shortages at all the grocery stores when the pandemic began. There was a definite shortage of toilet paper—gold in an apocalypse. But even in pre-pandemic years, when a snowstorm came, people in Southern states would routinely buy up all the milk and bread over a half inch of snow.
People panicking when uncertainty strikes is a given. Luckily our president was busy deftly responding to the deadly pandemic while carefully listening to the experts and keeping a positive outlook regarding the future, choosing not to panic us further but instead to give us all the facts while taking care of business.
On March 19, the Washington Post reported that 2.2 million people in the United States could die if we didn’t flatten the curve and mitigate our chances of spreading COVID-19 unhampered. In fact, the same article noted that if we did the mitigation, we would still see 1.1 million people perish. Six months later, and the death toll is 190,714—as of this writing, only a fraction of what experts were expecting.
In the beginning, China lied to us about the virus transmission and their patsies in the World Health Organization parroted those lies to the world on January 14, tweeting “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.” According to a timeline published in the New York Post, the first COVID-19 positive patient in the United States was identified on January 21. The first known case that was contracted in the United States was on January 30.
President Trump shut down the borders to China on January 31. Joe Biden’s response was to call the president a xenophobe. Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi was in San Francisco’s Chinatown in late February telling people there was no reason to stay away.
That same month in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio allowed the Chinese New Year celebration to continue with thousands of people in the streets. The media’s main concern at the time was that the COVID-19 scare was somehow xenophobic.
On March 25, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo made the deadly decision to order nursing homes to take recovering COVID-19 patients back into their facilities rather than leaving them in hospitals until they tested negative or sending them to the USS Comfort. At least 4,300 patients were put back in their nursing homes resulting in thousands more deaths in New York state. New York state has had by far the most deaths of all the states and U.S. territories from COVID-1933,019 as of this writing.
While Cuomo, Biden, and Pelosi were all downplaying the virus and equating worry of viral spread with anti-Chinese bigotry, , President Trump and his administration were getting into high gear working on the systems and the task forces that would carry this country through the storm of 2020.
On January 20, Fauci announced the National Institutes of Health were already working on a vaccine. On January 21, the CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center. The Coronavirus Task Force began meeting in the White House on January 29. You can read the impressive timeline of the administration’s efforts here.
The response from the United States government during this pandemic is unmatched throughout history. Thank God for President Trump and his hard-working administration keeping so many millions of people alive through this harrowing time.