Trump's response to the coronavirus has endangered the livelihoods of US citizens

by Bukamuso Sebata

[Image: Brookings Institution. COVID-19 has left millions of Americans unemployed, thousands dead and millions hospitalised]

Covid-19 has been wreaking havoc globally since it emerged from Wuhan, China, last year in December. The US has become the leading hotspot in the world, surpassing China in the number of cases dramatically.

Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, has spent most of his time pretending like the problem is not there and that the cure will be available “very soon”, purposely misleading American citizens.

His focus has been more on shifting the blame rather than tackling the elephant in the room: thousands of Americans dying and millions of them contracting the virus. He’s adopted the term “Chinese virus” (and even recently calling it the “Kung flu”) as an alternative to Covid-19. The racist term has resulted in xenophobic attacks on Asian Americans and racism on a larger scale than before.

Trump accused the W.H.O. of being “biased” towards China. He believes that if the organisation had been forthcoming with what was going on, “the outbreak could have been contained at its source”. In a nutshell, he believes that the W.H.O. is responsible for the number of cases in the US.

An Asian American CNN reporter asked the president during a press conference why testing was so important if so many people were dying and he told her to ask China that “nasty” question.

Critics called him racist but he claimed he was being accurate since Covid-19 did come from China. Joe Biden, a nominee for the 2020 elections, said Trump was lashing out to cover his “incompetence” and “mismanagement” over the pandemic.

Former president Barack Obama has expressed his displeasure about the way Trump has gone about things, calling it an “absolute disaster” and that some of the people in charge are not even pretending to be doing anything.

When the US surpassed Italy and China in the number of cases, the president claimed they had “tremendous” control over things. However, hospitals stand a chance of being overwhelmed and some have run out of medical equipment. When they asked for assistance, they were told to “try getting it” themselves.

The president believes the US has so many cases because of the “tremendous testing” they do. He’s appeared in several press conferences with “AMERICA LEADS THE WORLD IN TESTING” signs flanking him on both sides.

The US has suffered a huge blow in the economy sector with over 3.3 million Americans filing for unemployment within just a week. Since the pandemic outbreak, the US has reported the highest number of job losses since the Great Depression. Because of this, the president has been eager to reopen the country so the economy can return to its former glorified position. Trump has called the job losses “nobody’s fault” and that numbers are not that big considering the size of the country.

The president confirmed that he’s taking an anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, to prevent an infection of Covid-19: “You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it. The frontline workers, many, many are taking it”, said Trump during an interview. “I happen to be taking it”, he added.

A few days later, a man from Arizona was reported dead after taking the same drug as the president. “We saw Trump on TV ... every channel ... and all of his buddies said that this was safe. Trump kept saying it was basically pretty much a cure”, said the wife of the deceased who was also on the drug.

When confirmed cases hit over 1.52 million, the president called the number a badge of honour: “So, when we have a lot of cases I don’t look at that as a bad thing. I look at that, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it means our testing is much better … I view it as a badge of honour. Really, it’s a badge of honour”.

The president has not expressed any sympathy or remorse over those infected or those who’ve lost their lives. According to him, the increase in numbers is simply proof that America is more advanced in testing than any other country.

As America prepares for the worst, the president has been running around trying to reassure a distressed nation but to no avail. Hundreds and hundreds of people are losing their lives daily and millions have contracted the virus.

The president’s handling of the pandemic has done very little to get rid of the fear and anxiousness looming over American citizens. With the rate that the numbers are going up daily, this is only the beginning of the worst for the country.

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