Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Day by day: What Trump administration officials and sycophants said about the virus (March 13-31, 2020)


Deborah Birx
White House Coronavirus Task Force Response Coodinator
Photo credit:  Wikipedia

Rev, 3/30/2020
I mean, I don’t know if you heard the report this morning, there’s 8,000 ventilators in the UK. If you translate that to the United states, that would be like the United states having less than 40,000 ventilators. We have five times that amount. So I mean, these are the things that everybody is having to face, and I think the United states is in an excellent position from our medical care position.  [emphasis added]
Medical News Today (highlight and arrow added)

USA Today, 4/8/2020


Mike Lindell
My Pillow CEO
Photo credit:  MDDDaily Record

Rev, 3/30/2020
God gave us grace on November 8, 2016, to change the course we were on. God had been taken out of our schools and lives. A nation had turned his back on God and I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the Word, read our Bibles and spend time with our families. Our president gave us so much hope, where just a few short months ago, we had the best economy, the lowest unemployment and wages going up. It was amazing. With our great president, vice president, and this administration and all the great people in this country praying daily, we will get through this and get back to a place that’s stronger and safer than ever.

Yes, folks, Trump turned his White House Covid briefings into campaign rallies.


3/29/2021 update starts here

Steven Mnuchin
Trump Treasury Secretary
Dictionary entry from Merriam-Webster
(see also 3/16/2021)

But Mnuchin said he believes the stimulus program will be "enormously successful in stabilizing the U.S. economy" and providing assistance for those who lost their jobs or can't work because of the coronavirus. 
"This money is going to go into the economy very quickly. It is going to help American workers very, very quickly," he said. "I don't know how long it's going to take to kill this virus. I do know we will kill this virus, and when we do, I have great confidence that the U.S. economy will come roaring back."

Washington Post, 1/8/2021


3/28/2020 update starts here

Ron DeSantis
Florida Governor

CNN, 3/28/2020
"Do you hear the same people complaining about the New York City subway system being open? I mean, give me a break. Which one is more conducive to having Covid-19 spread or any respiratory virus? It's not even close," DeSantis said in response to keep beaches open.

DeSantis continued to make one bad decision after another in his response to the pandemic, which resulted in dramatic spikes in July and January and a worrisome increase in new cases taking place now.

New York Times (arrows added)

And in late July, this happened.

The Hill, 6/25/2020


3/28/2021 update starts here

Peter Navarro
Trump Assistant

Rev, 3/27/2020
They are literally the lifeline for people. And I personally have been working with FEMA and I’ve been working with HHS and over 10 ventilator companies, making sure we can get what we need as quickly as possible. And virtually every one of those companies has been cooperative, patriotic, moving in Trump time, which is to say as soon as possible, sir. But we did have a problem with GM and Ventech. [emphasis added]

8 months later.

Reuters, 12/2/2020
But of the 140,000 machines added since then by the government to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile, almost half were basic breathing devices that don’t meet what medical specialists say are the minimum requirements for ventilators needed to treat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, the main cause of death among COVID-19 patients, according to a Reuters review of publicly-available device specifications and interviews with doctors and industry executives. 
Only about 10% are full intensive care unit (ICU) ventilators of a type that doctors and ventilator specialists say they would normally use to intubate patients suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome or ARDS, the Reuters review found. The remainder - or about 40% - are transport ventilators normally employed for shorter periods but are considered sophisticated enough to be used long enough for ARDS patients to recover. 


3/26/2021 update starts here.

Jerome Adams
Trump Surgeon General
(see also 3/13/2021)

CNN, 3/26/2020
He also talked about the importance of testing. “By this time next week, we expect to be close to two million tests,” he said. 
Other than provision of medical supplies to areas that need them most, Adams reiterated the importance of the general public taking social distancing and good hygiene practices seriously. According to Adams, the disease runs its course about six to eight weeks after strict social distancing, as seen in China and other parts of Asia. 
By decreasing the number of infected people, he explained, the demand for supplies would also decrease. “The way we get out of this crisis is to lower demand,” he said.
One month later
STAT, 4/27/2020

16 weeks later


3/25/2021 update starts here

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
World Health Organization Director-General

CNBC, 3/25/2020
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus singled out President Donald Trump, whom he said he spoke with Tuesday, for doing a “great job” in leveraging public and private sector resources to fight the pandemic.“
Fighting this pandemic needs political commitment and commitment at the highest level possible and the president’s commitment, you have already seen it,” Tedros said at a news briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. “And that kind of leadership is very, very important, the whole of government approach, to mobilize all sectors to suppress the pandemic. So I know he’s doing all he can.”

Apparently, he recognized a kindred spirit in Trump.  Both men led botched responses to the pandemic.

Business Wire, 5/4/2020

The Atlantic, 8/4/2020

New York Times, 10/22/2020


Ron DeSantis
Governor of Florida

Desantis takes an early and totally unwarranted victory lap.

Rev, 3/24/2020

A bit too smug, as things turned out.

New York Times (arrows added)


Larry Kudlow
Trump Director of National Economic Council
Photo credit;  Gage Skidmore via Wikipedia

Axios, 3/23/2020
What he's saying: 
"We can't shut in the economy. The economic cost to individuals is just too great, so let's see how this thing plays out. More testing is essential, and we're loading up with tests now. That's going to be a big help. But the president is right. The cure can't be worse than the disease. And we're going to have to make some difficult trade-offs." 
Kudlow famously said on CNBC on Feb. 25 that the U.S. had "contained" the coronavirus and that while the outbreak is a “human tragedy,” it would likely not be an “economic tragedy."

During the Trump Administration's inept "15 Days to Slow the Spread campaign (March 15-29), a period when Americans were instructed to avoid groups of more than 10 poeple, the daily number of new cases increased from 3,830 to 149,554 -- 3800% increase. 

It's no wonder the U.S. ended up where it did.

New York Times 
(arrows added; longer arrow indicates extent of "tremendous
control" exerted by Trump administration over the virus)


3/22/2021 update starts here

Anthony Fauci
NIAID Director , NIH

The Hill, 3/22/2020

How to tell the president he's wrong without telling him he's wrong.
“I don’t want to embarrass him,” Fauci, who has become one of the public faces of the administration's response, told The New York Times in an interview published on Saturday. "I don’t want to act like a tough guy, like I stood up to the president. I just want to get the facts out. And instead of saying, ‘You’re wrong,’ all you need to do is continually talk about what the data are and what the evidence is."


3/21/2020 update starts here

Judd Deere
Trump mouthpiece

(Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Press Secretary)

Politico, 3/21/2020
The White House said that Trump’s leadership had sparked an "unprecedented collaboration" of government and private industry to curb the virus’ spread and ramp up the response. “The president has no higher priority than the health and safety of the American people and he is working around the clock to ensure we emerge from this crisis healthy, safe, and strong,” said spokesperson Judd Deere.

Judd will routinely spout such sycophantic gibberish for the remainder of Trump's presidency. 


Apparently, COVIDIOT Pence is too dumb or intimidated to speak for himself.

Mike Pence
Vice President

ABC 13 News, 3/20/2020

But wait, there's more!

NBC News, 5/8/2020

CNN, 10/25/2020
Pence, who is known to rarely wear a mask while flying on Air Force Two, traveled on Saturday to Florida for campaign rallies in Lakeland and Tallahassee. The vice president walked across the tarmac from Marine Two in a mask and boarded Air Force Two about an hour behind schedule. 
Pence emerged maskless from Air Force Two in Florida, running down the steps and jogging across the tarmac, fist pumping as he approached the podium. The vice president's office released the statement on Short moments after Pence landed back at Andrews Air Force Base.

Axios, 10/25/2020


3/19/2021 update starts here

Stephen Hahn
Trump FDA Commissioner

C-SPAN, 3/19/2020 (highlights added below)

The real story

MedCity News, 8/25/2020

The Hill, 9/24/2020
The recent press conference announcing an FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 convalescent plasma seems like something we — a physician who has cared for dozens of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and an infectious disease epidemiologist — should cheer. Instead, we were shocked and saddened to see another government institution brought low. This time, it was the FDA and its commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn, whose names and reputations were sullied and whose actions seemingly endanger the public health.


3/18/2021 update starts here

Mark Esper
Trump Defense Secretary

Rev, 3/18/2020
As I announced yesterday, the Department of Defense will make available up to 5,000,000 N95 respirator masks and other personal protective equipment from our own strategic reserves to the Department of Health and Human Services for distribution. The first one million masks will be available immediately. We are also prepared to distribute to HHS up to 2000 operational deployable ventilators for use as needed.

Snopes, 4/24/2020


3/17/2021 update starts here

Seema Vedra, Administrator
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Rev, 3/17/2020
Sycophancy at the podium.  As the president announced earlier, we are doing a dramatic expansion of what’s known as telehealth for our 62 million Medicare beneficiaries who are amongst the most vulnerable to the Coronavirus. We’re acting in accord with the appropriations bill that was signed on March 6th, as well as the president’s emergency declaration last week. This action is a part of our broader effort to ensure that government requirements, rules and regulations, don’t get in the way of patient care during an emergency.

And we all know how well this worked out.

The Atlantic, /12/4/2020


3/16/2021 update starts here

Steven Mnuchin
Trump Treasury Secretary
Dictionary entry from Merriam-Webster

ABC News, 3/15/2020
Responding to ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on whether there will be a recession, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, "I don't think so. The real issue is not the economic situation today. … This is a unique situation. We are going to have a slowdown. Later in the year economic activity will pick up as we confront this virus."

One year later 

Joblessness remains high and millions report that their households did not get enough to eat or are not caught up on rent payments. We are able to track the extent of this hardship thanks to nearly real-time data from several sources on the unfolding economic crisis. 
The impacts of the pandemic and the economic fallout have been widespread, but are particularly prevalent among Black, Latino,[1] Indigenous, and immigrant households. These disproportionate impacts reflect harsh, longstanding inequities — often stemming from structural racism — in education, employment, housing, and health care that the current crisis is exacerbating.


3/15/2020 update starts here

Alex Azar
Trump Health & Human Services Secretary

Rev, 3/5/2020
We don’t disclose concrete numbers on particular items for national security purposes, but we have many ventilators, thousands and thousands of ventilators in our system. We have received so far only, I think, one request for just several ventilators.

3 days later 

New York Times, 3/18/2020


3/14/2021 update starts here

Former Vice President
Mike Pence

Mike Pence, shilling for the cruise industry

Rev, 3/14/2020
We want to commend the cruise line industry for working with us. And as we met last week on this day with cruise line industry executives, we’re going to be working very vigorously over the next 30 days to implement new policies that’ll ensure that when the cruise lines start back up, there’ll be safer and healthier places than ever before. But a great industry. American people love it and enjoy it and we’re going to make sure that it’s there for many, many years to come.

Interceept, 3/14/2020


3/13/2021 update starts here

Jerome Adams
Trump Surgeon General
KICK104, 3/13/2020
He noted that wearing a mask does not help you at all when it comes to Coronavirus. He continued by sharing that surgical masks are designed to protect other people from you, and the N95 masks that health care workers wear are designed specifically for those industries and they may make matters worse because they will cause you to touch your face even more.
Related Jerome Adams post:
On 2/4/2020, Adams asserted, "Flu is a much bigger risk to the average person."
Related 'Day by Day' posts:

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