Donald Trump refused to take action on the virus for months.
A study from Columbia University published on Wednesday found that if the United States had issued a nationwide stay-at-home order to stop the spread of the new coronavirus just one week earlier than most Americans began to stay in, 36,000 lives could have been saved. The same study found that if an order had gone into effect on March 1 — two weeks earlier — roughly 54,000 lives could have been saved.
But Donald Trump on Wednesday said he wouldn't have changed anything about his coronavirus response, in which he downplayed the threat of the virus and refused to take action for more than two months, despite warnings from his own intelligence and public health experts advising him otherwise.
"Mr. President, with 4 percent of the world's population and 30 percent of the — of the outbreak, what would you have done differently facing this crisis?" a reporter asked Trump on Wednesday during a meeting with the governors of Arkansas and Kansas.
"Well, nothing," Trump replied. "If you take New York and New Jersey — which were very hard hit — we were very, very low."
Trump, for his part, was downplaying the virus in early March, squandering an opportunity to start a national response to slow the spread.
On March 9, days before governors began announcing stay-at-home orders, Trump was comparing the coronavirus to the "common flu."
"The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant. Surgeon General, 'The risk is low to the average American.'" Trump tweeted on March 9.
A day later on March 10, Trump said the virus would "go away."
And months later, Trump still refuses to say he would have done anything differently.
"We've done, you know, amazingly well," Trump said Wednesday.
To date, 93,408 people have died from the coronavirus, according to the New York Times' most recent count.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.