Top medical journal: Trump administration 'nowhere near' able to combat virus

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'Americans must put a president in the White House come January, 2021, who will understand that public health should not be guided by partisan politics,' a Lancet editorial said.

More than 110 days after the first coronavirus case was confirmed in the United States, the Trump administration is still not prepared to handle the pandemic, according the Lancet, one of the oldest and most respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world.

"The USA is still nowhere near able to provide the basic surveillance or laboratory testing infrastructure needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic," the journal wrote in an editorial on Friday.

The journal slammed the Trump administration for an abject lack of testing throughout the country, writing that the administration has regularly undermined the role of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Rather than rely on health experts at the CDC, officials are "obsessed with magic bullets — vaccines, new medicines, or a hope that the virus will simply disappear."

In February, Donald Trump claimed that the coronavirus would "miraculously" go away in April. The virus did not disappear, and more than 58,000 Americans died in April from the pandemic.

Moving forward, the Lancet recommended that Americans "must put a president in the White House come January, 2021, who will understand that public health should not be guided by partisan politics."

Health experts at the Lancet are not alone in criticizing Trump's coronavirus response, especially his administration's lack of preparedness.

An April report by Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), a member of the House Oversight Committee, published a report that found that "the U.S. should have been stockpiling medical supplies" during January and February, but the Trump administration failed to do so. Her investigation found that the administration "failed to prepare for COVID-19 and to protect the health of Americans."

The federal government was not prepared for the number of ventilators states needed, meaning states like Colorado and Arizona received only a fraction of the ventilators they initially requested.

On Thursday, Dr. Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, testified before Congress that Trump administration officials regularly ignored his warnings about the pandemic.

Also on Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany claimed the Trump administration was prepared for the crisis.

The administration "did a whole exercise on pandemic preparedness in August of last year and had an entire after-action report put together" on the matter, McEnany said, waiving around a three-ring binder in front of the cameras.

In fact, the 2019 exercise McEnany referred to showed "how underfunded, underprepared and uncoordinated the federal government would be for a life-or-death battle with a virus for which no treatment existed," according to a New York Times investigation.

As of Friday morning, more than 1.4 million people in the United States have confirmed coronavirus cases, and at least 85,843 people have died.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.