In the span of five days, Trump declared a national emergency, told Americans 'not to panic,' and then announced the 'world is at war' with coronavirus.
Donald Trump said Americans will win the war against the new coronavirus on Tuesday, days after urging the public to "relax" about the ongoing global health pandemic.
"The world is at war with a hidden enemy," Trump tweeted. "WE WILL WIN!"
The comments came just two days after Trump told Americans to take it easy.
"You don't have to buy so much," Trump said at a Sunday press conference about the coronavirus outbreak, speaking about reports of empty shelves at grocery stores. "Take it easy. Relax."
Trump also urged the nation to remain calm at a Saturday press conference, telling "the media and politicians and everybody else involved not do anything to incite a panic, because there's no reason to panic at all."
Trump had declared the outbreak a national emergency just one day prior.
The Trump administration has been criticized for early failures to contain the outbreak as well as inconsistent messaging throughout the crisis.
A whistleblower complaint filed in February and obtained by the Washington Post and New York Times alleged that administration officials allowed federal workers tending to possible coronavirus patients to do so without proper protective gear or medical training. The complaint further alleged that the federal workers then interacted with the general public, unaware that they may have been exposed to the virus.
Further, according to ProPublica, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's earliest attempts at a coronavirus test were allegedly flawed and "falsely flagged the presence of the other viruses in harmless samples." It took weeks for new tests to be created and distributed to state and local labs, setting back initial response efforts.
Trump has repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of the situation, at times contradicting health experts in his own administration.
In late February, Trump falsely claimed that COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, was not as dangerous as the flu. At the time, the Associated Press reported that there was not enough evidence to make such a claim.
On March 4, Trump also went on Fox News and declared that the World Health Organization was wrong in stating the death rate for COVID-19 was approximately 3.4%.
He said he had a "hunch" that the death rate was closer to 1%, but did not provide any evidence to back that claim.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.