The Latest Drive to Blame Trump

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates appeared on Fox News Sunday in which he reiterated his 2018 statement that the world should be “preparing for a pandemic in the same serious way it prepares for war.” Gates, whose foundation -- the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation -- has invested heavily in global health, suggested staging simulations, war games, and preparedness exercises to simulate how diseases could spread and to identify the best response.  The concluding analysis, as per the mainstream media (and certain social/online communications), is that the Trump administration has done exactly the opposite.

Among the evidence to prove their argument has been Trump’s cutting funding for the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and its infectious disease research.  For fiscal year 2020, Trump proposed cutting the CDC budget by US $1.3 billion, nearly 20% below the 2019 level. This is a complete falsehood.

While it is true that among the president’s budget proposals was one to reduce funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Congress never enacted those cuts.  Some Democrats, such as former Vice President Joe Biden went so far as to say at a CNN townhall on February 26 that Trump “tried to defund the CDC.”  Again, President Trump proposed reducing the CDC budget -- some years by double-digit percentages -- not completely defunding it.  Incidentally, Democrats, including Biden, have since dropped the qualifier “tried” from their claims, saying that Trump had reduced the CDC funding.  On ABC’s “This Week” on March 1, Biden said: “They’ve cut the funding for the CDC.”

As late as March 13, critics kept accusing that Trump did away with the “Pandemic Response Team” in 2018, which would have prevented the COVID-19 altogether.  The anomaly in this is that there was no "Pandemic Response Team."  

While failed presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg said that Trump had “fired” the government’s pandemic expert Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer, in reality, he voluntarily left the National Security Council (NSC) after then-National Security Advisor John Bolton was appointed.  Not to mention, as U.S. State Department Peter Van Buren points out, that Ziemer was only a bureaucratic coordinator on the NSC, originally a George Bush anti-malaria appointee after his naval aviation career, with little real-world pandemic experience.  In fact, Ziemer’s duties were reassigned inside the NSC to a new biodefense directorate.

A continual criticism against the Trump administration, especially from New York governor Andrew Cuomo, is the botched production of ventilators. This failure, in fact, took place under President Barack Obama just after the H1N1 pandemic.  It had been assumed that about 70,000 ventilators should be stockpiled, but due to a failure of oversight by the Obama administration, the project ultimately produced zero ventilators. Last year the Trump administration approved a new design to kickstart the project, with deliveries to start in the summer.

The New York situation has been the point of reference to accuse Trump of being incompetent in handling the crisis.  It should be pointed out that Governor Cuomo, after learning in 2015 that the state’s stockpile of medical equipment had 16,000 fewer ventilators than New Yorkers would need in a severe pandemic, could have chosen to buy more ventilators. Instead, he asked his health commissioner Howard Zucker to assemble a task force and draft rules for rationing the ventilators they already had.

Cuomo also recognized, but failed to do anything about, a shortage of masks and other protective gear. On March 6, as reported by CNBC, weeks before Trump raised the issue, Cuomo stated that people were stealing the equipment out of hospitals in New York.  “Not just people taking a couple or three, I mean just actual thefts of those products.  I’ve asked the state police to do an investigation, look at places that are selling masks, medical equipment, protective wear.”  There is, however, no evidence that he or the police ever followed up, directly resulting in a shortage today.

In any case, notwithstanding the praise Cuomo has gotten in taking on the pandemic, he continues to pursue $2.5 billion in Medicaid cuts to NY’s hospitals alongside limiting their expansion to save more money. That will end up being a lot of ICU beds missing if needed.

Bill Gates complimented China for reducing its curve, though this is, at the very least, contested due to the Xi regime’s persistent non-transparency.  Whistleblower doctors have either been censored or disappeared so as to hide the apparent truth that actual coronavirus infections and deaths are tens of thousands more than reported.  In other words, Gates should know that the China’s response to the COVID-19 seems extraordinary only because the CCP officials are the  ones doing the telling.

Gates also indicated that the American government was unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic, despite a Johns Hopkins 2019 study that ranked the U.S. the best-prepared country in the world to handle such a pandemic.  If there is someone to blame for all this, it is China.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) did its best to make sure that its virus would spread to the American homeland and the rest of the world.

As reported last Saturday, approximately 430,000 Chinese nationals flew on direct flights from the city of Wuhan in the Hubei province to the U.S. since Chinese officials first disclosed the outbreak of the coronavirus to world health officials on New Year’s Eve.

The New York Times reported that most of the travelers flew into airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Newark, and Detroit in January.  The Times did not account for travelers who did not fly directly from China and may have come into the U.S. on a connecting flight from the country -- on January 31, the Trump administration suspended entry into the United States by foreign nationals who had traveled to China within the last 14 days (excluding Hong Kong and Macau).

The idea that a global pandemic is "not anyone’s fault" is unthinkable, and President Trump is a ready foil, as Van Buren stated.  The Democrats and media have spent three years seeding our thoughts that Trump is deadly and must be removed from office.  They were unable to get him on the Mueller Russiagate or the Ukrainian quid pro quo, so now they are grasping at the coronavirus, despite not having their facts straight once again.