People For the American Way

Falsehoods and Failures: Trump During COVID-19 (5/15 Update)

News and Analysis
Falsehoods and Failures: Trump During COVID-19 (5/15 Update)

Since this blog’s previous update, the death toll in the United States has risen above a harrowing 80,000 people and the nationwide unemployment rate has soared to more than 14.7 percent of the working populace; about 20.5 million Americans lost their jobs in April alone. In spite of these worrisome figures, Donald Trump claimed on May 11 that “we’ve prevailed” against the threat of coronavirus. The unfortunate reality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth, and Trump’s denial has become increasingly dangerous, both to our lives and our economy.

  • When multiple White House staff members were reported to have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Trump stated that he was “not worried” about the infection’s spread within the administration’s inner sanctum. However, within days, he was telling aides that he “doesn’t want to be near” any person who hasn’t been tested. The same day he said that he had “prevailed” against COVID-19, administration staff were ordered to start wearing masks in the White House, with one person even saying that working there was “scary.” Even so, Trump continued his reckless push to reopen the national economy. And he still won’t wear a face mask.
  • American citizens and public officials alike continue to criticize Trump and his administration for the dangerous delay in boosting the country’s testing capacity. Mitt Romney, R-UT, criticized the Trump administration on Tuesday for its dereliction of duty. Americans across the country are still experiencing severe testing shortages, yet in stark contrast the White House had immediate access to testing after some of its staff tested positive for coronavirus. And despite many experts having warned Trump back in February about the impending testing kit shortages, a recent report revealed that the administration took until the end of April to increase production of a key component of the tests. In fact, one health expert testified on Wednesday that the severe economic shutdown had been necessary because of the government’s failure to provide a robust testing infrastructure at the start of the pandemic.

During his hearing, Dr. Fauci called the death rate from coronavirus in the U.S. “unacceptable.” He’s right, but there’s more to it: It’s unacceptable that already-vulnerable communities across the country are suffering even greater harm during the pandemic. It’s unacceptable that Trump has deemed certain workers “essential” even while he refuses to provide them adequate protection or compensation. It’s unacceptable that Trump decided to barrel towards reopening the economy despite marked increases in confirmed cases nationwide.

But that’s why we must work together to support initiatives such as the House Democrats-proposed HEROES Act, which should form the basis of the next stage of federal coronavirus relief. This piece of legislation proposes that funding be allocated specifically for the U.S. Postal Service, election security measures, state and local governments, housing assistance, and other vital aid, and will be imperative for ensuring that the country can make it through the next few months of the pandemic. PFAW is working hard to hold the Trump administration accountable, and to do that, we need engaged supporters like you. Keep an eye on PFAW’s channels for how to get involved from home during this unprecedented time.


Affordable Care Act, Anthony Fauci, Barack Obama, Brett Giroir, coronavirus, Corporate Accountability, corporations, covid-19, Defeat Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Falsehoods and Failures, health care, Mitt Romney, Rick Bright, Robert Redfield, Vote By Mail, voting rights