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Falsehoods and Failures: Trump During COVID-19 (5/22 Update)

News and Analysis
Falsehoods and Failures: Trump During COVID-19 (5/22 Update)

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump told a reporter that fear is “real power.” His preference for Machiavellian machinations has never been more evident than during the coronavirus pandemic as he continues to do everything in his power to deflect responsibility for his failures.

  • According to a new report, only 13 percent of small businesses that applied for Trump’s bungled Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) were approved for the loan. Without that aid, just 31 percent of the 7 million small businesses in the U.S. can afford to operate for another few months or less under the existing stay-at-home measures – and six percent could be forced to close in less than a week. These disbursement delays are also happening in other pandemic stimulus programs.
  • While everyday Americans struggle to put food on their families’ tables, we continue to learn about how many Trump allies and campaign donors were able to easily get a hold of coronavirus stimulus funding. Some new examples include: A hotel company that made $2.2 billion last year and is owned by a large Trump donor received $96.1 million meant for small businesses. Another Trump donor’s private jet company received a $27 million bailout. A technology company whose largest shareholder is Trump’s reelection campaign manager received almost $800,000 from the small businesses relief fund. In addition, Trump’s newly appointed “vaccine czar” reportedly has significant ties to Moderna, the company that this week became the first to enter a vaccine into clinical trials.
  • Trump doubled down on his support of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine this week, saying that he has been taking it himself and calling the study that disproves its effectiveness and emphasizes its danger a “Trump enemy statement.” He also baselessly dismissed the official FDA warning against hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.

The Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus recently described the “exhaustion factor” in reading or producing any coverage of Trump during this unprecedented crisis. It’s difficult to read over and over again about Trump abdicating responsibility for his failures, his lies, his cronyism, and his lack of empathy. But it’s crucial that we don’t permit ourselves to become numb to these outrages. Together, we will prevail and build an America that honors the values of justice, opportunity, and equity for all.


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