People For the American Way

Falsehoods and Failures: Trump During COVID-19 (11/06 Update)

News and Analysis
Falsehoods and Failures: Trump During COVID-19 (11/06 Update)

This week has been unprecedented in the United States for two reasons: Voter turnout in the presidential election set a new record for votes cast for any presidential candidate in U.S. history – and Joe Biden is on the cusp of being elected as the 46th president of the United States. But amid this momentous and historic election, the COVID-19 pandemic also set a new record in the U.S. for the highest single-day count in the entirety of the pandemic’s eight-month rampage.

The U.S. surpassed a total of nine million cases – with a record-high 121,000 infections on a single day. Daily deaths and hospitalizations hit new record highs since the summer.

The fact is that this pandemic continues to wreak serious damage in this country because Trump long ago abdicated his responsibility to control the virus.

  • Trump has been quiet about COVID-19 since Election Day, but prior to that point, he repeated his favorite lies about the pandemic at campaign events, including downplaying its severity and attacking the media for focusing so heavily on this public health crisis.
  • In Florida on November 2, where Trump held his final campaign rally (and ignored local pandemic regulations, as usual), he struck out again at Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, in apparent retaliation for Fauci’s pointed criticism of the Trump administration’s disastrous federal response two days prior. In response to a crowd chanting “Fire Fauci!,” Trump responded with a strong hint that he would do so after the election.
  • Trump’s administration fed the false coronavirus propaganda being sold on Russian state-sponsored news: On November 1, Dr. Scott Atlas – Trump’s favored White House “science advisor” – appeared on one of Russia’s news shows, known as RT, to downplay the pandemic and claim without evidence that COVID-19 lockdown measures are “killing people.”
  • Following a CNN analysis of the spread of COVID-19 in counties that hosted Trump rallies, Stanford University economists released a new study that estimates Trump’s campaign rallies between June and September likely caused around 30,000 coronavirus infections and more than 700 deaths.

As the vote count continues across the country, the damage that Trump’s lies and failures have caused are clear in the cases, hospitalizations, and death tolls that continue to rise during this dangerous new surge of COVID-19 through our communities.

During this election season, American voters cast their ballots in unprecedented numbers to hold Trump and his administration accountable for their catastrophic response. But despite this incredible achievement, our work is not yet done. The virus will continue to surge this fall and winter, and without a federal coronavirus relief package, Americans will continue to suffer the health and financial effects of this pandemic and economic crisis. We must push for immediate action to combat COVID-19, to support the millions of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet and lead us out of this disaster.