Trump isn’t to blame for the pandemic, just the terrible response to the crisis

| May 5, 2020 8:20 AM

To the editor:

President Donald J. Trump said, “I don’t take responsibility at all” on March 13 in the Rose Garden. That simple statement says it all.

That the pandemic occurred is not his fault. But the total unpreparedness, the misinformation, and the decisions and non-decisions since he first received a briefing in November and then at the beginning of the year are on him.

Ten weeks of insisting that the coronavirus was a harmless flu that would quickly go away by itself? Continually giving the public inaccurate information only to be corrected by medical experts? The elimination of the pandemic response network established by President Barack Obama? These are his fault.

The failure to store sufficient protective medical gear in the national stockpile is Trump’s fault. The loss of stockpiled respirators to breakage because the federal government let the maintenance contracts lapse in 2018 is Trump’s fault. That states like Montana are bidding against other states for equipment, paying far more than their original price for ventilators, is Trump’s fault. Thank goodness for the leadership of Gov. Steve Bullock.

People traveling from abroad who were told to come home only to be forced to stand for hours in crowded airport lines along with infected people is Trump’s fault. Republican governors and evangelical leaders responded to Trump’s lackadaisical and uninformed messages by being misinformed.

Again for emphasis: The coronavirus pandemic was not Trump’s fault. He just made it far worse than it needed to be.

David James