Covid-19 blame game: Emperor Trump’s 4 fatal errors

Covid-19 blame game: Emperor Trump’s 4 fatal errors

Wednesday, April 8, 2020 11:06 pm

US President Donald Trump

By Ademola Adegbamigbe

The way President Donald Trump has handled covid-19 that kills Americans in their thousands, it as if he is another Emperor Nero who, as the saying goes, fiddled while Rome burned. As at the time of writing this report, US had recorded 399,929 cases of cornavirus and 12, 911 deaths. Globally, the figure is 1,433, 251 with 82,000 deaths. New York has been the worst hit.

In July of 64 A.D., as records, a great fire ravaged Rome for six days, destroying 70 percent of the city and leaving half its population homeless. Although his fiddling was highly disputed, there was actually a Great Fire and Nero was at his villa at Antium, some 35 miles from Rome. Nero was the bogeyman of all early Christians. He killed many of them so much that others had to hide in catacombs (underground burial chambers) to hold meetings. Nero was hated throughout the empire and this made the stereotype stick on him like a leech.

One of the things Nero shared in common with Trump is buck passing. As Nero blamed the Christians for the great fire, Trump, the bugbear of immigrants and African Americans, has also blamed the World Health Organisation for the high death rates recorded by the United States.
This is one of his sins. As reported by The Guardian, “The president has repeatedly denied responsibility and sought to blame China, the Obama administration and the media. On Tuesday, with the US death toll exceeding 12,000, he unleashed a tirade at the WHO, even though it raised the alarm in January, after which he made statements downplaying it and comparing it to the common flu. ‘They’ve been wrong about a lot of things,” Trump said at the daily White House coronavirus task force briefing. ‘And they had a lot of information early and they didn’t want to – they seemed to be very China centric’ – implying that the WHO had toed the line of Beijing’s early efforts to minimise the scale of the outbreak.”

The report had it further: “Shaking his head peevishly, Trump added: ‘They called it wrong, they called it wrong. They missed the call. They could have called it months earlier. They would have known and they should have known and they probably did know. So we’ll be looking into that very carefully and we’re going to put a hold on money spent [sic] to the WHO. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it and we’re going to see. It’s a great thing if it works but when they call every shot wrong, it’s not good.’”

The second fatal error of Trump is that he ignored warnings by top aides about the looming danger of coronavirus. According to New York Times, a top White House adviser starkly warned Trump administration officials in late January that the coronavirus crisis “could cost the United States trillions of dollars and put millions of Americans at risk of illness or death.”

The prophet was Peter Navarro, President Trump’s trade adviser, who, in a memo, wrote: “The lack of immune protection or an existing cure or vaccine would leave Americans defenseless in the case of a full-blown coronavirus outbreak on U.S. soil. This lack of protection elevates the risk of the coronavirus evolving into a full-blown pandemic, imperiling the lives of millions of Americans.” Trump ignored the warning and behaved as if the coming cyclone was nothing more than breeze.

Trump’s third tragic mistake was his prosperity to impugn anything his predecessor, Barack Obama, did. In Trump’s Aryan race mind (he has German ancestry), a black man could not be the benchmark for a member of the superior race! Unfortunately, Trump has been behaving like a panjandrum whose administration has become an anti-climax to Obama’s.

So, in order to downplay the achievements of Obama, Trump got rid of the ‘pandemic team’ which Obama instituted after the Ebola virus. That is, the Global Health Security and Biodefense unit — responsible for pandemic preparedness — which, as Reuters put it, was established in 2015 by Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice. “The unit resided under the National Security Council (NSC) — a forum of White House personnel that advises the president on national security and foreign policy matters.”

In May 2018, the team, according to the report, was disbanded and its head, Timothy Ziemer, top White House official in the NSC for leading U.S. response against a pandemic, left the Trump administration. Others who did not leave were merged into other units within the NSC.

Trump made the fourth mistake in the area of medical supplies and testing. The government’s top infectious-disease -expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, as Time reported, warned that the feds’ testing program was “failing,” but it was hardly the only one. Trump’s team, according to the magazine, “ignored an alarming shortfall of basic medical supplies, like masks, hospital beds and -ventilators—necessary to handle an expected surge of patients requiring -hospitalization—and tussled with governors, who were begging the White House to release federal funds to aid in preparation efforts. Trump brushed aside the mess. Asked on March 13 if he accepted -responsibility for the testing debacle, he uttered seven words that could come to define his presidency. ‘No,’ he said, “I don’t take -responsibility at all.”

With Trump as President of the United States, it is as if the electorate there bought themselves a pile of troubles or, as the saying goes in Lagos, “entered one chance.”

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