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Stop Blaming Trump On Coronavirus, Period

Updated on April 9, 2020
Pendhamma S profile image

Pendhamma Sindhusen is a conservative columnist and political analyst.

President Trump on March 15 at a press conference, speaking about his administration's response to COVID-19
President Trump on March 15 at a press conference, speaking about his administration's response to COVID-19

It’s a dismal sight to see the a nation in disharmony and her media and an array of politicians engaged in stoking that disharmony in such a time of crisis as the age of Coronavirus pandemic we’re all living through. The pandemic ought to be an opportunity for a united people to rise and demonstrate to the world the nonpareil resilience, strength and capabilities of the greatest country to ever exist on Earth, a showcase for the superiority of America’s democracy, distinctive entrepreneurial spirit and the boundless potential of her people.

I’ve always spectated and admired the way America could rebound after its darkest hours of crisis and how Americans of all races, classes and creeds would be driven by their patriotism to come together and rise to the occasion to defeat the challenge confronting their country. Time and time again, from Pearl Harbor to September 11, 2001, America and Americans have done so, and at this moment of COVID-19 crisis, I’m positive they will again.

America will definitely convalesce from it and return stronger than ever before. However, as much as I’m confident about that, what the media and Trump detractors have been doing poses a substantial threat to the country’s ability to recover. Their continual denigration of Trump and his administration is what stands in the way of America’s recovery.

President Trump speaking to the American people from the Oval Office about his handling of Coronavirus in a televised address on March 11
President Trump speaking to the American people from the Oval Office about his handling of Coronavirus in a televised address on March 11

It’s long been known the mainstream media is no friend of the president, and his critics are exceedingly hostile to him. But, in the face of a grave predicament, maybe they could spare their aversion to him for the sake of unity so desperately needed for the country to overcome it. Maybe they could abstain from their hypercriticism against him and practice proper journalism, keeping Americans abreast of necessary information and giving them guidelines for their comportments during this outbreak.

A recent poll by Harvard Caps/Harris reveals Americans’ thoughts on the politics of Coronavirus: indeed, the country needs to be “One America”. Yet, as one could anticipate, those media and Trump critics still continue to pursue vicious attacks against the president, which unquestionably impedes the country’s path to becoming united as one.

Worse, among their latest lines of attack seems to be the height of hypocrisy: the claim that the administration was unprepared for the arrival of SARS-CoV-2. For instance, Joe Biden tweeted on April 5, calling Trump “responsible for failing to prepare our nation to respond to it” while the Washington Post ran a piece attacking him with the headline “America was unprepared for a major crisis. Again.”

Of course, these are only a margin of a much bigger picture. The vitriol on the administration’s unpreparedness to tackle the pandemic has become rampant among Trump critics, the media and politicians alike. Umpteen news articles are now denouncing Trump for the country’s unreadiness to take a hit from Coronavirus.

Indeed, it does have a valid, understandable basis. The administration could have done more with proactive measures to stave off the spread of the virus and minimalize its impacts. But considering chronological context, such vitriol is exclusively senseless and irrelevant.

President Trump delivering his State of the Union Address on February 4, in which he mentioned his administration's observance of and actions against Coronavirus
President Trump delivering his State of the Union Address on February 4, in which he mentioned his administration's observance of and actions against Coronavirus

Back in December of 2019, when China reported the discovery of SARS-CoV-2 to the World Health Organization, virtually nobody expected the virus to proliferate out of control and beget a global pandemic, not even experts. Most dismissed it as a minor occurrence that would soon be in rearview mirrors.

Not until its spread became worldwide did anybody start to take it seriously, and when Trump started to take action against it in late January, instituting a travel ban from China and forming the Coronavirus Task Force, his critics dismissed it with alacrity. His mention of the administration’s efforts in coordinating with the Chinese government to tackle the newfound disease in his State of the Union address was also largely ignored.

Joe Biden, for example, was quick to attack the president’s travel ban, incidentally touted by experts for slowing the entry of Coronavirus into the country, as hysteric and xenophobic, only to find himself 2 months later supportive of the ban. At the same time, the very media that are currently inculpating Trump of insouciance and inaction, also downplayed the threat of the virus.

Headlines like “Is the new virus more ‘deadly’ than flu? Not exactly” from the Associated Press, “Flu a bigger threat in U.S. than coronavirus, Mayo expert says” from Chicago Tribune and “Worried About Catching The New Coronavirus? In The U.S., Flu Is A Bigger Threat” from NPR epitomize that well.

Articles like “We Should Deescalate the War on the Coronavirus” by Wired, “Want to Protect Yourself From Coronavirus? Do the Same Things You Do Every Winter” by Time and “Why we panic about coronavirus, but not the flu” by Axios also manifested the media’s nonchalance about Coronavirus at the same time as the Trump administration’s efforts in tackling COVID-19 were already underway.

President Trump, surrounded by members of the Coronavirus Task Force, declares national emergency over COVID-19 outbreak on March 19
President Trump, surrounded by members of the Coronavirus Task Force, declares national emergency over COVID-19 outbreak on March 19

The media were happily running those pieces in an attempt to portray Trump’s overreaction and hypervigilance to the American people, but now when the situation has taken a woeful, unexpected route, they all of a sudden start to criticize the administration’s unpreparedness to handle it. For them and Trump detractors in general to do so is merely pharisaical.

America’s in the middle of a crisis, and unity is essential in vanquishing it. What she needs is not any opportunistic attempt to score petty political points. What she needs is for her people to set aside their differences, come together in solidarity and defeat the challenge facing their country.

Their predecessors did it, they have done it before, and I’m optimistic they will this time too. The burden only falls upon the media and partisans to put country over politics, desist from persistent fault-finding of the administration and root for the president’s success in exterminating the scourge of this Coronavirus pandemic.

© 2020 Pendhamma Sindhusen

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