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'He's an idiot': critics say Trump has failed the US in this test of reassurance | The Guardian - March 14, 2020 |

Perhaps Trump's greatest blunder was turning down the offer of a German-made diagnostic test approved by the World Health Organization and taken up by many countries. The US government's own painfully slow progress led to a nationwide shortage of test kits at the most critical moment. It was reported that just 11,000 tests have been conducted in America so far, whereas South Korea is carrying out 10,000 tests per day.

Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told the Bloomberg news agency:

    "This is an unmitigated disaster that the administration has brought upon the population, and I don't say this lightly. We have had a much worse response than Iran, than Italy, than China and South Korea."

It seems that Trump only began to take the issue seriously two weeks ago when he saw a 1,000-point drop on Wall Street. Even then, he urged aides, including Kellyanne Conway and senior economic adviser Larry Kudlow, to go on television and preach confidence, according to five White House officials and Republicans interviewed by the Associated Press.

He also accused Democrats of using the coronavirus as "their new hoax", promised a vaccine much sooner than scientifically possible, prophesied that the virus will be killed off by warmer spring weather and kept comparing it to the common flu (though experts say coronavirus is 10 times more deadly). But the usual playbook of deny and distract proved futile against a nimble germ without an ego.

by Oui on Sun Mar 22nd, 2020 at 07:42:37 PM EST

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