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Tipsheet

Disappointed But Not Surprised: NYT Op-Ed Tries to Blame Coronavirus on Trump

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, New York Times op-ed contributor Gail Collins decided to place blame on the virus getting to the United States on President Trump.

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"Let’s Call It Trumpvirus," was Collins' headline for her Wednesday submission, followed by, "If you’re feeling awful, you know who to blame."

Collins criticized Trump appointing Vice President Mike Pence to lead the government's efforts to contain the virus:

"Totally qualified. First criteria for every job in this administration is capacity for praising the gloriousness of our commander in chief. Yeah, when you think of Mike Pence you maybe don’t think about Pandemic Fighter Supreme. But as President Trump pointed out repeatedly, he has already run Indiana. Well, it probably could have been worse. Having a czar does make you feel there’s somebody in charge. At least Trump didn’t come before the cameras and announce solemnly, “Today I’m asking every American to cross your fingers."

...

"The run-up to the Pence unveiling had not been exactly calming for citizens who wanted to have faith in competent White House oversight. Barack Obama used to have special epidemic-watching groups just in case this kind of crisis developed. One was headed by the highly regarded Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer, who got sent packing by John Bolton. Another infectious disease expert, Tom Bossert, suddenly vanished from the Department of Homeland Security in 2018, presumably also at the hand of John You-know-who."

Collins went on to criticize Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf for his performance when he was grilled about the department's capability's to handle outbreaks. She also went after Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar: 

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"At a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Azar was asked if he’d consider using some of the billions of dollars in funds for Trump’s border wall to help combat the current health crisis. Azar just chuckled. Actually, people, this is probably not a theme we ought to be pursuing. Chances are, if the president is encouraged to mix the subjects of coronavirus and Mexico walls, he’ll suddenly announce that we need a barrier much bigger and thicker and more expensive, so it can stop the flow of immigrant germs."

While it remains to be seen how the U.S. government will handle a community outbreak, it should bear repeating the country, and the entire world, is in this predicament because the authoritarian Chinese government clamped down on doctors trying to warn about the virus before it got too big to contain. The government also refused to accept outside support so global community could ascertain just how deadly the virus can be. Now the rest of the world is playing catch up due to China's affinity for authoritarianism.

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