Columnist Grocott and letter-writer Glaiser have drunk the Kool-Aid about Trump’s coronavirus response. Obama-era officials met both the H1N1 and the Ebola crises with swift, effective federal action, prepared a 69-page playbook and briefed the incoming Trump administration about obtaining personal protective equipment, moving quickly to detect and contain potential outbreaks, and using the Defense Production Act to compel private companies to produce needed medical supplies.
Trump, however, disbanded the National Security Council team on pandemic preparedness and made cuts to public health programs and to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Trump essentially wasted two months during which he downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic, spread false information and contradicted his own medical advisors, refusing to take responsibility for the shortages of ventilators, personal protective equipment and needed supplies. Now, he proposes lessening precautions, though infection levels in some areas are rising. It is hard to imagine a president doing a worse job.