Originally posted on June 19, 2020
After January’s lack of anything the pace picks up in February.
February 1. Trump golfs at West Palm Beach.
February 2. Trump restricts travel from China, allowing only Americans to fly into the U.S. He says: “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China. It’s going to be fine.” It turns out that 40,000 Americans return and few of them are tested, let alone quarantined. Pictures of the airport lobbies show a perfect environment for the virus transmission. As it turns out, a large portion of the cases in the U.S. entered from Europe, not China. So the travel ban from China probably did nothing of significance.
February 7. Asked if he thought China was covering up the virus, Trump says: “No. China is working very hard…We’re working together.”
February 8. The CDC test kits are widely reported to be not working properly.
February 10. At another rally Trump says: “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.” Really? The Australians might dispute this.
February 11. Another rally, no mention of the virus.
February 13. Tells Rivera: “it’s a problem in China. Has not been spreading very much. In our country, we only have, basically, 12 cases and most of those people are recovering…so it’s actually less.”
February 15. Trump golfs at Trump International.
February 18. The Diamond Princess cruise ship, docked and quarantined in Japan, has more than 700 cases.
February 19. Trump repeats the nonsense about warmer weather and has a rally in Phoenix, not mentioning the virus.
February 21. Yet another rally, Las Vegas, no mention of the virus.
February 24, Trump asks Congress for $1.25B in emergency funds. The Association of Public Health Laboratories: “We are now many weeks into the response with still no diagnostic or surveillance test available outside of the CDC…” Trump: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC and WHO have been working hard and very smart. Stock market starting to look very good to me.”
February 25. Stock market dips. Trump: “CDC and my administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus.” And “I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away. They have studied it. They know very much. In fact, we’re very close to a vaccine.”
February 26. Trump replaces Azar with Pence. Trump: “We’re testing everybody that we need to test. And we’re finding very little problem. We’re going very substantially down, not up. It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner. ” The number of cases “within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, the CDC confirms the first instance of community spread of the virus in the U.S.
February 27. Trump: “It’s going to disappear. One day – it’s like a miracle – it will disappear.”
February 28. At a rally, after noting that there have been no reported deaths in the U.S., Trump: “You wonder if the press in in hysteria mode. Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus . You know that, right? Coronavirus. They’re politicizing it…and this is their new hoax.” And: “We’re ordering a lot of supplies. We’re ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn’t be ordering unless it was something like this. Bu we’re ordering a lot of different elements of medical.”
February 29. The first death in the U.S. is reported. It later turns out that there were previous deaths perhaps as early as February 6 in California.