Issues & Insights

Trump Derangement Syndrome Is Immune To The Coronavirus — And The Facts

I&I Editorial

Even as China’s role in creating the COVID-19 crisis becomes more clear, the left is trying to blame President Donald Trump for the resulting deaths. None of it makes sense, and all of it is beneath contempt at a time when the country is still at war with this invisible enemy.

On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN’s “State of the Union” that “The president’s denial at the beginning was deadly. His delay in getting equipment to where it’s needed is deadly … As the president fiddles, people are dying.”

While Pelosi was uttering this shameless screed, intelligence officials were putting the finishing touches on a report showing how China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak and has been underreporting how many contracted the disease and the number of deaths.

When that report became public, Vice President Mike Pence noted that “What appears evident now is that long before the world learned in December that China was dealing with this, and maybe as much as a month earlier than that, that the outbreak was real in China.”

State Department immunologist Dr. Deborah Birx added that “The medical community interpreted the Chinese data as: This was serious, but smaller than anyone expected.”

Meanwhile, Pelosi, and many other Democrats now attacking Trump for being dismissive of the virus early on were themselves downplaying the virus.

In fact, on Feb. 24, Pelosi was in San Francisco, saying “come to Chinatown.” Grabien News compiled a series of clips with Pelosi et al. saying COVID-19 was no big deal.

What’s more, Pelosi didn’t manage to get her party to hold a coronavirus hearing in the House until March 4 — more than a month after Trump declared it a public health emergency.

Also, by the way, Trump brought up coronavirus in his State of the Union speech in February. The text of that speech, you will recall, was dramatically ripped in two by Pelosi once Trump had finished.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was also downplaying the virus well into March, then blamed Trump for New York City’s problems. The Washington Post, to it’s credit, gathered up a many of these clips.

When de Blasio was asked about his incredible double standard, his response was: “We should not be focusing, in my view, on anything looking back on any level of government right now.”


So, too, was the sainted Dr. Anthony Fauci playing down the seriousness of the virus. In late January, he told the public that “This is not something that the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about.” If Trump is somehow guilty of negligence, what does that say about the health expert everyone is now turning to for advice?

The truth is that, for the left, no matter what Trump does, it’s wrong.

They attacked him in late January for issuing a travel ban from China, and “experts” claimed it would backfire. In fact, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in early February that travel bans and restrictions weren’t needed to stop the outbreak and could “have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with little public health benefit.”

There’s another problem with the left’s attempts to blame Trump — the data don’t support it.

As of this writing, there were 811 confirmed cases of coronavirus per million people in the U.S. In supposedly more enlightened countries such as Switzerland, the rate is 2,302 per million. In Germany, it’s 1,083. In Norway, 996.

The fatality rate in Italy is 12%. In France, it’s 10%. In Sweden, it’s almost 6%. In the U.S., it’s 2.6%.

In terms of deaths per million population, the U.S. ranks below Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy and 10 other countries.

Whatever Trump is doing, it’s far better than those countries.

So, you have a pandemic that started in China, which then lied about the scope and scale of the outbreak. And a public health threat was initially downplayed by Democrats and the World Health Organization, in some cases long after Trump declared it a public health emergency.

But sure, let’s blame Trump for every death in the U.S.

We’re still not entirely convinced that the lethality of the disease isn’t being exaggerated, or that the scale of the response – shutting down the entire economy for nearly two months – isn’t a vast overreaction that will cause more harm than good.

If either of those turn out to be the case, you can bet Democrats will be the ones yelling the loudest.

— Written by John Merline

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • at this time, the actual death rates are likely lower than the numbers suggest
    until there are more test kits available, most test are run on highly symptomatic victims AKA the worst cases
    so that 3.6 % rate for the US should be a worst case scenario
    Italy has the oldest population in Europe and we are told, that like other diseases the elderly are at higher risk, further, they have a high percent of their workforce imported from China, many of whom had recently returned form the homeland after visiting for holidays and those would be a probable vector to infect Italy

  • 1. For nearly 30 years we have had scientist at the Chinese CDC. The Trump administration ended that program last year and our scientist left last year. That was our way of knowing much earlier what was happening.
    2. There was a government exercise “Crimson Contagion” imaging widespread contagion and death. The exercise indicated our response would be insufficient. The Trump administration make no effort to use the findings to improve our ability to respond.
    3. Trump did ban Chinese travelers from China. Of course he did not ban Americans returning from China, but also did not require them to be quarantined. The first many cases identified in this country were Americans who had traveled overseas to China, Italy, Egypt and brought the disease back. The ban on China travel bought us some time, but by itself was not going to save anyone, just delay how long it took for people to start dying.
    4. The most critical foul up of all was testing – we tried and failed to make wide spread testing available. Eventually, we began to get it right, but it took weeks and now because we have so many infections, is still inadequate. It should have been the number one priority. If the CDC could not provide tests, we should have changed the rules immediately so other qualified labs could. If our test wasn’t working, we should have used the test that Germany developed. If we had the tests available early, in large enough numbers to test everyone who thought they were sick and all the contacts for those testing positive, the epidemic here would look like S. Korea, (3 deaths per million) not Italy (243 deaths per million). We are not yet at Italy’ numbers, but if Trump is correct and we have 100,000 deaths we will have 294 deaths per million.(using a population number of 340 million for US).

    • But the Trump administration never pulled the plug on those programs, although it did propose smaller budgets. Congress has injected more money into them in recent budget requests.

      One day after we reached out to ABC for comment, they made a tongue-in-cheek correction on air.

      “The other day, we mistakenly said that Trump shut down anti-pandemic programs that Obama had set up in nearly 40 countries,” they said. “but happy to say, he only attempted to cut funding for them, but that did not ultimately go into effect. Isn’t that good?”

      • He did end the program that embedded CDC people in 39 other countries specifically to provide an early warning. This included ending our presence in the Chinese CDC last summer!

    • Well, I guess it’s time to trot out the old football maxim that fans used to criticize me as a high school football coach: “Hind sight is ALWAYS 20 -20 and armchair quarterbacks ALWAYS call the right play”. President Trump has done yeoman work in combating this tragic epidemic and all of the gutless liberal potshotting in the world is not going to change their phony revisionist self serving, excuse making political attempt to capitalize on the misery of the American People.

      • If he did yeoman’s work we would have 3 deaths per million like S. Korea. If he did yeoman’s work we would have passed the peak 3 weeks ago with a fraction of the cases we have now. There are 30 countries that have more tests per million than we have. And because we bungled this so badly, we need many times as many tests per millions we now have. If Trump had jumped on it like we should have, as Crimson Contagion warned us about, as dozens of other countries did, we would not be headed for the worst depression in history. We would not needlessly kill thousands, maybe 10’s of thousands of Americans. This has been the most inept, incompetent moment in American history. When S. Korea, and Australia and other countries were going full bore on testing, Trump was saying Feb. 26, we have 15 and …going down to close to zero. Feb. 27. its going to disappear. WE did not have the damn tests and other countries did and were using them. Trump bungled it. There is no way around that fact! S. Korea, Australia, Germany, Canada and on and on and on. all have way lower deaths per million, And our numbers are just climbing and climbing and climbing. By the time you respond to this another 1, 000 Americans will die. By Monday of next week we may well have 3 times as many infected people as either Span or Italy, the next most infected countries in the world. We have fouled up on a monumental scale!

    • Bob, do you really beleive that if we still had a scientist on board at the Chinese CDC they would have let that info out. He, they would have been an early casualty of the Wuhan. The rest is just blather, no real counts of what individuals died of be it Flu the Whuhan, heart disease, underlying medical contitions. It will perhaps bear out in the end but we will never know. Our President acted correctly not knowing that China as always lies. My opinion

      • Then how do you explain that S. Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Germany, etc. etc, etc, got it right? All these other countries has the same information, or lack thereof that we had.

    • “Crimson Contagion” was run Jan-August. The next funding cycle was already being negotiated. How in heaven’s name did you expect them to incorporate the results? Where were the simulations in the prior 8 years? I saw none after the H1N1-09 pandemic. You know, the one where 00bama took 100 million masks from stockpile and then continued to spend his Porculus on Tesla and solar panels?

  • Trump was called a racist by Democrats when he stopped China on Jan 31st. including Pelosi

    • and Trump said she was just trying to panic people in late Feb. when she said we had a problem and needed to be taking it seriously. On Pelosi, Feb. 26th press conference: “She’s trying to create a panic and there’s no reason to panic because we have done so good.”

  • The Democrats’ reaction makes PERFECT sense. Their worldview is such that the United States, indeed Western Civilization, should not even exist in its current form, and must be fundamentally transformed. The methodology in which they are going about is entirely consistent with their manifesto, Rules for Radicals.

    • What the hell does this have to do with Trump’s amazingly incompetent management of this problem. Nothing the Dems say have any consequence. Do you really think Trump pays any attention to them beyond sparing with them over his hurt ego? Do their utterances matter to him one iota to him?

      • 1-China travel ban > good idea 💡 (It wasn’t Trump’s idea 🤓)
        2-“The boy who cried wolf.” Trump was not believed. He keeps up with lies, then denial. He’s contradictory, “…we have this under control.” People are dying! He’s playing ‘kiss my ring.’ Enter Pence (Yes, Mr President) and Jared (I don’t know shit, but I know ppl)
        Our numbers will never be accurat, because an exponential # of ppl have gotten sick, then better without tests. He’s been tossing blame around like a hot potato. Democratic Hoax? When he got bored: Easter will be beautiful!🐣🤯 “Have you seen a, I mean, spoken to the medical professionals about this revelation?!”
        3-He can’t hear the Governors of the United States during a pandemic! This could be the worst crisis in American history and he has been holding back needed emergency medical supplies, like a toddler screaming, “Mine!”
        He only thinks he hears the medical professionals, but don’t ask him what they said!
        It’s a viscous cycle of lie and deny.

      • Bob. Keep those comments coming. You are the poster child for why the Democrats will lose in a landslide.

      • Hillary would have done better?? Oh God, you’re killin’ me.

        Keep plucking that chicken Bob and take your BS back to CommonDreams where they gobble it up like a dog eats his vomit.

  • Oops. Big time. These people should be held accountable. Reminds me of those guys in Jaws saying, “Come, swim, what could possibly go wrong?”

  • How would the Democrats have reacted if, in January during impeachment proceedings, Trump had escalated the response to the virus. As has been noted there was abundant contradictory analysis that said this was not likely to be as serious as we now realize it is. They would have been all over the airwaves with accusations that he was diverting attention from impeachment. They would have been fully supported by their adjuncts in the media. As noted Speaker Pelosi only belatedly got around to holding hearings.

    Fortunately some of the Democrat governors have risen above the politics but not Speaker Pelosi or Senator Schumer. In the current situation, Democrats wouldn’t look so ridiculous if they would hold their “investigation” into what happened until after we know what happens. But, this might be after we vote in November. And, sadly, influencing that election is their priority.

    • We will soon have 3 times as many victims as any other country and by the time the contagion is under control 5,6, 7 times as many. Moreover, unfortunately, we are going to have more deaths than any other country. What more evidence is needed that we have really bungled this? But as appalling as Trump’s failure is, the even greater threat to this country is that a sizable number of Americans will still say he is doing a good job. The facts are in your face, and for some of you even in your families. Yet, in even in the face of death, you will stand up and say don’t blame Trump. When Angela Merkel was telling her country that Germany might have 57 million infections Trump was saying no problem in America. The day after Dr. Messonnier, the CDC’s head for respiratory disease prevention, clearly and emphatically stated that Covid19 was going to take hold here, Trump said he didn’t think so. Actually you can watch the Feb. 26 news conference where Dr. Blix also tells America to prepare for the epidemic and Trump says he doesn’t think it will happen. Whatever Obama’s failings were, Trump had 3 years to fix them. And while dozens of other countries were actively fighting the virus and preparing for an explosion of patients, Trump was doing almost squat. If Trump is not to blame who is? We have failed on an unparalleled scale and a huge swath of our country refuses to even recognize it. The documentation,including Trump’s own press conferences and numbers from his government prove our failure. But many people refuse to even look at the information. This is why America will never be great again. You have to have a grasp on reality to make things better. S. Korea and US each recorded their 1st case the same day, Jan. 20th. S. Korea has not had to completely shut down yet its active cases peaked almost 4 weeks ago on March 11 with about 7,362 active cases. Today, it has 3,654 active cases. The United States may peak sometime in the next 10-15 days with between 500,000 and 750,000 active cases. How, how, how is that not failure??????????????????

      • It makes no sense to compare South Korea to the entire United States. Yes, the U.S. has a lot of cases. It also has 327 million people and a very diverse population. South Korea’s population is 51 million, and it is one of the most ethnically homogeneous countries in the world.

        Why not compare South Korea to individual states? California and Texas, for example, have a combined population of 68.5 million, and a total number of coronavirus cases of just 22,000. That works out to 32 cases per million, which isn’t far off from South Korea’s rate. Thie death rate in Texas is 5 per million, compared with S. Korea’s 4 per million. Oh, and testing rates in California and Texas are way below those of South Korea.

        Also, New York — run by Democrats — accounts for more than a third of the cases and nearly half the deaths in this country. Don’t Cuomo (who has praised Trump’s leadership), and de Blasio (who was downplaying coronavirus well into March), deserve blame?

        Finally, to say that we will have more deaths than any country in the world assumes that China is telling the truth, which we know it isn’t, and that other countries are accurately counting their cases and deaths, which we also know some — Italy and Iran, for example — aren’t.

      • Really, homogeneity confers competence? Because that is what this is about. And competently S. Korea started testing very widely. and very incompetently, we did not. Because S. Korea was testing so wide, the country was able to isolate virus positive people and those exposed very early on. By the time S. Korea had tested 200,000 people we had tested less than 5,000. By Trump’s Feb 26 press conference, when he said “And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” S. Korea was testing 182 people per million. We hadn’t even conducted 1 test per million yet. We didn’t reach that threshold until March 5 or March 6.
        Cuomo and de Blasio could have done better, but without the ability to test and track contacts, this virus was going to explode. And they had no way of knowing how large the explosion was going to be because they couldn’t do anywhere enough tests. So critical question is did these two shut down their economies quickly enough? Obviously not. As for comparing CA and TX to S. Korea, the combined death rate for the two states is 7.6 today vs. 4 for S. Korea. Keep in mind though that S. Korea is much further along in recovery so our rates will grow faster. But why not compare the death rate of NY and CA combined? Texas is less urban that S. Korea and S. Korean cities are much, much denser American cities. Seoul in fact is twice as densely populated as New York City. The combined death rate for Ca and New York (total population about 59 million vs. S. Korea’s 51 million) is 96 per million pop,: 24 TIMES S. Korea’s death rate.
        So if I added the word PUBLISHED to my comments on total deaths does it change our failure? Iran, Italy, and other countries may have not accurately listed their total deaths, but we still have an unforgivable number of deaths that is growing by leaps and bounds. And we have a devastated economy because we badly mangled our response. The blame lies overwhelmingly with Trump, because, in his own words, he is the General leading the fight.

    • That chart doesn’t demonstrate that the U.S. is doing worse than other countries because it’s based on the number of cases in each country, not the rate of infection. On a per-capita basis, the U.S. is doing better than Germany, France, Switzerland, and others in terms of total cases. When it comes to deaths per capita, the U.S. is doing better than still more countries. Also, the per-case death rate in the U.S. is about 3%. In the UK, it’s 11%. Worldwide it’s over 5%. See for yourself here:

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