If the mainstream liberal media would stop tearing President Trump apart for every comment and action he makes or does not make, they might screw up and inject some actual facts into the national conversation surrounding COVID-19.
When news of the novel coronavirus broke on the global level, Trump quickly restricted travel from China, since COVID-19 originated in Wuhan. Some of his political opponents called him a racist. Others said it was too little, too late; the virus had already been present in China for several weeks before the travel restrictions were imposed.
Trump’s initial public reaction to the coronavirus’ arrival in America was to reassure the media and citizens alike that there was no need to panic or be an alarmist. He was criticized for being too lax about the virus, even though it has a relatively low fatality rate and 80-90% of infected people experience mild or no symptoms. His comments seem appropriate when coming from a national leader, though. Reassuring people that everything will be fine and that they should remain calm seems like the right thing to say when faced with an alarming situation. No matter how dire things may get, panicking at the start is a poor course of action.
The president has continued to communicate with officials and the American public regarding the novel coronavirus through press conferences, meetings, and his prolific tweets. One CNN headline read “Donald Trump seems to know very little about the coronavirus.” But, isn’t that true for everyone? Scientists and medical leaders say that we should be terrified of COVID-19 because it is a new virus that we don’t know anything about. Symptom guidelines directing people when to call the doctor and report a suspected infection have changed greatly since they were first announced. Some say only call a doctor for a combination of fever, dry cough, and sore throat; others say that digestive issues are also primary symptoms. It’s unjust to skewer any one person for knowing very little about this novel strain of coronavirus.
Trump tried to use a bit of common sense to combat hysteria concerning COVID-19, and that effort was soundly beat down as well. In early February, he tweeted that the coronavirus’ spread in America could slow as warmer weather approaches. Medical experts agree this is typically the case with contagious illnesses (which is why cold and flu season occurs during the winter, not summer), but media outlets quickly pointed out the error of Trump’s comment, based solely on the fact that he said it.
President Trump is not an expert on COVID-19. No one is. But, he is the leader of the free world, and constantly attacking him for his comments and actions as he tries to navigate this unprecedented medical and economic situation is counterproductive to the end goal. No matter our political affiliation, all Americans should strive for a healthy population and economy, both on the national and global scale. We need to focus on surviving this uncertain situation so that we can rebuild and thrive in the future. COVID-19 is not Trump’s fault, and uniting under his leadership is in the best interest of all citizens, whether or not they agree with every comment he makes.