Blame Someone, Anyone will Do: The Trump Strategy

President Trump and his top aides are working behind the scenes to sideline the World Health Organization on several new fronts as they seek to shift blame for the coronavirus pandemic to the world body, according to U.S. and foreign officials involved in the discussions.”

“Last week, the president announced a 60-day hold on U.S. money to the WHO, but other steps by his top officials go beyond a temporary funding freeze, raising concerns about the permanent weakening of the organization amid a rapidly spreading crisis.

At the State Department, officials are stripping references to the WHO from coronavirus fact sheets, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has instructed his employees to “cut out the middle man” when it comes to public health initiatives the United States previously supported through the WHO.”

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Medicynical Note:  After receiving briefings about the possibility of a severe epidemic, Trump lived in denial of the covid-19 pandemic in December, January and February.  Trump termed it a Demcratic and media hoax; he said it would go away like a miracle, and he thought that everything would disappear by April.  Meanwhile Senators who received the same intel briefings as Trump sold millions of dollars in stocks to avoid the market shock when the inevitable epidemic hit.

Trump maintains that he wasn’t warned early enough by the W.H.O. even though the warnings from the WHO began in December (the US has embedded staff at W.H.O.).   In January the W.H.O. published warnings of the epidemic in China and  of the possibility of person to person transmission by the 15th of that month.  W.H.O. also reported increasing numbers of cases documented and reported by China and then spreading elsewhere thoughout the months of January and February.

Trump and his colleagues also DID NOT accept the W.H.O. developed test for the virus in January choosing to develop a CDC test.  The CDC’s test, however,was  flawed and several weeks use was lost because of the inability to test for the virus in the U.S.  This was by the Trump administration’s choice.

And of course we all are aware that it was Trump’s choice to gut the U.S. government’s pandemic planning and response teams in 2018 by zeroing out the budgets of those folks in the National Security Council and the CDC.  He also cut the budget and removed from China the embedded CDC staff working with the Chinese CDC in June of 2019.

And now Trump, suffering from deserved public humiliation and righteous ridicule after he advocated on nationwide TV the use of bleach and UV light in a person’s body to fight the virus, tries to blame the W.H.O. 

The W.H.O. is not perfect but their response to the pandemic has been all the things that Trump’s U.S. government response IS NOT.  i.e. timely, appropriate, factual and full of helpful information. 

 

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