Coronavirus vs Trump: the US president’s authoritarian bluster has hit the cold, hard wall of a disease he can’t control

  • From the Trump administration’s disbanding of the National Security Council’s epidemic response team to the president’s garbled messaging and the convoluted organisation of his coronavirus task force, the buck will finally stop at the very top



There are now over 400 confirmed cases of coronavirus infections identified in the United States and the numbers are climbing quickly. Cities across the country are scrambling to prepare their emergency services and are questioning when the federal government will get its act together.

The White House response has mainly been to reassure everyone that all is fine and, in meeting after meeting, US President Donald Trump’s team praise him for his expert leadership.That praise has been directed at Trump’s first and apparently only instinct, which was to control who could enter the country via travel bans.

On the surface, that looks like a credible first response: who wants potentially infected people entering the country and spreading the disease?But this focus was at the expense of initiating broad access to working test kits, which, had they been available and used, would have indicated that the virus was already in the general population weeks ago. Based on the abundance of evidence from China and other countries, the virus would quickly spread, and now it has.


The full commentary is available here