Donald Trump comments about coronavirus have sowed doubt and confusion within the public. He has suggested that there are mild cases and that people could return to work in such a condition or recover from it without realising that they had it. He has also suggested that a vaccine will be developed soon as well as suggested that the outbreak will disappear with the warm weather.
His comments run counter to the scientific evidence which informs the public health statements from his advisers as well as the government institutions, like Center for Disease Control. In this manner, Trump has been politicising the coronavirus issue by suggesting that it is a hoax promoted by the Democratic Party to weaken his presidency. Yet, the issue is whether his leadership, expressed by his comments, is undermining the response to the coronavirus outbreak by distorting the pandemic’s scale, scope, and severity within the United States and the world.
His statesmanship bears an uncanny resemblance to Thabo Mbeki’s approach to the AIDS crisis when his leadership exacerbated the AIDS crisis in South Africa. Mbeki rejected scientific evidence that showed the AIDS virus was not responsible for AIDS but that a weakened immune system brought on by poverty and malnourishment was the cause. Mbeki rejected the scientific evidence for political reasons as he had politicized the AIDS crisis for his own purposes. In a similar way, we see Trump politicizing the coronavirus. The federal government could take a decisive lead on the issue with blunt appraisals regarding the pandemic’s scale, scope and severity, but that would require the President to put public safety before politics. Instead, Trump has sown doubt, confusion, and uncertainty. In doing so, he has made the crisis worse because the public are unprepared to understand that the pandemic will get much worse before it gets better.
Were the president to show decisive leadership he would explain why the test kits are not available, when they will be available as they are the first step in understanding the outbreak’s scale, scope, and severity. Instead, he has focused on the Democrats, his own hunches about the cases as well as the disease’s morality rate, which serve his purposes but not the public’s. However, this would require Trump to display talents and characteristics he has never shown previously.
South Africa’s leaders politicized the AIDS crisis and made it worse. It appears Trump is doing the same withe coronavirus. Americans deserve better leadership in a crisis, but it will not get it so long as Trump is president.
Join 2,359 other followers
copyright notice© Lawrence Serewicz and Philosophical Politics ,2011-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lawrence Serewicz and Philosophical Politics with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.