Trump’s early knowledge of the pandemic

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Christine Shelton, Managing Editor for Editorial Operations

Journalist Bob Woodward’s anticipated book “Rage,” which is a sequel to his other book, “Fear: Trump in the Whitehouse,” is said to chronicle Donald Trump’s presidency, where he specifically mentions Trump’s actions regarding the global pandemic. Since the pandemic spread to the United States, there had been speculation that Trump had preexisting knowledge of the coronavirus and its effects.

It is quite possible Trump held back from warning the public about the virus because he foolishly thought it would not affect as many people’s lives as it did; he more than likely assumed it was “China’s problem,” and even now, he ignorantly refers to the virus as the “China virus.” Considering how cavalier Trump was at the beginning of the pandemic, it would be less than shocking if he had known about it earlier.

When the notion that Trump knew about the virus before the outbreak was first recognized, he claimed that he downplayed the severity of the virus to avoid public panic. However, it is also equally possible that Trump’s initial response to downplay the seriousness of COVID-19 was due to his pride and greed. From Trump’s capitalistic perspective, it makes sense that he was reluctant to shut down businesses and put the quarantine in place because he had a pretty good idea about the amount of money that would be lost in the process. Even with him knowing the virus’s capabilities, he still felt as though life in the U.S. could continue on, business as usual. The result of him not taking precautions early ultimately cost 217,000 people their lives.

Trump’s ignorance, coupled with his greed and superiority complex, made him unstoppable as if he could do or beat anything. Unfortunately, this attitude was at the expense of the people he swore to govern and protect. Even after the shutdown, which lasted for about a month or two, most communities were still not enforcing social distancing and wearing masks. Once the world opened back up, the number of positive cases skyrocketed because people could decide whether or not to wear a mask in public. Not to mention, there were still nonbelievers of the virus who assumed the virus was human-made and used as a tool of control from the government. Between those who did not care nor believe and Trump’s ineffectiveness to secure proper precautions in all communities, the pandemic only continued to spread throughout the United States.

Ultimately, his carelessness at the beginning of the pandemic is still affecting the masses seven months later. It seems that he rarely gives direct answers when asked about the pandemic, and he even refuses to address the anti-mask community, which, oddly enough, is the majority of his supporters. While it is understandable, he remained quiet to keep from causing mass panic, withholding that information was not only selfish but inconsiderate of his people. His refusal to be forthcoming and lack of effort to help keep the virus from spreading proves that he has grown complacent with the virus and just sees it as a means to an end.