NOTE: It’s important to underscore that I wrote and published this piece on February 25, 2020. It demonstrates just how much invaluable time was lost before the Trump regime even began to take seriously the looming global public health crisis.
RVC March 20, 2020
By Ray Cunneff
February 25, 2020
While President Donald Trump says with absolute confidence that his administration has the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus contained, and that in any case it will “miraculously” disappear by April, it’s become increasingly clear that he’s once again ignoring the science, cutting the funds needed for control and prevention, and putting millions of lives at risk.
COVID-19 is described as a “novel” virus, meaning that not much is still known about it. But what is known is scary enough. Epidemiologists have long feared an animal-to-human transmission that would rapidly accelerate into a highly contagious second and third-generation human-to-human transmission. And that’s exactly what we’re dealing with now.
And despite Trump’s “nothing to see here” bluster, he has systematically reduced our ability to combat it. It’s unknown who whispered in Trump’s ear that the virus would be gone by April, like the flu, but it’s absolutely false. One only has to look to Australia, where it summer now, to see that the heat of summer has actually increased the number of cases. And unlike the flu, there is no vaccine or cure on the horizon.
CDC director, Dr. Robert Redfield, strongly disagreed with Trump’s assessment, saying “This virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year, and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold, and we will get community-based transmission.”
Trump began slashing public health funding in 2018, diverting millions of dollars from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cut over $1 billion from the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), and the cuts have been deeper with each budget since.
Trump’s 2020 budget called for even more drastic cuts to public health funding and resources the CDC needs to deal with the growing emergency. Fortunately, his proposal is considered DOA in both the House and Senate.
“There are outbreaks. There are epidemics. And there are pandemics, where epidemics become rampant in multiple countries and continents simultaneously. The novel coronavirus that causes the disease named COVID-19 is on the verge of reaching that third, globe-shaking stage.”
-The Washington Post 2/24/2020
Ray Cunneff is a former CBS Television executive, professional motion picture and television writer. His book, “2020: A Trump Odyssey – The Rise of America’s Fascist Dictator” has just been released on Amazon Kindle