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How Trump ignored advice from Dr Fauci

He's a loser.

A Medium reader challenged me on my attitude to Trump.

This is what Thien Ooi wrote on the 8th October 2020:

“The administration has been following the advice of Dr Fauci and Dr Birx who are part of the Trump administration. Are you saying that he should have disregarded their advice and done something different? If so, exactly what?”

This was in answer to some comments of mine, criticising Trump’s incompetence.

Yes, I know, your eyes are on stalks and you’re saying, “What the…”

But OK, let’s take a look at this.

Firstly what is Dr Fauci’s advice?

Here we are from the 14th October 2020. “Mask wearing, social distancing, avoiding crowds, washing hands frequently and doing more things outdoors are all things that could help quell the spread of the disease, according to Fauci. If not, Fauci said, “I think we’re facing a whole lot of trouble.”

Did Dr Fauci advise a lockdown?

On March 15th 2020 CNN said:

“Washington (CNN)The nation’s top infectious disease expert on Sunday did not rule out supporting a temporary national lockdown of the country’s restaurants and bars in order to curb the spread of coronavirus, saying he’d like to see a “dramatic” reduction in activity in order to fight the disease.

Asked by CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “State of the Union” if he’d like a “national lockdown” where people are being told they need to stay home and out of restaurants and bars, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said he’d “like to see a dramatic diminution of the personal interaction that we see” in those places.

“Whatever it takes to do that, that’s what I’d like to see,” Fauci added.”

So… yes.

Everybody in the world outside the USA (oh and maybe Russia, Brazil and Sweden) is yawning and saying, “Yeah yeah, obviously. Totally standard policy.”

Peace. Be patient. For some reason these totally standard policies are regarded as crazy scary attacks on freedom by the Republican party in the USA.

So now we can say that we know what Dr Fauci wanted, what he advised Trump to do: temporary national lockdown, mask wearing, social distancing, avoiding crowds, washing hands frequently, staying outside as much as possible.

Admittedly, Fauci was not enthusiastic about masks at the beginning of the pandemic, feeling that the evidence didn’t show they worked well. However he has since come round to them perhaps because countries that immediately got their populations wearing them in public places have had much lower infection rates.

Next question. Did Trump follow the advice of Dr Fauci and most of the public health experts?

Also, did he follow any of the advice consistently?

I’ll score him at 1 for a behaviour he consistently both recommends and practises himself; 0.5 for a behaviour he either recommends or practises but not both; 0 for where he neither recommended nor practised the behaviour.

On the lockdown – he didn’t order a national lockdown; State Governors ordered statewide lockdowns in some areas and this rapidly became controversial. The coverage was patchy. He did close the USA’s borders which probably didn’t help much because by the time he did it, Covid 19 was already well-established inside the USA. He urged reopening almost immediately and he certainly didn’t reduce his travel, golfing or his political activities.

Score: 0

On facemasks: Trump has flaunted his mask-phobia on many occasions, perhaps most notably in the Rose Garden ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett where Trump and at least 20 other people caught covid 19 in a major superspreader event. On the 6th October 2020, while he was still probably infectious, he ripped his mask off on the White House balcony to show how tough he was.

He has never consistently ordered nor even encouraged facemask wearing. He has mocked people wearing masks, including Joe Biden.

Score: 0

On social distancing: it seems that Trump has recommended social distancing occasionally and so has his administration. However he has never practised it himself and there was none visible at his rally in Florida on 12 October 2020 or any other Trump rally. If people try to impose some, he normally disrupts it.

Score: 0.5

On avoiding crowds: Trump loves a crowd and prefers massive rallies in front of cheering supporters. Take a look at any of his rallies – people tight together, no masks. Trump has recommended people avoid crowds, but he doesn’t ever avoid them himself.

Score: 0.5

On washing his hands: apparently Trump is a germaphobe. On the 2nd July he actually told Americans to wash their hands. Here finally is something that Trump both recommends and does himself. It’s a pity that probably only 10% of cases come from touching things, but still he gets a full mark.

Score: 1

Finally on staying outside as much as possible: as far as I know, he hasn’t recommended it but he does seem to practise it, as at his rallies and the Rose Garden superspreader event.

0.5

Final score: 2.5/6

It’s not very impressive, is it?

So the administration has not really been following the advice of Dr Fauci and Dr Birx. Trump has in fact “disregarded their advice and done something different” at pretty much every opportunity with catastrophic results. One of the purposes of a President is to act as a role model, something which he does as badly as it’s possible to do it.

That’s why Trump’s incompetence is partly responsible for the deaths of 215,000 Americans – and rising.

 

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The Federal government response to Covid 19 has been very complicated – you might want to take a look here at what Wikipedia says about it.

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