Cut out this column and save it so you can remember it. Someone will try, over and over, to make you forget it, but you will want to remember it.

Jan. 2017–Obama administration gives Trump administration a cabinet-level review of scenarios for handling hurricanes, domestic terrorists and pandemics. National Security Council gives new administration a “Pandemic Playbook.”

2018–Trump’s National Security Council disbands the committee that would handle pandemics.

Dec. 2019–COVID19 appears in Wuhan, China. China tries to keep it secret, but disease spreads.

2020

Early January–China informs world of virus; virus DNA is identified.

January–Health workers and government officials warn U.S. administration of virus pandemic threat.

Jan. 21–First case in U.S. is confirmed.

Jan. 22–Trump claims no worry about a pandemic.

Jan. 31–Administration says all is under control; we’re in good shape.

Feb. 5–Congresspeople offer to appropriate funds for getting supplies, tests. Administration declines. Trump doesn’t take control of the situation; very little is done to prepare.

Feb. 7–World Health Organization warns of worldwide shortage of protective equipment for health workers.

Feb. 8–U.S. ships almost 17.8 tons of masks, gowns, respirators to China.

Feb. 26–Trump says that because of all the administration has done, the risk to the American people remains low. When you have 15 people, soon you have zero. We’re doing a great job. We have almost airtight containment.

Around this time, Trump says the situation is a hoax created by Democrats to score political points against him; that the administration is practicing aggressive containment, taking it seriously; that one day it will disappear, like a miracle; that people are surprised he understands this, he understands it very well; that the warmer weather will stop it.

Feb. 27–Stock Market drops heavily.

Feb. 28–First U.S. death in Washington state.

Governors and mayors, seeing that the federal government is not taking control, start to try to get supplies and ventilators, hospital space. They need tests for the virus.

February–Test created by the CDC doesn’t work, so new tests are developed from scratch. They are not readily available. Trump says that anyone who wants a test can get it and that it’s a beautiful test. To this day (3/30), the U.S. doesn’t have enough tests, and turnaround time for results in our area is 5-11 days.

March 13–Trump declares a National Emergency although he continues not to practice social distancing.

The US lost over a month through lack of urgency to get tests made and distributed, excess red tape to get tests approved, and lack of leadership. South Korea, which had its first case at the same time as the U.S. did, jumped into widespread testing, took measures to isolate COVID-19 patients, and is much better off than we are today.

Without the federal government handling procurement and shipping of supplies and equipment, governors work against each other to get what they need. Big states get some of what they want while small states can’t outbid them. The administration claims to have caused masks, gowns, etc., to be shipped out to health workers in huge quantities, but they haven’t reached our area.

It is clear that supplies and equipment should be procured and shipped from a central source, the federal government, but Trump claimed that the government isn’t a “shipping clerk” and delayed use of the Defense Production Act which allows him to demand that companies produce what is needed.

Now we are trying to slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home except when absolutely necessary to go out. We hope it works.

Sheryl Eaton is President of White Mountain Democrats.

(16) comments

scubagal

Thank you so much Sheryl. I will not forget this clear and concise timeline election day.

ronzim

Nor will I.

2rusty

Most of this stuff is either distorted or has been refuted elsewhere. TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) is a big boost to the socialists who want to see all private businesses gone and everyone on the government's meal ticket.

ArizAl

Again Trump supporters continue to rally to the defense of the republican traitor,self admitted sexual predator, financial swindler, pathological liar,racist and Blamer- in- Chief, Fascist, dictator wannbe, Trump. So far Trump has falsely attempted to place the blame for his incompetence and stupidity that has caused the deaths of 30,000 americans, on everyone else. When in fact, it was Trump himself that was praising Chinese communist officals for not being transparent about their Covid-19 pandemic. Of course, one has to think that the reason that the Cheeto Trump has not, will not blame the Chinese, is because the Trump corporation and the members of the Trump family, as are republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell and wife are heavily invested in China. "Make America Great Again?" is a Trump lie that his republican supporters gobble up.

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ronzim

2rusty: Please to cite the specific distortions and refutations and your sources for fact checking. No? Thought not. Please to name those persons who want to end private business and keep everyone on the government's meal ticket. No? Thought not.

ArizAl

Really sad to see that Trump supporter have never been able to understand that our United States government was created provide for the general welfare of all it's people. The first three words of the Constitution are,"We the people" as in a social society not "We the Corporations" as in the book/movie 1984.

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SunnyT

We are the only country in the world that is like us. Most of us want to live in a free society where our federal government doesn't control every aspect of our lives. It's because of China's cover up and letting so many people spread this virus all over the world. Of course Mr. Trump down played it at first. So did leaders in most of the world at first. Not because they're idiots. First, because no one was aware just how bad it was. Second, not since 1918 has there been a pandamic such as this. Of course one thinks that it couldn't get this bad. If the FDA hadn't made it virtually impossible for the tests that were created to be used in the beginning there would have been more tests.

We are lucky to live in a country that doesn't make as get a surveillance app on our phones. Have cameras on every building and street corners. Send troops to patrol our streets and take our temperature. You have the choice to live in another country like that if you want. Please don't try to make MY free country away.

RFranklin

Very good comments. I agree with you SunnyT. Pres. Trump has rallied the private sector to fight this pandemic. He is proving we do not need a bloated Federal Government. We need to continue to reduce the size of government.

Lee Bertay

I will have no problem remembering how your demrats worked so hard to subvert and sabotage our excellent Trump Administration's effective response to this biological threat from your Maoist benefactors. The usual taunts of "xenophobia" and "racism" were hurled at President Trump by your side when this "accident" was achieving momentum, along with bad advice from the WHO lackeys of the Chicoms. But, of course, none of this matters when the only thing that does is that it is "Trump's Fault" for November, right?

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ArizAl

Lee, Trump's first response to the Covic-19 was that it was Obama's fault, then it was the Democrats fault, then it was the media's fault,then it was the CDC's fault, then it was the Governor's fault, then it was the states fault, now it is the W.H.O.'s fault. Of course Trump doesn't mention that his own administration was warning him of a possible pandemic in the first part of January. As usual, Trump ignored everybody and put out his own set of lies which came back to bite him in the behind.

Lee Bertay

Instead of going around and around with the stupid argument whether Trump did this or didn't do that which is standard democrat idiocy in these times of bioattack peril, being that the Trump administration has delegated a lot of this to the states and private sector for more efficient response (thank God we don't have democrats running the federal part of this, like obama who left the Trump Administration with un-restocked supplies after his administration's disasters, for instance), but rather I will bring something to the discussion with the suggestion to watch the Professor Woo Joo Kim interviews on the Youtube Asian Boss channel. You'll learn more than you ever will watching TV news agitprop all day.

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ArizAl

On January 21,2020 the known case of coronavirus in the U.S. was confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On Feburary 7, 2020, the World Health Organization issued a warning that PPE supplies were limited and that the demand for these supplies (masks,respirators, gowns) was 100% more than normal. The same day Feb. 7,2020 there were already 12 confirmed cases of coronavirus infections in the U.S. and it was the same day that the Trump administration announced it was sending 18 TONS of PPE from the U.S. stockpile to China. The next day Trump was asked by CNBC anchor Joe Kernen if he was worried about the spread of the virus in the U.S. and becoming a pandemic. To quote Donald Trump," No, Not at all -we-have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China and we have it under control.It's going to be just fine." Lee Bertay, if as you say there was a shortage of PPE supplies, then why was Trump giving 18 tons of PPE supplies to China and leave our citizens, hospitals, medical personell, without? To make matters worse, why was Trump administration confiscating the PPE that Governors ordered and paid for fighting the pandemic in their states? As Trump has repeatly stated when Governors have asked him for help with PPE," The federal government is not a shipping clerk," yet the Trump adminstration announced that they will be shipping PPE and medical supplies to Russia. Interestingly, that coincides with the statement made by Trump's son in law Jared Kushner, that the federal supply of PPE "did not belong to the states, that it was theirs." Apperantly Trump has declared himself a king with "total authority" to take PPE away from the states and give it to communist China and Russia. That is what republicans want in a president. Blackmarket anyone?

ronzim

Mr. Bertay couches his comments in the all-too-familiar Trump-speak modality which consists of vague allusions, uncheckable generalities, repetitious pejoratives and no factual references. Terms such as “standard democrat idiocy” betray a lack of ability to craft any meaningful, fact-based comment. The reference to Trump’s delegation of much of this to the states and the private sector are illustrative of an expression of ideology, not fact: Much of what? Mr. Betay also confuses the meaning of “delegate” with “inaction”. Trump has no authority to “delegate” to the states in the matter of the response to the pandemic. What is more, delegation requires not only the assignment of authority (responsibility cannot be delegated), and the governors already have that, but the assignment of resources with which to do the job. Nor can he delegate anything to the private sector. By definition, presidents may not delegate their responsibilities to business. Trump could have invoked federal law to compel industry to produce goods, which he failed to do.

In addition, he makes an unfounded assertion that the Obama administration left office with “un-restocked supplies”. This allegation is just that - an allegation. There is not a single factual reference to just what supplies were not restocked (or on order) and whether or not those supplies were most relevant to natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes or were pertinent to a pandemic such as COVID – 19.

Finally, the reference to an interview with someone whose credentials are not listed and whose venue was U-tube’s Asian Boss Channel, calls into question the intellectual authenticity of the author. I submit that such a source is no substitute for the advice emanating from the nation’s foremost scientific and medical authorities concerning this pandemic.

Lee Bertay

Once again my Political Insanity must be confessed. What do a couple of interviews with a 30 year Professor of Infectious Diseases at the Korean UGuro Hospital in Seoul who has played a major part in South Korea's COVID-19 response, by a South Korean indie journalist group, have ANYTHING to do with the single most important issue of this biothreat being that this is "Trump's Fault?" I must therefore revise my petty viewing tip for all party members to view the CGTN youtube channel and take notes for anything that may be detrimental to Trump.

phxnative54

"LIBERATE MINNESOTA!" "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!" "LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!"

SEDITION (noun): conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.

ronzim

Lee: I raised no question as to Dr. Woo’s competence. Your citation of his interview had nothing to do with the political and ideological insults you included in your comments. That is because Dr. Woo is a scientist and infectious disease expert who did not say anything in support of your allegations against democrats and the Obama administration. Readers will note that you have not yet provided any factual data in support of your allegations which remain generalized and uncheckable as matters of fact.

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