News & Politics

Trump Didn’t Botch the Coronavirus Response, Andrew Cuomo Did

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Make no mistake about it, the mainstream media has done everything in its power to make the public believe that the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic was a failure. Trump has been the target of countless false stories designed to undermine his chances of reelection in November. Meanwhile, the media has lavished praise on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who saw his popularity skyrocket, despite devastating failures that made his response to the pandemic the worst of any governor.

It’s unlikely we’ll see a fair assessment of the coronavirus response in the media any time soon… or ever. But, the facts can be easily seen by anyone willing to look.

Trump’s Coronavirus Response Was Early and Decisive

The Democrats and the liberal media desperately tried to paint Trump’s response to the coronavirus as slow and inadequate, but the facts tell a much different story.

If you look at a timeline of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus, you’ll see that while Democrats were distracted by impeachment, Trump was getting things done, taking enormous steps to protect this country, well before the first death attributed to the coronavirus was reported.

In fact, Trump’s response was clearly much better than the Democrats or the media would ever give him credit for because Joe Biden repeatedly “plagiarized” Trump’s coronavirus response plan and tried to pass it off as his own, even calling for things to be done that Trump had already taken care of weeks prior. If Trump wasn’t doing a good job, Biden wouldn’t have been taking things he’d done and claim them as his own ideas.

Trump Banned Travel With China in the Face of Widespread Opposition

On January 31, 2020, Donald Trump banned travel with China in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the United States. At the time, he faced enormous opposition. 

When the travel ban was implemented, Biden criticized the move during a campaign rally. “In moments like this, this is where the credibility of a president is most needed, as he explains what we should and should not do,” he said. “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia, hysterical xenophobia, to uh, and fearmongering.”

In addition to being called xenophobic and racist by Democrats, the World Health Organization opposed the move, claiming travel bans don’t work.

While Congressional Democrats were overwhelmingly opposed to the ban, 80 percent of Americans agreed with Trump. Countries worldwide implemented travel bans of different scales to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Many have restricted travel from China or for recent visitors to China, and many have restricted travel with other countries as well. This isn’t because of xenophobia or racism, it’s about protecting their populations from the coronavirus spread. Naturally, Democrats had wanted to perpetuate the narrative that the bans were motivated by xenophobia and racism. 

But eventually, the World Health Organization admitted Trump’s strategy worked and saved lives.

Dr. Fauci also said Trump’s travel bans would prevent the United States from becoming another Italy. He was right.

In time, virtually everyone who opposed Trump’s bans has flip-flopped. Even Democrats like Joe Biden. 

“Joe Biden supports travel bans that are guided by medical experts, advocated by public health officials, and backed by a full strategy,” Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, told CNN last month. “Science supported this ban, therefore he did too.” 

He’d called the bans “hysterical xenophobia” a couple of months earlier.

Nancy Pelosi, who also opposed Trump’s travel ban and slammed it as a “scare tactic” also flip-flopped, claiming months after the ban that it didn’t go far enough. Less than a month after Trump’s travel ban, Pelosi even took a symbolic tour of San Francisco’s Chinatown area in order to quell fears about the coronavirus.

Cuomo Was Late in Ordering New York’s Lockdown

As ProPublica recently compared the coronavirus pandemic in New York and California. New York has suffered nearly ten times the number of deaths as California. And it all came down to local leadership. President Trump issued stay at home guidelines on March 16, 2020. But New York’s lockdown wasn’t ordered until March 22, which, as ProPublica noted, was “six days after San Francisco had shut down, five days after de Blasio suggested doing similarly and three days after all of California had been closed by Newsom. By then, New York faced a raging epidemic, with the number of confirmed cases at 15,000 doubling every three or four days.”

Cuomo Was Ignorant of New York’s Actual Needs

Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been a darling of the media, and has even enjoyed a boost in popularity, is responsible for New York’s downstate area becoming the hotspot of the pandemic, not just in the country, but the entire world.

Cuomo was so unaware of the situation in his state, he requested 30,000-40,000 ventilators to help see them through the pandemic, but only needed about 6,000. The alleged ventilator shortage the media claimed existed never actually was, and Cuomo, who once accused Trump of not providing enough ventilators, saying dramatically, “You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die,” ultimately admitted that New York had more than enough ventilators, and eventually started giving extra ventilators to other states who needed them more.

Rather than assessing their need based on the situation on the ground, Cuomo (and frankly, other governors as well) relied on the doomsday models to predict their need. The Trump administration, instead, relied on realtime data from hospitals to assess their needs and ultimately provided enough ventilators that no one who needed one was ever denied one.

Cuomo was also completely unaware of the hospital needs in his state that when the Naval hospital ship USNS Comfort to provide relief for New York City, it floated in the harbor for three weeks almost completely empty before he eventually realized it wasn’t needed. Cuomo’s estimates of New York’s hospital bed were completely wrong.

Cuomo was clearly too busy with his image and the media coverage of his conflicts with Trump to understand what was actually going on in his state.

Cuomo Exacerbated the Outbreak in Nursing Homes

Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been a darling of the media, and has even enjoyed a boost in popularity, is responsible for New York’s downstate area becoming the hotspot of the pandemic, not just in the country, but the entire world.

The media loved his occasional conflicts with President Trump,

On March 25, New York state ordered nursing homes to accept patients regardless of their coronavirus status. That order proved to be a deadly mistake. It was well known that the elderly were more vulnerable to the virus, so having patients who tested positive for the coronavirus in nursing homes allowed the virus to spread, as Governor Andrew Cuomo put it, “like fire through dry grass.”

Despite this, Cuomo defended the policy. Nursing homes “don’t have a right to object. That is the rule and that is the regulation and they have to comply with that,” Cuomo said during a daily briefing last month. He finally rescinded the order on May 11, but the damage had been done. Nursing home patients represent a mere .46 percent of the United States population but account for at least 43 percent of all coronavirus deaths, and Cuomo enabled a massive outbreak in New York nursing homes, and then tried to cover it up.

Even now, Cuomo still defends the policy. “Still, people died. Older people, vulnerable people are going to die from this virus. That is going to happen despite whatever you do. Because with all our progress as a society, we can’t keep everyone alive.” Imagine if Trump said that.

Cuomo Didn’t Start Daily Cleanings of the Metro Until Early May

Even during the pandemic, New York’s subway system continued to operate, allowing essential workers to get to their jobs. Testing has shown that the coronavirus can survive on various surfaces for hours or even days. Yet, the Metro didn’t start implementing nightly closures to disinfect Metro trains until May 6, 2020—nearly two months after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. Before that, they were only disinfected every 72 hours, allowing the Metro to facilitate the transmission of the coronavirus for weeks virtually unimpeded. 

“You never had a challenge of disinfecting every train every 24 hours,” Cuomo is press briefing late last month. “It can best be done by stopping train service from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. every night.”

You think? Why did it take so long? How many people contracted the coronavirus unnecessarily because the Metro wasn’t disinfected on a daily basis for months?

Downstate New York Skews America’s Overall Coronavirus Numbers

As a result of Cuomo’s various missteps, downstate New York became the world’s hotspot for the coronavirus pandemic. Downstate has been so heavily impacted by the coronavirus that it skews the United States when you compare us to the rest of the world—having more cases and deaths per capita than anywhere else. If you count downstate New York as its own country, it ranks number one by long shot compared to all others, while the rest of the United States doesn’t even make the top ten countries most affected by the virus.

The logical conclusion from this is that the United States’ response to the coronavirus wasn’t inadequate, or a failure. Most of the country has experienced a relatively mild pandemic. New York, particularly the downstate area around New York City, is where the real failure was. If the media was fair, Trump would be celebrated for his decisive response to the coronavirus pandemic, and Governor Cuomo should be panned.

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Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis