In response to President Donald Trump’s question about his recent lack of public comment on Wednesday’s worsening of the COVID 19 pandemic, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump had been working “behind the scenes” and that his earlier actions showed that he was “following the science” regarding the virus.
” He’ s working hard with the task force behind the scenes,” McEnany said, citing Trump’s advocacy of reopening schools as proof that Trump “followed science,” especially as more medical experts have also supported the reopening of schools.
“The president has followed science,” McEnany said. “He has also kept in mind that we have a constitution, and he will shamelessly and always stand up for science in the best interest of the children of this country”.
A November 14 Washington Post article said Trump had not attended a meeting of the White House Coronavirus Task Force in five months, nor taken steps to slow the spread of the virus in the days following his national election defeat to President-elect Joe Biden.
Responding to the article, White House spokeswoman Sarah A. Matthews told the business insider: “The President will be regularly briefed on the coronavirus. The relevant information on the major decisions will be presented to him, and then he will proceed in the way that is best for our country.
While Trump appeared regularly at the daily briefings of the Coronavirus Task Force during the early months of the pandemic, his appearances suddenly stopped after the April 23rd briefing, where Trump publicly speculated whether injecting household disinfectants into the body could cure the virus. He later claimed that his remark was merely a sarcastic ploy to reporters to “see what would happen.
During a campaign rally on October 24 in Lumberton, North Carolina, Trump said, “That’s all I hear now. That’s all I hear now. Turn on the television – “COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID. By the way, you won’t hear any more of this on November 4.” His comment indicated that the Democrats and the media were discussing the pandemic just to reduce his chances for re-election.
Physicians also disagreed that Trump always “followed science” in COVID-19. Trump has repeatedly claimed that one day the virus would simply disappear, and has repeatedly downplayed the lethality of the virus by calling it no worse than the flu, even as new cases and deaths dramatically exceeded any previous flu season and killed more Americans than died in five modern U.S. military conflicts.
Even White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner described Trump’s relationship with the medical community as hostile.
In July, four former directors of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) accused Trump of “undermining scientific expertise” and “unnecessarily endangering lives. In a Washington Post statement, they wrote: “No president has ever politicized science [the CDC]as Trump has.
On October 26, Trump said that doctors overstated COVID-19 deaths for financial reasons. However, Ashish K. Jha, Dean of Brown University School of Public Health, called Trump’s claim “Facebook trash. Many other doctors and medical associations said that doctors would be prosecuted and could potentially lose their licenses if they overstated case numbers.
In early October, the New England Journal of Medicine published its first editorial in the publication’s 200-year history, stating that Trump “failed a leadership test” in his response to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic.
Washington Newsday turned to the White House for comment.