Back in 2018, Trump sealed the deal for our current coronavirus scramble. After firing the entire pandemic response chain of command, Trump’s administration failed to answer what systems were in place in case a pandemic did occur, because there were none. Operating inside the National Security Council, the pandemic team was set in place as a permanent fixture by Obama during 2014’s Ebola outbreak. They were meant as an insurance group in the event of something of a global scale happening, following the guidelines set in place by the CDC and NIH.
Last week, upon Trump’s visit to the CDC in Atlanta, he was questioned by a reporter on his decision to dissolve the group. His answer? He just didn’t see the purpose.
I just think this is something, Peter, that you can never really think is going to happen. You know, who — I’ve heard all about, “This could be … ”—you know, “This could be a big deal,” from before it happened. You know, this — something like this could happen … But who would have thought? Look, how long ago is it? Six, seven, eight weeks ago—who would have thought we would even be having the subject? We were going to hit 30,000 on the Dow like it was clockwork. Right? It was all going—it was right up, and then all of a sudden, this came out … And the thing is, you never really know when something like this is going to strike and what it’s going to be. This is different than something else. This is a very different thing than something else.
Trump’s comments show a distinct lack of understanding for the very concept of “preventative measures,” perhaps because Trump has never had to account for things like insurance or emergencies before. Either way, Trump’s viewpoint on the idea of countermeasures showcases his genuine lack of comprehension when it comes to crisis and the systems that preclude crises to mitigate damage. It’s no wonder Trump has no sensitivity for those that rely on healthcare.
“I’m a business person,” he told a reporter over two weeks ago. “I don’t like having thousands of people around when you don’t need them. When we need them, we can get them back very quickly.” It’s easy to see how Trump thinks of professionals, or people, in general: disposable, easily replaced.