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Coronavirus: Years of failures undercut Trump administration response



  • The US is the global epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak. But the country’s path to its current predicament goes back years.
  • The White House disbanded the National Security Council’s pandemic response team in May 2018, and two top officials in charge of the response were either fired or abruptly left the administration.
  • The Trump administration has spent the last several years weakening the federal agencies responsible for detecting and preparing for outbreaks like the novel coronavirus.
  • President Donald Trump also ignored multiple warnings, beginning in 2017, of a potential pandemic and dismissed daily intelligence briefings about an impending coronavirus outbreak in the US.
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As of Tuesday morning, the United States currently leads the world in the total number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, with over 378,000 infections, according to an international database from Johns Hopkins University.

As the number of infections and deaths continue ticking up in the US, the Trump administration is facing sharp criticism for its actions — or lack thereof — related to responding to the US outbreak.

The Trump administration slashed agencies and government programs responsible for detecting and responding to the virus, it ignored multiple warnings of a potential surge, and it publicly downplayed the threat of the pandemic even after it had secured a foothold in the country.

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