Go to contents

Trump administration under fire for handling coronavirus crisis

Trump administration under fire for handling coronavirus crisis

Posted March. 03, 2020 07:53,   

Updated March. 03, 2020 07:53


There is mounting criticism that U.S. President Donald Trump is sticking to groundless optimism to seal his re-election although two people have died from the novel coronavirus and the number of confirmed cases continues to rise in the nation. After interviewing some 20 administration officials, The Washington Post reported that there are serious confusion, an absence of leadership and lack of information within the administration. One senior official said, “It’s complete chaos.”

It has been pointed out that Trump was wrong to choose Mike Pence instead over a professional medical personnel to lead coronavirus response. Vice President Mike Pence, an enthusiastic evangelist, was criticized for his handling of an HIV outbreak in Indiana while he was serving as the governor in 2015. He was reluctant to authorize a needle exchange program recommended by medical professionals and claimed smoking did not cause cancer.

The decision by the White House to appoint Ambassador Deborah Birx, a public health expert, as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator along with Mike Pence is also receiving criticism. With the appointment, there are now three heads at the response team including Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Mike Pence, and Deborah Birx. There is also much talk about an email sent by Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney that wrote all coronavirus-related communications must now go through Mike Pence’s press secretary. This could make fast sharing of information and the delivery of accurate information difficult within the administration.

Pence said on Sunday that it was President Trump who ordered to raise travel advisory on Daegu but not on the entire country. It appears President Trump treated South Korea favorably as an ally, considering the U.S. State Department restricted entry of people traveling from China and Iran. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, however, appeared on Fox News and said, “All options are on the table,” suggesting a possibility to raise travel advisory level for entire South Korea.

lightee@donga.com · parky@donga.com