Letter to the Editor, March 19, 2020

Coronavirus and Trump

On March 10, Donald Trump said, “It [the coronavirus] will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” On this date, the cases of coronavirus in the U.S. were doubling every two days. In Italy, it was spreading slower with a four day doubling. China’s doubling was measured in years.

On March 11, Trump spoke from the Oval Office about the rapidly expanding coronavirus pandemic. He gave no direction to our nation’s medical services, and attempted to calm the stock markets from a rapidly slowing economy. The next day, the DOW dropped 1,700 points. On March 13, Trump staged a public relations conference at 3 p.m. before the markets closed to again calm them. As he spoke, the DOW recovered the points it lost on the 12th. During questioning, Trump stated that he accepted no responsibility for the pandemic.

On Monday, March 16, after the virus continued to spread and the U.S. was still last in the world at testing for it regardless of Trump’s claims otherwise, the DOW dropped 3,000 points. Trump held another press conference proposing aid to airlines and other big businesses, tax cuts (because they fix everything), and maybe even some aid to people who may desperately need it.

Currently, China’s doubling rate is seven years, Italy’s is just under six days, and ours is three days and expected to get worse because of our utter failure at testing for and isolating cases. It has been documented that the virus can be spread by infected people several days before they show symptoms. If current trends continue, we will have more infected people than Italy during the first week of April.

Trump recently said that when this is over, you’ll have a stock market like you’ve never seen before. Trump shouldn’t try to predict the future; he has a hard enough time with the present.

John L. Ferri