For The Record: Trumps Statements About the Coronavirus

It is best to keep the record straight when analyzing the reasons why Covid-19 has blasted such a hole in the United States Health Care system and its economy.

December 31, the China office of the World Health Organization heard the first reports of an unknown virus in the city of Wuhan that had caused a number of pneumonia cases.

January 7:  Chinese officials announced it has identified a new virus.

January 11: China announce the first death from the virus

January 13:  The first case outside of China.

January 17: Second death in Wuhan. Cases confirmed in U.S., France, Austria over the following days

January 22:  The death toll in China jumped to 17 with more than 550 infections

January 22. CNBC Reporter Joe Kernen asked, “Are there worries about a pandemic at this point?”

Trump replied, “No. Not at all. And—we’re—we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s—going to be just fine.”

[ON this date former director of the CDC wrote an op-ed for the health care publication Stat warning the virus would continue spreading: “We need to learn – and fast – about how it spreads.”]

January 23:   The City of Wuhan placed under quarantine.

January 24: Trump: “It will all work out well.”

January 27:  New cases confirmed in U.S.

January 28:  Trump  retweeted a One America News Headline:  “Johnson & Johnson to create coronavirus vaccine.”

[On this date two former Trump administration officials wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “If public-health authorities don’t interrupt the spread soon, the virus could infect many thousands more around the globe, disrupt air travel, overwhelm health care systems, and worst of all, claim more lives. The good news: There’s still an opening to prevent a grim outcome . .  But authorities can’t act quickly without a test that can diagnose the condition rapidly.”]

January 30:  WHO declared coronavirus a global emergency as death toll in China jumped to 170 with 7,711 cases.

January 30:  Trump states: “We have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment – five. And those people are all recuperating successfully.”

January 31:  Trump barred most foreigners who had recently visited China. It didn’t apply to Americans who had been traveling to China

February 2:  First death outside of China in Philippines

February 2: Asked by Hannity if he was concerned Trump replied: “Well, we pretty much shut it down coming in from China. We have a tremendous relationship with China, which is a very positive thing. Getting along with China, getting along with Russia, getting along with these countries.”

February 5:  American citizens from Wuhan flown to U.S.

February 10: China reports 97 new deaths, total deaths 908

February 10:  Trump says: “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”

February 19:  Trump says: “I think the numbers are going to get progressively better as we go along.”

February 21: Italy region of Lombardy reported the first local transmission of virus with three new cases. Total in Italy 6

February 22:  South Korea sees spike of 228 new cases. Number of new cases in China falls significantly.  Italy reports it first two deaths.

February 23:  Italy confirms third death.

February 23:  Trump said the situation was “very much under control. We had 12, at one point. And now they’ve gotten very much better. Many of them are fully recovered.”

[On February 23 the World Health Organization announced the virus was in 30 countries with 56,811 confirmed cases.]

February 25:  Trump said: “I think that’s a problem that is going to go away. They have studied it. They know very much. In fact, we’re very close to a vaccine.”

February 26:  Trump said: “We’re going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down, not up.”  He also said: “The [15 cases in the U.S. within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”

February 27:   Trump said: “It’s going to disappear. One day – it’s like a miracle – it will disappear.”

February 29:  First U.S. death from coronavirus

February 29:   Trump said a vaccine would be available “very quickly” and “very rapidly.” He also said his administration’s actions as “the most aggressive taken by any country.”

[At the end of February there were 85,403 confirmed cases in 55 countries.]

March 2:   Trump said, “We’re talking about a much smaller range” of deaths than from the flu. He also said: “A lot of things are happening. A lot of very exciting things are happening and they’re happening very rapidly.”

March 4:   Trump told Hannity: “It’s very mild.” He also said: “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work – some of them go to work but they get better.”

March 5:  Trump said: “I never said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”

March 6:   Trump while touring the C.D.C. said: “ I think we’re doing a really good job in this country at keeping it down . . . a tremendous job at keeping it down.” He also said “Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re there. And the tests are beautiful. . . . The tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect.”  [Same day:  Alex Aar secretary of health and human services told ABC “there is no testing kit shortage, nor has there ever been,]

March 7:  The coronavirus had killed nearly 3,500 people and infected another 102,000 people across 90 countries.

March 7:   Trump said: “I’m not concerned at all.”

March 10: Both  Iran and Italy recorded their highest death tolls in a singe  day. 54 people in Iran; 168 fatalities in Italy.

March 10:  Trump said: “It will go away. Just stay calm It will go away.”

March 11:  [WHO officially declared that the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic]

March 12:  Global death toll surpasses 4,600 with infections exceeding 126, 000

March 17: Trump: “I’ve always known this is a real — this is a pandemic. I thought it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic. All you have to do is look at other countries.”  

March 20:  Deaths surge past 10,000

March 21:  Italy reports 793 new fatalities bringing total deaths to 4.825 amid 53,538 cases

36 thoughts on “For The Record: Trumps Statements About the Coronavirus

  1. Re. my earlier lengthy post under the heading “COMMUNICATOR IN CHIEF”, I erred in not pointing out that these are the words of Herald columnist Andrea Cohen, not mine. Although I agree with her sentiments.

  2. Bill
    You got me again. I never could sneak false news by you.

    For the uneducated and the uneducable


    Essays on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
    By David Denton

    My buddy retired Quincy High School English teacher Ed Tatro just sent me
    this new book release on the JFK assassination released lawsuit week
    and written by Professor David Denton.

    We now know J Edgar Hoover wacked JFK , MLK and RFK for the Deep State
    represented by Lyndon Johnson.

    Donald Trump is a continuation of the Deep State
    elected by FBI Comey
    and Mueller on behalf of Exxon Mobil et al.
    The same group that funded the JFK hit.
    Just read Blood Money by attorney Barr Macllelan

  3. Count me among the many who see Trump’s management of this a success. Matt will no doubt agree that getting the feds to do anything well is a minor miracle. I just re-read Matt’s 12/15 post about John “Ivan” Naimovich.
    As my youngest is working in Taiwan, I have followed their response to the virus closely.
    Through Wednesday, Taiwan had reported just 235 cases and two reported deaths….

    Trump takes charge, scores with the public
    “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm,” Latin poet Publilius Syrus famously once said back in the days of Cicero.
    Never a truer prophecy as we look at President Trump’s leadership as he guides the nation through extremely rough waters in the fourth year of his presidency navigating the containment of a global pandemic, protecting the American people and the entire U.S. economy — all at once.
    Talk about a high-stakes juggling match.
    And let’s not forget there’s no margin for error or people could die and our distressed health care system — nearly one-fifth of the GDP — could also collapse under the weight of it all.
    No stress there, huh?
    But if you look at how calm, stoic and focused our commander in chief has been during his daily press briefings alongside Vice President Mike Pence, Dr. Deborah Birx, Dr. Anthony Fauci and the rest of the Coronavirus Task Force you realize that this moment is precisely what leaders are made of.
    Perhaps no one is more prepared for the complex challenges before us during this unprecedented national emergency than Donald Trump. And that’s not my opinion, that’s yours, the American people.
    A new Gallup poll reveals that the majority of Ameri- cans, 60%, approve of the way the president is handling of the crisis. This includes the majority of Independents, 6 out of 10, and a growing swath of Democrats, 27%.
    In fact, Trump’s approval rating is so high right now that even CNN is acknowledging it. “President Donald Trump is as popular today as he has been since his first day in office,” CNN Editor in Chief Chris Cillizza wrote Wednesday. “What accounts for Trump’s rise? Simple: His response to the coronavirus crisis.”
    To date the president has led from the front combating this crisis that has upended our way of life, jolted the economy and roiled stock markets. He’s assembled a top-notch Coronavirus Task Force lead by Pence and a highly capable team of experts the American people have come to respect and trust.
    President Trump has proven to be a bold and decisive leader, a consoler when needed and Communicatorin- Chief with his attendance at daily press briefings keeping us informed of what is happening and the solutions his Administration have put into place to win this fight.
    If you’ve noticed, Trump has also shown us that he’s capable of unifying the country, recalling Publilius Syrus also wrote, “Where there is unity there is always victory.”
    Let that be our guiding light as we navigate these uncharted waters.

    1. Great Post, JPC, brilliant:

      Let me humbly share this, too. Here’s my research. I hope it puts things in perspective.

      March 10: First major event canceled by the Biden campaign because of coronavirus concerns.

      March 3. The Biden campaign replaced a large rally in Cleveland with a 200-person gathering in Philadelphia on Super Tuesday II. (whether or not due to coronavirus, I could not ascertain.)

      March 2. Trump’s last campaign rally in Charlottesville on March 2. (Although Trump said he would hold additional rallies, his actions spoke louder than his words.)

      In Washington State (first coronavirus death), WSU announced on March 11 that classes would close after Spring Break, from March 17 to April 27. Remember, again, up until about March 10-13, almost all colleges were holding classes, concerts, sporting events, dances, etc.

      It wasn’t until March 12, that NCAA cancelled all remaining sporting events.

      1. William:

        Again you seem to make no sense. What’s your point? If it’s that other people continued to do things unaware of the problem then it isn’t that caused by Trump’s foolish assurances that there was no problem. How can you blame others who were obtuse enough to believe the president and suggest because they believed the president they erred.

        1. Matt, I only note that you continue your ad hominem attacks. “William: Again, you seem to make no sense.” Perhaps, not to you. Others have commended my honest, informed, comprehensive, science-based comments. I refrain from making ad hominem attacks.

          You suggest all those brilliant sciences in all the universities throughout America (biologists, epidemiologists, virologists, immunologists, physicians, nurses), all those brilliant scientists at CDC, National Institutes of Health, all those brilliant state and local public health experts throughout America were all lulled into a sense of inactivity, because President Trump made a few overly optimistic statements. That is absurd. Universities and States had throughout this crisis independent authority to act.

          I say look at President Trump’s actions and compare his actions with national and international actions. You’ll see he acted swiftly and comprehensively and continues to do so.

          You nit-pick, by taking a few stray optimistic comments out of context, and ignore all the actions of his Administration. See my timetable.

          All acted as expeditiously as they thought best. No one was lulled into a sense of false security because of a few stray optimistic comments of the president.

          Moreover, the President’s team was immediately releasing timely data and timely recommendations to all. See Mike Pence’s 15 days to slow down the transmission, and the countless statements of Dr, Fauci, Dr, Birx and others at News Conferences and in interviews on Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc., and independent authorities like Doctor Siegel on Fox News kept the public fully informed.

          The experts (at universities, public health offices; private labs) keep each other informed.

  5. Human Beings are funny. In a previous post, Matt killed Trump for holding rallies in February and early March, when every other politician was doing the same, and when all universities were still holding classes.

    And Hutch killed me for saying Vietnam Volunteers didn’t volunteer for Army or Marine Combat units, when 70% of those killed in Vietnam were Volunteers, and when for over forty years after Vietnam, during prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’ve had an all volunteer Military of about 1.2 million active and 800,000 reserves.

    Look, the Public Health Commissioner of New York, an expert, well educated, told people on February 9 to go out an celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year’s Parade. I don’t throw stones at her. There were only a handful of Coronavirus cases in the U.S. then. Chicago was still debating whether to call off its St. Pat’s Parade up to a few days before.

    But, I guess many people, smarter than the experts, think its fun to throw stones.

    1. Nothing changes here: If you voted against Trump, you still throws stones at him, as the Rolling Stones sang, everything he does you PAINT IT BLACK.

      And MSFREEH is still peddling her Conspiracy Theories (Coronavirus manufactured in a lab as a biologic weapon) when everything I’ve read Scientists have conclusively proved it came from an animal.

      I voted for Trump. I think he’s doing a great job. I’ll vote for him in 2020, too.

        1. Yes, and if China and South Korea are the models, the case rate and death rate will soon decrease over the next month. Hopefully by Easter.

    2. William:

      You keep repeating that because other people were foolish enough to rely on Trump’s lies they were wrong. Doesn’t the person who is suppose to be in charge tale the lead. Everything others did that was wrong was because Trump lied to them.

      1. Matt, you ignore all the positive things the Trump Administration has done. You ignore the fact that States and Universities are Independent Actors in our Country and can act independently, and for the most part have acted behind or in sync with the administration.

        You think all those brilliant sciences at Universities, Public Health Offices are fools?

        You call a few overly optimistic statements “Lies” and ignore all the factual statements and good advice coming from the Trump Administration.

    3. Correction> It is true that 70% of those killed in Vietnam were volunteers. (This from multiple sources I’ve cited and multiple more I’ve found.) However a July 2007 Congressional Budget Office Study found that “between 40 percent and 60 percent of volunteer accessions during that period are thought to have been true volunteers.” Some about to be drafted volunteered; some volunteered for the Coast Guard to avoid the Army (although Coast Guard Units Served in Vietnam). etc. So, we can conclude TRUE VOLUNTEERS represented between 28% and 42% of those killed in Vietnam. Of course, among the draftees, were some percent who would have volunteered, too.

      My greater point is that Americans of my generation were just as courageous and just as patriotic as Americans of any generation.

      The All-Voluntary Military – Congressional Budget Office JUlY 2007

    4. No Bill, you mis-paraphrase my comment. I said you should look at the striking drop in the number of recruits at the USNaval Academy in those signing up for Marine Officer Training. You can draw your own conclusions. You also glossed over Matt’s clarification on the definition of “volunteered”. You are conveniently missing the point when it puts your vision of Trump in a bad light. Sophistry of the garden variety.

      The “volunteer” stats are skewed in that by the time the draft got rolling big time-March, April, May, June, July, 1969, “Peace With Honor” was being peddled. (August was going to be the biggest, but was scaled back for political reasons.)Prior to that, most servicemen were career folks and had no choice but to provide the fodder for the machine. Other ” volunteers” were trying to get safer MOS designation. It didn’t work. A three year commitment did not guarantee you would not end-up in the Infantry, yet you were classified as a “volunteer”.

      1. Good points, Hutch. Except I deny I engage in sophistry.
        The Marines throughout the Vietnam War were all volunteer, as far as I know, and had no shortage of officers.
        See, my correction, above, on the Volunteer issue.

        I’d like to know exactly what the decrease rate of Naval Officers volunteering for the Marine Corps was. Has someone studied it. You’re not suggesting pusillanimity as the reason? If so, what percent were so motivated.

        I know Boston College’s football coach, Tom O’Brien, was a Naval Academy Grad who became a Marine Officer.
        But has someone done a study of this? Even so, you and I both know you’ve got to take a close look at studies.

        NC, in doing research on multiple subjects, just found out that the great Heavy Weight Champion, John L. Sullivan, also was once enrolled at Boston College.

        We all know some who volunteered did so, as you suggest, to pick an assignment likely to avoid combat in Vietnam. The analysis I’ve never seen, is what percent of draftees would have volunteered anyway for likely combat assignments to Vietnam, or service as medics, corpsmen, army infantry, army artillery, helicopter, air force, etc.

        I stand by my view, that our generation was as patriotic and courageous as any American generation, and studies show those who served during Vietnam were better educated than any prior American generation that went to war, and the average age of a person killed in Vietnam was 23.1 years, and the average age of a person serving in combat was over 22.

        God bless America as we fight this new war against the Coronavirus.

        1. Again-factually wrong. I do not have to look it up. I was drafted at the Boston Army Base, April 23, 1969. There were about 15 of us. After we were sworn in and crossed this painted line on the floor , a Marine Sargent came out of a side room and tapped on the shoulder of every other man and announced “Welcome to the Marine Corps”. If you do not believe me, look it up.

          Those Marine Officer Training remarks was from a book I read about the famous classmates of Oliver North and John Glenn. I forget the name of the book. I trusted the author; especially since the statement is so easily verified.

          You have a habit of throwing around statistics and numbers as if they are an absolute buttress to your argument, but they are often useless when presented in a vacuum. For example: bandying the fact that a “Nobel Laureate” says blah blah. One of your supporters is a Nobel Laureate (Shiva?) and thinks you can cure the virus with the intravenous introduction of orange juice. Do you agree?

          1. Hutch, I prefer facts (statistics) over anecdotes. I was wrong. Over 90% of the Marine Corps were volunteers, not 100%.

            From one of my most trusted sources, WARDOGS, which takes much of its data from the DOD: “About 450,000 Leathernecks, mostly volunteers, served in Vietnam (42,600 were draftees). Some 13,000 were killed and 88,000 wounded (51,392 badly enough to be hospitalized).” I double checked other sources. It may be way over 90% as the 42,600 represents all draftees to the Marines, and we both know many Marines who served DURING Vietnam who did not go to Vietnam.

            Do You have better statistics. I’d be happy to read them.

            I don’t agree I have bad habits with statistics.

            I know how to read them and use them.

            2. That one Nobel Laureate I cited was a man who just recently correctly predicted the trajectory of the Coronavirus Flu epidemic in China, when many others, including epidemiologists, were predicting millions upon millions of deaths. Remember, John Hopkins and others worst case analysis for the United States is up to 2 million deaths. Even scientists are sometimes wrong.

            3. As for orange juice. Never heard of it as a remedy, but I have read that hospitals and physicians are using multiple doses of vitamin C to help in the treatment of Coronavirus.

      1. He and his Administration are working hard on saving it from the Coronavirus, as are almost all health professionals throughout America.

  6. Thanks for the detail. I think we are all aware in a general ways. Personally I’ve stopped watch cable news and the briefings except I was watching the 6 PM Fox News. Now they’ve moved the briefing so it preempts so I just watch local news and read the papers. It’s disgusting enough but to see those quotes detailed is chilling. The guy is a huckster. To him it’s just making a pitch.

    1. 60% of the American People disagree, and think Trump is doing a good job handling the Coronavirus Crisis, as do I. I watch all the press conferences and learn much, especially from the many medical and other experts who come to the podium.

        1. And your scientific source for that statement? Some authority you know has surveyed the scientific Community.

          Even if so, remember most academics are liberal democrats, and so hopefully your authority has discounted political biases in whatever survey you’ve read.

          1. Not true. Academics come in all political persuasions. You should specify the Humanities as a liberal lair, that might have some truth to it.

  7. Yes, President Trump may have been too optimistic on quickly developing a vaccine and quickly controlling the spread of the virus, but he was correct in his actions: and yes he was correct that 90% of cases were mild, and 90% have recovered without hospitalization.


    January 17, the U.S. began testing passengers from Wuhan China at three airports.
    January 21, a man travelling from Wuhan China is first confirmed case in U.S.
    January 22, “as Epidemic Spread”, the U.S. expanded screenings of passengers from China.
    Jan. 30 WHO declares “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”
    Jan 31: U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Peter Azar declared a public health emergency for the novel coronavirus.
    Jan 31. Trump bans travel from China (except for American citizens, who continue to be screened coming back from China.)
    FEB 1. U.S. CASES 8

    Feb 2. Trump Administration bans all travel to and from China, and extends the ban to Iran on Feb. 29.
    Feb 26. First U.S. case of person with no travel history.
    Feb. 29. First death in U.S. at Kirkland (Elderly Care Medical Center)

    FEB 29. U.S. CASES 24, DEATHS 1

    March 11, WHO declares Coronavirus outbreak a Pandemic

    MARCH 11, U.S. CASES 1,205 DEATHS 37

    March 11, Trump bans travel from 26 (then 28) European Countries. New York Times is puzzled and informs us: “Europe has not been a major source of known infections in the United States, but Italy has been hit hard, reporting more than 12,000 cases. France, Germany and Spain have each reported more than 2,000 cases.”

    March 13, Trump declares National Emergency, opens up $50 billion in emergency funding
    March 15, CDC warns against large gatherings.

    March 9-17, Colleges and Universities begin to close
    March 15, 3,501 cases, 62 deaths

    March 16, New York Mayor De Blasio closes public schools
    March 17, Boston Mayor Walsh closes public schools

    March 18, China declares no new cases.

    Now, we can throw stones at the Mayors, Governors and Presidents of Universities for not acting quicker, but what good does that do? Leaders throughout the World acted with the best available information, some quickly, like the United States, some slowly like Italy. Remember, too, Italy’s excess deaths are attributable to an aging population and large percentage of men who are still smoking.

    Before throwing stones, ask yourself: What were other U.S. Political Leaders calling for on February 1, March 1? What were Medical Schools and Universities calling for in February?

    The smartest minds in America did not know how to react to this Crisis. Universities, with their biological scientists, medical schools and nursing schools, all admit that: From The Hill, March 15: “A week ago we could not have imagined where we would be today,” said Terry W. Hartle, the senior vice president of the American Council on Education. “It’s essentially crisis management at lightspeed without a playbook.”
    Why without a playbook? Because it is unprecedented.

    We can debate the availability of Test Kits, Face Masks and Ventilators until we are blue in the face, but I see the U.S. making valiant effective efforts to meet all medical supply and testing requirements.

    China seems to be out of the woods. Who knows if by Easter, whether we will be too. There’s hope in multiple treatments being tested and continuing short term public health measures (social distancing, temporary job shutdowns, federal funding.)

    And always remember Joe Biden’s immortal words: “We have to take care of the cure: That will make the problem worse no matter what, no matter what.”

    1. I’d settle for Mother’s Day. It IS part of his job to reassure people but it’s a wonder he doesn’t have his arm in a sling from pasting himself on the back.

      1. Matt, this is pathetic.

        You ignore the facts. See my timetable.

        You call simple puffery and simple overly optimistic statements of a Layman, President Trump, “lies.” I don’t. I call them simple over optimistic statements. In law school they taught us about the difference between puffery and a lie, a knowing falsehood.

        Trump stands at the podium with his experts. HIs experts say he listens to him. Early on he formed a task force of universally acknowledged experts, led by MIke Pence, to advise him. He listens to them, Sometime as a layman, he misunderstands; he underestimates, or overestimates, he’s hopeful . . . .It’s not lying.

        You don’t understand the difference between puffery, misstatements, exaggerations, hopeful projection, overly hopeful projections and lying?

        In my objective scientific view, that type of name-calling “liar, liar” is childish and pathetic.

    1. msfreeh, the scientific community has conclusively proven that the coronavirus came from an animal virus. Maybe what I read is wrong. Maybe someone else abetted Lee Harvey Oswald. But I and most scientists and most rational people don’t think so.

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