Who REALLY downplayed the virus? Great leaders calm a nation while simultaneously taking action.

Many leaders are in politics for the profit, and could care less about the people. Leadership takes confidence and calm – and action. Some, like the President, have the greatness needed to provide both calm and action… and so many others don’t.

During his press briefing on September 9, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York said, “Donald Trump caused the Covid outbreak in New York. That is a fact.” Most Americans will see through this as a childish effort to deflect blame. Democrats across the country have accused Trump of lying.

Joe Biden tweeted on March 18, 2020 an accusation that the President was ‘fear-mongering’ about the virus. He accused the President of being “xenophobic” for imposing travel bans on most people coming to the US from China. On September 10, 2020, Biden changed his opinion and tweeted saying the President lied to the American people and did “nothing” to address the virus. Despite the unwillingness of the MSM to counter this false narrative, the Trump administration has been very active.

The reality is that leadership takes confidence, the ability to quell the fears of a population while calmly implementing solutions. President Trump has regularly reassured the American public. Meanwhile, the alarmist narrative from many politicians and the media has deeply hurt our nation. Cuomo’s effort to lay blame on Trump is a political tactic, and does not reflect reality.

In 1939, the British government mounted a significant campaign that still echoes today. “Keep Calm and Carry On.” It bolstered the nation’s confidence and teamwork in the face of impending global warfare. It was the right approach. It created pride of nation and gave the British people much-needed strength and confidence. Unfortunately, this same message of calm from the President (and others) in the face of Covid-19, has been drowned out by a hateful, “sky is falling” media, looking for any reason to trash the President’s work.

Here is a list of select milestones and political responses to the coronavirus outbreak. There were many political leaders (both Democrat and Republican) who carefully worked to calm their citizens while pressing forward policy (some more skillfully than others). The response was appropriate although many reached a later point of panic and abandoned their responsibilities to be a strong and calming leader. Now the responsibility to be calm is being termed ‘downplaying’ by opposition politicians, MSM, and Twittersphere:

January 27: The White House Coronavirus Task Force, led by Vice President Pence, began meeting to monitor and combat the virus. They regularly updated the President and the media. This was a preventative action to save the lives of Americans.

January 30: The Trump administration issued a proactive proclamation that restricted most travel from China to protect the American people. This was a preventative action to save the lives of Americans.

January 31: The Trump administration issued a proclamation, expanding the travel restrictions to include those who had traveled to China in the 14 days preceding their desired travel to the US. On the same day another proclamation was issued restricting most travel from various other countries. These were a preventative actions to save the lives of Americans.

Trump was vehemently criticized for the travel restrictions. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, led the charge against the President, hand in hand with other Democrats and media in calling the President a xenophobe and a racist. Later during the crisis, Dr. Fauci and others admitted that the early travel bans pushed forward by the President were the right thing to do and likely saved many thousands of lives. In April, Pelosi changed her tune and responded that the President should have banned even more people from China. This was a direct contradiction to her January 31 statement regarding the bans, which called the President “un-American,” “bigotted,” and aiming to “destroy our values” as a nation. Flippity flop.

February 24: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi visited Chinatown in San Francisco and encouraged people not to be worried, that there was no reason for people to stay away from the area because of coronavirus concerns. She said, “that’s what we’re trying to do today is to say everything is fine here. Come because precautions have been taken. The city is on top of the situation.” This was an effort to downplay the crisis.

February 27: California Governor Gavin Newsome press conference included Dr. Sonia Y. Angell, California Department of Public Health Director and State Health Officer who stated, “the risk to the American public remains low.” This was an effort to downplay the crisis.

February 28: Governor Kate Brown of Oregon said, “let me be clear, as of today there are zero confirmed cases of coronavirus in Oregon, and the risk to Oregonians of contracting the coronavirus remains low.” This was an effort to downplay the crisis.

February 28: At a campaign event, Joe Biden says, “It’s not a time to panic about coronavirus” (Here is a link to more information about the lies from Joe Biden about Trump’s response to coronavirus from December 2019 – March 2020.)

February 29: The Trump administration restricted most travel from Iran, triggering another onslaught of accusations of xenophobia. More restrictions followed over time throughout the first months of the health crisis. These were all preventative actions to save the lives of Americans.

March 1: Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York identified its first confirmed case of coronavirus. He reassured the public by saying, “there is no cause for surprise — this was expected. As I said from the beginning, it was a matter of when, not if there would be a positive case of novel coronavirus in New York,” He told New Yorkers that the general risk in the State of New York ‘remains low.’ This was an effort to downplay the crisis.

March 2: Governor Andrew Cuomo provided reassurance to NY residents, saying, “this isn’t our first rodeo. We are fully coordinated, and we are fully mobilized, and we are fully prepared to deal with the situation as it develops.” Again, this was an effort to downplay the crisis.

March 3: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio instructed New Yorkers to “go on with your lives and get out on the town.” This was an effort to downplay the crisis.

March 3: Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey issued a press release which included a quote from New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “Any case of novel coronavirus in our state is concerning, however most New Jersey residents are at very low risk of contracting COVID-19.” This was an effort to downplay the crisis.

March 6: Governor Cuomo tried to call his citizens by saying, “We have more people in this country dying from the flu than we have dying from coronavirus.”

March 7: Governor Cuomo declares a state of emergency in NY for the virus. On March 8, as the number of coronavirus cases exceeds 100, he tells New Yorkers not to worry: “This is not the Ebola virus, this is not the SARS virus, this is a virus we have a lot of information on.”

March 13: Meanwhile, Trump declared a national health emergency. This was a preventative action to save the lives of Americans.

March 15: New York Governor Cuomo intentionally under-reported the number of Covid-19 cases in New York as 6211 instead of the actual number he knew to be 15,168. This was an effort to downplay the crisis.

March 18: Joe Biden accuses the President of overreacting to the virus and tweets “Stop the xenophobic fear-mongering. Be honest. Take responsibility. Do your job.”

And the list goes on…

Actions by the Trump team to combat Covid-19 have been extensive, very different than Governor Cuomo’s response which included crowding thousands of elderly patients into the most vulnerable population group – causes needless additional deaths (now under investigation by the DOJ). A full list of the Trump administration’s actions to combat the health crisis are listed here: Coronavirus comprehensive timeline. It is very detailed and shows the seriousness with which President Trump and his team worked to address an important issue.

The key points in the timeline include:

  • Decisive and timely travel restrictions, which have been credited with saving thousands of American lives, despite the push back and name-calling received from the media and Democrats.
  • Attention to and expansion of testing initiatives, free to all Americans.
  • Working to fill the respirator inventory, depleted by the Biden-Obama administration and not replenished. Attention to other needed supplies and resources needed by hospitals around the nation.

Trump is currently being excoriated in the Press and by Democrat leadership for “downplaying” the Coronavirus crisis. He admitted early during the crisis that he was working to keep the American public calm as the crisis unfolded.  The downplaying is not new news and it was the right thing to do.

Governor Cuomo who not only downplayed the crisis in March and has been asked to release records to the DOJ regarding Cuomo’s policies credited with sacrificing the lives of many elderly in nursing homes, released a book about his own handling of the Covid-19 crisis. Cuomo has dedicated an entire book to patting himself on a job well done, that wasn’t done yet when the book was released, and was FAR from good leadership.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is incompetent at calming down the American public, and has regularly agitated the American people with his “sky is falling” rhetoric. Pelosi knew the importance of calming her constituents when she visited Chinatown; later she was in lockstep with Senator Schumer and continued to stoke the unrest instead.

So the Tweets from Biden, Harris, Clinton, and so many others criticizing the President for working to calm the American people are all about making political points. They know full well that a leader’s job is to provide calm strength to their constituents. And when they make political points, they build their personal bank accounts. (examples here)

All good leaders know that in times of crisis it is IMPERATIVE to help people to stay calm and have faith in the path forward. Those who have criticized Trump for ‘downplaying’ were not only doing the same thing, but were criticizing him in an effort to intentionally frame his actions in a negative light. They appear to be relishing in the opportunity to yell “fire” in a crowded room, creating panic they hope will change votes. This is politics, pure and simple. And politics have lined the pockets of those who are shouting the loudest. Politics for Profit, not for the People.

(photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash)

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