News Outlets Examine Trump Administration’s Domestic, International Responses To COVID-19 Pandemic

Fox News: World Health Organization director praises Trump’s leadership in response to coronavirus pandemic
“The head of the World Health Organization on Wednesday praised President Trump for his leadership in handling the novel coronavirus outbreak and said the president is ‘taking responsibility’ for leading the United States’ response to the global pandemic. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the United Nations health agency has repeatedly called for the heads of state to lead a ‘whole of government’ response to COVID-19 and said Trump was leading by example. ‘That’s exactly what he’s doing, which we appreciate because fighting this pandemic needs political commitment,’ Tedros said during an afternoon press briefing in Geneva…” (Chakraborty, 3/25).

POLITICO: Trump can’t decide whether to blame China for the coronavirus
“…Since January, President Donald Trump has wavered repeatedly on China’s culpability for the coronavirus pandemic, a tactic his outside advisers say is helping counteract Chinese propaganda, creating a 2020 reelection argument, and protecting years of on-again-off-again trade negotiations with the Asian power. To his critics, it’s merely a typical Trump attempt to shift blame…” (Kumar, 3/26).

POLITICO: Trump team failed to follow NSC’s pandemic playbook
“…[A]ccording to a previously unrevealed White House playbook, the government should’ve begun a federal-wide effort to procure that personal protective equipment at least two months ago. … The strategies are among hundreds of tactics and key policy decisions laid out in a 69-page National Security Council playbook on fighting pandemics, which POLITICO is detailing for the first time. Other recommendations include that the government move swiftly to fully detect potential outbreaks, secure supplemental funding and consider invoking the Defense Production Act — all steps in which the Trump administration lagged behind the timeline laid out in the playbook…” (Diamond/Toosi, 3/25).

Washington Post: The U.S. traditionally leads in times of crisis. Now it’s practicing self-isolation.
“As America’s rivals make gestures of support for other nations stricken by the coronavirus, the United States is losing the geopolitical contest prompted by the epidemic while struggling to contain the virus at home, analysts say. At a time when the world would typically look to the richest and most powerful nation for leadership in a crisis, the United States has instead retreated into its own form of self-isolation, with its president downplaying the severity of the threat and top American officials squabbling among themselves. Instead, the United States’ rivals, notably China and to a lesser extent Russia, have been stepping up to offer aid to other stricken nations, a role long fulfilled by the United States in crises stretching back to World War II…” (Sly et al., 3/26).