U.S. Government’s Mixed Messages On, Politicization Of COVID-19 Complicating Outbreak Response, Preparedness, Media Outlets Report

The Guardian: Coronavirus: Trump’s mixed messages ‘undermines public trust,’ experts say
“The Trump administration’s politicization of science and cuts to health institutions are raising concerns about its preparedness to handle the coronavirus outbreak. … [H]ealth experts say the Trump administration is still sending mixed messages about a growing public health crisis…” (Lutz, 3/1).

New York Times: How Coronavirus Is Already Being Viewed Through a Partisan Lens
“…The coronavirus does not discriminate between political parties. But as Mr. Trump and his allies have defended his actions and accused Democrats and the news media of fanning fears to ‘bring down the president,’ a growing public health crisis has turned into one more arena for bitter political battle, where facts are increasingly filtered through a partisan lens. Democrats accused Mr. Trump of failing to respond adequately to the health threat and then politicizing it instead…” (Healy et al., 3/1).

POLITICO: Trump rallies conservatives — and drops charges of a coronavirus ‘hoax’
“Just hours after he somberly confirmed the first coronavirus-related death in the United States, President Donald Trump boasted to a packed room of conservatives that he was responsible for keeping them safe. … But Trump’s remarks were also more subdued than his appearance the night before at a campaign event in South Carolina, where he whipped up the crowd by suggesting his political opponents were weaponizing the virus as a ‘new hoax’ against his presidency. … All told, Trump [on Saturday] presented a hopeful outlook when it came the coronavirus epidemic, just one minor blip for the public and his political prospects. It was a stark difference from how his allies and surrogates had discussed the issue earlier this week at CPAC — explicitly accusing the media and the Democrats of trying to hype up the coronavirus threat to sabotage Trump…” (Nguyen, 2/29).

Additional coverage of the U.S. government’s response to COVID-19 is available from AP, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Forbes, The Guardian, The Hill (2), NBC, New York Times (2) (3), POLITICO, Roll Call, The Telegraph, Vox (2), and Washington Post (2).