The administration of United States President Donald Trump has confronted its biggest problem in 2020: The coronavirus pandemic and the illness it causes, COVID-19.
Since rising in China on the finish of 2019, the virus has unfold everywhere in the world. The US now leads the globe within the pandemic’s unfold, with nearly 830,000 circumstances and 46,000 deaths as of April 21.
The administration’s response has been widespread, starting from downplaying the disaster to large bailouts. It has additionally been the topic of a lot criticism, with Trump taking to his each day briefings to defend his response, typically making contradictory claims.
Here’s a timeline of main actions taken by the Trump administration associated to its response to the virus throughout the US:
December 31: Experiences emerge that China investigating sickness
Experiences emerge that the Chinese language authorities is investigating an “outbreak of respiratory sickness within the central metropolis of Wuhan”.
January 6-8: CDC points a sequence of warnings, alerts
The US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) points journey warnings for People wishing to go to China to take further precautions. It additionally says it’s carefully monitoring the virus, however there aren’t any identified circumstances within the US.
January 16: CDC says US will display passengers arriving from Wuhan
The CDC holds a briefing on the virus and officers say the US will begin to display passengers arriving from or connecting by Wuhan.
January 21: First US case confirmed
The primary case is confirmed in a traveller who had just lately visited China and returned to Washington state.
The next day, Trump says at a information convention that the US has coronavirus “completely below management. It is one particular person coming in from China, and we’ve it below management. It is going to be simply high quality.”
January 29: US coronavirus process pressure created
The White Home begins its coronavirus response process pressure, headed by US Well being and Human Providers Secretary Alex Azar.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the top of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses, is appointed to the duty pressure.
Observe: Fauci will turn out to be a trusted determine within the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus.
January 31: Trump blocks journey from China
Trump points an government order blocking entry to the US from anybody who has been in China within the final 14 days. It doesn’t apply to US residents and members of the family or spouses of US residents or residents.
The order turns into efficient on February 2.
Azar additionally declares the coronavirus a public well being emergency.
February 24: Inventory market tumbles, Trump claims management
Trump asks for a $1.25bn in emergency help after the Dow Jones Industrial Common tumbles 1,000 factors on coronavirus fears.
He tweets that the virus “could be very a lot below management” and the inventory market “beginning to look excellent to me!”
The Coronavirus could be very a lot below management within the USA. We’re involved with everybody and all related nations. CDC & World Well being have been working onerous and really sensible. Inventory Market beginning to look excellent to me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2020
February 26: First neighborhood unfold case documented
An individual in California is confirmed to have coronavirus with out documented journey to sizzling spots or contact with one other contaminated particular person.
The unknown supply of the an infection confirms that “neighborhood unfold” of the virus is happening within the US.
Trump says at a information convention that the US is “actually ready”. Vice President Mike Pence in named head of the White Home process pressure and Dr Deborah Birx is known as response coordinator.
February 29: FDA eases pointers on testing
Testing provides stay a priority for the US as nations with increased case charges, like China and South Korea, are capable of take a look at at increased charges.
The US Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) proclaims it would allow sure US labs to check for the coronavirus utilizing diagnostics developed and validated by the labs with out prior evaluate.
Trump claims the US is main in testing, however experiences present just a few thousand exams had been administered.
March 4: Home passes $8.3bn emergency invoice, Trump deflects criticism
The Home of Representatives passes a invoice to help the rapid well being response to the coronavirus. Trump will signal the regulation on March 6.
Trump is going through growing criticism for his administration’s response to the virus. The president criticises the earlier administration in an interview with Fox Information, saying the Obama administration “did not do something about” swine flu.
Observe: Politifact rated the declare false, citing two emergency declarations and billions in spending from the Obama administration.
March 11: Trump bans journey from Europe, guarantees free remedy
The president proclaims a ban on journey from Europe, which is seeing a marked improve in circumstances – particularly in Italy and Spain – to the US throughout a nationwide deal with from the Oval Workplace. The ban doesn’t apply to US residents. The ban solely contains the 26 Schengen nations. The UK and Eire are usually not included, and US residents are exempt.
Observe: Lower than per week later officers introduced that the ban could be expanded to the UK and Eire.
Markets react with fear, as Trump suggests cargo would even be topic to the ban, although this isn’t the case.
Trump additionally states throughout the deal with that medical insurance suppliers promised to waive all copays for coronavirus remedy. In actuality, solely testing could be free.
March 13: Nationwide emergency declaration
Trump declares a nationwide emergency, granting entry to $50bn in funding for US states and territories. The transfer permits for waivers for docs and hospitals of their response to the virus.
Trump says the US will improve testing capability, however warns in opposition to these with out signs being examined.
“It’s very pointless,” Trump mentioned. “This may cross.”
March 17: Trump asks workforce to remain house, says he is at all times identified it was a pandemic
Throughout a information convention, Trump asks “everybody to work from home, if potential, postpone pointless journey, and restrict social gatherings to not more than 10 folks”.
That very same day, Trump states he has “at all times identified this can be a actual, this can be a pandemic. I’ve felt it was a pandemic lengthy earlier than it was known as a pandemic”.
Observe: The World Well being Group declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11. Trump had beforehand acknowledged in February the warmth might restrict the unfold of the virus and make it “go away” by April.
March 22: Fauci says he cannot ‘bounce in entrance’ of Trump
As weariness over unverifiable Trump claims continues, Dr Fauci tells Science in an interview that he “cannot bounce in entrance of the microphone and push him down. OK, he mentioned it. Let’s try to get it corrected for the following time.”
When requested how he is avoiding being fired, Fauci says that though he disagrees with Trump “on some issues, he listens. He goes his personal manner.”
March 24: Trump says he desires nation to open by April 12
After tweeting that the “remedy” cannot be “worse than the issue itself” because the US economic system falters, Trump says on Fox Information he would “like to have the nation opened up, and simply raring to go by Easter”.
Medical specialists, together with Dr Fauci, state within the media that the virus decides the timeline of a return to normalcy.
“The president clearly listens. I imply, he has this aspirational aim of hoping that we’d have the ability to do it by a sure date. We talked with him about that. We are saying we should be versatile. He realises that and he accepts that”, Fauci tells Fox Information.
March 27: Trump indicators $2.2 trillion emergency spending invoice
The Home and Senate cross the most important invoice in US historical past, which is then signed by Trump. The invoice provides as much as $1,200 per particular person and $500 per baby for households making as much as $150,000 a yr, although caveats and limitations apply to people.
Small companies are given entry to over $377bn in loans that may be forgiven and firms, state and native governments are given entry to $454bn. The healthcare business is given entry to $180bn.
March 30: Trump says administration inherited ‘damaged take a look at’ as circumstances soar
Confirmed circumstances of the coronavirus prime 160,000 by the top of March. Healthcare employees and authorities throughout the nation bemoan the dearth of testing.
Trump falsely tells Fox Information his administration “inherited a damaged take a look at” for COVID-19.
Observe: The DNA sequence for the novel coronavirus was not shared by China till January 7, 2020, nearly three years after Trump was inaugurated.
Checks created within the US shipped throughout the early days of the disaster within the nation contained tainted reagents, a element added to exams to create chemical reactions.
Trump tells the nation to organize for “onerous days”.
April 2: 6.6 million employees file for unemployment
The US units a document for single-week unemployment advantages claims because the economic system continues to crash as a result of stay-at-home measures throughout the US, in response to the US Division of Labor.
Worries improve that many companies will shut and a housing disaster might emerge from an incapability to pay lease throughout the nation.
April 3: Material masks advisable
Trump proclaims that his administration is recommending folks put on nonmedical fabric masks to assist comprise the unfold of the coronavirus, contradicting weeks of claims from administration officers that masks could not assist.
The measure is voluntary. Trump says at a information briefing he doesn’t see himself partaking.
“I do not assume I will be doing it,” Trump says, citing issue when assembly world leaders: “Carrying a face masks as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens – I simply do not see it.”
Observe: It was unclear which world leaders he was referring to since most are adhering to social distancing pointers and are usually not travelling.
The advice reportedly got here after weeks of heated debate contained in the administration, in response to experiences.
Fauci beforehand mentioned on March Three that masks might assist, however wouldn’t present safety folks hoped.
“If everyone does that, we’re every defending one another,” Fauci says in an interview with PBS after the advice is made.
April 4, 5: Trump pushes hydroxychloroquine
Trump says in two successive information briefings that US residents ought to strive an unproven anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, to deal with COVID-19.
“Take it. What do it’s a must to lose?” Trump asks on Saturday, suggesting he would possibly accomplish that himself after asking “my docs”.
Trump says the next day there is no time “to take a pair years” to check the drug’s efficiency in opposition to COVID-19.
Observe: Proof right now was anecdotal. There have been experiences that misuse of the remedy might be deadly.
Fauci tells CBS that “When it comes to science, I do not assume we are able to definitively say it really works.”
“The info are actually simply at finest suggestive,” Fauci says. “There have been circumstances that present there could also be an impact and there are others to indicate there is no impact.”
April 7: Trump claims testing improve
“We have now now carried out 1,790,000 exams nationwide,” Trump says throughout a information briefing.
“That is greater than another nation on the earth, therefore, we’ve extra circumstances. And that quantity is rising by practically 125,000 folks per day. Consider that one. So, it is rising by 125,000 folks per day.”
Observe: Truly, testing averaged 147,000 a day in that interval, in response to reporting from the Washington Publish. The US was additionally lagging behind different nations by way of testing per capita.
April 13: Trump claims ‘whole’ authority over governors on openings, tensions with Fauci
Rumours swirl that Trump will fireplace Fauci after the president retweeted a tweet with the hashtag #FireFauci.
The tweet got here after Fauci mentioned prevention efforts would have saved extra lives. Fauci instructed CNN that social distancing and different measures “might have saved extra lives”.
However he added it was “very troublesome to return and say that” and the method of deciding whether or not to impose early restrictions was “sophisticated”.
Fauci says on April 13 it was a “poor selection of phrases”. The White Home additionally says Trump just isn’t firing the highest scientist.
As states start to see a stabilisation in an infection charges, governors cautiously talk about reopening their states.
Trump clashes with governors, together with New York’s Andrew Cuomo, on who has remaining say on the difficulty.
….It’s the choice of the President, and for a lot of good causes. With that being mentioned, the Administration and I are working carefully with the Governors, and it will proceed. A call by me, at the side of the Governors and enter from others, can be made shortly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2020
Trump says he has “whole” authority on when the nation reopens.
Observe: Trump’s declare of whole authority was not true. Whereas the chief department is granted some powers throughout occasions of emergency, even these powers have limits. The US structure additionally provides public well being and security duties primarily to state and native officers inside their very own jurisdictions.
Governors push again on Trump’s assertion, saying it was “factually unsuitable” and accusing the president of “spoiling for a battle on this subject”.
Whereas authorities are hopeful the US can return to regular, Fauci and different medical specialists count on to see little earlier than a vaccine is created. The NIH head says he hopes to see an actual diploma of normality by November.
April 16: Trump, CDC subject pointers to states for reopening companies, native economies
Trump points pointers developed by the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention that provide states a phased strategy to reopening their economies based mostly on reductions in COVID-19 circumstances.
The plan envisions gradual reopenings in two-week phases because the numbers of COVID-19 infections proceed to fall.
The White Home technique locations accountability for testing and tracing, and hospital capability on states and leaves to governors the decision-making on when and how one can reopen.
Observe: The brand new White Home coverage is a reversal of Trump’s earlier declare of whole authority to order states to reopen. Critics say reopening below the proposed circumstances means risking new waves of an infection.
April 20: Trump to signal government order proscribing immigration to the US
Trump proclaims he’ll impose new immigration restrictions on these looking for inexperienced playing cards for everlasting residency within the US as a way to defend People looking for jobs.
Unemployment within the US has surged due to the financial shutdown to sluggish the unfold of the coronavirus, and greater than 22 million People have misplaced jobs.
The brand new ban will final for 60 days and wouldn’t apply to people getting into the US on a brief foundation similar to agricultural “visitor employees”. Trump says he would take into account renewing the order for an additional 60 days or longer relying on financial circumstances.
Observe: Critics of the president’s anti-immigration insurance policies say he’s simply utilizing the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to impose restrictions which have little bearing on the well being disaster. Analysis previous to the pandemic confirmed that extra immigration really led to job progress.