Label’s Editor Emily Jackson explores the reactions and responses of President Trump to the COVID-19 pandemic, from his very first steps in January to his hospitalisation and subsequent release after contracting the virus in October.
Donald Trump is arguably one of the most controversial Presidents the US has ever had – he is hated by many but has one of the most loyal followings in US political history. Trump and his beliefs are the epitome of conservative however, his beliefs and views on coronavirus have been nothing short of confusing to follow.
21st January – 1 case reported, 0 deaths.
The first case of the virus has been reported in the US. Trump proceeds to tell CNBC, “it’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control”.
31st January – 6 cases reported, 0 deaths.
Ten days and five more cases later, Trump restricts travel to China.
24th February – 53 cases reported, 0 deaths.
The virus is having a cataclysmic effect on the US economy. Trump, however, tweets that the “Stock Market [is]starting to look very good”. The President also asks Congress for $2.5bn to pay for vaccine development as well as protective equipment.
The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2020
29th February – 68 cases reported, 1 death reported.
The United States confirms its first death; a man in his 50s from Washington. Trump proceeds to restrict travel from Iran. He also delivers a White House briefing stating: “we have 43 million masks, which is far more than anyone could have assumed we could have had so quickly, and a lot more are coming.”
11th March – 1272 cases reported, 38 deaths reported.
The World Health Organisation declares the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic. Trump proceeds to restrict travel from Europe however, this excludes the UK.
America is the Greatest Country in the world. We have the best scientists, doctors, nurses and health care professionals. They are amazing people who do phenomenal things every day….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2020
24th March – 46,450 cases reported, 593 deaths reported.
The President tells Fox News he “would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter”, 12th April. Unsurprisingly, he faces criticism due to the growing number of cases.
31st March – 187,729 cases reported, 3867 deaths reported.
Exactly 7 days later, Trump backtracks on his statement regarding the US will hopefully be “raring to go by Easter”. He states that “our country is in the midst of a great national trial, unlike any we have ever faced before“.
3rd April – 276,965 cases reported, 7391 deaths reported.
CDC recommends that face coverings are worn by all Americans in public, backtracking what they said weeks before. The New York mayor, Bill de Blasio, warns that hospitals are struggling to find PPE, ventilators, beds and staff.
23rd April – 866,646 cases reported, 49,759 deaths reported.
Trump suggests people might inject disinfectant and shine a UV light inside of them to fight the virus.
24th April – 924,865 cases reported, 53,070 deaths reported.
Trump states he was being sarcastic about the disinfectant. Disinfectant poisonings were up as much as 121% in April.
28th April – 1,010,717 cases reported, 58,365 deaths reported.
Over a million cases reported in the US.
6th May – 1223419 cases reported, 72812 deaths reported.
“We have to be warriors,” he tells Fox News. “We can’t keep our country closed down for years.”
18th May – 1,500,753 cases reported, 90,312 deaths reported.
REOPEN OUR COUNTRY!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2020
Trump states he is taking the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, despite the FDA warning about its risks. The President also threatened to permanently cut funding to WHO.
This is the letter sent to Dr. Tedros of the World Health Organization. It is self-explanatory! pic.twitter.com/pF2kzPUpDv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2020
27th May – 1,691,342 cases reported, 100,047 deaths reported.
Trump threatens social media companies with “strong regulat[ions]” after Twitter placed a false claims label on two of his tweets.
Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020
28th May – 1,717,756 cases reported, 101,337 deaths reported.
Unemployment figure amidst the pandemic surpasses 40 million.
21st July – 3,858,686 cases reported, 141,426 deaths reported.
Trump, for the first time, supports the idea of face coverings; stating that they are “patriotic”.
29th September – 7,176,111 cases reported, 205,676 deaths reported.
At the Presidential debate, Trump explains his feelings on masks: “I think masks are OK. You have to understand, if you look — I mean, I have a mask right here. I put a mask on when I think I need it. Tonight, as an example, everybody’s had a test, and you’ve had social distancing and all of the things that you have to.”
2nd October – 7,318,110 cases reported, 208,485 deaths reported.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump test positive for coronavirus. This comes just over a month before the 2020 Presidential election on 3rd November. In which he faces former Vice President Joe Biden. It is thought that he caught the virus from Hope Hicks, one of Trump’s most loyal and longest serving aides.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
6th October – 7,341,406 cases reported, 210,195 deaths reported.
Trump returns to the White House upon being released from hospital. After arriving via helicopter, he stands on the Truman Balcony of the White House. Then, he proceeds to remove his face mask.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2020
13th October – 7,892,843 cases reported, 215,715 deaths reported.
Donald Trump returns to the campaign trail in a bid to be re-elected as President. He told thousands of mask-less supporters that he could give them “a big fat kiss”, at a rally in one of the most highly-contested states, Florida.
After the White House recently stated that the President’s test was negative, Trump is portraying himself as somebody who has conquered the virus. To his followers, he looks like a superhero – they of course will undoubtedly vote for him. However, many believe that Trump still isn’t in the best of conditions, perhaps purposefully downplaying the virus, not damaging his macho leadership image. Whether this will work in his favour for the election or it will completely backfire is still difficult to predict.
Header by Frankie Stevens – Head of Design
Article edited by Connor Wade – Label Political Editor