When the national lockdown began about a month ago, with the federal, state and local governments, the military, the private sector and the American people all combining resources to win the war on the Chinese coronavirus, the predictions could not have been more dire.
If nothing was done, more than 2 million Americans, mostly elderly, would die. Without testing, the pandemic would quickly spread beyond control. There were no effective treatments. We would soon run out of hospital beds and ventilators.
Instead, thanks to the effective leadership of President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and the task force, timely action by state governors to close schools and non-essential businesses, private sector mobilization on testing, new treatments and war-time production of needed medical equipment including ventilators, and military coordination to bring in Navy hospital ships, medical supplies and additional medical personnel on the ground locally where the virus was surging, none of that has happened. But can the media admit President Trump did a good job?
To be certain, the toll has already been great, with more than 40,000 who have tragically perished. But not because we ran out of supplies.
As noted by New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo on April 6 as New York, the hardest hit state, was approaching its own peak in hospitalizations, “The challenge is to make sure that we don’t lose anyone who could’ve been saved if our healthcare system was operating fully. Don’t lose anyone who you could save. That is a legitimate, ambitious goal of government. And that we have done so far. That we have done so far. Have we saved everyone? No. But have we lost anyone because we didn’t have a bed or we didn’t have a ventilator or we didn’t have healthcare staff? No. The people we lost are the people we couldn’t save.”
Cuomo added on April 19, saying it was the combined efforts of everyone, from federal to the states to the people, that had worked, “What the federal government did working with states… was a phenomenal accomplishment. We bent the curve, we flattened the curve. Government did it, people did it… We had to double the hospital capacity in New York State, that’s what all the experts said. [The] President brought in the Army Corps of Engineers, they built 2,500 beds at Javits… It was a phenomenal accomplishment. Close to a thousand people have gone through Javits. Luckily, we didn’t need the 2,500 beds, but all the projections said we did need it, and more, by the way. So, these were extraordinary efforts and acts of mobilization and the federal government stepped up, and was a great partner, and I’m the first one to say it. We needed help and they were there.”
These two clips were played at the White House coronavirus task force press conference by President Trump on April 19, and you would think, based on the reporter reactions, that the news was not that hundreds of thousands of lives have been saved, directly linked to the unprecedented actions that have been undertaken by President Trump, his team, the military, states, doctors and nurses and the American people, but that President Trump might get his share of the political credit for it in November.
That’s right, the politically motivated Tokyo Rose mainstream media is more concerned about preserving its anti-Trump narrative to help Joe Biden win the election this year than about reporting accurately on all the lives that have been saved. They just want to demoralize people and attempt to control public attitudes towards the President.
The thing is, by contributing to the public panic and mass hysteria surrounding the virus, the media helped to set the national agenda on this issue, and then by pitting it as a choice between the economy or lives, primed the issue and the standards by which the President would be evaluated on it. President Trump chose to save lives every step of the way.
In the meantime, with 22 million jobs already lost on account of all the government-directed closures, perhaps not just the media but the entire country should hope the President at least gets a little credit for these efforts. Next time, the virus might target children instead of the elderly. This has to be economically and politically sustainable, or it will never be attempted again. Something to think about.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.