Abject Failure - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1699277

Abject Failure

Yesterday, I came across a tweet from our congressman, Lee Zeldin, that not only boosted his chances for winning the Donald Trump Sycophant of the Year Award but also has me doubting Mr. Zeldin’s grasp of reality.

Having just come from a meeting with the president, our representative gushed about the “President’s phenomenal efforts to help New York” during the present pandemic. I will list a number of the president’s actions regarding the pandemic and ask readers and Mr. Zeldin to respond as to how they would rate each on the “phenomenal” scale.

In May 2018, the administration disbanded the Global Health Security and Biodefense unit, which was officed in the White House and was charged with preparing the country for a possible pandemic.

The Trump administration has consistently requested reduced funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health agencies.

President Trump ignored early warnings on the virus and on January 22 lied to the American people when he said, “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control.”

On January 29, Peter Navarro, an economic adviser to the president, sent a memo to the White House warning that coronavirus could kill thousands of Americans. Mr. Trump soon tweeted, “We have the best experts anywhere in the world, and they are on top of it 24/7!”

On January 30, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar warned the president a second time. Trump dismissed Azar as an “alarmist.”

On January 31, the president announced a “travel ban” on China. I put those words in quotes because the order did not restrict American citizens’ travel to and from China, as if American citizenship conferred some sort of coronavirus immunity.

President Trump waited until March 11 to restrict travel from Europe. He inexplicably excluded the United Kingdom and Ireland but had to change that after it became obvious that England was a virus hot spot. New York in particular was affected by this delay.

The incompetence of the Trump administration has been on display every day. The United States has performed five coronavirus tests per million people, compared with South Korea’s 3,692 tests per million. Hospitals are still short on protective equipment. The death toll has surpassed 80,000.

After he has finished gushing about all that he and the president have done for New York, Mr. Zeldin might want to explain why our state is receiving much less aid than others. Hawaii has received $2,000,000 and Alaska $3,400,000 per confirmed case, while New York has received about $24,000 per case.

Mr. Trump’s response to the pandemic has been an abject failure.

I await Congressman Zeldin’s response.

John Neely

Westhampton Beach


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