Trump Was Warned in January and February That Covid-19 Could Kill Millions, Cost Trillions
Added 04-07-20 10:21:02am EST - “Plus: Trump's rumored stake in hydroxychloroquine, Supreme Court "destroys Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," the 21st century crisis case for libertarianism, and more...” - Reason.com
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"There is an increasing probability of a full-blown COVID-19 pandemic that could infect as many as 100 million Americans, with a loss of life of as many as 1-2 million souls," trade adviser Peter Navarro warned in a memo to President Donald Trump way back on February 23. The next morning, Trump told Americans "the coronavirus is very much under control in the USA."
Navarro's February memo followed up on one from January 29. In the earlier memo, Navarro wrote that the economic cost of doing nothing could be as high as $5.7 trillion and suggested that more than half a million Americans could be killed by COVID-19.
A little more than a week after this memo, the Trump administration gave "nearly 18 tons of donated respirator masks, surgical masks, gowns and other medical supplies to China." And throughout the next few weeks, Trump continued to downplay the seriousness of the COVID-19 threat.
Navarro was persistent. In his February memo, he expressed an urgent need for at least $3 billion in appropriations to help prevent, contain, and treat the coronavirus. He said now was not the time to be worried about costs but to start stocking up on ventilators, personal protective equipment for health care providers, and other pandemic-related supplies.
"We can expect to need at least a billion face masks, 200,000 Tyvek suits, and 11,000 ventilator circuits, and 25,000 PAPRs (powered air-purifying respirators)," Navarro wrote.
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