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LETTER: Trump and COVID-19 — applaud action; avoid animosity

- Reuters

According to recent polls conducted by Morning Consult, ABC News/Ipsos and Axios/Harris the majority of Americans approve of U.S. President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Being lauded by governors Andrew Cuomo (New York) and Gavin Newsom (California) and ultra-liberal Democrat Ilhan Omar also suggests that Trump must be doing something right.

Ten days after the first reported case of the virus in the United States Trump instituted a travel ban on China. Since then Trump has issued travel bans on the European Union, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Ireland and the United Kingdom and has closed the U.S.-Mexico and US-Canada borders to non-essential travel.

Schools, restaurants, bars and churches have been closed and entertainment events have all been cancelled and social gatherings have been limited to no more than 10 people.

A virus stimulus package of at least $1.4 trillion has been requested of Congress (the US Treasury Secretary said it could exceed $2 trillion).

Cheques of $1,200 per individual, $2,400 per couple and $500 per child are to be issued; tax deadlines are extended; student loan payments have been waived; there are loans for small businesses and business payroll tax holidays along with tax deferrals for people negatively impacted.

A COVID-19 task force including medical experts and led by Vice-President Mike Pence has been assembled. Government agencies were told to speed up experimental treatments, the drug industry was asked to assist in containment, immediate use of chloroquine as a treatment was recommended, returning U.S. citizens from Wuhan were quarantined and assurances were given that clinical trials for a vaccine would be ongoing.

The Trump administration has solicited unprecedented support from the private sector. Large suppliers like Amazon and Wal-Mart have hired additional workers and promised to restock shelves as expeditiously as possible, the Defense Production Act was invoked so General Motors, Ford, distilleries, skin-care product companies and others can utilize their facilities to produce virus-fighting products.

Trump has met with industry representatives and banking executives and has issued emergency-use authorizations to release the full power of the federal government.

In the president’s daily briefings with his panel experts, Trump has been calm, informative and positive while also calling out fearmongers and those reporting Chinese communist propaganda.

As Cuomo said “words matter” and “fear spreads faster than the virus.”

For someone labelled a “liar” and “buffoon” and accused of being “misinformed, incompetent and lagging (in his) response to the COVID-19 pandemic” most objective observers would have to agree that Trump’s performance has been exemplary.

In such a critical time can we put aside personal animosity and ideological differences long enough to applaud positive actions taken by leaders entrusted with having to make major decisions affecting the overall welfare of their people?

Clayton Rowsell
Mount Pearl

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