Trump’s covid response was even worse than you remember: In a sane country, it would disqualify him from ever again holding office (STEPHEN ROBINSON, APR 19, 2024, Public Notice)

The first recorded case of covid in the US was in January 2020. A few weeks later Judd Legum at Popular Information posted on Twitter, “I feel like more people should be talking about the fact that Trump fired the entire pandemic response team two years ago and then didn’t replace them.”

Indeed, the Trump administration gutted the infectious disease defense infrastructure through shortsighted cost-cutting measures starting in 2018 — a year after passing a trillion-dollar tax giveaway for his billionaire buddies. The administration specifically canned the executive branch team that would’ve coordinated a response.

Trump then spent most of February 2020 minimizing covid’s threat. He called the coronavirus Democrats’ “new hoax” at a campaign rally in South Carolina. By April, when everything was going to hell, he lamented that the pandemic was “something that nobody expected.” However, former President George W. Bush had warned in 2005 that “if we wait for a pandemic to appear, it will be too late to prepare.” Bush compared a pandemic to a forest fire: “If caught early it might be extinguished with limited damage. If allowed to smolder, undetected, it can grow to an inferno that can spread quickly beyond our ability to control it.”

Bush paved the way for pandemic planning, which the Obama administration continued. Only Trump was simultaneously arrogant and stupid enough to demolish what his predecessors had built.