Donald J. Trump keeps downplaying the severity of the health crisis that threatens to turn into a global pandemic.
He keeps telling us the flu kills thousands of Americans annually and that the Covid-19 virus has taken only a fraction of that amount.
What’s the problem? he wonders.
Here is the problem as I see it, Mr. President: The strain of coronavirus that is causing near panic in many countries has the potential of being far worse than influenza. It is being transmitted by casual contact, what medical/science experts refer to as “community transmission.”
We need to treat this matter with all due seriousness, not pass it off as some sort of “Democrat hoax,” which Trump has called it. We have to establish clear, concise and coherent lines of communication; the White House cannot tolerate any more contradictions from the president of the medical experts who keep telling us the truth about the threat we face.
I continue to believe Wall Street’s reaction to this crisis is partly a result of the clumsy, stumblebum response we keep hearing from the White House and from the president. Yes, there’s also that oil-price fight being waged by Saudi Arabia and Russia, which has sent the price of petroleum plummeting; it’s good for you and me at the fuel pump, but it’s playing hell with the fossil fuel industry, which — for better or worse — still is a key economic driver in this country.
So, let’s stop with the flu comparisons, shall we? The Covid-19 outbreak has turned into a crisis that needs to be treated as a matter that well could put billions of human beings in dire peril.