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As the coronavirus spreads rapidly throughout the United States, it is becoming increasingly clear how unsuited President Trump is to deal with a growing crisis, the executive editor of the Washington Examiner Philip Klein wrote. 

Trump touted the relatively low number of cases in the U.S. on February 26th: “You have 15 people, and the 15, within a couple of days, is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done,” he said. By March 5, he was tweeting that the U.S. had “only 129.” Just a day later, Trump announced there were 240 cases, depicting is as a low number relative to the seasonal flu. 

Trump avoided stating any number on Sunday morning: “We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus. We moved VERY early to close borders to certain areas, which was a Godsend. V.P. is doing a great job. The Fake News Media is doing everything possible to make us look bad. Sad!”

John Hopkins tracked 428 cases in the U.S. as of late Sunday morning. 

Klein writes that: “When Trump was elected, many of his critics feared that he could talk the U.S. into a nuclear war. Those fears have not been realized, as Trump has proven generally averse to military conflict...He’s also overcome a number of scandals through a combination of relentless attacks on the media and his political enemies, and overreach among his opponents in both camps. But this is something different. Trump will be judged on his handling of the spread of a virus.”

However, Trump lied about the CDC tests, which have run into significant problems, revealing astounding ignorance. Trump insisted that “anybody that wants a test can get a test. That’s what the bottom line is.” 

Yet, lack of adequate testing is keeping the numbers of identified cases artificially low in the U.S. while also preventing public health officials from being able to accurately identify areas of outbreak early enough to implement preventative measures. 

“Trump appears to be more concerned with numbers that might make him look bad in the short-term, then he is with actually taking the most prudent measures to save lives over time,” Klein writes. “The current crisis is revealing what many critics feared in a potential Trump presidency. He simply has now shown an ability to break out of his typical antics, and treat the moment with the seriousness with which it deserves.”

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