NYT Op-Ed Columnist Asks: Can We Call Trump a Killer?

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Megan Everts

An op-ed in the New York Times argued that Trump should be called a killer for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

New York Times columnist Charles Blow argued in an op-ed that President Donald Trump should be labelled as “a killer of American citizens by negligence, ignorance and incompetence” due to his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Blow wrote that “Trump has used every opportunity to downplay the virus,” as he claimed in February: “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”
  • The president has “mocked the wearing of masks” and has “pressured states to reopen economically even before those states met the administration’s own guidelines for reopening.”
  • Additionally, “Trump has consistently been resistant to testing, falsely claiming that an increase in testing is somehow linked to an increase in cases.”
  • Testing helps pinpoint outbreaks and control the spread, Blow wrote, but "Trump believes that to reveal the true extent of the virus’s presence in this country would make him look bad. So more people get sick and more people die."

At his rally in Tulsa, Trump took a step deeper into the darkness, saying: “When you do testing to that extent you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find cases. So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.’ They test and they test. We got tests for people who don’t know what’s going on.”

If there actually was a slowdown, it allowed the virus to spread and more people to get sick and die.

  • Blow also noted that Trump previously suggested injecting disinfectant into the body to cure the virus, promoting a dangerous idea that preceded a spike in poison control calls.
  • “Trump pushed the use of hydroxychloroquine, without sufficient scientific backing, to prevent transmission of the virus or to treat infection,” but later “researchers found that Covid-19 patients were more likely to die if they took the drug, not less likely.”
  • Finally, Blow wrote that “during the height of the crisis, some states experienced a shortage of ventilators to treat gravely ill patients,” and Trump incorrectly claimed that “the Obama administration had left no ventilators in the national stockpile.”

The columnist concluded that “there is no way to remove Trump’s culpability in this,” as he has “willfully and arrogantly put more Americans at risk of getting sick and dying.”

Read more here.

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