Letter to the editor:

Virus response has been awful

In the March 16 letter “Be proud of the US response,” the writer states that the executive branch had an “outstanding response” to the coronavirus.

But President Donald Trump has lost all credibility by lying to the American people more than 16,500 times since taking office — one of which was at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, when he said the disease would be here today and gone tomorrow.

Outstanding response? It was in April 2018 that Trump made us much more susceptible to the coronavirus by disbanding the White House Security Council’s Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense set up by former President Barack Obama after the Ebola outbreak. That same month, Trump fired his homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, after Bossert called for a comprehensive biodefense against pandemics and biological attacks.

The initial tepid amount of testing for coronavirus was not an outstanding response. Several weeks after the first community transmission of the virus, the U.S. tested 16,000 people in the course of one week. In comparison, South Korea in a week tested 66,000.

Elaine Kamarch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, had a different opinion about Trump’s response to the coronavirus. She said: “He’s an idiot, He’s handled it horribly.”