LETTER: Where does the buck stop?

President Truman had a sign on his desk that read: “the buck stops here”. President Trump refuses to adopt this philosophy and blames everybody else for his mistakes.

Before his inauguration, Obama staff met with Trump staff. The Obama staff stated that there are three significant problems: hurricanes, pandemic and cyberspace. The Trump administration did not take these warnings seriously as evidenced by the abolishment of the Pandemic task force of the National Security Council in 2018. The Task Force monitored outbreaks throughout the world and, if in existence in 2020, it would have made recommendation for the president to act in January. President Trump refuses to accept responsibility for its abolishment and instead blames John Bolton.

In January, President Trump stopped travel to and from China. He deserves credit for that action.

As of March, 2020, the testing kits are not ready in the amount needed. For example, in Indiana staff at hospitals are making kits and then sterilizing them. Instead of accepting responsibility for this shortage that puts doctors and nurses at risk, President Trump blames the regulations of the CDC. His failure to act is illustrated by the fact that HHS conducted a simulation of the worse scenario of a pandemic during 2019. The results indicated that we would be in short supply of the necessary supplies. Instead of ordering the necessary supplies to be stockpiled, the president did nothing leaving us in the current mess.

In the middle of March, President Trump stopped travel from Europe to the United States. He stated that American citizens could return from Europe but the specifics were not clear. Thus, our citizens rushed to get back, resulting in a jam at O’Hare airport that violated the social distance recommended by health experts. Again, he refused to accept responsibility and blamed the TSA officials.

Another example of President Trump failure to lead is the experience of the cruise ship Diamond Princess. Twenty-one passengers had been diagnosed with the virus and for 72 hours the ship was not allowed to dock in a California port. His health official recommended that the cruise liner be allowed to dock but the president was afraid to allow it to dock because it would increase the number of people diagnosed with the virus. Finally, after receiving significant criticism, President Trump relented and allowed the cruise liner to dock.

President Trump has contradicted the message of health officials in regard to the anti-malaria drugs for the coronavirus. President Trump believes that these drugs would be effective and immediately available. His statement was different from the head of FDA who said the drugs are not immediately available. Dr. Fauci stated that these drugs must undergo trials to know whether they are effective. Moreover, these drugs have been approved for use with treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Because of the president remarks, there has been a run on these drugs which means that they are in short supply for the patients suffering with arthritis.

On 3/18, the President signed an executive order invoking the Defense Production Act which gives him the authority to order private firms to make the needed medical supplies. On 3/20, he stated that the Act was triggered but did not give any specifics. Again, confusion reigns.

The failure of leadership by President Trump has created confusion and endangered the lives of American citizens.

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Updated: March 25, 2020 — 10:49 am