Trump’s 3/11/2020 Address About The Coronavirus Health Crisis To The Nation Fell Short

The republican President Trump’s speech delivered on the evening of 3/11/2020 on worldwide TV, regarding the spread of the coronavirus COV-19 pandemic in the USA and around the world, failed to offer the reassurance, peoples were hoping would occur.

Instead, he resorted to the same sort of scapegoating and barely-veiled xenophobia that he does whenever he’s facing difficult times in his presidency. Within the first few sentences of his prepared remarks read from a teleprompter, he referred to the coronavirus, as a “foreign virus.”
Image result for photos of trump
As per a 3/12 CNN report by Chris Cillizza, “In case you missed what he was playing at, this riff on Europe should clear things up nicely:”
“Taking early intense action we’ve seen dramatically fewer cases of the virus in the United States than are now present in Europe. The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots. As a result a large number of new clusters in the United States were [seeded] by travelers from Europe. After consulting with our top government health professionals I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions to protect the health and well-being of all Americans. To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days.”
Our European allies were caught totally unawares by the above news. There was confusion as to whether this 30 day ban of European travel to the USA included the transport of cargo which it doesn’t.  Also the 30 day travel ban makes no common sense as travelers from the UK are exempt from this ban. it’s not as if the UK is not dealing with their own coronavirus problems.
As usual, officials in the White House had to clean up many of the president’s claims.
FAUCI/ AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Earlier in the day of 3/11,  in contrast to President’s Trump’s attempts to downplay the seriousness of the coronavirus spread in the US, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a legendary expert in public health and an infectious disease who has served under six presidents since 1984, testified before the US Congress.
In response to questions by congressional representatives, here’s some of what he said:
“Whenever you have an outbreak that you can start seeing community spread, which means by definition that you don’t know what the index case is and the way you can approach it is by contact tracing, when you have enough of that, then it becomes a situation where you’re not going to be able to effectively and efficiently contain it.”

“Whenever you look at the history of outbreaks, what you see now in an uncontained way, and although we are containing it in some respects, we keep getting people coming in from the country that are travel-related. we’ve seen that in many of the states that are now involved. and then when you get community spread, it makes the challenge much greater. So I can say we will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now. How much worse we’ll get will depend on our ability to do two things, to contain the influx of people who are infected coming from the outside, and the ability to contain and mitigate within our own country. Bottom line, it’s going to get worse.

Dr. Anthony Fauci - March 11
“Well, SARS was also a coronavirus in 2002. It infected 8,000 people, and it killed about 775. It had a mortality of about 9 to 10%. That’s only 8,000 people in about a year. In the two and a half months that we’ve had this coronavirus, as you know we now have multiple multiples of that. So it clearly is not as lethal. And I’ll get to the lethality in a moment, but it certainly spreads better. Probably for the practical understanding of the American people, the seasonal flu we deal with every year has a mortality of 0.1%. The stated mortality overall of this when you look at all the data, including China, is about 3%, it first started off as 2 and now 3. I think if you count all the cases of minimally symptomatic or asymptomatic, that probably brings the mortality down to around 1%. Which means this is ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu. I think that’s something that people can get their arms around and understand.”
covid 19 mortality rate by age chart

On 3/12/2020, Jonathan Lemire of the AP penned the following analysis, “Analysis: Facing virus outbreak, Trump’s tactics fall short”


“The escalating coronavirus crisis is presenting President Donald Trump with a challenge for which he appears ill-equipped, his favorite political tactics ineffective and his reelection chances in jeopardy.”

“A rare crisis battering the White House that is not of the president’s own making, the spreading coronavirus has panicked global financial markets and alarmed Americans, many of whom have turned to the Oval Office for guidance and reassurances. But what they have found is a president struggling for a solution, unable to settle Wall Street and proving particularly vulnerable to a threat that is out of his control.”


“In an address to the nation Wednesday night, Trump announced a sweeping travel ban for much of Europe as well as a package of proposals to help steady the teetering economy. But he continued to play down the severity of the situation, painting it as a foreign threat that soon will be banished rather than focusing on managing the growing number of cases at home.”

“This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history,” Trump declared.”

“Addressing the economic costs, he added, “This is not a financial crisis, this is just a temporary moment of time that we will overcome together as a nation and as a world.”

“But the virus has appeared impervious to the president’s bluster.”

“The virus does not have a Twitter account and, unlike so many previous Trump foes, is resistant to political bullying or Republican Party solidarity. It has preyed on his lack of curiosity and fears of germs while exposing divides and inadequacies within senior levels of his administration. It has taken away Trump’s favorite political tool, his rallies, from which he draws energy and coveted voter information.”

“And eight months from Election Day, it has endangered his best reelection argument — a strong economy — just as Joe Biden, the candidate emerging from the Democratic field, seems poised to take advantage of a political landscape upended by the virus.”

“Crises of varying degrees produce fascinating and often consequential elections: Think 1860, 1932, 1968, 2008. Such races turn on questions of chaos versus order and favor the candidate who seems to offer the best chance of bringing order to the country in times of uncertainty,” said presidential historian Jon Meacham. “What’s interesting about those examples is that incumbents, or candidates of the incumbent party, lost all of them.”

Chinese hospital has donated testing kits and equipment to the government of Georgia

“One of Trump’s most potent political assets is his ability to read a room, or a moment, often eschewing long-term planning for instantaneous reaction.”

“But he was slow to come to grips with the threat posed by the coronavirus as it exploded in China, distracted by impeachment and unwilling to scare the markets by stirring panic or upsetting his trading partner in Beijing, Xi Jinping.”

“The virus first spooked Trump while he was in India two weeks ago, as a 1,000-point drop on Wall Street caused him to pepper aides with questions about the markets even as he was feted in New Delhi. But after he returned to the states, Trump continued to play down the virus, lashing into officials, including Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, for talking up the possible severity of the threat. He urged other aides, including Kellyanne Conway and senior economic adviser Larry Kudlow, to go on television and preach confidence, according to five White House officials and Republicans close to the White House. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss private conversations.”

by Steve Breen / San Diego Union-Tribune 2020

And as he has so often done before, Trump believed that through his force of will and ability to dominate a news cycle, he could alleviate the crisis, taking to both Twitter and the White House briefing room podium to dismiss the threat.

“It will go away, just stay calm,” Trump said Tuesday after visiting Capitol Hill. “Be calm. It’s really working out. And a lot of good things are going to happen.”

“The markets, unlike traditional political foes, have not listened.”

“And while Trump deemed the media coverage of the virus “a hoax” meant to create hysteria and tank his poll numbers, it is a harder sell to ask his supporters to dismiss media reports when they see people in their own communities getting sick, schools closing and local drug stores unable to keep hand sanitizer on the shelves.”

by Adam Zyglis / Buffalo News / Cagle Cartoons 2020

“Infighting erupted within the administration, as Trump blamed and then sidelined Azar, relegating the health secretary to a secondary role behind Vice President Mike Pence on the coronavirus task force. But while Trump empowered Pence and respected medical professionals to take the lead on briefings, he ignored his advisers’ advice to let the vice president be the public face of the administration’s response, according to the officials.”

“Unable to cede the spotlight, Trump spoke extemporaneously to reporters at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Friday, requiring the vice president, who addressed the media in Washington moments later, to correct the president’s misstatements about the availability of testing kits and the fate of a cruise ship filled with coronavirus patients.”

“It was only on Monday (3/9/2020), as he was flying from Florida back to Washington, that the economic severity of the crisis hit home for Trump, according to three of the officials and advisers.”

by Adam Zyglis / Buffalo News / Cagle Cartoons 2020

“In one cabin on Air Force One, Matt Gaetz, a Florida GOP congressman who had accompanied Trump to a series of Orlando fundraisers, had isolated himself after learning he’d come into contact with someone infected by the virus. And on the TV in Trump’s aircraft office, Fox News was broadcasting dire graphics illustrating the single worst day for stock markets since the 2008 financial crisis.”

“By the time the plane touched down at Joint Base Andrews, Trump told aides he would change tactics and propose a broad economic stimulus. But the fate of his plan, which included a suspension of the payroll tax, remained unclear as the week went on.”

Increasingly focused on his campaign, Trump (has) pushed aides to continue scheduling massive rallies.”

But late Wednesday (3/11/2020), the White House announced that a trip to Colorado and Nevada had been cancelled. At least for now, no rallies were scheduled as a means to blunt the momentum of his likely general election foe, Biden, who offers himself as someone uniquely positioned to respond to the coronavirus.


  1. My hope is that this is, as David said earlier, Trump’s Waterloo, that his abominable responses will bring about his downfall in November. That would be the only upside to this entire thing. I keep thinking … what if Obama were still president … how would his response from day #1 have differed? I think we would all have a sense that there is a captain at the helm if that cap’n was Obama. As it is … it rather feels like the Titanic is closer than ever to that iceberg. Hugs.


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