During an appearance on CNBC on Friday, former President Barack Obama‘s Ebola czar, Ron Klain, revealed his thoughts on Donald Trump‘s handling of the coronavirus crisis, which has been increasingly approved by the American public.
“Fairly, I’d have to say it’s an F and I’ll tell you why,” Klain said, per Breitbart.
The 58-year-old political operative first pointed to Trump’s travel ban, which he notes was only partial. Although Klain questioned whether a full travel ban was the right move, he also acknowledged that the partial ban would be insufficient in stopping all individuals with coronavirus from entering the country.
While Klain acknowledged that Dr. Anthony Fauci, an immunologist with the National Institutes of Health, was right that the ban bought the U.S. some time, he suggested that this window was wasted. He pointed to the other countries that used their window of opportunity to increase testing, strengthen hospitals, and bolster the production of medical devices and personal protective equipment.
“We didn’t do any of those things. We sat around and spent those two months saying it’s not going to be here, 15 cases, it’s going to go to zero.”
"The American people don't need to hear from Donald Trump or Mike Pence about the coronavirus. They need to hear from the experts who know the fact, who know what's happening." -Ron Klain, head of the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis pic.twitter.com/7CEEtXv7ts
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) February 28, 2020
Klain noted that the virus is a natural creation, but called the “failed response” a result of the poor decisions of American leaders.
“I think we’re seeing the consequences of that,” he said. “There’s no reason why America is testing at a fraction of the rate of South Korea, there’s no reason why we didn’t ramp up like Singapore to deal with this.”
Although the Obama administration alumnus acknowledged the improvement in the response in recent weeks, he suggested that the Trump administration’s early failures will continue to affect the crisis.
“But we’re going to pay a huge price for squandering January, squandering February, squandering even a little bit of March.”
The Trump administration’s recent response to the virus is a sharp shift from the president’s previous downplaying of the crisis. As reported by CNBC, the White House has, in recent days, pushed for increased U.S. testing capacity, faster vaccine development, and relief packages to help Americans and small businesses struggling amid the halted economy.
According to Business Insider, Obama’s administration reportedly believed a pandemic was something that the Trump administration could face and thus briefed them on how to deal with one in 2017. In addition, a simulation ran in 2019 — the “Crimson Contagion” — allegedly predicted the failed federal government response that was reportedly behind the problems with the Trump administration’s early approach to COVID-19.