Using unusually strong language, the Boston Globe editorial board on Monday condemned Donald Trump’s handling of the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic. While other newspapers have published editorials critical of the president’s coronavirus approach, with The Washington Post even calling it “reckless,” The Boston Globe accused him of having “blood on his hands.”
The 148-year-old daily newspaper declared Trump “unfit” to handle a crisis on the level of the current pandemic, which has so far killed nearly 3,800 Americans — about 800 more deaths than those caused by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The outbreak has also infected a confirmed total that now tops 185,000 in the U.S., according to the population data site Worldometers.
Massachusetts is a state that has been hit especially hard by the coronavirus. According to Worldometers, it now has the fifth-most confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in the 56 states and territories with 6,620, ranking just above Florida (6,338) and below California (7,543) — even though the Bay State’s population is only about 7 million. In addition, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican, has been sharply critical of the federal government’s handling of the crisis.
Saying that much of the “suffering and death” caused by coronavirus was “preventable,” the Boston Globe editorial board said that the “profound impact” of the virus in the U.S. was attributable not to a natural disaster or foreign invasion, but instead was the fault of “a colossal failure of leadership.”
When the outbreak began late last year in China, the coming crisis required a president “to deliver clear, consistent, scientifically sound messages” when offering guidance for their country, and to prioritize its well-being ahead of attempts to keep stock market prices high and efforts to bolster their “own reelection prospects,” the editorial said.
Instead, Trump continually claimed that the coronavirus outbreak would not seriously impact the U.S., even claiming as late as February 26 that the number of cases in the country would reach a number close to zero within “a couple of days.”
And on March 10, one day before the World Health Organization officially classified the outbreak as a “pandemic,” the president stated publicly that the virus would simply “go away.”
Trump also reportedly ignored repeated warnings from the U.S. intelligence community that the pandemic in China would quickly hit the United States with devastating consequences — a mistake that the journal Foreign Policy called a “failure” worse than those leading to the September 11, 2001, attacks.
“Come November, there must be a reckoning for the lives lost,” the Boston Globe editorial board wrote.
The paper added that this also applies to the “vast, avoidable suffering” that will likely ensue under Trump’s watch.