As Americans try to come to grips with the global pandemic and the stunning devastation it brings, we also now have to face another sickening fact: The Trump administration was warned of this very moment and did not act.
In a study published last September, White House economists warned the Trump administration that a pandemic such as this could leave America devastated by half a million lives lost and a $4 trillion hit to the American economy.
The New York Times first reported the study which was titled “Mitigating the Impact of Pandemic Influenza Through Vaccine” said:
“People may conflate the high expected costs of pandemic flu with the far more common, lower-cost seasonal flu… It is not surprising that people might underappreciate the economic and health risks posed by pandemic flu and not invest in ways to reduce these risks.”
The study detailed clearly exactly how this could all go down in the United States:
“Tens of millions of people could become ill, with many requiring hospitalization; and a significant number—especially among the vulnerable elderly population—could die.”
Sound familiar to what we are facing now?
The Times reported that the study was commissioned by the National Security Council. The study also implored the federal government to step up vaccine research and funding.
As of the writing of this article, the US has close to 700,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 33,000 deaths. Since the numbers are increasing daily, it is likely that those will be sharply inflated by press time. As of the health crisis isn’t enough, an unprecedented economic shutdown is occurring as business across the country close their doors, prompting record numbers of workers to file for unemployment. Governors throughout the US continue to keep “stay at home” orders in place, trying desperately to flatten the curve.
At the beginning of the coronavirus world outbreak, even as it crept into America, Trump and his administration tried to downplay the public risks, often comparing it to the flu.
In February, Tomas Philipson, acting chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, told reporters, “I don’t think corona is as big a threat as people make it out to be.”
Economists now believe the US is set to enter a recession so severe, it could surpass the one that followed the 2008 financial crisis.
Trump said last month that this pandemic was “an unforeseen problem” that “came out of nowhere.” It is shockingly clear that this was not the case. The study from last year blows Trump’s argument out of the water.
They knew it was coming.
They left the country unprepared.