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Trump keeps blaming Obama for his mishandling of coronavirus crisis

Trump continues to lie about why there’s a lack of coronavirus testing.

By Emily Singer - March 13, 2020
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Donald Trump

As lawmakers from both parties criticize the Trump administration for a lack of testing for the novel coronavirus, Donald Trump continued to falsely place blame on his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.

In a series of tweets Thursday night and Friday morning, Trump repeated lies that have already been debunked.

Trump said Obama made it harder to test for viruses — a false claim — and said that Obama made the H1N1 flu outbreak in 2009 worse by not declaring a state of emergency early enough, also false.

“The Obama White House had to immediately issue an apology for Joe Biden’s remarks, and any alarm that he might have caused, an alarm about a Swine Flu outbreak that took 6 months for President Obama to declare a National Emergency, and that killed 12,000 Americans,” Trump tweeted Thursday night, apparently quoting Fox News host and Trump sycophant Lou Dobbs.

In fact, the Obama administration declared a public health emergency in April 2009, just as the outbreak began. The flu outbreak wasn’t declared a pandemic until June 11, 2009 — months after the Obama administration acted. And by October, when 1,000 people had died, Obama announced a state of emergency — which let hospitals move infected patients offsite to stop the spread.

Meanwhile, Trump himself has yet to announce a state of emergency himself, as experts warn of community spread and state and local governments taking drastic measures — such as canceling schools and large-scale public events — to stop an even larger outbreak. Declaring a state of emergency would free up as much as $40 billion in disaster relief aid, according to CNN.

Then, Friday morning, Trump again tried to blame the Obama administration for the lack of current testing for the novel coronavirus, which has been declared a pandemic.

Trump tweeted:

“For decades the @CDCgov looked at, and studied, its testing system, but did nothing about it. It would always be inadequate and slow for a large scale pandemic, but a pandemic would never happen, they hoped. President Obama made changes that only complicated things further. Their response to H1N1 Swine Flu was a full scale disaster, with thousands dying, and nothing meaningful done to fix the testing problem, until now. The changes have been made and testing will soon happen on a very large scale basis. All Red Tape has been cut, ready to go!”

This lie — which Trump has told multiple times in the past few weeks — has also been debunked. There were Obama-era rules that limited the development.

The lack of testing for patients experiencing coronavirus symptoms is becoming a scandal, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testing just 77 people over the last week.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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