US President Donald Trump’s handling of the health crisis triggered by the new coronavirus outbreak has been “scandalous,” and his executive incompetence culminated in a disaster across the country, says an American analyst.
Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author from New York, made the remarks during a Friday edition of Press TV’s The Debate program while commenting on how the Trump administration would fix the COVID-19 fallout in the US as the flu-like pandemic is reverberating throughout the country.
The novel coronavirus has to date infected 700,000 and killed nearly 35,000 Americans, with 22 million people having filed unemployment claims over the past four weeks as the pandemic continues to take its toll on the world’s biggest economy.
“Trump’s handling of this crisis has been extraordinary, has been scandalous. The US is going from having only a handful of cases to having the most cases in the world in a span of two months; and the measures that are being taken to combat the virus have been inconsistent and half-hearted,” Lazare told Press TV on Friday.
“It’s a disaster; it shows the incompetence not only of Trump but of the entire US system,” he added.
Asked on the White House’s management of the situation and pressing on with the decision to restart the economy and businesses amid the pandemic, Lazare said, “Trump has no idea what he is doing and his incompetence is on full display.”
“Trump may try to open the country up, I’m not sure people will listen to him, he may try but if he does that, the virus may simply strike back all the harder, and more people will die and people will be forced to retreat indoors and the economy may stop working again,” he underlined.
Trump, who is under immense pressure for his slow and inadequate response to the outbreak, is pushing to reopen the US economy. The pandemic has crushed America’s economy to levels not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Over 90 percent of Americans have been under stay-at-home orders to contain the virus, forcing companies, shops and restaurants to close their doors, throwing some 22 million people out of work.
As their frustration with life under lockdown grows, US protesters have started to openly defy the social distancing rules in an effort to put pressure on state governors to ease them.
The United States, with the world’s third-largest population, has now suffered the greatest number of reported fatalities from the coronavirus, ahead of Italy and Spain.
For the first time in history, every US state is under a disaster declaration due to the coronavirus pandemic. Federal disaster declarations authorize funding for states, territories and local governments.
Ian Williams, a senior analyst at Foreign Policy in Focus from New York, was the other panelist invited to The Debate program, who censured the way the White House deals with the epidemiological crisis in US prisons, in particular.
“It’s quite clear that the prison system has been a disaster waiting to happen to unfold for a long time. It’s overcrowded, vindictively overpopulated; the sentences are longer than anywhere else in the world. There are people locked up for things that shouldn’t be locked up for under any form of rational reckoning so this is what happens,” Williams said.
“The prison system has been a disaster all along; it’s a disaster even without the disease outbreak. When the disease outbreaks, it just tightens it… It really is a dysfunctional society and there is not being controlled, Trump hasn’t got a clue what’s happening,” he added.
Analysis of current data shows that at least 1,300 people have contracted the virus and 32 people have died in the US prison system. Since prisons in some states have not published their test results, the current figures could be far from telling the truth. The structure and function of prisons made it difficult for epidemic prevention.