The Struggle for the Soul of America: Trump’s Failed COVID 19 Response Is the No. 1 Election Issue

President Trump and his administration “have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy…When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent. We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.”[1] This perspective is from the editors of theNew England Journal of Medicine, one of the most respected medical journals in the world.

Despite over 210,000 Americans having lost their lives due to the coronavirus, on Monday President Trump told the nation, “Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines….”[2]

Well, that’s easy for Trump to say after receiving the best medical care on the planet at Walter Reed Medical Center following his coronavirus diagnosis last week. “(T)he president’s COVID-19 treatment surpassed what most people would receive. Fewer than 10 compassionate-use requests have been granted for Regeneron’s experimental antibody cocktail,” including Trump. “He would never have gotten access to the monoclonal antibodies if he weren’t the president,” noted Brown University Prof. Rose McDermott who has studied presidential illness.[3]

You or I would have had to pay over $100,000 for the treatment Trump got for free.[4] Actually, in 2016 and 2017, our billionaire president did pay $750 a year in taxes,[5] so his public healthcare wasn’t entirely free. Still, quite a deal, don’t you think?

While Trump receives top-notch healthcare at taxpayers’ expense, he has been doing whatever he can to eliminate healthcare insurance for millions of Americans. On June 25, the Trump Administration petitioned the Supreme Court to find the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional.[6]

Incredibly, the Administration’s efforts to gut the ACA is in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic which has infected over seven million Americans and thrown tens of millions off their health care rolls due to lost jobs.

“Dismantling the law wouldworsen racial disparities and make it harder for sick people to get new coverage at a time when COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting Black and Latino Americans and leaving hundreds of thousands with potentially lasting health problems. It would also leave 23 million Americans without health coverage,” according to the Center for American Progress.[7]

Clearly, Trump is not concerned with the healthcare of millions of Americans, particularly when the great majority of them are lower income minorities. At the same time, he had no problem taking care of very wealthy Americans like himself with huge tax cuts that don’t produce significant economic growth,[8] but do significantly increase the national deficit.[9]

But, it gets even darker. Back in February, knowing how dangerous the coronavirus was, Trump downplayed the threat and did nothing to protect the American people.[10] In fact, he was so careless and highhanded regarding COVID 19 that months later Trump and more than 30 of his aides and their contacts contracted the virus. And then, when he returned to the White House from the hospital still carrying the disease, “he immediately removed his mask before entering the building — setting off concern that his behavior may put staffers, complex workers and Secret Service agents at risk.”[11] Of course, his image was much more important than their health and wellbeing.

One last thing. Trump promised to replace the ACA with a much better, “terrific” healthcare plan. After almost four years in office, he has produced no such plan.[12] Once again, Trump has conned the American people. It’s time we put an end to his cruel charade on November 3rd.

Bruce Berlin, J.D.

A retired, public sector ethics attorney, Berlin is the author of Breaking Big Money’s Grip on America (See, the founder of New Mexicans for Money Out of Politics, a former U.S. Institute of Peace fellow, and the founder and former executive director of The Trinity Forum for International Security and Conflict Resolution. He can be reached at

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[7] Ibid.






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