Reading and Writing Our Way Forward
by Rachelle Santos, 8th Grade
“The number one priority from our standpoint is the health and safety of the American people” is what President Trump said in a briefing on February 26, 2020. The coronavirus had its first few cases in China in late 2019. Soon after it spread fast to other countries around the globe. The United States is one of them with over 30,000 reported cases (as of the time this article was written). Many Americans are alarmed having to result in self-quarantine, social distance, and panic buying. Moreover, schools have been closed in the entire country impacting at least 55.1 million students. Despite Trump's efforts creating plans that will help against the coronavirus, his response was not the best because he did not take the disease seriously in the beginning and he is not responding to the situation quickly because he’s unsure of how to react to it.
Before the coronavirus hit the United States, Trump took it lightly. According to PBS NewsHour, “The president also said that this is going to get better in April, that, once it gets warm, things are going to get better.” Moreover, the article“What Governors Say About Trump’s Response to Coronavirus” by Richard Fausset and Julie Bosman states “Other members of his party have criticized him for confusing messages and a sluggish response from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” This illustrates Trump’s little to no concern about the danger of the virus as he sees it as a small threat. In addition, he has been passive and has been trying to convince the public that it’s nothing to worry about, even though the coronavirus is new and people should be cautious.
Trump wasted time being indecisive when everyone depended on him. According to the Los Angeles Times, “One reason federal health officials took so long to act appeared to be Trump’s reluctance to declare a national emergency, which would have conflicted with his repeated efforts to downplay the seriousness of the epidemic”. We can also see Trump delaying important decisions in an article from PBS NewsHour, “But Republican leaders in Congress slowed the deal, wanting assurances that Trump would publicly support the agreement before signing off on it ahead of any vote.” This demonstrates how the solutions were not as effective since it was kind of too late. Furthermore, his lack of responsibility affected everyone since others can’t act before him which held back progress.
Some people think Trump is doing his best to deal with the situation regarding this terrifying disease. Evidence those arguing the other side might use is “Trump administration’s plan to send Americans relief money which includes payments totaling $500 billion, broken up into two tranches. The first one would be $1,000 per person, $500 per child.” as stated by CNBC News. This demonstrates his good intentions and desire to help. However, slowing the spread of the outbreak needs quick decision making which he failed to do. Based on the article “Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus” by the Associated Press on PBS NewsHour “Trump has not yet publicly backed the package, making its outcome uncertain in Congress, as he prepares his own response, which was still evolving in the hours before his press conference.” This represents poor effort as his role is important and everyone was waiting for him especially in the race against time.
Considering the fight with the coronavirus being a global pandemic that will take its place in history, it’s important to have the president take measures for this crisis. Trump did not do his job well since he didn’t see this as an emergency early on, as if the possibility that the virus will hit us is unlikely. However, realization came that this can come after anyone. Furthermore, if he would’ve responded faster, so much could have been done already and reduced the severity of the situation. This is important because if scarier things happen in the future and the President of our country doesn’t uphold his responsibility, we can be in serious danger. As Trump stated our health being his priority, his actions have a big influence on whether we become safe or not. The United States needs good leaders for a secure place to live in.