Democrats, the left, and the media attack President Trump. They claim that he did nothing in January and February to fight the coronavirus and that he did not take the coronavirus seriously.
Critics have the advantage of 20/20 hindsight. It is easy to place blame rather than deal with a problem that only China knew about.
This column provides a timeline of events from Sept. 24, 2019, when impeachment hearings began, through March 1, 2020.
While Trump was working, Democrats were fixated on impeaching.
In October, Trump authorized the attack to kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
He negotiated the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement signed in December 2019 and a trade deal with China signed on Jan. 15.
He presided over an economy that was steadily growing with record unemployment rates, record employment for minorities and record gains in the stock market.
The first Chinese victim of coronavirus became ill on Nov. 17, 2019. Some sources say Dec. 10.
In early to mid-December, Chinese social media indicated a respiratory illness similar to the SARS epidemic in 2003.
On Dec. 18, Democrats voted to impeach the president. They remained mostly silent about the virus in January and February. It was not addressed until the last Democratic debate March 15.
On Dec. 31, China notified the World Health Organization (WHO) that there was a pneumonia virus outbreak.
The president’s intelligence briefing Jan. 3, 2020, included a determination that there was credible evidence of a viral outbreak in China and that the virus had potential to spread. That also was the day Soleimani was killed. The Democrats went berserk. The virus was irrelevant.
On Jan. 11, China reported the first known death as a result of COVID-19.
Three days later, WHO declared that “Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.”
On Jan. 19, WHO stated that “An animal source seems the most likely primary source” of the virus.
The next day, China confirmed that the virus could be transmitted human-to-human. It locked down Wuhan. That also was the day the first case of the virus in the U.S. was reported.
On Jan. 22, during a CNBC interview, Trump stated that he was not worried “and we have it totally under control.” At that point there were no reported coronavirus deaths in the U.S. and the total number of cases in the U.S. was eight.
On Jan. 30, WHO declared a global health emergency and committed to transparency.
The next day, the president ordered a travel ban on China. Biden referred to the travel ban as exhibiting “hysteria and xenophobia.” “Racist” became a staple of the anti-Trump crowd.
Inside the White House were contentious debates about how to deal with China. The pending trade deal was a concern, as was the fact that China was a major supplier of pharmaceuticals to the U.S.
In February 2020, WHO visited China to evaluate the “rapidly escalating and deadly epidemic.” The inspectors were satisfied with information China provided.
On Feb. 5, the Senate acquitted the president. The CDC sent out corrupted virus test kits, so the president reached out to the private sector.
The first U.S. death was recorded Feb. 6.
On Feb. 24, WHO declared “We are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus.”
On Feb. 26, there were only 15 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S.
While Democrats were impeaching the president, he was faced with what became a pandemic. He was receiving information from China and the WHO that the virus was pneumonia and was not spreading. He had to balance the possibility of a pandemic against the fact that at the end of January there were only eight confirmed cases.
On March 1, there were 89 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. with three deaths.
Democrats already are preparing an investigation.
Rich Kiper is a Leavenworth Times columnist.