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AP REALITY CHECK: Trump, American exceptionalism and the infection


AP REALITY CHECK: Trump, American exceptionalism and the infection

WASHINGTON — Americans normally hear from President Donald Trump when he is opining on Twitter, riffing from a rally stage or otherwise improvising. This past week was different as he sat in the Oval Office with a script laid out for him to read on a matter grave enough for a prime-time address to the…

AP REALITY CHECK: Trump, American exceptionalism and the infection

Americans normally hear from President Donald Trump when he is believing on Twitter, riffing from a rally phase or otherwise improvising. This previous week was different as he sat in the Oval Workplace with a script laid out for him to keep reading a matter grave enough for a prime-time address to the nation.

He addressed the coronavirus crisis that is spreading bacteria and fear. However his words were as factually stuffed as numerous of his tweets.

Most broadly, Trump hailed American exceptionalism in health care and science– “The virus will not have a possibility versus us”– even as the general public health system failed in making diagnostic testing available to all who need it.

It’s been more than a week now because Trump guaranteed the country: “Any person, right now, and yesterday, any person that needs a test, gets a test. They exist. They have the test. And the test is gorgeous.”

He continued with that thought as just recently as Thursday, a day after his Oval Workplace address, when he asserted “the screening has been going extremely smooth.” This, as the government’s leading infection professional, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was telling lawmakers: “It is a stopping working, let’s confess.”

An evaluation of Trump’s recent rhetoric:


TRUMP: “No nation is more prepared or more resistant than the United States.”– Oval Office address Wednesday.

THE REALITIES: American durability will be measured gradually. But the U.S. is not more ready than all other countries. 7 weeks because the first U.S. case of coronavirus was revealed, the federal government can not represent what might be countless extra infections since of continuing find testing.

Almost a month after U.S. health authorities promised to take advantage of a national network of laboratories that keep an eye on for influenza, that system is only simply getting going. Large-scale screening is an important part of tracking the spread of contagious diseases and allocating resources for treatment. The lack of detailed figures means U.S. health suppliers might quickly be overwhelmed by undetected cases.

Fauci informed a congressional hearing that other nations facing the virus have been making it easy for people to get tested, but in the U.S., “the system is not truly tailored to what we need today.”

For the majority of people, COVID-19 causes only moderate or moderate signs, such as fever and cough. For some, specifically older adults and individuals with health issues, it can cause more extreme health problem, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from it.


TRUMP: “If an American is returning or any person is coming back, we’re checking. We have a remarkable testing setup where individuals coming in need to be checked. … We’re not putting them on planes if it shows favorable, however if they do come here, we’re quarantining. There’s going to be a quite strong enforcement of quarantine.”– remarks Thursday.

THE REALITIES: That’s not real. All people pertaining to the U.S. are not subject to mandatory, universal screening, nor are they being forced to quarantine.

As well, his pronouncement detailing the broad travel constraints that took impact midnight Friday night on visitors from the majority of Europe does not define that everybody permitted in will have to be checked. Trump was most likely referring to strategies that are anticipated to be put in place soon to funnel those arriving from numerous European countries to certain U.S. airports, where they will receive screening and be subjected to quarantine instructions, just like visitors from China.


TRUMP: “Taking early intense action, we have actually seen drastically fewer cases of the infection in the United States than are now present in Europe.”– Oval Office address.

THE REALITIES: “Seen” so far may be real. But that does not imply Europe is being struck harder by infections than the United States. Since of test shortages in the U.S., lots of Americans with COVID-19 aren’t being identified and counted.


TRUMP: “The European Union stopped working to take the exact same precautions and limit travel from China and other locations. As a result, a large number of brand-new clusters in the United States were seeded by tourists from Europe.”– Oval Workplace address.

THE REALITIES: That’s a distorted account of travel restrictions in Europe.

By the time U.S. travel limitations were revealed on Jan. 31, many major European airlines had actually already cut service to China. While constraints in some European nations were not as prevalent, others were much wider.

The Czech Republic had stopped providing visas to Chinese people. Germany issued a travel advisory urging residents to postpone inessential travel to China. Italy had declared a state of emergency situation for 6 months. Russia had shut down its land border with China, along with practically all train traffic and most flights there.

Trump on Jan. 31 signed an order that would momentarily disallow entry to the U.S. of foreign nationals, besides instant family of U.S. people and long-term citizens, who have actually traveled in China within the last 14 days. The restriction worked Feb. 2.

A recent research study from the journal Science discovered China’s internal crackdown decently delayed the spread of the infection but it cast doubt that travel constraints elsewhere will do much compared to other preventive procedures.

Despite Trump’s take pride in “early intense action,” his previous homeland security advisor, Tom Bossert, said constraints on entry into the U.S. from Europe came far too late. “We have nearly as much illness here in the United States as the countries in Europe,” he tweeted.



TRUMP: “Previously today, I satisfied with the leaders of (the) medical insurance industry, who have actually accepted waive all co-payments for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments, and to prevent surprise medical billing.”– Oval Workplace address.

THE TRUTHS: No, they did not say they will cover copays for treatment.

As Vice President Mike Pence specified more properly, the insurers agreed to cover coronavirus testing without any cost sharing– so no copays or deductibles. That guarantee uses to tests that can validate or dismiss the infection, and doesn’t reach treatment or to other tests that the client’s doctor may purchase. Consumers need to talk to their insurance provider since policies may vary on this. They need to not rely on the president’s word.

What’s more, in the process of detecting COVID-19, other tests might be bought. Insurance companies have actually not pledged to waive cost-sharing for those. Copays and deductibles may use for imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans of the chest, for instance, and healthcare facility stays are also based on cost-sharing.

Federal programs including Medicare, Medicaid, kids’s health insurance coverage and “Obamacare” all cover the coronavirus tests. Of specific value, medical diagnostic tests are covered under Medicare with no cost-sharing, a longstanding policy. However cost-sharing may apply for other tests, such as imaging.

When people get ill from the coronavirus, there presently is no antiviral treatment that can treat the illness. Rather, the existing treatment is tailored to alleviating clients’ symptoms and assisting them to recuperate. For those who are really ill, that can involve using equipment to assist them breathe. Insurers cover such treatment based upon the regards to the individual’s health plan, consisting of any suitable deductibles and copays.



TRUMP: “We are cutting enormous quantities of red tape to make antiviral therapies available in record time. These treatments will considerably lower the impact and reach of the virus.”– Oval Office address.

THE FACTS: People with COVID-19 or those who get it in the break out need to not expect those therapies to be available to them. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health told a congressional committee Wednesday that while antivirals are being checked, “we don’t understand if it works. I do not wish to guarantee anything.”

An antiviral is a medication that particularly assaults an infection to hasten recovery. An experimental drug named remdesivir, which was being developed to combat Ebola, is being evaluated in COVID-19 patients in the U.S. and abroad. There likewise are studies in progress utilizing mixes of some HIV-attacking drugs.


TRUMP: “For decades the @CDCgov took a look at, and studied, its screening system, but not did anything about it. It would always be insufficient and slow for a big scale pandemic, but a pandemic would never take place, they hoped. President Obama made modifications that just complex things further … Their action to H1N1 Swine Flu was a complete scale catastrophe, with thousands dying, and nothing meaningful done to repair the screening problem, previously.”– tweets Friday.

THE REALITIES: His newfound ridicule for the CDC’s actions and his criticisms of the Obama administration are based upon a malfunctioning description of what took place in the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, initially called “swine influenza.”

Then, the CDC’s influenza surveillance network actually sounded the alarm, identifying two children in California who were the very first diagnosed cases of the new influenza strain. About two weeks later, the U.S. declared a public health emergency and the CDC began releasing anti-flu drugs from the national stockpile to assist health centers prepare. Trump declared a state of emergency Friday, almost 2 months after the very first COVID-19 case in the U.S. was announced.

As for thousands dying, it actually ended up that the brand-new H1N1 stress was less lethal than average seasonal influenza. But even that comparison is troublesome since routine influenza years are most dangerous for the elderly while H1N1 was riskiest for younger individuals.



TRUMP: “We will be suspending all travel from Europe, other than the United Kingdom, for the next 30 days.”– Oval Office address.

THE TRUTHS: He erroneously described his own plan.

Initially, the limitation does not apply to legal permanent locals of the U.S. or their households when they are returning from Europe. It likewise does not apply to U.S. residents returning from Europe, as Trump acknowledged.

Too, it obviously does not apply to Ireland, Romania, Croatia, Ukraine and numerous other European states. The proclamation released by the White Home states the travel ban impacts the 26 European countries in the Schengen Location. That’s many of Europe, but not “all.”


TRUMP: “These restrictions will not only apply to the remarkable amount of trade and freight, but various other things as we get approval.”– Oval Office address.

THE FACTS: That is wrong. The White House quickly clarified that the restriction on motion from Europe “just applies to human beings, not products and cargo.”



TRUMP: “Great for the customer, gasoline rates coming down!”– tweet Monday after the rate of oil fell almost 20%and the stock exchange, already shaken by the coronavirus break out, took an even deeper dive.

TRUMP: “So with gasoline prices boiling down, that’s like a tax cut. Frankly, that resembles a huge tax cut, not a little tax cut for the consumer. So there’s something about that I like.”– remarks Thursday.

THE REALITIES: His affection for cheaper rates at the pump is extensively shared. It’s simply that less expensive gas significantly comes at a cost. The cost decline might injure general economic development, which is probably a larger negative on balance than conserving at the pump.

A drop in oil prices is not as useful to the U.S. economy as it was when the country was massively reliant on foreign oil. That’s since the fracking transformation has actually made domestic oil and gas production a significant part of the U.S. economy. A drop in prices injures that domestic industry. It results in less drilling, fewer tasks, cuts in factory orders and a host of aftershocks that could leave the nation as a whole even worse off.

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The last time oil costs visited an equivalent quantity, in 2015-2016, it added to a slowing of economic development from 2.9%to 1.6%.


Rising reported from Berlin. Associated Press writers Lauran Neergaard, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Josh Boak, Jill Colvin, Colleen Long, and Zeke Miller in Washington and Tom Murphy in Indianapolis contributed to this report.


EDITOR’S NOTE– A take a look at the accuracy of claims by political figures.


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