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I personally have a lot of sympathy with the concept that a President shouldn't go out and preach doom and gloom and panic the country. Trump did do some things to try to get ahead of the thing, but aside from that, what was he supposed to do?
Could he have insisted on shutting down the economy at that point without being attacked for being alarmist and racist? Could he have gotten industry and the medical system to pitch in and work together based on what was known then? He would have been fighting against a head wind from people who would accuse him of trying to be a dictator and trying to gain power for himself. They would say he was just trying to divert attention from the impeachment process that was going on.
In our system that gives power to the governors and mayors to manage their own jurisdictions, would it have been much use for Trump to try to "lay down the law?" We've seen how much good that has done with the unrest going on—people who don't like Trump would have been out there screaming that he was trying to control them, the same as they are now. Power is divided between the federal government and the states—the President doesn't have that much power to enforce things over the heads of governors and mayors who don't want to take his advice. That much has become obvious when we look at the varied responses of cities toward the current rioting and protests.
Did you see what Fauci said today about the issue? He said he didn't remember making the comments about Trump that were attributed to him. "If you notice, others have said that. You know, you should ask others. I don't recall that at all," Fauci said, adding that he "didn't get any sense" Trump was distorting things." Most of the advisors around the President, and people like Pelosi and Cuomo were saying much the same thing as what Trump said publicly at that time about the possible dangers of the virus.
Hindsight can tell us a lot—but I think it is unfair to preach what should have been done when people were dealing with a fluid situation with a lot of unknowns.