By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

The liberal left media, politicians, and other allies have indicated that President Trump’s response to the virus has been poor, and they blame any problems regarding the coronavirus on President Trump.  In response, the Trump Team has released a timeline showing when and what President Trump’s administration has done since the emergence of the coronavirus:

○ December 31: China reports the discovery of the coronavirus to the World Health Organization.

○ January 6: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice for Wuhan, China due to the spreading coronavirus.

○ January 7: The CDC established a coronavirus incident management system to better share and respond to information about the virus.

○ January 11: The CDC issued a Level I travel health notice for Wuhan, China.

○ January 17: The CDC began implementing public health entry screening at the 3 U.S. airports that received the most travelers from Wuhan – San Francisco, New York JFK, and Los Angeles.

○ January 20: Dr. Fauci announces the National Institutes of Health is already working on the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus.

○ January 21: The CDC activated its emergency operations center to provide ongoing support to the coronavirus response.

○ January 23: The CDC sought a “special emergency authorization” from the FDA to allow states to use its newly developed coronavirus test.

○ January 27: The CDC issued a level III travel health notice urging Americans to avoid all nonessential travel to China due to the coronavirus.

○ January 29: The White House announced the formation of the Coronavirus Task Force to help monitor and contain the spread of the virus and provide updates to the President.

○ January 31: The Trump Administration:

○ Declared the coronavirus a public health emergency. 

○ Announced Chinese travel restrictions. 

○ Suspended entry into the United States for foreign nationals who pose a risk of transmitting the coronavirus.

○ January 31: The Department of Homeland Security took critical steps to funnel all flights from China into just 7 domestic U.S. airports.

○ February 3: The CDC had a team ready to travel to China to obtain critical information on the novel coronavirus, but were in the U.S. awaiting permission to enter by the Chinese government.

○ February 4: President Trump vowed in his State of the Union Address to “take all necessary steps” to protect Americans from the coronavirus.

○ February 6: The CDC began shipping CDC-Developed test kits for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus to U.S. and international labs.

○ February 9: The White House Coronavirus Task Force briefed governors from across the nation at the National Governors’ Association Meeting in Washington.

○ February 11: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expanded a partnership with Janssen Research & Development to “expedite the development” of a coronavirus vaccine.

○ February 12: The U.S. shipped test kits for the 2019 novel coronavirus to approximately 30 countries who lacked the necessary reagents and other materials.

○ February 12: The CDC was prepared to travel to China but had yet to receive permission from the Chinese government.

○ February 14: The CDC began working with five labs to conduct “community-based influenza surveillance” to study and detect the spread of coronavirus.

○ February 18: HHS announced it would engage with Sanofi Pasteur in an effort to quickly develop a coronavirus vaccine and to develop treatment for coronavirus infections.

○ February 24: The Trump Administration sent a letter to Congress requesting at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.

○ February 26: President Trump discussed coronavirus containment efforts with Indian PM Modi and updated the press on his Administration’s containment efforts in the U.S. during his state visit to India.

○ February 29: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed certified labs to develop and begin testing coronavirus testing kits while reviewing pending applications.

○ February 29: The Trump Administration:

○ Announced a level 4 travel advisory to areas of Italy and South Korea. 

○ Barred all travel to Iran. 

○ Barred the entry of foreign citizens who visited Iran in the last 14 days.

○ March 3: The CDC lifted federal restrictions on coronavirus testing to allow any American to be tested for coronavirus, “subject to doctor’s orders.”

○ March 3: The White House announced President Trump donated his fourth quarter salary to fight the coronavirus.

○ March 4: The Trump Administration announced the purchase of $500 million N95 respirators over the next 18 months to respond to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

○ March 4: Secretary Azar announced that HHS was transferring $35 million to the CDC to help state and local communities that have been impacted most by the coronavirus.

○ March 6: President Trump signed an $8.3 billion bill to fight the coronavirus outbreak.  The bill provides $7.76 billion to federal, state, & local agencies to combat the coronavirus and authorizes an additional $500 million in waivers for Medicare telehealth restrictions.

○ March 9: President Trump called on Congress to pass a payroll tax cut over coronavirus.

○ March 10: President Trump and VP Pence met with top health insurance companies and secured a commitment to waive co-pays for coronavirus testing.

○ March 11: President Trump:

○ Announced travel restrictions on foreigners who had visited Europe in the last 14 days. 

○ Directed the Small Business Administration to issue low-interest loans to affected small businesses and called on congress to increase this fund by $50 billion. 

○ Directed the Treasury Department to defer tax payments for affected individuals & businesses, & provide $200 billion in “additional liquidity.” 

○ Met with American bankers at the White House to discuss coronavirus. 

○ March 13: President Trump declared a national emergency in order to access $42 billion in existing funds to combat the coronavirus.

○ March 13: President Trump announced:

○ Public-private partnerships to open up drive-through testing collection sites. 

○ A pause on interest payments on federal student loans. 

○ An order to the Department of Energy to purchase oil for the strategic petroleum reserve.

○ March 13: The Food & Drug Administration:

○ Granted Roche AG an emergency approval for automated coronavirus testing kits. 

○ Issued an emergency approval to Thermo Fisher for a coronavirus test within 24 hours of receiving the request.

○ March 13: HHS announced funding for the development of two new rapid diagnostic tests, which would be able to detect coronavirus in approximately 1 hour.

○ March 14: The Coronavirus Relief Bill passed the House of Representatives.

○ March 14: The Trump Administration announced the European travel ban will extend to the UK and Ireland.

○ March 15: President Trump held a phone call with over two dozen grocery store executives to discuss on-going demand for food and other supplies.

○ March 15: HHS announced it is projected to have 1.9 million COVID-19 tests available in 2,000 labs this week.

○ March 15: Google announced a partnership with the Trump Administration to develop a website dedicated to coronavirus education, prevention, & local resources.

○ March 15: All 50 states were contacted through FEMA to coordinate “federally-supported, state-led efforts” to end coronavirus.

○ March 16: President Trump:

○ Held a tele-conference with governors to discuss coronavirus preparedness and response. 

○ Participated in a call with G7 leaders who committed to increasing coordination in response to the coronavirus and restoring global economic confidence. 

○ Announced that the first potential vaccine for coronavirus has entered a phase one trial in a record amount of time. 

○ Announced “15 days to slow the spread” coronavirus guidance.

○ March 16: The FDA announced it was empowering states to authorize tests developed and used by labs in their states.

○ March 16: Asst. Secretary for Health confirmed the availability of 1 million coronavirus tests, and projected 2 million tests available the next week and 5 million the following.

○ March 17: President Trump announced:

○ CMS will expand telehealth benefits for Medicare beneficiaries. 

○ Relevant Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act penalties will not be enforced. 

○ The Army Corps of Engineers is on ”standby” to assist federal & state governments.

○ March 17: President Trump spoke to fast food executives from Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Burger King to discuss drive-thru services recommended by CDC

○ March 17: President Trump met with tourism industry representatives along with industrial supply, retail, and wholesale representatives.

○ March 17: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin met with lawmakers to discuss stimulus measures to relieve the economic burden of coronavirus on certain industries, businesses, and American workers.

○ March 17: Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a partnership between USDA, Baylor University, McLane Global, and Pepsi Co. to provide one million meals per weak to rural children in response to widespread school closures.

○ March 17: The Treasury Department:

○ Contributed $10bil through the economic stabilization fund to the Federal Reserve’s commercial paper funding facility. 

○ Deferred $300 billion in tax payments for 90 days without penalty, up to $1mil for individuals & $10mil for business.

○ March 17: The Department of Defense announced it will make available to HHS up to five million respirator masks and 2,000 ventilators.

○ March 18: President Trump announced:

○ Temporary closure of the U.S.-Canada border to non-essential traffic. 

○ Plans to invoke the Defense Production Act in order to increase the number of necessary supplies needed to combat coronavirus. 

○ FEMA has been activated in every region at its highest level of response. 

○ The U.S. Navy will deploy USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy hospital ships.
All foreclosures and evictions will be suspended for a period of time.

○ March 18: Secretary of Defense Mark Esper confirmed:

○ 1 million masks are now immediately available. 

○ The Army Corps of Engineers is in NY consulting on how to best assist state officials.

○ March 18: HHS temporarily suspended a regulation that prevents doctors from practicing across state lines.

○ March 18: President Trump spoke to:

○ Doctors, physicians, and nurses on the front lines containing the spread of coronavirus. 

○ 130 CEOs of the Business Roundtable to discuss on-going public-private partnerships in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Anyone who claims he was slow to respond, or has fallen short, is a liar.

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