Mandates related to COVID-19 are wrong and should be rescinded, former President Donald Trump told The Epoch Times in an exclusive interview.
“They have to be ended and they shouldn’t have started,” Trump added.
Trump was president when SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, emerged in China in late 2019. Under Trump, the federal government did not impose vaccine or mask mandates, but some states and counties required masks, including California.
Under President Joe Biden many jurisdictions began requiring COVID-19 vaccines to dine out, go to concerts, and even work. Biden ordered the military, federal contractors, agencies in his administration, health care workers, and all Americans who work at companies with 100 or more employees to get vaccinated.
All of the mandates have been challenged and some blocked by courts, though mask mandates have largely survived legal challenges.
Trump told The Epoch Times that Biden, who campaigned on a promise to “defeat the virus,” has done “such a horrible job” in managing the pandemic.
“It’s like they don’t know what the hell they’re doing. And he came in, ‘I’m going to solve COVID.’ They had more [deaths] in his year—and that’s after everything that we developed, therapeutics, vaccines, everything,” he added.
Deaths attributed to COVID-19 were higher in 2021 than 2020, and new case records were set in many areas in late 2021 or January.
Trump left office on Jan. 20, 2021.
The Republican didn’t force lockdowns early in the pandemic but his COVID advisers, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, recommended people stay home and many states forced so-called non-essential businesses to shut down.
Trump eventually diverged from top health officials and urged the re-opening of closed down areas, famously declaring the “cure” shouldn’t be worse than COVID-19 itself.
Lockdowns had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality, a meta-analysis of 24 studies concluded.
Trump noted that he shut off travel to and from China for most non-Americans about a month after the CCP virus first appeared, a controversial move at the time. He also sharply curbed illegal and legal immigration due to concerns about immigrants carrying the virus, and established Operation Warp Speed to quicken the development of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.
“I did close our country to China, and saved hundreds of thousands of lives. And I closed it to Europe too, when I saw what was happening in Italy, France, and Spain. And those two closures … they saved hundreds of thousands of lives,” he said.
The full exclusive interview will premiere on EpochTV.com at 8 p.m. Eastern on Feb. 7.