Let’s Help Contain the Coronavirus, Not Weaponize It

March 3, 2020 Updated: March 4, 2020
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Commentary

Biased reporting, political posturing, and fear-mongering won’t help contain the spread of the coronavirus within the United States.

Sadly, that is exactly how the Democrats and the liberal media are reacting to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The president’s political opponents have chosen to politicize the virus, accusing the Trump administration of mishandling the deadly outbreak. “Let’s Call It Trumpvirus,” “Trump Makes Us Ill,” and “Trump Is Ignoring the Lessons of 1918 Flu Pandemic That Killed Millions” are just some of the irresponsible headlines that have recently appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Numerous liberal commentators and Democrat politicians, including former Vice President Joe Biden, have even accused the administration of silencing Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, one of America’s leading immunologists. “Is the White House Starting to Censor Public-Health Officials?” MSNBC speculated a few days ago, referring to new rules designed to better coordinate messaging from federal officials. Fauci himself had to debunk that outlandish claim.

Remarkably, the mainstream press even managed to distort President Donald Trump’s response to these baseless accusations—when he rightly called out the liberal smear campaign as a “hoax,” the media dishonestly claimed that he was referring to the coronavirus outbreak itself.

Misinformation about the president’s handling of the situation seems to be spreading faster than the virus itself, which does absolutely nothing to help the millions of Americans who are trying to learn the facts about this public health emergency.

Let’s set the record straight.

As Trump explained during his recent press conference, the White House has been closely monitoring the outbreak since the very beginning and has taken preventative measures to ensure that our health care system is prepared for the worst-case scenario.

“We moved very early,” the president said, noting that his decision to implement early travel restrictions in January saved countless American lives. “Experts now agree that the decision to move so quickly despite a lot of opposition on that decision was a wise one. It greatly slowed the spread of the virus to the United States.”

As the virus continued spreading in other parts of the world, Trump took additional action by assigning Vice President Mike Pence to lead the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Under the vice president’s leadership, guided by the advice of our country’s leading medical experts, the task force has quickly developed strategies to combat and contain future possible outbreaks in the United States.

“We’ve taken the most aggressive actions to confront the coronavirus,” the president said, pointing out that the United States has experienced far fewer cases than many other countries with smaller populations.

Trump also recently announced that travelers from high-risk countries will be subject to new dual screening measures—medical evaluations will now be performed both prior to their boarding and following their arrival in the United States. He also just met with representatives from some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies in an effort to coordinate research and development of a vaccine.

Regrettably, these facts are irrelevant to the agenda-driven mainstream press, who are always eager to seize any opportunity to smear Donald Trump. One of the first questions directed at the president during his recent press conference, for example, was about the nonexistent “muzzling” of Fauci—not about the progress the administration has made to keep the country safe from the coronavirus.

In a remarkable exchange, Fauci—who was standing behind the president—stepped up to the microphone to directly dismiss the absurd media narrative himself. “I have never been muzzled ever and I’ve been doing this since the administration of Ronald Reagan,” he told the journalist, adding, “That was a real misrepresentation of what happened.”

Spreading baseless, politically motivated conspiracy theories about the coronavirus won’t help curtail this looming pandemic. Americans deserve to know the facts about the ongoing outbreak and what the Trump administration is doing to contain it.

The Democrats and the mainstream media have failed us.

Jason D. Meister is an advisory board member of Donald J. Trump for President Inc. and managing director of Ackman-Ziff.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.