Trump Just Told Governors to Get Their Acts Together on COVID-19. Pot, Meet Kettle.

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On Sunday, President Trump took to Twitter to urge governors to buck up and start testing residents for the coronavirus. “No excuses!” he wrote.

There’s a lot to unpack in this latest presidential deflection of responsibility. The failure to make coronavirus tests widely available months ago is perhaps the most colossal mistake among the Trump administration’s many bungled coronavirus responses. To date, there have been 2.8 million coronavirus tests administered in the United States, according to the COVID Tracking Project. That’s less than 1 percent of the population—a lower per capita rate than other countries. So while it’s technically true that the US has tested more people than other countries, the suggestion that we’re leading the world in testing rates—something Trump has repeated—is not. 

Even members of Trump’s administration agree that national surveillance testing hasn’t gone well: Asked by Science Magazine what went wrong in the US response, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “Obviously, testing is one clear issue that needs to be relooked at. Why were we not able to mobilize on a broader scale?” Last week, the Trump administration announced plans to pull back funding for testing centers across the country, prompting bipartisan uproar and a reversal of the plan. 

The tweet comes a day after a bombshell New York Times story details the many ways in which top administration officials attempted to sound the alarm bells and urged the president into action in January and February.

As for gearing up with face masks, it’s unclear where the president expects this protective equipment to be coming from: just last week the administration informed Congress that the the federal government’s emergency stockpile was depleted and states wouldn’t be receiving more shipments of personal protective gear. 

On Friday, Trump announced that the administration was now encouraging the use of non-medical face masks, and then clarified, “I don’t think I’m going to be doing it.” He went on, “Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens—I just don’t see it.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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