According to some anti-Trump protesters, the president’s dishonesty about COVID-19 resulted in an excess of deaths from the virus.
Among the claims made by protesters Tuesday in Phoenix were that President Donald Trump repeatedly lied about the coronavirus, China was not the source of the outbreak and Trump was warned of the severity of the disease as early as November of 2019.
Demonstrating outside the Dream City Church, where the president was speaking at a Students for Trump rally, the protesters spoke with The Western Journal about Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One protester held up a sign that read “Trump lies, America dies.”
“I think especially egregious right now in this moment is the whole COVID lies that started back in January or February. Do we even really know when?” the woman told The Western Journal.
When pressed about what exactly Trump has lied about, the protester claimed that studies show the coronavirus did not originate in China.
“He’s lied about knowing about it. He’s actually lying to the people about it being from China. Studies, again and again, have shown that it’s not, and he continues to make racial slang that causes hate.”
Another protester voiced similar sentiments about the president and his COVID-19 response.
“He lied about not being notified about the danger of the coronavirus. He was warned as early as November of 2019,” the man told The Western Journal.
“He was warned in December of 2019. January, February, March of 2020. And he was — he not only discounted the warnings, he lied about ever hearing that information.”
When asked whether the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization were also responsible for not jumping on the coronavirus back in November, the protester responded by saying, “Yeah, I do.”
The evidence surrounding the novel coronavirus and its origins do not support those claims.
ABC News did report in April that the Trump administration was warned about the virus in November 2019 by a National Center for Medical Intelligence report, according to some unnamed sources.
However, the director of the NCMI issued a rare public statement to make it known that no such report existed.
“As a matter of practice, the National Center for Medical Intelligence does not comment publicly on specific intelligence matters,” said Col. R. Shane Day, who is a medical doctor. “However, in the interest of transparency during this current public health crisis, we can confirm that media reporting about the existence/release of a National Center for Medical Intelligence Coronavirus-related product/assessment in November of 2019 is not correct. No such NCMI product exists.”
What is clear, however, is that China knew about the virus very early on and actively tried to cover it up.
China’s first confirmed COVID-19 case has been traced back to Nov. 17, as reported by the South China Morning Post.
Additional evidence from a Harvard Medical School study tracking satellite data in the area of Wuhan suggests that the coronavirus outbreak may have begun in China as far back as October.
A study conducted by the U.K.’s University of Southampton determined that if China had acted sooner, the virus’ worldwide spread could have been reduced by as much as 95 percent.
As for whether the president was too slow to respond to the outbreak, in fact, his travel ban from China on Jan. 31 was met with harsh criticism.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called the move another example of Trump’s “record of hysteria, xenophobia and fear-mongering,” according to Fox News.
In March, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders joined in on the criticism. After declaring he would not restrict the U.S. border to prevent COVID-19’s spread, Sanders condemned the president’s alleged xenophobia.
Even the WHO was critical of the president’s move at the time. On Feb. 3, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus claimed the travel ban would “unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade,” according to Reuters.