Now it turns out that many people in Trump’s administration and the senate (Richard Burr, Kelly Loeffler, James Inhofe, and Dianne Feinstein) were warned as early as late January that COVID-19 could evolve into a pandemic. Rather than using this information to prepare the country with a detailed plan for testing, tracking, and treatment of potentially millions of Americans, they used the information and the time to sell their stocks and line their own pockets. Further, rather than telling the truth to the public and possibly jeopardize their ability to short stocks in time, they told the public that Trump had everything under control and that everything would turn out fine. Trump himself claimed multiple times that the quarantine against China was working and that President Xi was doing a great job managing the coronavirus epidemic. He claimed the situation was under control and no one needed to worry.
This inaction and duplicity could end up costing America hundreds of thousands of lives. If they had developed a solid plan to defeat the coronavirus and put it into place in early February, the epidemic could have been stopped before it gained traction in mid-February in the US. At that time we only had 15 confirmed cases. The epidemic could have been avoided for not only the US but possibly for other countries around the world The US used to exhibit moral, ideological, and scientific leadership that other countries followed. We cautioned about climate change and pushed for environmental protection programs and convinced others to follow. If we had a solid solution in place by mid-February other countries could have adopted our plan and also controlled their own infections in time. There might not have been any need for the WHO to declare a pandemic on March 11th. Millions of deaths and trillions of dollars of economic opportunity lost could have been avoided.
What makes their actions especially appalling is that they could have kept their stock investments or added to them on the assumption that Americans were fully capable of finding the solution to the new epidemic and the stock market would have kept on rising. That they had so little faith in their own abilities and that of their fellow Americans to solve this problem is beyond sad. If it turns that after a thorough investigation of these stock sales that this was just a highly improbable coincidence, we apologize for being critical.