Covid-19 Pandemic in the US: The Trump-Annotated Timeline

From Invictus:

This graph posted in response to Rick Stryker’s criticism of those citing “it’s going to disappear”.

…you and other progressives dishonestly allude to a quote from Trump taken out of context, in order to make him look bad. Here is the full quote:

“It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear. And from our shores, we — you know, it could get worse before it gets better. It could maybe go away. We’ll see what happens. Nobody really knows.

The fact is, the greatest experts — I’ve spoken to them all. Nobody really knows.”

I honestly don’t know how adding the entire quote is helpful to the case that Mr. Trump has implemented a coherent and effective management of the covid-19 pandemic.


39 thoughts on “Covid-19 Pandemic in the US: The Trump-Annotated Timeline

  1. Moses Herzog

    I was still very hopeful donald trump and the entire White House “pandemic-response team” (what, they meet up every 2 months now, or whenever there’s a national spike in cases??)) would all each drink 1/2 gallon of Bleach to test it for efficacy. BTW, I heard that when Jared Kushner figured out he was too ignorant, inept, and cowardly to handle the situation, when the White House pandemic-response team met up again, they chose their own theme song.

  2. Moses Herzog

    I was tempted to put up a couple YT video clips of Ivanka and Jared discussing COVID-19 and then thought I better be nice to blogger Menzie today, ‘cuz he’s pretty nice to us readers. So, I will just ask a question that entered my mind. Does anyone foresee Ivanka and Jared making any more cameo appearances at the COVID-19 White House “Pandemic-response team” press conferences at the White House?? Or now that these two junior high kid sweethearts have slowly figured out there’s nothing to be salvaged here from a public image standpoint, Ivanka and Jared will go hide themselves like an Epstein–Prince Charles polaroid photo.

    1. Willie

      They always disappear when things go sideways. We may have seen the last of them until after the election.

  3. Not Trampis

    I believe it was HL Menken who said at some stage the USA will vote in a moron as President. I think he was alluding to Warren Harding.

    It surely applies to Donald Trump.

    Have a look at how we successfully coped with the virus down under. Particularly about when you start opening up.

  4. pgl

    We can look at the separate performances in the EU as well as their different approaches. We should do the same here. NY/NJ have taken the most responsible policies to date and even though we got hit incredibly hard early on, our curves are showing impressive progress in bringing both cases and deaths. Now if we look at other regions separately those increases in cases and deaths would look more dire. Of course they followed Trump’s lead which of course our favorite Trump sycophant (Bruce Hall) continues to tell us is working wonders.

  5. baffling

    the entire quote simply illustrates trump at his finest. he double talks about everything. he knows the virus will go away, but everybody, even the experts, say nobody knows. it will go away, or it could stay for a while. it could get better, or it could be worse. it may be raining, or it may be sunny. we may win, we may lose. it could be up, or it could be down. nobody really knows, but everybody knows.
    its the logic only rick stryker could embrace. idiot.

  6. Rick Stryker


    I didn’t include the whole quote to argue that “Trump has implemented an effective and coherent management of the covid-19 pandemic.” Rather, I included the whole quote so that people could see that what Trump was actually saying. That quote is very often taken out of context to give people the impression that Trump has been dismissing the epidemic, even believing that it would suddenly go away, so that they can then imply that Trump hasn’t been doing anything.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Trump never dismissed the pandemic, if you look at his full quotes rather than dishonest snippets. He has always followed the advice of his senior health policy officials. And Trump did a tremendous amount to manage the pandemic. Unfortunately, he gets little credit for that, since the media has actively suppressed the Administration’s accomplishments.

    One of the more risible ironies we saw was that progressives have been predicting for years that Trump is a dictator-in-waiting, looking for his opportunity to seize power. Well, the pandemic was a perfect opportunity. But in America, unlike other countries, the legal authority to implement shutdowns rests with the governors. Trump respects the law and allowed the governors to take the lead. Now progressives are criticizing Trump for not assuming dictatorial powers and managing the shutdowns from Washington!

    No, Trump is not a dictator. But his Administration performed very impressively in helping the governors to manage the covid crisis. I can’t imagine any other president doing a better job than Trump did under the circumstances–not Clinton nor Obama, not either Bush, and certainly not Biden.

    1. pgl

      “Trump never dismissed the pandemic”. Seriously Rickster. He even called it a hoax. Look dude – just because Trump lies with every sentence, it does not mean you have to follow suit. Oh wait – there’s more.

      “I can’t imagine any other president doing a better job than Trump did under the circumstances–not Clinton nor Obama, not either Bush, and certainly not Biden.”

      I do declare. We have a new winner for the dumbest statement ever made.

    2. noneconomist

      RS: If “nobody really knows” (or knew when he made the statement) why was he considering “opening” the economy in APRIL? Did we really “know” by then? Because, remember, “it could get worse before it gets better.” And it did and still is.
      What’s your point?

    1. 2slugbaits

      sammy Interesting. It explains a lot. But I have my doubts about this claim in the book:
      Donald was only 6 years old at the time and didn’t read the book until much later
      I find it hard to believe that Donald Trump ever read a book.

      1. pgl

        There was one line in Sammy’s fluff piece that got something right – “There has been no shortage of explanations—a huge inferiority complex, infantile narcissism, delusional thinking—for Trump’s undying self-assurance.” Now that we have watched Trump in action for 3.5 years, it seems all 3 explanations apply.

    1. Willie

      And for whatever reason, a number of Wisconsin voters weren’t able to vote absentee and were exposed to COVID. As I recall, some became infected. Gotta scratch your head over that one a bit.

  7. Moses Herzog

    Obviously it’s not in lockstep, but the virus cases in Tulsa and for the state of Oklahoma are loosely linked together. Oklahoma had a record number of cases today at 585 and 2 deaths, one of which deaths in a neighboring county to Tulsa, to the northeast. The 7-day moving average of cases is also the highest it has ever been. Hospitalizations inside the state are always reported towards the evening, if you wanna follow it on the state website, I advise to check it around 18:30 or 19:00 on your clock (adjusted for times Zones, earlier for west coast times). I suspect we will have the highest number of hospitalizations we have seen since roughly the last week of April, but we have to wait until tonight to see. Hospitalizations is the stat more closely linked with death, and considered a “leading indicator” of said such.

    1. Moses Herzog

      Hospitalizations are up 59 in one day, to a current total of 374. Now don’t quote me on this, I may be getting my numbers mixed up, but I think there has been a 90% increase in hospitalizations since June 19. If I am doing my math right, even just for yesterday you’re looking at a 16% jump in hospitalizations. It obviously cannot continue on that pace for much longer. I do not know this for a fact because I haven’t seen how it breaks down by county, but my guess is this increase in cases and hospitalizations is a state-wide deal, more than just a Tulsa metro phenomenon.

  8. macroduck

    The annotation is funny in a sick way, but the chart itself is what matters. China’s chart doesn’t look that bad. Germany’s doesn’t. Italy’s doesn’t. South Korea’s doesn’t. Brazil’s is still worsening, but not after having first brought infections down from a high level. Only the U.S. has that disastrous resumption of the climb in new cases.

    Stryker was foolish to introduce a claim on dishonesty into his whine, because the whine itself is dishonest. It is an effort to distract attention away from Trump’s terrible failure in dealing with this pandemic. That failure is what makes Trump look bad, far beyond anything Trump has said.

    Trump has failed at pressuring China on trade, he has failed to keep Iran from processing nuclear fuel. He has failed to rebuild respect for the U.S. in the world. He has lost money in business on a grander scale than anyone in recent tax records. He failed to win a majority of votes in the 2016 election. He has failed to live by the law. Nothing anyone could say about him could make him look worse than his own failures do,

  9. macroduck

    Speaking of dishonesty,…

    One regularly reads claims, often from Trump supporters and other rightwing agitprop types, that the renewed increase in Covid cases is the result of Black Lives Matter protests. As it turns out, the available evidence doesn’t support for that claim:

    In addition to a lack of evidence of a community-level increase in Covid infections where there have been large public BLM demonstrations, there are also reports from public health officials in New York, Seattle and Minneapolis indicating that they have seen no evidence that protestors are suffering high infection rates. In fact, infection rates among protestors in Minneapolis appear to be lower than those for the general public.

    The explanation that has been offered till now for the lack of evidence that protests lead to infections was that insufficient time had passed for evidence to show up. That explanation looses validity with time, and time is running out.

    Without protestors to blame, explanations for the spike in Covid infections appears to be down to gathering indoors, failure to track infections and failure to wear mask.

    1. Barkley Rosser

      This looks correct, macroduck, and I have seen and mentioned here a Slate report that says there have been high rates of mask wearing at most BLM protests.

      However, I am going to note a claim made today by Tyler Cowen on Marginal Revolution, really a kind of half-baked suggestion. He notes that the following cities have all had spikes in new Covid infections since early June: LA, Houston, Portland, and Cincinnati. He notes that they do not share climates or reopening schedules. He suggests that the one thing they have in common is protests happening at the right time to explain this. I doubt that is what is gong on, especially with Houston that definitely had early reopening with well-documented non-mask wearing all over the place. But I do not have obvious explanations for the other cities, even as I seriously doubt it is the protests. He provides no evidence of little mask wearing during the protests in those cities, but I simply do not know.

      I want to be clear that I am not supporting his argument and doubt it, but am curious what others have to say about it. I have not challenged him on it at MR, but am tempted to. But would like to have a more solid counter argument to make to him about this.

      1. Moses Herzog

        @ Professor Rosser
        There was more than one Slate article that fell under your description but I thought this might be it.

        This article kind of indirectly touches on something I think Menzie takes a lot of unwarranted abuse for. A person cannot talk about public policy mistakes without meandering over to politics. Especially if these badly structured policy platforms have been enacted by the same political party over a period of decades.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          Hmmm. I found the Slate piece I have remembered. It id from June 17, two weeks ago now. “It Doesn’t Look Like Protests Are Causing the Covid-19 Spike” and is by “Medical Ecaminer. It does not precisely respond to Tyler Cowen’s argument. It notes large protests in New York, Minneapolis, ans Philadelphia that did not lead to noticeable spikes and also claims lots of people were wearing masks in those protests. It then notes spikes in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California, claiming those followed bar and other reopenings.

          As I noted, I think that covers Houston, where things are really bad now. I do not think it covers LA, where I do not know what is going on, although I know that in 3 million person Orange County, not LA proper, the county board overturned a mask-wearing requirement that a local public health official had tried to impose. I do not know what the story of protests is in LA, and if people havee been wearing masks in those that might have been going on. The same applies in Portland and Cincinnati where I simply do not know what has been going on.

          1. Moses Herzog

            @ Barkley
            This is one of the rare things we agree pretty closely~~that “BLM” is not contributing strongly to the pandemic in a national sense. How could we possibly be wrong?? Check with your psychiatrist to see if our theory is connected in any way to your narcissistic personality disorder. If he/she says “no” we’ll run with this.

          2. Barkley Rosser

            There is a fairly long article in the Washington Post this morning on this topic. It cites the NBER study that looked at 300 cities and found basically no relation between protests and outbreaks of infections. However, the article discussed a lot of cases and more information.

            It identified only one city where there seems to have been a clear relation, where people in protests showed up afterwards infected, with the result that organizers shut down the protests. That was in Columbia, SC, one of those states where lots of people take Trump seriously with his “no mask wearing” views, although I do not know if the problem arose due to a lack of mask wearing there.

            he article dd not mention either LA or Cincinnati at all, so no idea what is going on with them. Indeed, LA is a serious matter, very bad outbreaks there in a state with a Dem gov who has had substantial efforts to lock down. That one is a mystery, but nobody seems to be rushing forward to say that the problem there is protests.

            Regarding Portland, the article noted that in Seattle, Portland, and Oakland, all cities with major protests, newly infected people were asked if they participated in protests, and in all three the answers were overwhelmingly “no.” So new infection outbreaks in Portland not due to protests, whatever was the cause.

            The article is non-commital on Houston, but leaning to protests probably a minor factor. “They cannot be ruled out,” but much else going on, Memorial Day celebrations and openings with lots of non-mask wearing.

            The article notes that some of the cities with the largest protests had no subsequent spikes, including NYC, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis. I did post about this on Marginal Revolution. I note that while Tyler Cowen was making questionable implications on this, he has clearly supported people wearing masks in public and ridiculed those who question doing so.

            Actually, Moses, it is not rare at all that we agree on things. We probably agree on a majority of issues discussed here, and I have on numerous occasions pointed this out when I have made my scattered appeals for a ceasefire between us. I note that you never accepted my appeals and always reverted to making out of the blue personalistic attacks on me, some of which i have ignored, and some of which I have responded to, sometimes getting unpleasantly personalistic as well. But I really find this tiresome. I mean, here you go again, even on a matter where we agree you cannot resist making a nasty personalistic attack.

            As already noted, you have material for poking at me in the future given that I have completely bungled my numbers discussion due to getting confused about what are actual change rates versus annualized change rates. At this point I am not sure what I am holding to, although I continue to think a lot of forecasters have been and are overly negative on how the second quarter will turn out. However, I also recognize that my admitting this more or less upfront takes away to some extent your pleasure in the future poking. You want to catch me going out on a limb with some strong statement and then you getting to reveal how utterly mistaken I was. Me recognizing it upfront and admitting it takes some of the fun away. Too bad.

            But we are back to the fact that you have long way overstated my unwillingness to admit that I am wrong when it is shown that I am. What has you frustrated is that there have been a lot of instances where we have disagreed and I was right, but you have never been willing to admit it. The hard fact, Moses, is that you are the one who likes to play “Emperor,” always declaring yourself to be right about things even when everybody here commenting on the matter tells you otherwise. I am always ready to admit when I have messed up, and in several comments here I have been quite muddled up and wrong due to getting confused about period versus annualized rates.

  10. 2slugbaits

    And another addition to Team Trump’s lie-a-thon. During today’s WH briefing, chief bimbo Kayleigh McEnany claimed that Trump opposed the Iraq War. At best this is misleading. He supported the war until things started to go south in 2004.

    In the interview, which took place on Sept. 11, 2002, Stern asked Trump directly if he was for invading Iraq.

    “Yeah, I guess so,” Trump responded. “I wish the first time it was done correctly.”

    1. Willie

      She is an automaton with no soul. She sold her soul when she took that job, and whoever bought it from her ate it. There is no light in her eyes. She is dead and she knows it will ever be so. She is almost to be pitied. She will be discarded like so much used Kleenex in another few months. There is no reason to waste any time considering anything she says.

  11. Bruce Hall

    There is only one way to tell if reported cases are significant:

    Nursing homes have accounted for 43% of Covid-19 deaths (according to The New York Times), but residents constitute just 0.6% of the U.S. population. Now that the governors of certain states have reversed their concentration camp nursing home directives against the expendable population, we might see a different pattern emerge than we saw in April when the elderly were dying like flies.

    Besides, case counts are notoriously unreliable. If a doctor reports you as a Covid-19 patient based on symptom and then you take an antibody test weeks later and it is positive, it is counted as a second case (at least in some states). Then the CDC says:


    1. 2slugbaits

      Bruce Hall If the elderly cannot go to nursing homes, then where can they go? If they go live with their children then you’re in an even worse situation because they will be exposed to people who are even more likely to be infected than nursing home workers. Nursing home deaths accounted for a large percentage of deaths because people who live in nursing homes are especially vulnerable. The elderly didn’t die because they were in nursing homes; they died because they were elderly with a lot of risk factors.

      against the expendable population

      This is rich. A few days ago you linked to a Judith Curry blogpost written by Nic Lewis. Funny that you didn’t mention a May 10th post written by the very same Nic Lewis who enthusiastically agreed with Sweden’s policy of refusing to offer medical help to the elderly because it was seen as a waste of resources. And we’ve seen enough of your posts to know who you regard as “the expendable population”: immigrants working in slaughterhouses, multi-family households in Detroit, and BLM protesters.

      As to the CDC estimate of the true number of COVID cases, keep in mind that the CDC was not claiming that this factor of 10 applied homogeneously across all age
      or demographic groups. (Indeed, critical to your very own Nic Lewis’ argument that Sweden could be a success story rests on the critical assumption that asymptomatic cases are distributed heterogeneously. If you assume homogeneously distributed cases, then Sweden’s herd immunity threshold jumps from 15% to 58% of the population. ) Very few people over 65 are asymptomatic with COVID-19. Way most of the asymptomatic cases are with young people, not those over 65. To put this is some perspective, if you’re age 65 or older and you get COVID-19, your odds of dying are about equal to having a coin come up heads three consecutive times. Would you get on an airplane with those kinds of odds?


      Back to the sophomoric GIGO argument.

    2. pgl

      “There is only one way to tell if reported cases are significant”.

      This is why we call you Single Statistic Bruce. Serious question Bruce – do you ever tire of proving you are the dumbest person on the planet. Even your own dog is laughing at your incessant stupidity.

    3. 2slugbaits

      Bruce Hall A couple of times now you’ve repeated this headline story that CDC says the number of infections could be ten times higher than the number of confirmed cases. You really need to do a little more research. But you failed to mention that the CDC also cautioned that this number is based on serological tests and the quality of those tests leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, the CDC said that the serological tests can be wrong up to half the time.

      Still, antibody tests carry their own issues, with the CDC in late May saying they may be wrong up to half the time and that they should not be used for making policy decisions.

      And that “ten times” factor was based on a many of those poor quality serological tests that came out of private “for profit” labs and were not subject to strict control. There were over 100 different serological tests floating around. It was the wild west. That’s why the CDC cautioned against taking that “ten times” number too seriously. Meanwhile, there have been some newer tests that are much higher quality. For example, the Mayo Clinic has a new serological test and I have it on good authority that Mayo’s serological tests are finding a lot fewer positive tests than the low quality tests that could not always distinguish between the common cold (also a coronavirus) and COVID-19.

      Also, many of these early serological tests were conducted over small population targets, and that can affect the accuracy of the test. According to the University of Minnesota, if the true positive rate in a population is 5%:

      “If a patient in that community receives a positive antibody test result with a test that has a 95% sensitivity and 95% specificity, the positive predictive value of this test is 50%. This means that 50% of the positive results would not be true positives. Subsequent decisions based on this result, such as a return to the workforce, may put the individual or their contacts at risk.”

      That’s a huge problem because the reliability of the serological test depends upon knowing the true positive rate. Also, you cannot just take the serological tests from one community of test subjects and extrapolate those results across the entire country. Some of the more recent estimates using high quality serological tests suggest that the actual number of positive cases is around 25% higher than reported confirmed cases and not the 1000% number that the media took out of context in the CDC director’s testimony. This 25% number is also in line with other epidemics and pandemics.

      This Infectious Disease Society of America bulletin highlights some of the concerns with early serological tests that informed CDC’s “ten times” number:

  12. Baffling

    So trump has decided to golf rather than lead the country through a pandemic. Rick stryker must be proud of this leadership style. When the going gets tough, the tough go golfing.

  13. spencer

    What this last chart needs to make it complete, is a line for the EU do demonstrate how poorly the US has done.

    1. pgl

      I bet Bruce Hall does not even know what Yale is. Or something being peer reviewed. His peers are wing nuts which explains his “sources”.

  14. pgl

    Bruce Hall wants us to focus solely on the number of deaths nationwide. It is true that New York is seeing less deaths as we have been the leader in being socially responsible. But what about Arizona?
    ‘New confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona set a single-day record with an increase of 4,878 on Wednesday, July 1, eclipsing the previous high set just one day earlier. Total confirmed cases in Arizona stand at 84,092, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services.”

    Of course Bruce Hall has been on his usual dishonest rants about cases not being deaths. But wait – Arizona has more news:
    “The other grim news coming out of Wednesday’s report were the 88 reported deaths, which eclipsed Arizona’s previous high of 87. There have been a total of 1,720 COVID-19 related deaths in the state. Of Arizona’s 84,092 cases since the start of the pandemic in January, 20,118 cases — or nearly 25 percent — have come in the last seven days. Here is a look at Arizona’s seven-day increase in cases”

    88 new deaths in the last day. So when Bruce Hall tells us deaths are declining – he is lying. Oh wait – I bet these are all Democrats or minorities so in Bruce Hall’s MAGA world their deaths do not count.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.