In a last minute decision, Trump apparently won’t visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters
There’s plenty to criticize about the way Donald Trump has been handling the global coronavirus emergency. As cases are beginning to spread in the U.S., he’s openly said that he trusts his “hunches” more than science, asked whether a flu vaccine could help stop the spread of the virus, and claimed that the virus isn’t a real crisis because it’s a hoax propagated by Democrats. Yikes.
In light of all of that, we probably shouldn’t be too surprised that, at the very last minute, Trump canceled his scheduled visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta this week. What’s more surprising is that no one on his staff appears to know why the visit was canceled.
Trump was scheduled to head to Atlanta this morning, and as late as 9 p.m. last night, Vice President Mike Pence was publicly saying the trip was still on, telling reporters the president was expected to sign coronavirus relief legislation while onsite in Atlanta on Friday. This morning, he did sign that legislation, but from the White House, not Atlanta. When the president’s public schedule for the day was released, the trip to Atlanta was mysteriously no longer on it.
Members of Trump’s staff gave conflicting reasons for the sudden cancelation. One said the visit was scrapped so there would be no interference with CDC officials’ work on fighting the coronavirus. Then, Trump himself said that he canceled the trip because there was a report of an infection at the CDC headquarters. That was not true, and also a brave move from the guy who claims death rate reports are exaggerated and the virus is nothing but a hoax.
Trump is still expected to fly to Nashville today to visit the site of a deadly tornado earlier this week, and there’s no word on whether another visit to the CDC will be planned. Meanwhile, worldwide coronavirus cases have just surpassed 100,000, and more than 200 people have been treated in the U.S., where 14 people have died from the virus so far. Pence has been placed in charge of the U.S. response to the virus, and he’s said multiple times that he wants to make coronavirus testing widespread and easily available to any member of the public.
“As our nation continues to hear of new cases every day, we want to make sure that testing is available broadly,” he said.
Update: President Trump is now scheduled to visit the CDC later today. “They thought there was a problem at CDC with somebody that had the virus,” Trump told reporters Friday morning. “It turned out negative so we are seeing if we can do it. They’ve tested the person fully and it was a negative test. So I may be going. We’re going to see if they can turn it around with Secret Service. We may be going.”
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