As the United States enters what looks to be a prolonged financial recession, Michiganders are feeling the pain of President Donald Trump’s catastrophic failure to lead the nation through the COVID-19 crisis.
As of June 23, Michigan has over 61,000 coronavirus cases and 5,864 deaths due to complications from the virus. And everyday, the economic outlook worsens. As of May, Michigan’s unemployment rate is the third highest in the nation, at 21.2%, with over one million Michigan workers out of a job – likely the highest figure in the state’s history.
All the while, American hospitals and medical workers are still facing an extreme shortage of masks and critical protective supplies to fight back against the virus. Yet in February, at the same time President Trump was downplaying the seriousness of the coronavirus, the Trump Administration sent 17.8 tons of medical supplies – including masks and respirators – to China.
In January, President Trump was briefed by his own intelligence officials on the threat of coronavirus spreading rapidly within U.S. borders, and instead of taking immediate action to prevent the potential pandemic, the president continued to deny its very existence until mid-March — leading to thousands of unnecessary deaths and an avoidable economic catastrophe.
According to experts, at least 54,000 deaths could have been avoided, and state economies, like Michigan’s, could have opened earlier had President Trump acted quickly to contain the coronavirus. Recently, President Trump blatantly stated he wanted to slow down testing so fewer positive results would be shown to the public. If he were successful in halting testing efforts, it would lead to a spike in unknown cases in Michigan and contribute to a rampant, undetected spread of the virus across the country.
As thousands of Michiganders continue to grapple with the loss of family members and friends or emptied pocketbooks due to the fallout, President Trump is claiming his administration did “too good” a job on handling COVID-19. In total, job losses under Trump’s leadership during the pandemic will far exceed those during the 2008 financial crisis – a crisis that particularly affected Michigan.
In November, voters in Michigan will go to the ballot box and choose between the leadership of President Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden, whose work after the Great Recession in 2008 with President Obama led to a decade of economic growth and recovery.