I understand your position but but hindsight is easy. All-in in January and much of February couldn’t have happened under any democratic government.
In December and January we weren’t aware the CCP had discontinued flights from Wuhan to Shanghai and Beijing but yet allowed 10,000’s of of superspreaders to seed the USA and Europe. We didn’t know China went from a net exporter of PPE to importing at least 2 Billion of PPE late Nov through Feb.
I’m not happy with the situation; my rear view glasses say the admin could have asked for a lockdown a tiny bit sooner but I’m not sure if that was truly possible without the WHO and Fauci. What I would have done differently was order a 100% nationwide lockdown for 30 days the day the WHO and CDC finally got off-center. But there were immediate constitutional arguments (and still are)
I think Trump made flight-ban calls as early as made medical and economic sense. He was a maybe a little late on Europe, but NY was already seeded. It would have been nearly impossible politically to lock down business in January or February from a political, medical, or economic standpoint based on available information. Politically the pushback from both parties, unlikely bedfellows like corporate America, coffee shop owners, and plaintiff attorneys, would have made it impossible without better cover from the WHO and CDC.
To the administration’s credit, in January with limited information they worked with Gilead and Regeneron from a regulatory standpoint fast-tracking drugs. They asked Honeywell to begin outfitting two medical mask factories, and Trump stopped Chinese flights. Based on what we know now, one week wouldn’t have mattered.
Information is key to real time decisions and we lacked the info to ask for a Manhattan project for test kits in November and December. Our biotech industry is the best because there is profit involved. And there was no incentive in creating tests at that time so a Manhattan project was the only answer but the administration couldn’t have possibly pulled 10 Billion (or any dollar amount) out of the house or senate to fund a project with the private sector, or even for research hospitals. Dems would have pushed back for for political gain and Republicans would have refused for political and economic reasons. It’s the price we pay for being a Democratic Republic. Trump is not a king and I think he acted mostly appropriately in a complicated situation.
It’s May and despite focused efforts, just now has the world's best Pharma industry and research hospitals been able to produce a likely game changer, an antigen test that can be read with Sofia machines already in place in primary care offices. Two weeks lead-time wouldn’t have changed things.
The Sofia machine antibody test wasn’t as simple as ordering it done. It’s a $5 test and takes 5 minutes. it’s 85% accurate but it’s good enough to change how we test employees so they can work. It still needs to be done in an office but I assume their will be assembly line style testing (test an entire restaurant chain or manufacturer shift) at some point. That won’t happen overnight but now we have the tool.
The most reliable test was in place pretty early but it’s expensive, takes a day or two to get results, and can’t be read in an office. It still can’t be mass produced or read in high volumes. It’s the best we still have and there was no way to make it available en mass even with another 3-4 weeks lead time.
From someone who has been for an air-tight lockdown (early on) and for people to voluntarily wear masks now, (so we can protect people a little more and to get us all back to work), I’m not placing political blame on anyone except maybe de Blasio who’s hubris cost us dearly, but Imo nitpicking now is wasted energy.
(typed this quickly on a phone so please overlook bad grammar and structure)