Who is to blame?
To refresh some memories, or enlighten those blaming the current administration for the present epidemic, a few past quotes might help the public understand the initial concerns or lack thereof, when initial reports of the coronavirus surfaced. Joe Scarborough, MSNBC, stated on April 1 “everybody saw this coming in early January.” He was trying to squarely blame the spread of the coronavirus on Donald Trump. So if everyone knew about this for months, then why were the following statements made?
* “Obviously, you need to take it seriously, and do the kinds of things that the CDC and the Department of Homeland Security are doing. But, this is not a major threat for the people of the United States, and this is not something that the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about.” — Dr. Anthony Fauci, Jan. 21
* “What we do know, to date, is that only through prolonged exposure can someone contract this virus. It is not a situation as with some other diseases where a single contact would be enough.” — New York Mayor Bill de Blazio, Jan. 24
* “It’s a very, very low risk to the United States, but it’s something that we as public health officials need to take very seriously.” — Fauci, Jan. 26
* “If that testing shows the virus has slipped into the country in places federal officials don’t know about, ‘we’ve got a problem.’ Short of that, skip the masks unless you are contagious, don’t worry about catching anything from Chinese products and certainly don’t avoid Chinese people or restaurants.” — Fauci, Feb. 16
* “It’s exciting to be here, especially at this time. To be able to be unified with our community. We want to be vigilant about what might be on the horizon — what is out there in other places. We want to be careful how we deal with it (coronavirus). But we do want to say to people, come to Chinatown. Here we are, again, careful, safe and come join us.” — Nancy Pelosi, Feb. 24 (regarding people attending Chinese New Year festivities)
* “No. Right now at this moment, there is no need to change anything that you’re doing on a day-by-day basis. Right now the risk is still low, but this could change. I’ve said that many times, even on this program. You watch out, because although the risk is low now, you don’t need to change anything you’re doing. When you start to see community spread, this could change, and force you to become much more attentive to doing things that would protect you from spreading.” — Fauci, Feb. 29
* “We want New Yorkers to go about their everyday lives — use the subway, take the bus, etc. We want New Yorkers to go about their everyday lives. This is not an illness that can be easily spread through casual contact.” — New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot, March 2
* “I am confident residents would go about their regular lives. New Yorkers do not scare easily.” — de Blazio, March 2
* “There is really no need to panic and to avoid activities that we always do as New Yorkers. We are a hardy people. And so, the parade will go on as continued, everybody will take precautions as usual.” — New York state senator John Liu on the Chinese New Year parade, March 2