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‘Blinking Red’: A Running Timeline of How the Trump Administration Ignored Warnings, Misled the Public, and Made the Coronavirus Crisis Worse

A view of the West Wing of the White House, May 27, 2017, in Washington.

Experts warned President Donald Trump about the danger of the coronavirus pandemic early in 2020. Yet his administration did nothing; in fact, it made the situation worse, threatening the health and lives of Americans. In order to protect Trump’s political interests, the president and his administration actively downplayed the threat. When other countries acted fast and smartly, the Trump administration failed to make sure the United States was prepared. It failed to ensure that America had adequate testing in place, as well as that medical professionals on the front lines had enough personal protective equipment. The administration also utterly failed to ensure that states had enough ventilators to keep people alive, choosing to pit governors against each other in bidding wars that drive up prices and create chaos.

This interactive timeline presents the important details about what Trump and his administration have and haven’t done about the coronavirus pandemic—every ignored warning; every needless, wasteful fight; and every tragic misstep they try to spin into success. The timeline will be updated periodically.

Ryan Koronowski is the director of Special Research Projects for the Center for American Progress. Jeremy Venook is a research associate at the Center. Will Ragland is the research director at the Center.

To find the latest CAP resources on the coronavirus, visit our coronavirus resource page.