Wall Street Journal Exposes Months of Trump’s Failed COVID-19 Response, Evangelicals Defended Trump as Body Count Soared

A new article by the conservative The Wall Street Journal goes into detail on how the Trump administration failed time after time during the COVID-19 crisis, which is still ongoing.

While the Trump administration was failing and Americans were dying (still are), evangelical leaders defended Trump and his failed response.

MARCH

A poll by the Pew Research Center in March found evangelical support was strong:

Around three-quarters of white evangelicals (77%) say they are at least somewhat confident that Trump is doing a good job responding to the outbreak…

The Wall Street Journal reports Trump shirked his responsibilities off on the states in March, which made a bad situation worse:

In a March 16 conference call, President Trump told governors that the federal government would try to help, but that for “respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment—try getting it yourselves.”

What followed, say hospital administrators and state officials, was a nationwide free-for-all in which medical providers tried to get needed supplies any way they could, a situation that made it harder to protect health-care workers, treat infected patients and slow the spread of the virus.

APRIL

In April, states were competing with each other to buy overpriced medical PPE equipment, and were having their shipments intercepted by the Trump administration, reported The Wall Street Journal:

Garren Colvin, chairman of the Kentucky Hospital Association, said in an April 2 email to Kentucky lawmakers that one hospital in the state had lost its shipment of masks when the truck carrying supplies was diverted to St. Louis at the request of the FEMA. Another hospital in the state lost its delivery of masks from China when it was canceled at the U.S. government’s request, according to the email.

In April, a Pew Research Center poll found evangelicals were skeptical over how the media was reporting the coronavirus, noted Christianity Today:

Evangelicals were more divided over how the media has covered the pandemic, with 60 percent saying it was covered well and 40 percent saying it was not covered well…. Overall, white evangelicals were more likely to believe that the severity of the COVID-19 threat had been exaggerated by a range of sources.

MAY

PBS reported in May that people of color were disproportionately getting COVID-19:

In U.S. cases of COVID-19 where race was identified, nearly 30 percent of patients were black — even though African Americans make up only about 13 percent of the general population.

In May, The Intercept reported that an evangelical group, United in Purpose, was defending Trump and gearing up for his reelection:

But the group, whose supporters include major donors to conservative causes, pastors, and political operatives with decades of winning elections, is serious about serving as the tip of the spear to maintain control of the White House.

UIP’s 2020 election plan — which it calls “Ziklag,” a town referenced in the Bible — is a multipronged effort to connect Trump with evangelical leaders and increase support among minority voters through appeals to faith-based messages and church outreach.

JUNE

The Wall Street Journal reports that in June hospitals were still short on PPE equipment:

Premier Inc., a purchasing group for hospitals, said half of more than 1,000 hospitals surveyed through mid-June reported they couldn’t get enough N95 masks to resume postponed surgeries. Michigan officials said in late June that 20% of hospitals there had less than a seven-day supply for some types of medical equipment.

NBC News reported in June that Christians were not wearing COVID-19 safety masks:

But in America, not wearing a mask has become a political statement — and it’s a statement increasingly being made by avowedly devout Christians.

For example, attendees at the Students for Trump rally at the Dream City Church in Phoenix on Tuesday mostly eschewed wearing masks and did not socially distance, instead relying on pastors who had claimed they’d installed a system in the church that killed 99.9 percent of COVID-19 in the air.

JULY

The Wall Street Journal noted in July that Trump falsely claimed that medical supply shortages were over:

The president declared victory over supply shortages on July 21 at the White House. “My administration currently has zero unfilled requests for equipment or anything else that they need from the governors,” he said. “No governor needs anything right now.”

“It’s obviously not the case,” Gov. Hogan, the Maryland Republican, said the next day.

In July, the Pew Research Center said another poll found evangelicals still supported Trump:

Roughly seven-in-ten white evangelical Protestants (72%) say they approve of the way Trump is handling his job, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted June 16 to 22.

(Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Pew Research Center, Christianity Today, PBS, The Intercept, NBC News, Pew Research Center)

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