Fṛm Đ Gardịn: How science finally caught up with Trump’s playbook – with millions of lives at stake

Main image: Donald Trump leaves a coronavirus taskforce briefing at the White House in Washington DC on 2 April. Photograph: Kevin Dietsch/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mn imij: Doṇld Trump līvz a c’roṇvîṛs tascfors brīfñ at ɖ Ẃît Hǎs in Wośñtn DC on 2 Epril. Foṭgraf: Cevin Dīć/Blūmbrg via Geti Iṃjz
Hǎ sayns fîṇli còt p wɖ Trump’s ple-bc – wɖ miłnz v lîvz at stec

(Transcription of an article published in the Guardian on 4 April 2020)

Ɖ prezidnt’s fełr t hīd ɖ wornñz abt c’roṇvîṛs n act qcli hz set in tren a doṃno-ifct ɖt nǎ impeṛlz larj sweɖz v ɖ YS

bî Ed Pilcñtn in Ny Yorc

Frîde, 4 Epril 2020

On 6 Marć, a grūp v eṗdīmioḷjists at Impirịl Colij Lundn gev ɖ Ẃît Hǎs c’roṇvîṛs tascfors a hedz-up abt ɖ teṛfayñ pṛjx́nz fr ɖ dziz ɖe wr abt t publiś rletñ t ɖ YS.

Ɖ Impirịl sayntists’ fîndñz wd hv indyst paṛlitic fir in ol bt ɖ most nonśḷnt Americn. Ɖe lîcnd Covid-19, ẃć bî ɖt pônt hd olrdi xtndd its tnṭclz intu at līst 28 stets in ɖ YS, t ɖ 1918 influenẓpandemic ɖt cild 50 miłn ppl arnd ɖ glob.

On ɖ besis v ɖer moḍlñ, ɖe calkletd ɖt f nʈñ wz dn t hōlt ɖ spred v ɖ dziz, wɖn wīcs it wd infct 81% v ɖ YS popyleśn. Ɖ vîṛs wd ravij ɖ neśn, iviṣret its hlʈsistm n – hir cem ɖ stñ – pt 2.2 miłn Americnz intu bodibagz.

W d’nt nǒ at ẃt pônt ɖt bon-ćilñ figr wz prizntd t Doṇld Trump. Ẃt w d nǒ z ɖt on ɖ sem de, 6 Marć, ɖ prezidnt v ɖ Ynîtd Stets wz tecñ a tur v ɖ Atlanta of̣sz v ɖ fedṛl dzizcntrol ejnsi, ɖ Sntrz fr Dzizcntrol n Privnśn (SDP).

H wz in ibŭłnt mūd. H hd jst hŕd on Fox Nyz ɖt ɖ lêtist tali v c’roṇvîṛs cesz in ɖ cuntri wz 240, wɖ 11 deʈs. Trump n hiz feṿrit TV ćanl wr az wn in ɖer intrpṛteśn v ɖoz figrz – ʈñz wr gwñ gret, ɖr wz riyli nʈñ t wuri abt.

Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Alex Azar, health and human services secretary; Robert Redfield, CDC director; and Steve Monroe, associate director for laboratory science and safety, in Atlanta, Georgia, on 6 March. Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP
Doṇld Trump spīcs jrñ a mītñ wɖ Alix Êzar, hlʈ n hymn srṿsz secṛtri; Roḅt Redfīld, SDP d’rectr; n Stīv Mnro, asośịt d’rectr fr l’boṛtri sayns n sefti, in Atlanta, Jorja, on 6 Marć. Foṭgraf: Alix Brandn/AP

“It wl end,” h tld ɖ rportrz trelñ aftr him. “Ppl hv t rmen cām … Ol I se z: ‘B cām’.”

Ɖen a rzorsfl rportr asct him t set ǎt ɖ Trump admiṇstreśn’z lêtist fōrcast fr hǎ c’roṇvîṛs wd pṛgres in ɖ cuntri. H rplaid: “W d’nt hv a fōrcast, bcz w d’nt nǒ.”

Trump’s ćenjñ riax́nz t c’roṇvîṛs: fṛm cām t clozñ bordrz – vidio-rport

‘Wn de – it’s lîc a miṛcl – it wl dis’pir’

Trump’s ansr wz wn v ɖ fy candid momnts ovr ɖ past ʈri munʈs v hiz hanḍlñ v ɖ c’roṇvîṛs crîsis. It wz tru ɖt ɖe dd’nt nǒ. Ɖt in a riyl sns ɖe wr wōcñ blînd.

Olrdi bî 6 Marć ɖ absns v ifctiv dạgnostic tstñ – cōzd in part bî ɖ SDP’s boćt rolǎt v its ǒn Covid-19 tst – wz svirli hamṗrñ ef̣ts t trac ɖ spred v ɖ dziz in ɖ hop v cntenñ it bfr it oṿẃlmd ɖ cuntri. “Enbdi ɖt nīdz a tst gts a tst,” Trump tld ɖ gagl v rportrz in Atlanta. “Ɖe hv ɖ tsts. N ɖ tsts r bytifl.”

Ɖ tsts wr nt bytifl, ɖe wr criticli flwd. Enbdi hu nīdd ɖm wz nt gtñ ɖm.

A woman leaves Life Care Center of Kirkland in Washington state on 29 February. Dozens of staff and residents at the facility had already started exhibiting coronavirus-like symptoms. Photograph: David Ryder/Getty Images
A wmn līvz Lîfcer Sntr v Crcḷnd in Wośñtn stet on 29 Febrri. Duznz v staf n rezidnts at ɖ fsiḷti hd olrdi startd xibtñ c’roṇvîṛs-lîc simtmz. Foṭgraf: Devid Raidr/Geti Iṃjz

Wɖ vrć̣li no tstñ aveḷbl t inform public convseśn, Trump wz fri t unlīś hiz “naćṛl abiḷti” on ɖ probḷm, ẃć h dd wɖ abandn ʈrt ɖ rli wīcs v ɖ crîsis.

Trump tc t dscrîbñ himslf az a “wortîm prezidnt”, wɖ Covid-19 az ɖ eṇmi. Bt hiz dogid psyt v hiz ǒn instñts, hiz prefṛns fr letñ hiz “hunćz” līd ɖ neśn intu batl rɖr ɖn dployñ ɖ wepnri v evidns n sayns, hz bn ɖ hōlmarc v hiz rspons t ɖ cntejn so far. Fṛm ɖ frst cnfrmd YS ces in Wośñtn stet on 20 Jańri t Trump’s sáitñ v Impirịl’z 2.2 miłn pṛjctd deʈs, ẃć h dd fr ɖ frst tîm jst ɖs wīc, h hz cept p a rlentlisli upbìt fsād, dǎnpleyñ ɖ sveṛti v ɖ ʈret larjli fr ɖ beṇfit v ɖ Ny Yorc stoc-xćenj.

“W hv it toṭli undr cntrol,” h sd tū dez aftr ɖt frst cnfrmd ces n a de bfr Ćîna cut of Wūhan, a siti v 11 miłn.

“W onli hv fîv ppl, w priti mć śut it dǎn cmñ fṛm Ćîna,” h sd on 30 Jańri, ɖ de ɖ Wrld Hlʈ Orġnîześn dclerd a globl imrjnsi.

“It’s gwñ t dis’pir. Wn de – it’s lîc a miṛcl – it wl dis’pir,” h sd on 27 Febrri, ɖ de America mōrnd its frst c’roṇvîṛs deʈ.

Trump’s ‘hunćz’ vrss sayns

On Tyzde h fîṇli swićt ton. Ɖ cuntri wz in fr a “vri, vri penfl tū wīcs”, h sd, n evri Americn hd t b priperd “fr ɖ hard dez ɖt lî ahd”.

Bî ɖen ɖ bitr truʈ cd no longr b avôdd. Wɖ strinjnt sośl distnsñ, ɖ Impirịl’z 2.2m bodibagz cd b rdyst, bt bî ɖ rec̣nñ īvn v Trump’s ǒn advîzrz btwn 100,000 n 240,000 Americnz r stl lîcli t dî. Trump nǎ hz on hiz woć a public-hlʈ dzastr v devstetñ pṛporśnz. Sm 245,573 cesz hv bn cnfrmd acrs ɖ stets, twîs ɖ numbr in Iṭli, ɖ secnd-hîist neśn in ɖ Jonz Hopcinz līgtebl.

Mor ɖn 6,000 ppl hv daid n ɖ crv z stl rîzñ xṗnnṣ́li. Covid-19 z oṿẃlmñ hospitlz in Ny Yorc, Ny Orliynz, Dtrôt n z hrtlñ twdz ɖ Trump-s’portñ hartḷndz. Ɖ fedṛl stocpîl v isnśl medicl iqipmnt z nirli emti. Vnṭletrz n pṛtctiv gir fr frunt-lîn medicl staf r runñ feṭli lo. Doctrz r impṛvîzñ mascs t sev ɖer ǒn livz ǎt v plastic bagz n rubr bandz. Īvn dạgnostic tstñ, ɖ most criticl hop fr gtñ on top v ɖ dziz, rmenz hard t gt bcz v śorṭjz in swobz n vaylz, līvñ imrjnsicoorḍnetrz stl – ʈri munʈs intu ɖ crîsis – in ɖ darc.

It z a ctastṛfi ɖt mni sayntists n public-hlʈ imrjnsi xprts b’liv cd sbstanṣ́li hv bn avrtd, f onli Trump hd lisnd.

“Ɖs wl b rgardd az ɖ wrst public-hlʈ dzastr in America in a snćri,” sd Eric Topol, pṛfesr v mleklr meḍsin at Scrips Rsrć in San Diego. “Ɖ rūtcōz v ɖ dzastr wz ɖ lac v redinis t unḍstand ẃr, hǎ n ẃn ɖ dziz wz spredñ.”

Jeṛmi Cnondîc, a sīńr poḷsifelo at ɖ Sntr fr Globl Dveḷpmnt hu léd ɖ YS guvnmnt’s rspons t inṭnaśnl dzastrz btwn 2013 n 2017, sd ɖt starc contrasts in ǎtcmz btwn difṛnt cuntriz in trmz v ilnis n deʈ hv bn dtrmind nt bî Covid-19 itslf, bt bî hǎ sirịsli ć guvnmnt tc ɖ risc n hǎ rli ɖe actd.

“On ɖt scor w feld badli,” h sd. “Y cn hv ɖ bst sistm in ɖ wrld, bt f y gv ɖ vîṛs an et-wīc hedstart it wl īt y alîv.”

Fr Neymi Oresciz, a hisṭri v sayns pṛfesr at Harṿd, ɖ unfoldñ c’laṃti z ɖ flfilmnt v hr wrst firz.

“Ẃn w frst hŕd abt c’roṇvîṛs, I n sevṛl v mî colīgz wurid ɖt Trump wd nt atnd t sạntific advîs. Ɖs z a man hu hz xibtd a reclis disrigard fr sạntific evidns ovr clîṃtćenj; f h cd d ɖt, ɖr wz olwz ɖ qsćn v ẃɖr h wd tec sirịsli eni sayns.”

Oresciz siz Covid-19 az Trump’s ultiṃt ćalinj. Wd h pt ɖ livz v hundṛdz v ʈǎzndz v Americnz frst, or wd h dig intu ɖ traid-n-tstd Rpublicn ple-bc v śowñ hostiḷti t sayns n xṗtīz, reinñ in guvnmnt-inṭvnśn n prîoṛtîzñ ɖ munimarcits?

“Ɖs wz a tst v ẃɖr Trump’s guvnmnt wd act. Ẃt w’v sìn z ɖt fr ɖ ppl in pǎr in ɖs cuntri, îdioḷji bìts īvn an iminnt ʈret.”

A view of the White House on 11 March when Donald Trump made a primetime address about the coronavirus crisis. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
A vy v ɖ Ẃît Hǎs on 11 Marć ẃn Doṇld Trump md a prîmtîm adres abt ɖ c’roṇvîṛs crîsis. Foṭgraf: Brendn Smyalovsci/AFP via Geti Iṃjz

‘Az ɖ prezidnt fidlz, ppl r dayñ’

Nansi P’losi, ɖ top Deṃcrat in Congres, tc ɖ xtrordnri step on Súnde v akzñ Trump d’recli v “costñ Americn livz”. Hiz leṣnñ v ɖ sveṛti v ɖ vîṛs rli on “wz dedli”, ś tld CNN, az wl b ɖ dlez in dliṿrñ medicl iqipmnt t ẃr it z nīdd.

“Az ɖ prezidnt fidlz, ppl r dayñ,” ś sd. Ɖt wz a tuf akześn, īvn bî ɖ standdz v ɖz hîpr-parṭzan tîmz. Bt a growñ numbr v sayntists n hlʈ-imrjnsi xprts r tnttivli drw̃ ɖ sem cncluźn.

“W nǎ nǒ ɖr wl b wel ovr 100,000 deʈs,” Topol sd. “A vast mjoṛti v ɖoz wl hv bn uņessṛli lost bcz v ɖ lac v priperidnis v ɖ Ynîtd Stets. Az a līdr, Trump hz t axpt rsponsbiḷti, ẃć v cors h w’nt.”

Healthcare workers wheel the bodies of deceased people from the Wyckoff Heights medical center in Brooklyn, New York. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters
Hlʈcer wrcrz ẃīl ɖ bodiz v dsist ppl fṛm ɖ Wîcof Hîts medicl sntr in Brŭclin, Ny Yorc. Foṭgraf: Brendn McDrmid/Rôtrz

It z nt az ɖo Trump wz’nt wornd. In ɖ wec v ɖ Ibola eṗdemic in 2014, ɖ Obama admiṇstreśn wz so firfl v ɖ denjrz v anɖr eṗdemic ɖt ɖe pt in ples sevṛl iṇveśnz dzînd t priper ɖ neśn fr a pandemic.

Cnondîc, hu wz sntṛl t ɖ Ibola rspons, hz woćt agast az evri elimnt v ɖt ef̣t hz bn unpict or oṿlct bî ɖ Trump admiṇstreśn. “W set p a speśl tīm fr pandemic priperidnis at ɖ naśnl s’kṛticaunsl – ɖe dsmantld ɖt. W left ɖm a vri dīteld ple-bc v ɖ iniśl steps fr maṇjñ an ivnt lîc ɖs – ɖe ignord ɖt.”

‘Sayntists ń ɖ risc – rjnt ax́n wz nīdd’

Ẃn c’roṇvîṛs rird its ugli hed, ɖr wz plenti v rli wornñ. Alix Êzar, ɖ hlʈ n hymn srṿsz secṛtri, bcem awer v ɖ ǎtbrec v a vîṛs in Ćîna az rli az 3 Jańri. Bî 5 Jańri sayntists in Śañhî hd obtend a cmplit vîṛl jīnom fṛm an infctd peśnt n rportd it imīɉtli t JenBanc, ɖ jnetic-sīqnsñ deṭbes v ɖ YS Naśnl Insttyts v Hlʈ (NIH). Bî rli Febrri, sayntists wr awer ɖt Covid-19 wz bʈ īẓli trnzmitd btwn indivijlz n hd a reḷtivli hî ftaḷti ret, ispeṣ́li fr oldr n vulnṛbl ppl. Ẃt w’v sìn z ɖt, fr ɖ ppl in pǎr in ɖs cuntri, îdioḷji bìts īvn an iminnt ʈret. “Ɖt wz inuf fr sayntists t nǒ ɖ vîṛs hd ɖ ptnśl t spred far n wîd n ɖt rjnt ax́n wz nīdd,” Cnondîc sd. At ɖ sem tîm, YS intelijns-ejnsiz wr pasñ on ɖer ǒn wornñz t ɖ Ẃît Hǎs. Acordñ t ɖ Wośñtn Post, Êzar traid sevṛl tîmz t sǎnd ɖ alarm bt cd’nt gt an ōdịns wɖ Trump untl 18 Jańri, at ẃć pônt ol ɖ prezidnt wontd t tōc abt wz vepñ.

Ɖ Post qotd an anoniṃs YS ofiśl hu sd ɖ sistm wz “blincñ red”. Ɖ ofiśl sd: “Doṇld Trump me nt hv bn xpctñ ɖs, bt a lot v uɖr ppl in ɖ guvnmnt wr – ɖe jst cd’nt gt him t d enʈñ abt it.” Wɖ ɖ fl mît v ɖ YS sạntific cḿṇti at hiz dspozl, Trump apôntd indivijlz nt noun fr ɖer prǎis wɖ pandemics in ćarj v ɖ fedṛl rspons. Ɖ c’roṇvîṛs tascfors wz t b léd bî ɖ vîsprezidnt, Mîc Pns, hu hz bn wîdli criṭsîzd fr hiz hanḍlñ v a 2015 HIV ǎtbrec ẃn guvnr v Indiana.

Trump z olso incrisñli rlayñ on hiz sun-in-lw Jared Cŭśnr, hu md hiz frst apiṛns at ɖ tascfors brīfñ on Ʈrzde. Politico hz rportd ɖt Cŭśnr, huz scilset z in riyl istet, hz in trn rīćt ǎt t hiz bruɖr’z faɖr-in-lw, hu z at līst a fziśn, fr advîs on fîtñ ɖ pandemic.

Jared Kushner listens as Donald Trump meets with bank CEOs about the Covid-19 response in the Cabinet Room at the White House on 11 March. Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Jared Cŭśnr lisnz az Doṇld Trump mīts wɖ banc ĆXOz abt ɖ Covid-19 rspons in ɖ Cabiṇtrūm at ɖ Ẃît Hǎs on 11 Marć. Foṭgraf: Jebin Botsf̣d/Ɖ Wośñtn Post via Geti Iṃjz

‘Trump wz ǎt v step wɖ ol ɖ xprts’

Trump’s fełr t hīd ɖ wornñz n act qcli hz set in tren a doṃno-ifct ɖt nǎ impeṛlz larj swedʈz v ɖ YS. Ẃt bgan az an in’biḷti t gt dạgnostic tstñ gwñ on a mas scel hz dveḷpt intu a slugiś moḅlîześn v ɖ fedṛl guvnmnt, a stuṭrñ dplômnt v ɖ Dfnspṛdux́n Act t inlist ɖ fîrpǎr v corṗreśnz, n a stand-bac, olmst dtaćt aproć ɖt hz alaud stet guvnrz t tec ɖ līd in ẃt Cnondîc cōld ɖ brʈ v “50-stet aṇci”.

Wn v ɖ fy proactiv meźrz tecn bî Trump wz t impoz a parśl travlban on Ćîna n Yṛp. Sayntists tld him ɖ muv wd onli dle ɖ advans v Covid-19 in ɖ YS, it cd nvr stop it. Agn, h dd’nt lisn. “Trump ʈt in trmz v a wōl. Pt a wōl arnd Ćîna n ɖ vîṛs w’nt cm t ɖ YS. H wz ǎt v step wɖ ol ɖ xprts arnd him,” Topol sd.

EMS personnel outside St Barnabas hospital in the Bronx, New York, on 28 March. Photograph: Misha Friedman/Getty Images
IMS prṣnél ǎtsd St Barnabas hospitl in ɖ Bronx, Ny Yorc, on 28 Marć. Foṭgraf: Mīśa Frīdmn/Geti Iṃjz

Az a rzult, ɖ YS lost ɖ rli ptnśl t cnten ɖ vîṛs, îɖr bî locñ dǎn hotspots az Ćîna dd wɖ Hūbei provins or ʈru agresiv tstñ t îṣlet ɖoz infctd, az Sǎʈ C’rīa hz dn.

Toṃs Pueio, a Stanf̣d-trênd cnsultnt best in Caḷforńa, hz leid ǎt in soḅrñ dītel hǎ qcli ɖ dzastr z leyñ west t ɖ YS. Hiz frst xpḷreśn v ɖ subjict, a deta-drivn pli t tec ɖ dziz sirịsli postd on Mīdịm in rli Marć, rsivd 40m vyz. On Wenzde h publiśt hiz updetd rsrć. It śoz America’z crv v cnfrmd cesz rîzñ mor stīpli ɖn ɖt v eni uɖr cuntri in ɖ wrld.

Ʈri wīcs ago, Pueio rmîndz s, ɖ YS hd fywr ɖn 1,000 cnfrmd cesz at a tîm ẃn Trump wz telñ ɖ wrld: “No, I’m nt cnsrnd at ol. No, I’m nt. No, w’v dn a gret job.”

Nǎ it standz at olmst a qortr v a miłn. “Ɖs z ẃt xṗnenśl groʈ lcs lîc,” h sd.

Donald Trump arrives behind Dr Anthony Fauci for a coronavirus taskforce briefing at the White House on 31 March. Photograph: Tom Brenner/Reuters
Doṇld Trump arîvz bhnd Dr. Ánṭni Fǎći fr a c’roṇvîṛs tascfors brīfñ at ɖ Ẃît Hǎs on 31 Marć. Foṭgraf: Tom Brenr/Rôtrz

Hvñ hit ɖ Deṃcratic-cntrold hî-denṣti ŕbn sntrz frst – San Fṛnsisco n Siatl, ɖen Ny Yorc n Ny Jrzi, nǎ Dtrôt – ɖ vîṛs z marćñ inexṛbli in ɖ d’rex́n v ɖ mor rṛl suɖn n hartḷnd stets ɖt hapn t form ɖ crūṣbl v Trump’s bes.

Mni v ɖoz stets foloud ɖ līd set bî Trump n Fox Nyz, rmenñ rlaxt abt ɖ ʈret n muvñ astoṇśñli slǒli t pt fizicl-distnsñ cntrolz in ples. Floṛda, undr its Rpublicn guvnr, Ron DiSantis, hz ecoud Trump’s aproć n onli impozd a stetwîd ste-at-hom ordr on Frîde dspt hvñ ɖ sixʈ-larjist tali v cnfrmd cesz in ɖ cuntri. Jorja n Missipi foloud sūt. Sm Rpublicn stets includñ Ocḷhoma n Sǎʈ Caṛlîna stl hv no stetwîd mandetri ste-at-hom ordrz.

Pueio pônts ǎt ɖt Rpublicn votrz r adiśṇli vulnṛbl az ɖe hv a hayr ejprofîl ɖn Deṃcratic votrz. C’roṇvîṛs mcs no dstñśnz az t parti, bt it dz prei on ɖ eldrli.

So it z wn v ɖ gret paṛdoxz v Trump’s pandemic ɖt h me hv pt mni v hiz ǒn loyl s’portrz in mortl peṛl. Az Cnondîc pt it: “Trump hz indenjrd hiz ǒn s’portrz bî sndñ ǎt a mesij in contṛdix́n t ɖ sayns, n ɖe b’livd him.”

Instroduction to Ñspel

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