It’s been another tumultuous week as the world remains in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic. Sometimes, it’s hard to grasp all that has happened in just one week. To make sense of it all, let's look at the highlights -- and lowlights -- and gain some perspective.
Monday April 27
The week started off with a bang, with Trump playing damage control from statements he made the previous week, when he suggested people inject themselves with household cleaning agents to get rid of the coronavirus. The backlash was immediate, with companies that manufacture these products taking the unprecedented step of releasing statements telling people not to inject or swallow these products.
In true Trumpian fashion, rather than admit his mistake and retract his earlier statement, Trump used a variety of methods to deflect and defend his comments. First, he tweeted that the daily coronavirus briefings were ending, stating they were “not worth the time and effort”.
But, unable to stay away from the cameras, he held a Rose Garden press conference later that day. There he unveiled his plan for a phased reopening of states.
When pressed by a reporter about his remarks, Trump shifted to say he was being sarcastic when he made the comments about injecting disinfectants. He then said he was talking to a reporter who asked the question during the briefing. The reporter replied that they weren’t even present at the time.
A further defense came from Dr. Deborah Birx, who claimed Trump was merely thinking out loud as he tried to digest newly suggested information. Anyone who saw the briefing in question can see Dr. Birx shifting uncomfortably as she heard the comments.
The number of coronavirus cases rose to 965,951 in the United States.
The stock market closed up almost 360 points as businesses were buoyed by announcements that states were planning to reopen despite failing to meet White House standards.
Tuesday, April 28
With meat processing plants closing due to coronavirus outbreaks, Trump issued an Executive Order requiring them to remain open. New evidence showed that the coronavirus causes a thickening of the blood, resulting in younger patients suffering strokes.
Meanwhile, Trump claimed coronavirus testing would ramp up to 5 million per day. This was largely scoffed at by experts who pointed out that we are no where near that number and likely won’t be for some time.
Despite claims that “no one knew” the dangers of the coronavirus, evidence emerged that Trump received numerous briefings about the potential pandemic in January and February, yet failed to act.
In an appalling lack of common sense, Mike Pence visited the Mayo Clinic, but refused to follow their guidelines by wearing a mask.
The stock market dropped 220 points as investors worried about pending earnings reports.
The coronavirus death toll in America exceeded 56,000, with evidence suggesting the numbers are far undercounted due to deaths not being reported as Coronavirus related.
Wednesday, April 29
In an effort to distract from his administration’s abysmal response to the coronavirus pandemic, Trump began pushing a conspiracy that the virus was a product of experiments in a Chinese lab.
Meanwhile, in the first bit of positive news, Dr. Anthony Fauci announced the first drug to ease coronavirus symptoms, Remdesivir, had passed clinical trials.
Despite coronavirus cases still rising, more states announced plans for limited reopening.
Jared Kushner took to the airwaves to claim the administration’s response to the pandemic was “a success story”.
The promising results of a possible coronavirus treatment sent the stock market soaring; rising 532 points.
The number of coronavirus deaths in the United States topped 60,000 which exceeds the amount of deaths in the Vietnam War. The total number of confirmed cases is now 1million.
Thursday, April 30
The economy shrank 4.8% during the first quarter, marking the first negative numbers in six years and the worst drop since the Great Depression.
Coronavirus deaths in the US reached 63,000 with a daily death toll of 2,095.
The economic free fall saw the market drop 600 points.
Friday, May 1
Citing Trump’s arbitrary deadline of May 1, several states began a gradual process of reopening. Despite not meeting the 14 day decline in cases established by the White House, many states opened beaches, restaurants and even bowling alleys as the daily death toll continued to rise.
Egged on by Trump’s “Liberate Michigan” tweets, protestors, some of them armed, stormed the state capitol demanding their governor, Gretchen Whitmer (D) allow businesses to reopen. In support of the protestors, Trump tweeted that Whitmer should “make a deal” with this angry, and obviously well-organized armed mob.
Fearing a resurgence of cases of coronavirus, the stock market plunged 622 points.
Even as states reopened, the United States suffered its deadliest day with 2,909 deaths being reported making it the highest death toll in a single day thus far.
Taking to the airwaves on his favorite propaganda network, Trump declared that the coronavirus death toll could top 100,000. He is apparently relying on the belief that America will have collective amnesia because this is the same number Dr. Fauci stated on March 29th.
In support of Trump’s Chinese conspiracy theory, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed to have “enormous evidence” that the virus began in a Chinese lab. Of course, he failed to provide a shred of this “enormous evidence”.
Over the weekend, American coronavirus deaths exceeded 68,000.
These are the major events of the week. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look to be getting any better as more deaths and economic chaos will surely follow.