To the editor:
By now, most Americans are aware that President Donald Trump knew that COVID-19 was a dangerous easily transmissible disease “far worse than the flu” as documented in Washington Post's Bob Woodward’s latest book “Rage.”
As a physician, I appreciate that Mr. Trump did not want to “create a panic” and wanted to create “hope” for the American public.
What I don’t condone is that Mr. Trump knowingly and intentionally misled his loyal followers into believing that they did not have to believe CDC scientifically based recommendations regarding masks, social distancing, and testing, in order to protect themselves and their families. Loyal followers were led to believe that it was their patriotic duty to defy the CDC advice in support of individual liberty and loyalty to their president and country.
As a result, whereas the United States represents 4.25 percent of the global population, we now have 24 percent of the documented global cases of COVID and 22 percent of global COVID deaths which is now approaching 200,000 Americans, about half the total number of American deaths in World War II.
All of this occurred while Mr. Trump and his administration were surrounded by the finest COVID testing, social distancing, and facial barriers that money could buy.
There is a fine line between providing optimistic hope and knowingly leading loyal followers to their deaths or long-term disabilities for personal political gain, and I believe that this line has been crossed.
The Republican Party and loyal Trump supporters deserve strong patriotic leadership in validation of their deeply felt personal beliefs and values and that leadership has betrayed them and their families to the core.