Trump's Coronavirus Blame Game

The president is pushing the same protectionist policies he has always favored.


The coronavirus did apparently originate in China. Now President Donald Trump wants to punish that country for its role in letting the virus spread to the United States. This is just another poor excuse to push the same protectionist policies he has always favored. It's also a way for him to deflect responsibility for the failures of his own administration and the many agencies that intrude daily into our lives.

Trump's administration is reportedly exploring the exact details of potential punishments to inflict on China. Among the options being discussed by senior U.S officials are $1 trillion in tariffs on Chinese products and canceling part of the U.S. debt obligation to China. While both of these options may hurt China, when all is said and done, Americans will be hurt the most.

This is true even though the Chinese government unquestionably covered up the COVID-19 outbreak and failed to take important measures that could have reduced the virus's spread. While there may be a constructive way to put China on notice, if blame is the name of this game, there's plenty to go around. For instance, some could blame Trump for buying the early Chinese propaganda, as he did in his Jan. 24 tweet: "China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!"

Trump is also much to blame for the fact that the trade war he started with China has reduced Americans' access to many essential medical supplies to fight the pandemic, including thermometers, face masks, medical-grade personal protective gear, and hand sanitizer. It's not for lack of being warned. Economists, health care professionals, and even lobbyists all told the president that his tariffs would create shortages and higher prices. The president refused to listen. Now Americans and health care professionals on the frontlines are paying an exorbitant price.

Of course, some blame also belongs to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and to the Food and Drug Administration. The first of these agencies is supposed to protect us from this kind of pandemic, while the other is supposed to oversee the production of the drugs, vaccines and technologies that could save us from this nightmare. Let us never forget the crushing events that are unfolding before our eyes and the lives lost to this virus. Some bureaucrats at each agency spread misinformation and displayed a certain level of incompetence.

For instance, CDC employee emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that on Jan. 28, CDC director Robert Redfield sent emails to his employees to inform them that "the virus isn't spreading in the US at this time." In reality, it was indeed spreading and had been for weeks. A month later, the CDC was still telling state and local government officials that its "testing capacity is more than adequate to meet current testing demands." It wasn't. One day, we were supposed to wear masks; the next, we weren't; then we find out that, yes, we should wear masks.

In truth, the CDC and the FDA did their most destructive work when they worked as a tag team. While the FDA prevented private and academic development of COVID-19 tests for weeks, the CDC arrogantly denied Americans access to functioning foreign tests only to produce its own defective tests. If time was of the essence to reduce the number of people infected and killed by the virus, the CDC and the FDA only prolonged the testing process when they should have been expediting it. The result has been to force most Americans into their homes voluntarily or under state government mandates, with no hope of getting out because of the lack of testing.

I could go on. The bottom line is that the Chinese government behaved like we expect such an authoritarian regime to behave. Only our president seems to be surprised by that. However, American public officials—including all the members of Congress who passed a poorly designed and massive spending bill—deserve a lot of the blame for the way they behaved during this crisis, too.


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  1. China stopped travel from Wuhan to the rest of China, while allowing travel from Wuhan to the rest of the world. Then they told the WHO to call Trump a racist for shutting down travel from Wuhan to the US a week later.

    But he’s Orange. And he’s a man. And he’s really, really, Bad.

    1. Awww… your so cute when someone says something bad about your lover. So adorbs you are

      1. What is it like going through life as a complete dumb ass who is incapable of rational thought? Is it as hard as it seems to be that stupid or are you so dumb life seems easy?

        1. Remember when you said Obama was pissing on the american people for not going to Scalia’s funeral? Thank god you’ve changed your mind.

          1. That is because he was. He should have gone. But what that has to do with China starting a pandemic something only a retard like you could understand.

            Jesus fucking Christ, it is not that hard to have something relevant to say. Why are you people so stupid you are unable to do that? I am tired of people as stupid as you appear to be breathing the world’s air.

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      2. American Socialist: “Awww… your so cute when someone says something bad about your lover.” So adorbs you are

        Nice ad hominem attack.

    2. Like all left-liberals, the Professional Fake Libertarians of Reason love America being weak and dependent, and then they insult our intelligence by telling us that weakness is actually strength.

    3. They also reduced exports of PPE while greatly increasing imports. Facts not allowed by idealistic free marketers.

      1. But don’t blame them!

    4. Reason now shills for worldwide biological warfare from the world’s most powerful totalitarian state, because Corporate Profits Uber Alles!

  2. no comment,i only want this whole thing to stop, ok? meanwhile play on

  3. The failure was the bureaucracy of the CDC. The CDC is a government bureaucracy that precedes and survives Presidents just like the good Doctor Fauci. The CDC’s biggest failure was the tests.
    No other persona s President would have made a difference. State
    Governors sitting on their hands was also a problem. Historically local governments and states have been responsible for quarantines. That makes sense, it is a big and varied country. A one size fits all policy for quarantines makes no sense at all, and when Trump tried to fulfill the Governors responsibilities he was called a dictator. In the sense the “buck stops here”, yes Trump is responsible. In the sense Trump caused the pandemic, failed, or made it worse, no. It is political season with the Presidential election coming soon, and or course real events are being distorted.

  4. Sure, sue China and learn that the research at the lab was funded with US grants and when US embassy inspectors in 2018 warned that an outbreak was likely due to careless practices, the US did nothing.

    1. Cite for the 2018 warning?

      In my experience all Chinese processes are sloppy and unsafe by our standards. Their deliberate deception confounds their responsibility.

        1. Thanks. About what I would expect.

          1. Me too.

  5. So let me get this straight, China pursued trade practices for decades that was hurtful to us, they have purposefully spread a deadly disease to other countries, including the US, done its best to suppress facts and has actively spread disinformation, causing more deaths, and has threatened any country that dares to call it out with economic collapse and withheld medical support. In a time without nukes, this would have been easily grounds for war.

    But Trump is the bad guy for wanting to punish them for that.

    How much is the CCP paying you, you french fuck?

    1. One might ask if De Rugy enjoys being China’s Journowhore.

    2. Can I ask what your thoughts on Trump ending USA negotiations on the TPP? Because that was designed to limit Chinese dominance of trade and strengthen the other Pacific nations around China. While in no means a perfect policy (managed trade), it worked toward reducing Chinese power. Kinda of like how we originally got in bed with China to gain leverage over the USSR in the cold war and further drive a wedge between the two; a divide and conquer strategy.

      1. “it worked toward reducing Chinese power.”

        Just like free trade agreements work toward reducing regulations!
        My god, how credulous can some of you be?

        1. Never said that.

      2. Let me make my position clear. I don’t blindly think Trump is some perfect being, that he can do no wrong. And I have no problem with actual rational arguments or complaints against him. For example, I don’t consider myself an expert on trade or economics, but I don’t believe getting into a trade war with China, the EU, and Canada all at once was a smart idea. I agree that both the EU and China have engaged in unfair business practices against us (and that we aren’t blameless either), but I think that pursuing policy changes could have been done better, and without pissing off everyone at once.

        However, Rugy is not doing that, instead she’s doing what the rest of the media has done, ignoring actions by a hostile power that demands a response if we’re to be taken seriously, and trying to paint any actions of response by Trump as reckless, idiotic, and warmongering. If there’s one thing Trump has been consistent on it has been foreign policy. He obviously believes in Teddy Roosevelt’s “speak softly and carry a big stick” policy, he doesn’t go looking for a physical fight but is willing to do so if the situation warrants it, as in Iran’s case. Rugy is trying to argue that Trump is being petty to not ignore all extremely hostile actions that China has performed not only on us but also our allies these last 6 months. They are directly responsible for some of the lives that have been lost, and if this had happened under another president, the media wouldn’t have blinked an eye.

        1. You know, you really have to think about ‘Unreason Logic’ here. China intentionally and purposefully harms America with their acts, but attack the POTUS. The illogic of it all is just stunning.

          1. POTUS has harmed me. I buy coiled sheet metal steel that originates from Africa, and guess what when he raised the price on all their competitors, those sly Africans decided they could raise their price and still be competitive . Until the steel unions want to get real in this country, they can go fuck off with asking me to make sacrifice they themselves refuse to make.

        2. Thanks, and wasn’t implying you were blindly following. Was just looking for your opinion on the subject and others that were willing to share their thoughts on it. Because I want free trade and also don’t like the Chinese gov. I mostly look for ways to increase liberty without sacrificing principles like being against slavery (I know a bold position to take) and really was disappointed by Trump pulling out of this. Seemed like good a way to re-align our trade policy away from the Cold War policy that was no longer needed.

    3. “they have purposefully spread a deadly disease to other countries”

  6. Whose side are you on De Rugy? Because I can’t tell. You’re nothing more than an apologist for China’d communist party. Shame on you.

    China lied and obfuscated wrt the nature of the Wuhan coronavirus. They closed off travel internally to Wuhan residents, while simultaneously allowing tens of thousand of Wuhan residents to travel outside of China all around the world. Those were purposeful acts that have lead to the deaths of thousands of Americans.

    And you want to excuse it on the theory they are behaving like an authoritarian regime? Really. Well lady, fuck that. It doesn’t work that way. Nobody kills thousands of Americans and walks away scot-free. What fucking world do you live in?

    Our response to China must be comprehensive, very painful to these Commie fucks, and permanent.

    1. Why does there need to be sides? Not everything is a simple dichotomy that fits nicely into the narratives of cable news. It is a fact that China fucked up regarding the coronavirus. It is a fact that the United States fucked up regarding the coronavirus. It is also a fact that threatening trade relations between the two countries will be harmful toward everyone involved.

      1. Um….no. You are 100% wrong = It is a fact that China fucked up regarding the coronavirus.

        China did not just ‘fuck up’. China lied and obfuscated wrt the nature of the Wuhan coronavirus. Those were purposeful acts that have lead to the deaths of thousands of Americans.

        Those are the facts. Big difference. Because one is intentional.

        1. 100%? Wow! Emotions sure are powerful.

    2. “Whose side are you on De Rugy?”

      The Globalist ruling class, who take China as their role model for governance.

  7. Let face it this is de ja vu all over again. President Trump fails, President Trump blames. Russia, Ukraine, China its all the same. He is the one trick pony we are stuck with till November. Best news out of all this mess is that the Senate may be in play. We could see the end of Trumpism and a rebirth of a Republican Party that actually has some real ideas.

    1. Yeah, go ahead and put your proverbial chips on Brain-Damaged Biden. By all means, please do. I’m sure B-DB is a real fountain of coherent ideas. 🙂

    2. I do love how all you leftists want is for the republican party to rebirth and become more like you. Such idiots.

      1. Is your suggestion is that lefties are deficit hawks, pro global trade and cooperation?

    3. Trump blamed Russia? Holy shit your projection is amazing.

  8. “While there may be a constructive way to put China on notice”

    Strong worded letters always work, see UN.

    1. I wonder if it would be possible to put a wedge between Russia and China. Considering Russia’s hurting because of the virus too, they can’t be too happy with China, nor would they be happy with being seen as a junior partner in any alliance.

      I’m not sure how they see us and might be talking out of my ass, but from my point of view, Trump hasn’t appeared to be that anti-Russian considering everything that’s happened, he’s done some stuff, yes, but it’s all been politics related at the end of the day, and Putin seems to be the sort of guy who respects political hardball rather than the namby pamby bullshit that Obama and Trudeau do.

      Trump eases up on Russia a bit, gives them a little bit of carrot, and maybe we could have an ally of convenience similar to WW2 north of china. Would make it easier to deal with China and help diffuse the potential of them teaming up.

      1. There are so many reasons for an alliance with Russia that it takes a lot of damn effort to keep it from happening.
        Unfortunately, global socialism requires Putin’s Russia to be the bad guy – so even the Kochs will follow right along

        1. Russia/Putin is a bad guy. So was Stalin, but we worked with him.

          1. Russia/Putin is nationalist, and doesn’t play by the global socialist “elite” rules.
            That is the great sin.
            What makes it unforgivable is that they have a large nuclear arsenal and can defend themselves

  9. “CDC employee emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that on Jan. 28, CDC director Robert Redfield sent emails to his employees to inform them that “the virus isn’t spreading in the US at this time.” In reality, it was indeed spreading and had been for weeks”

    Monday morning quarterbacking can make you a greater QB than Tom Brady.

  10. If only government were competent and efficient and the right Top Men were in charge. Sad that we can only dream of such a glorious paradise because we are too afraid to elect such men of vision and achievement as Hitler and Stalin and Mao – now there were some people who got shit done and didn’t let anything stand in their way. Here, we have to settle for bureaucrats who mostly just muddle around talking about getting shit done without ever actually getting anything done. Imagine if we had competent and efficient leaders running our law enforcement, waging the War on Drugs, operating a universal healthcare program, devising a cradle-to-grave welfare system, implementing comprehensive national policies on manufacturing, trade, employment, housing, education, gun control, speech control, the distribution of chocolate rations and so much, much more!

    1. No, if only the geniuses at *Reason* were in charge! They’ve always been the experts on how to deal with China. It’s almost like they sit in on CCP meetings.

  11. Reason magazine: hitting new lows every day

  12. Trump is also much to blame for the fact that the trade war he started with China has reduced Americans’ access to many essential medical supplies to fight the pandemic, including thermometers, face masks, medical-grade personal protective gear, and hand sanitizer.

    It is the “TRADE WAR” not China withholding those things. It is not like they didn’t do the same thing to the rest of the world. It is bad enough to be a paid liar, but to be a paid liar for the Chinese Communist Party, the most murderous government of the 20th Century, is really something else. DeRugy is just a slightly less deranged Dalmia. In some ways she is worse.

    1. Most murderous of the 20th C? Stalin gave them a run for the money. Not sure we will ever know who caused more deaths.

      1. Mao is the hands-down champ here. He sacrificed tens of millions of Chinese to institute his utopian society.

    2. “the trade war he started with China”

      The Chinese have been in a trade war with the US for decades. Trump just fought back.

  13. I can’t say that I like Trump. In fact, I cringe when he speaks so I don’t watch him often. However, I agree with about 80% of his policy initiatives especially reining in China.

    China is clearly to blame for this – on the whole – by both incompetence (wet markets or lab security) and premeditation (restricting internal travel but allowing air traffic out of Wuhan). The lockdowns were a mistake, at least beyond April 15. He makes weird ambiguous statements while spit balling about stuff he doesn’t know that much about. Fauci and Birx are not giving him good advice and they both have dubious track records.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fauci and Brix are telling Trump one thing in private that he passes on in public and then they say something else. Its been done to him before and to other presidents as well. the deep state is real and Fauci is just power mad if not a deep stater

      1. Am I the only one who thinks Fauci likes being in the limelight, where everyone hangs on his every word?

        What a ego power trip.

  14. “The coronavirus did apparently originate in China”

    I knew I was in for a doozy of an article when it started like this

    1. It only “apparently” originated in China. DeRugy still thinks there is a possibility that it was a US bioweapon as her pay masters in the Chinese Communist Party claim.

      1. It definitely arose in China, whether a lab mistake or sloppy, dangerous practices.

  15. “Trump is also much to blame for the fact that the trade war he started with China has reduced Americans’ access to many essential medical supplies to fight the pandemic, including thermometers, face masks, medical-grade personal protective gear, and hand sanitizer.”

    And here I thought it was because China downplayed the severity of this virus, all the while limiting the export of PPE and quickly buying and importing all of the PPE they could get their hands on.

    1. Lets not forget that in the early stages the U.S. and other countries were generous enough to send PPEs to China in the start to help out and how do they repay, by hoarding, almost like it was planned that way. we need help give us then keep hoarding to make sure the rest of the world doesn’t have what it needs. all teh while China has Revitisatn sitting waiting with a patent filing as soon as they shut down their country. conspiracy yes but all true

  16. >> “Of course, some blame also belongs to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and to the Food and Drug Administration.”

    Who was in charge of those agencies? Oh right, that was Trump too! Granted, if it were his first year in office he might still be trying to find loyalists to head them up, but this was beginning of his fourth year, the CDC/FDA buck stops with him.

    “It’s not my fault! It was the guys I appointed!”

    1. Trump developed and sent out the ineffective tests personally. And Trump told NYers to ride the subway to Chinatown, and sent infected people to nursing homes. And he sent PPEs to China knowing we would need them.

      Orange Man is the root of all evil!

      Trumps major mistakes are underselling the virus and not firing the heads of the CDC, FDA, and Fauci.

      1. That is how it works. The president is head of the executive branch. When the ED, FDA, and EPA did stupid shit under Obama we criticized Obama. It would be cognitive dissonance to excuse Trump for his equally poor management of the executive branch.

        1. Blargrifth: Kindly furnish citations for “When the ED, FDA, and EPA did stupid shit under Obama we criticized Obama”

          Who is this WE you are referring to?

          1. Libertarians. The people who would ostensibly be reading and commenting on this website.

  17. Is it as hard as it seems to be that stupid or are you so dumb life seems easy?

    1. Contemplate this on the Tree of Woe.

  18. China has stopped shipments to nations who don’t have tariffs with China and the few shipments that have been made were all faulty. but its TRUMPS FAULT.

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  20. Yeah, we shouldn’t punish China for this. We should just keep letting get away with this bullshit that shut the fucking world down.

  21. Poor excuse my ass. China has committed an act of war against the US using a weapon of mass destruction.

    It’s now their turn to talk the President out of nuking them.

    1. My take is China is sent as too powerful to criticize. Globalists have painted themselves into a corner and are all hedging their bets by sucking up to the CCP regime, starting with international company CEOs.

      1. SEEN as too powerful. Love autocorrect/autofill.

  22. Trump’s trade war (apparently) limited the supply of medical grade masks that were not in any real demand from a typical American household as recently as December. I could have bought a dozen hand sanitizers at Bath and Body Works for 50 cents during their after Christmas sale. Obama didn’t bother to replenish supplies after the H1N1 pandemic. Did any you wear those masks prior to Covid?

    China engineered a unprecedented viral outbreak that ravaged medical supplies everywhere. No amount of free trade would have adequately stockpiled the necessary amount of equipment – unless someone had the incredible foresight to hoard all those things 2 months before the disaster.

    I’m sure Trump’s trade war didn’t exactly help, but that’s…… really straining to play equivalency game. Supplies always run out in a disaster of this scale, and regulation would dictate who can sell them and where. We never had a true free trade or liberalized economy.

  23. Got a feeling that the Corona Outbreak could be Trump’s Elián González.

    A Controversy that hit’s America from a Communist Regime shortly after Impeachment that would cost the Party Re-election

    1. You hope.

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