Donald Trump’s Actions to Combat the Coronavirus

Donald J. Trump served as U.S. President from January 2017 through January 2021. Posts about him will remain on this blog for historical purposes. As indicated when first published, they do not imply indorsement of him, his policies, or actions.

update January 7, 2021

Donald J. Trump served as U.S. President from January 2017 through January 2021. Posts about him will remain on this blog for historical purposes. As indicated when first published, they do not imply indorsement of him, his party, his policies, or actions.

The year 2020 looked to be historic even prior to the coronavirus pandemic, police involved shootings, riots, and Black Lives Matter protests. The USA will choose the next president, impacting the economy, security, defense, education, and healthcare.

In two previous posts I reviewed the healthcare plans of each candidate-Republican incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger former Vice President Joe Biden.

In this and the next post I review statements about the United States’ coronavirus pandemic response from the candidates’ official campaign websites. I encourage you to read the entire documents yourself.

This post will review Mr. Trump’s page. You may want to review the previous post now, or after reading this one.

This post was last updated July 13, 2020.

Donald Trump’s Healthcare Achievements

As President, Mr. Trump heads the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government.

The Department of Health and Human Services, headed by Cabinet Member Alex Azar manages the response to COVID-19. Other Cabinet members and their Departments are involved as well.

The agencies most involved in the COVID-19 response include

  • Health and Human Services-HHS
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency-FEMA
  • Centers for Disease Control-CDC
  • National Institutes of Health-NIH
  • Federal Drug Administration-FDA
  • Small Business Administration-SBA
  • Veterans Administration-VA
  • Department of Defense -DOD
  • Treasury Department
  • State Department

The President leads the Executive Branch of the government, including all of the departments and agencies headed by the Cabinet members, including the Department of Health and Human Services.

President Trump established a Coronavirus Task Force which advises him on the medical and scientific facts, research, and treatment of COVID-19.Vice President Mike Pence chairs the task force.

In this review I’m highlighting Mr. Trump’s statements and actions, not those attributed to his “Administration”.


While Democrats play politics, the Trump Administration is working tirelessly to combat the coronavirus and provide economic relief to affected Americans:

President Trump is taking concrete actions to rapidly expand testing and guarantee any American can get tested for coronavirus for free

President Trump is taking decisive action to make sure U.S hospitals have the resources they need to mobilize against the coronavirus.

President Trump is taking critical steps to shore up the U.S. economy and help Americans economically impacted by the coronavirus.

an electron microscope image of the coronavirus
the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, responsible for causing COVID-19- photo used with permission, CDC.GOV

December 31, 2019-China reports the coronavirus to WHO-the World Health Organization.

January 6, 2020- the CDC issued a level 1 travel notice for Wuhan China, established a coronavirus incident management system for information about the virus, and two weeks later activated its emergency operations center.

January 27- The White House Coronavirus Task Force started meeting to monitor the virus and provide updates to the President. The CDC issued a level lll travel health notice to avoid all nonessential travel to China.

January 30-WHO declared coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19, a global health emergency. (not in the timeline as written)

On January 31, the Trump Administration declared the coronavirus a public health emergency, announced Chinese travel restrictions, and suspended entry into the United States for foreign nationals who pose a risk of transmitting the coronavirus.

February 4- In his State of the Union Address, Mr Trump vowed to “take all necessary steps” to protect Americans from the coronavirus.

February 7- He told reporters that the CDC is working with China on the coronavirus.

February 24- The Trump Administration requested $2.5 billion from Congress to combat the coronavirus spread. On March 6 he signed an $48.3 billion bill to provide funds to federal, state, and local agencies, and $500 million in Medicare telehealth waivers. He requested a payroll tax cut bill from Congress.

He also

  • Requested low interest small business loans by the SBA
  • Deferred tax payments to the Treasury Department
  • Signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act for free testing and paid sick leave
  • Moved tax day from April 15 to July 15
  • Signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security-CARES-Act

March 31- Trump issued “30 Days To Slow The Spread” guidance to mitigate the outbreak of coronavirus.

April 2-Mr. Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to direct 3M to produce more N95 respirator masks and to help several companies-ResMed, General Electric, Medtronic- get the supplies needed to make ventilators.

April 3-Mr. Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum blocking the export of N95 and other respirator masks, surgical masks, PPE gloves, and surgical gloves to ensure they are available in the U.S.; he directed FEMA to send Ochsner ( Medical Center in Louisiana) surgical gowns.

April 6- In a phone call, he discussed potential coronavirus therapies with CEOs of pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

April 12- The United States, Russia, and OPEC agreed to cut oil production and stabilize the oil market, a deal that Mr.Trump “brokered.”

April 14-President Trump halted funding to WHO, while a review of its “mismanagement” of the coronavirus outbreak is conducted. (quotation marks added)

April 16-He announced new, phased “opening up America again” guidelines, spoke with the Opening Up America Again Congressional group, and spoke with the Governors about re-opening.

By April 17, the President had declared major disaster declarations for all states and territories, a first in U.S. history

April 22- Mr. Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation suspending immigration to the U.S. for 60 days due to “the impact of foreign workers on the labor market, in an environment of high unemployment.”

By April 27, President Trump had spoken with many foreign leaders, including those of India, Italy, China, Turkey, Russia, Kenya, South Africa, Poland, Pakistan, Qatar, Ecuador, Britain, and France.

He also spoke to Republican Senators, former Vice President Joe Biden, and the state Governors.

He attended meetings with multiple business leaders including those in health insurance, tourism, retail, wholesale, supply chain distributors,and banking.

He spoke by phone with owners of groceries, restaurants, and other small businesses.

He also spoke to leaders in mental health, faith, tribal affairs, and nonprofits, including the Salvation Army and the Red Cross.

He met with energy execs from Phillis 66, Devon, Occidental, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, and other companies to discuss coronavirus’ effect on the energy industry.

Mr. Trump spoke to the commissioners of major league sports organizations-MLB, NFL, and NBA, recognizing the teams’ and players’ work in their communities to combat coronavirus.

He met with military families, coronavirus survivors, and front line healthcare workers.

April 24- The President signed the Paycheck Protection Program ( PPP) and Health Care Enhancement Act into law

  • $323 billion-for the PPP
  • $75 billion-for health care providers
  • $25 billion- for coronavirus testing

April 24-President Trump spoke with three other Presidents.

April 24: “Vice President Pence & members of the coronavirus held a conference call with Governors to discuss increasing testing capacity.”

On April 27, the White House coronavirus task force appeared in a Rose Garden event. The topic: “Opening Up America Again.” (from a report by CNBC)

Exploring the HEART of health

By following this blog, you’ll know when I post the piece reviewing the COVID-19 pandemic response plans of Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Dr Aletha

And please, register if you need to, and don’t neglect to vote in your upcoming primaries and on November 3.

a group of lapel buttons, red, white and blue, saying VOTE
Please vote; it is our right and a privilege.

A doctor, a lawyer, an immigrant, and a flag that still waved

a true story involving a doctor and a lawyer that almost sounds like the opening line of a joke. Today doctors and lawyers sometimes bear the brunt of jokes or criticism, but in this story they played a pivotal role in American history. It’s a story that most people know, but maybe not the whole story.

this post was updated June 13, 2020

When I originally wrote this post, I wanted to highlight the role that two physicians played in United States history. Part of that history includes the role of a lawyer who is better known than they are but has a dreadful legacy. The man credited with writing our national anthem was a slave owner.

So I have updated this post with links where you can explore more about this side of his character. As we continue to learn more about the conflicting character of many figures from the past, let’s re-examine and re-explore how their actions brought us here, to help us choose where we go next. We can create a new history from lessons we learn from the old.

June 14, Flag Day

While we consider July 4 to be the birthday of the United States, June 14 is the birthday of the United States flag. Although June 14 is observed as National Flag Day it is not an official holiday, so banks don’t close and no one gets a day off work.

But we enjoy it anyway, wearing red, white, and blue, and displaying the flag at homes and businesses. Some patriotic organizations pass out small flags or flag pins to wear.

American flag waving at a Vietnam Veterans Wall replica
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall replica

The United States flag is often called the “Star-Spangled Banner”, after our national anthem, which is more about the flag than about the nation. I don’t know if this is true in other countries, but we tend to closely identify our flag with our national identity; maybe that’s one reason there has been such heated debate about the way people acknowledge the flag publicly.

A lawyer and a doctor

So that brings us to a true story involving a doctor and a lawyer that almost sounds like the opening line of a joke. Today doctors and lawyers sometimes bear the brunt of jokes or criticism, but in this story they played a pivotal role in American history. It’s a story that most people know, but maybe not the whole story.

The lawyer, Francis Scott Key

Francis Scott Key’s role in our national anthem is well known-he wrote it. A lawyer, he was on a rescue mission during the War of 1812, and spent a harrowing night watching the British assault Ft. McHenry near Baltimore Maryland.

The next morning, when he saw the red, white, and blue flag still flying over the fort, he was moved to write a poem. That poem became “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Francis Scott Key’s life was a lot more complicated than just writing The Star-Spangled Banner
The doctor, William Beanes, M.D.

Dr. Beanes’ role is less well known. Dr. Beanes was the object of Mr. Key’s rescue mission. Dr. Beanes had been captured by British soldiers and imprisoned on a ship. Local citizens arranged for Francis Key to go to the ship and negotiate his release. It is believed the British were persuaded to do so because Dr. Beanes had previously treated injured British soldiers. Whatever the reason, the “elderly” (age 65!) doctor was freed and he, Key, and John Skinner, watched and waited out the battle on a near-by truce ship.

An anthem is born

“Interestingly, he( Key) made no effort to promote this composition. In fact, he did not even sign it. He merely showed his lyrics to a few friends, who then circulated the work. For several decades, Key’s name rarely appeared alongside these lyrics, which — by the time of the Civil War — had become arguably America’s most beloved song.

It wasn’t until 1931 that a congressional resolution signed by President Herbert Hoover made “The Star-Spangled Banner” the U.S. national anthem — an anthem that never would’ve existed had a lawyer not been asked to help out a doctor.” TIME.ORG

the immigrant, James McHenry, M.D.

Even Ft. McHenry has a medical connection- it was named for a physician, James McHenry.

James McHenry emigrated from Ireland to the American colonies in 1771. He studied medicine with Dr. Benjamin Rush in Philadelphia and immediately volunteered as an Army surgeon when the Revolutionary War began. After serving in the medical department in Massachusetts, New York and at Valley Forge, he became an aide to General George Washington and subsequently an aide to the Marquis de Lafayette.

President Washington appointed McHenry Secretary of War and he continued in that post under President John Adams. Baltimore’s Fort Whetstone was renamed Fort McHenry in his honor. (

sharing the HEART of history

I hope you’ve enjoyed this bit of medical history trivia and that it prompts you to do some history exploring on your own. You may also find this related link interesting

Poems and poppies-why we remember John McCrae-physician, poet, reluctant soldier

Dr Aletha

American Legion Auxiliary logo in a field of poppies
OLD GLORY I am a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, a women’s service organization supporting veterans, the military, and our country. In this link from the ALA blog, learn why the flag is also called Old Glory.
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