In a major development, US government news agency National Public Radio (NPR), on Thursday, has reported that President Donald Trump had allegedly not pushed for increased testing for the pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19) due to fears of increased numbers affecting his re-election in November. Politico reporter Dan Diamond had revealed to NPR in an interview that the administration itself had taken steps to cushion the fallout due to Coronavirus informing Trump that "the lower the numbers on coronavirus… the better for his potential reelection”. As of date, the US has seen 1215 cases of positive cases and 36 total deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In the interview to NPR, Diamond revealed that United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar - a former pharmaceutical industry lobbyist, had warned the Trump administration in January about the big problem coronavirus could pose. Moreover, Trump aides - like Kellyanne Conway had blocked Azar. The aides had reportedly warned about the effect higher number of positive cases will have on his reelection bid.
A previous tweet of this quote did not make it adequately clear that it is Trump who did not push for adequate testing, not Secretary of Health and Human Services Azar. Here is the whole quote for context. @ddiamond pic.twitter.com/ZZ2aPF53m6— Fresh Air (@nprfreshair) March 12, 2020
Trump - a self-proclaimed germaphobe, himself has downplayed Coronavirus situation in the US claiming that “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu”. He added, “It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!” While he has since then changed his stance taking a more protectionist view, closing borders, Trump has publically many times blamed China and the Democrats 'for spreading Corona hoax'.
Trump was recently impeached by US Congress and then acquitted by the Senate for soliciting a foreign power - Ukraine's - help in his 2020 re-election bid by withholding military aid to Ukraine unless Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a public announcement of a probe into former Vice-president Joe Biden. He will face the Democratic presidential nominee in November. Currently, Biden leads the pack garnering 881 delegates over Bernie Sanders's 725 delegates in the Democratic primary elections.