COVID-19 didn't have to be this bad.

Leaders have failed Americans at all levels of government: Federal, State, and Local Lawmakers have all aided and inflamed the COVID-19 pandemic. Their actions have directly led to the death of over 200,000 Americans through malicious malfeasance and gross incompetence. Here, their nine months of reckless of cruelty are tracked in excruciating detail.
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Amy Coney Barrett Party

The September 26th White House ceremony to formally nominate Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has become one of the most prominent super-spreader events in the country. The event, which featured hundreds of guests and zero masks, has led to over a dozen direct, publicly-identified COVID-19 infections and a growing circle of secondary infections.

It continues to wreak havoc across Washington, D.C., Cleveland, and other cities where event guests went afterwards, in part because President Trump and the White House are willfully putting people in danger.

Amy Coney Barrett Party

Dossier

  • September 26th: The Trump administration holds a Rose Garden ceremony to officially nominate Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Before and after the ceremony, the White House plays host to close-contact conversations between lawmakers, dignitaries, and guests. There are no masks worn during any of these events.
  • September 30th: Trump arrives too late in Cleveland for a COVID-19 test. The debate organizers decide to use the "honor system."
  • October 1st: Trump's long-time aide, Hope Hicks, announces that she's tested positive for COVID-19. She flew with Trump on Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • October 2nd: News breaks that Trump has tested positive for COVID-19. He finally admits to having COVID-19 after the news breaks. First Lady Melania Trump also tests positive.
  • More Republicans begin to come down with the illness, including Sens. Mike Lee and Thom Tillis.
  • October 3rd: Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson announces that he's tested positive for COVID-19. While waiting for the results of his COVID test, he attends a fundraiser instead of quarantining. Johnson had been one of the fiercest opponents of measures taken to protect people from the virus and called mask mandates "overreacting."
  • October 5th: Trump leaves Walter Reed early, heading back to the White House on a trip that exposes more agents and employees to COVID-19. White House staff, largely consisting of Black and Latin workers, is kept in the dark.

People who have publicly disclosed testing positive in the aftermath

  • President Donald Trump
  • First Lady Melania Trump
  • Kellyanne Conway
  • Hope Hicks
  • RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel
  • Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien
  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
  • Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC)
  • Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)
  • Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins
  • Chris Christie
  • White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany
  • Pastor Greg Laurie
  • Presidential assistant Nick Luna
  • Coast Guard Vice Commandant Charles Ray
  • Three journalists
  • 11 staffers at the Cleveland Clinic
  • 123 Capitol staffers

Ron DeSantis (Florida)

Gov. Ron DeSantis has overseen one of the largest outbreaks of COVID-19 in the country. Florida has now had 700,000 people diagnosed with the coronavirus, while 13,000 Floridians have died. DeSantis has shouldered much of the blame for the outbreak, as his initial refusal to act and premature reopening led to the worst spike in the nation this summer.

Timeline of Events

  • March 25th
    Experts said that Florida had just one week before hospitals would be overwhelmed. DeSantis defied public health officials and refused to close down the state.
  • March 31st
    DeSantis still refused to issue a stay at home order. He had a journalist removed from a press conference for asking to social distance.

Donald Trump

More than anyone else, Donald Trump has enabled, fostered, and exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed over 200,000 Americans and sickened more than 7.3 million.

Trump has ignored the virus, deciding to instead make endless racist statements about China, lie to the American people about COVID's deadly impact, work against governors trying to be responsible, kneecap the economy, and encourage Americans to take part in activities that made them sick.

And when Trump got COVID-19 himself, he *still* held indoor rallies and met with donors at a big event before the news got out, putting thousands more at direct risk and many, many more in the range of the virus. His event announcing the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is now its own super-spreader event, having infected over two dozen people.

Donald Trump

Dossier

He Knew That COVID Was Deadly and Lied Continuously About It

  • Early January: Trump is first alerted to the virus growing in China via his Daily Briefing and is soon told that it could turn into a pandemic that infects the entire world.
  • February 7th: Trump admits to Bob Woodward is COVID-19 was remarkably deadly — "more deadly than even your strenuous flus," he says.
  • February 9th: Trump says “I think it’s going to work out fine. I think when we get into April, in the warmer weather, that has a very negative effect on that and that type of a virus. So let’s see what happens, but I think it’s going to work out fine.”
  • February 26th: Instead of telling Americans the truth, Trump said that COVID was "like a flu" and that cases would be "close to zero" within a few days during a White House coronavirus task force briefing.
  • February 29th: Trump again promises that "like a miracle, it’ll just disappear."
  • March 4th: During a phone interview with Sean Hannity, Trump cast doubt on the official infection rate. 
  • March 19th: Trump tells Bob Woodward, "To be honest with you, I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic."

He Got COVID-19 — and Exposed More People to It

  • September 30th: Trump arrives too late in Cleveland for a COVID-19 test. The debate organizers decide to use the "honor system."
  • October 1st: Trump's long-time aide, Hope Hicks, announces that she's tested positive for COVID-19. She flew with Trump on Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • October 2nd: News breaks that Trump has tested positive for COVID-19. He finally admits to having COVID-19 after the news breaks.
  • More Republicans begin to come down with the illness, including Sens. Mike Lee and Thom Tillis. It becomes clear that the maskless, close-quarters event celebrating the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Sep. 27th was a super-spreader event.
  • October 5th: Trump leaves Walter Reed early, heading back to the White House on a trip that exposes more agents and employees to COVID-19. White House staff, largely consisting of Black and Latin workers, is kept in the dark.

He’s Encouraged and Facilitated Millions of People Being Exposed to the Virus

  • March 7th: Trump tries to keep American passengers on the COVID-stricken Grand Princess cruise ship from docking despite dire conditions. "I like the numbers being where they are. I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault," he says.
  • March 11th: The Grand Princess is allowed to dock but passengers with COVID are forced to ride in helicopters with those who were not infected. One authority on infectious diseases calls it "one of the cruelest human experiments I’ve seen in my entire career."
  • April 17th: As COVID continues to devastate, Trump signals support for armed, maskless militias congregating in state capitols to protest safety regulations. "They seem to be very responsible people to me," Trump says. "They’ve been treated, a little bit rough."
  • Trump, trying to force states to open prematurely, also encourages armed, maskless protestors across the country with tweets like "LIBERATE MICHIGAN."
  • Late April/Early May: Trump encourages states to re-open, in many cases pushing them to move faster than his own White House’s guidelines. COVID cases in these states, including Florida and Texas, skyrocket all summer.
  • June 23rd: Trump holds another large indoor, maskless rally, this one in Arizona. 
  • The same goes for Arizona, where a corresponding spike happened in the same time frame.
  • October 1st: Trump announces that he will be going forward with a rally in Wisconsin, against the advice of his own White House's coronavirus task force.

The Face Mask Saga

  • April 4th: As the CDC recommends that people wear face masks, Trump says "I won’t be wearing one personally." 
  • He continues to refuse to wear a mask for months, politicizing what is seen as the most effective way of stopping the disease’s transmission. Trump publicly states, over and over again, that he won’t wear a mask. 
  • May 5th: Trump visits a Honeywell plant in Arizona. He wears safety goggles but no mask.
  • May 26th: When asked by journalists, Trump says Biden wearing a mask was "unusual."
  • Late August: After wearing masks sporadically, Trump stops wearing them again. He appears at Republican National Convention events without a mask and makes campaign stops maskless, as well.
  • Early September: Trump’s campaign begins conducting near-daily events, with no masks involved.

He Continues to Lie About Drugs and Treatments

  • March 19th: Trump first brings up hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, as a potential treatment for COVID-19. "The nice part is, it's been around for a long time, so we know that if if things don't go as planned, it's not going to kill anybody," he says.
  • March 20th: Dr. Anthony Fauci, when asked whether he thought hydroxychloroquine would be useful against COVID, minced no words: "The answer is no," he says
  • Trump then pushed back at the same press conference, saying, "I’m a big fan… I feel good about it. That's all it is, just a feeling, you know."
  • March 21st: Trump tweets about a French study that shows hydroxychloroquine could help with COVID… the study is said to be flawed and presented to be more successful than it was.
  • April 13th: Hydroxychloroquine is linked to fatal heart issues amongst patients in Brazil. Several days earlier, the American Heart Association issued warnings about the dangers it presents.
  • April 22nd: Trump forces out the FDA vaccine chief. The ousted official, Rick Bright, says his pushing back on the hydroxychloroquine was one of the reasons he was fired.
  • April 24th: FDA issues a warning about hydroxychloroquine, saying that it "has not been shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing COVID-19."
  • May 18th: Undaunted, Trump says he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine. Sales skyrocket across the country, despite all the other warnings.
  • All summer: Trump continues to promote hydroxychloroquine, defying the agencies and doctors that say it is not safe for consumption unless prescribed for its actual purpose. 
  • September 8th: He continues to push the fiction that a vaccine will be ready by election day, despite pharmaceutical executives saying that will not be the case.


Ron DeSantis (Florida)

Gov. Ron DeSantis has overseen one of the largest outbreaks of COVID-19 in the country. Florida has now had 700,000 people diagnosed with the coronavirus, while 13,000 Floridians have died. DeSantis has shouldered much of the blame for the outbreak, as his initial refusal to act and premature reopening led to the worst spike in the nation this summer.

Timeline of Events

  • March 25th
    Experts said that Florida had just one week before hospitals would be overwhelmed. DeSantis defied public health officials and refused to close down the state.
  • March 31st
    DeSantis still refused to issue a stay at home order. He had a journalist removed from a press conference for asking to social distance.

Federal

Senator Rand Paul

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was a major factor in the early proliferation of the coronavirus and continues to fight tooth-and-nail against scientists and medical professionals while spreading misinformation.

Senator Rand Paul

Dossier

  • After recovering, Paul said that he was immune to the virus, which medical officials and the WHO disputed.

Senator Mike Lee

Utah Senator Mike Lee has been a leading voice in the fights against both doing anything about the spread of COVID-19 and helping those who have been affected by the economic hardship it has created. 


Senator Mike Lee

Dossier

  • In September, Lee attended the Amy Coney Barrett nomination celebration. It was a super-spreader event and he did not wear a mask.
  • A week later, Lee announced that he has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Ten days after that, when he should be self-isolating, Lee attended the hearing for Amy Coney Barrett — without wearing a mask.

Ron DeSantis (Florida)

Gov. Ron DeSantis has overseen one of the largest outbreaks of COVID-19 in the country. Florida has now had 700,000 people diagnosed with the coronavirus, while 13,000 Floridians have died. DeSantis has shouldered much of the blame for the outbreak, as his initial refusal to act and premature reopening led to the worst spike in the nation this summer.

Timeline of Events

  • March 25th
    Experts said that Florida had just one week before hospitals would be overwhelmed. DeSantis defied public health officials and refused to close down the state.
  • March 31st
    DeSantis still refused to issue a stay at home order. He had a journalist removed from a press conference for asking to social distance.

Governors, State, & Local Lawmakers

Governor Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida has overseen one of the largest outbreaks of COVID-19 in the country. Florida has now had 700,000 people diagnosed with the coronavirus, while nearly 14,000 Floridians have died.

DeSantis has shouldered much of the blame for the outbreak, as his initial refusal to act and premature reopening led to the worst spike in the nation this summer.

Governor Ron DeSantis

Dossier

  • March 25th: Experts say that Florida had just one week before hospitals would be overwhelmed. DeSantis defies public health officials and refuses to close down the state.
  • April 1st: DeSantis finally issues a stay-at-home order — after 33 other states have done so. It was a full month after Florida had its first two diagnosed cases of COVID-19.
  • July 6th: DeSantis’s education commissioner issues an order that requires all schools in Florida to open up for in-person instruction.
  • August 7th: DeSantis and his education commissioner threatened to withhold funding from schools that did not open up to in-person classes five days a week. 
  • September 25th: DeSantis reopens the entire state. He goes so far as to ban any cities from creating more than a 50% capacity restriction on restaurants, bars, and other locations where the disease is known to spread. 
  • Throughout the entire crisis, DeSantis has never issued a mandatory mask order, even as the state’s cases surged.

Governor Brian Kemp

Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia has done such a poor job of controlling the outbreak in Georgia, even Donald Trump has criticized him.

Kemp watched as Georgia began to suffer from the virus, refused to shut down for nearly a month, opened the state far too early, and battled with public officials while refusing to allow mask orders. Nearly 7,000 Georgians have died of COVID-19.

Governor Brian Kemp

Dossier

  • March 12th: In a press conference, Kemp says he believes “local control is best.” The first Georgian dies of COVID-19.
  • March 24th: Kemp finally issues orders to close bars and asks the medically vulnerable and seniors to stay at home. He ignores calls to issue a shelter-in-place order for the state. The biggest paper in the state criticizes Kemp for not taking further action.
  • April 2nd: The governor relents and announces a shelter-in-place order for the state.  He also says that he just learned that COVID could spread through asymptomatic carriers, which earns him national mockery. 
  • Kemp’s order also bans local governments from taking any further action to stop the spread of the virus.
  • April 20th: Kemp announces that many businesses could reopen within days, including hair salons, tattoo parlors, and other “high touch” services. He is soon found to be using manipulated data to justify reopenings.
  • April 24th: As businesses begin to reopen, the state’s coronavirus numbers continue to climb by the day.
  • July 24th: Cases continue to spike exponentially, topping 160,000 in the state. 
  • August 11th: After Kemp encourages schools to reopen, COVID cases begin to spike amongst students and teachers.
  • August 15th: Kemp officially files a lawsuit against Atlanta and other cities, seeking to strike down their mask mandates.

Governor Kim Reynolds

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has consistently rejected medical expert advice (even from the White House), dashed shelter-at-home orders at their most crucial, hidden COVID-19 data, and forced Iowans into danger. The result? Skyrocketing numbers of COVID-19 in the state.

Governor Kim Reynolds

Dossier

  • July 21st: Reynolds is called out for the state’s decision to limit the number of COVID-19 tests in its cities. A Dubuque clinic reported that the state limited it to just 100 tests a day.
  • August 28th: Reynolds’ popularity crashes, with just 28% of Iowans saying that they approved of her decisions during the pandemic.
  • September 2nd: The White House task force on COVID-19, citing Iowa’s skyrocketing case rate, suggests that Reynolds close bars, implement a mask mandate, and limit gatherings. Reynolds decides not to comply with the suggestions.
  • September 3rd: The former spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Health files a lawsuit claiming unlawful termination. She alleges that she was forced out for complying with public records requests for information about the COVID-19 pandemic. At this point, Iowa has the highest rate of new cases of COVID-19 tests in the country.
  • The lawsuit alleges that she was “stripped of her duties and later terminated after she made repeated efforts to comply with Iowa’s Open Records law by producing documents to local and national media regarding the state of Iowa’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
  • September 29th: As COVID numbers continue to surge in Iowa, the White House coronavirus task force says that “Test positivity and case rates have been sustained at the highest levels during the past four weeks, putting Iowa in a vulnerable position going into the fall and winter.” 
  • The task force suggests a mask mandate — something that Reynolds continues to oppose.

Governor Kristi Noem

Considered a rising political star, South Dakota Governor resisted taking any action on COVID-19 early on, when the state could have stopped its spread. In fact, she even disparaged masks.

As a result, cases spiked, especially in meatpacking plants and Sioux City. Noem downplayed the threat of the virus even afterwards and made months of poor decisions that has the state as one of the worst hotspots in the country today.

Governor Kristi Noem

Dossier

  • April 13th: South Dakota becomes a COVID-19 hotspot thanks to outbreaks in meat plants with over 300 cases. As the mayor of Sioux City and even Republican officials call for a lockdown, Noem still declines to issue any directives. 
  • April 17th: Noem continues to refuse to take action, issue any shelter-at-home orders or mandate masks. 
  • “The people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety," Noem says. "They are the ones that are entrusted with expansive freedoms. They're free to exercise their rights to work, to worship, and to play. Or to even stay at home, or to conduct social distancing." 
  • April 28th: Noem announces a plan called “Back to Normal” that would include a reopening of the Smithfield meat plant, a COVID hotspot. 
  • May 11th: With little intervention, cases begin to skyrocket, especially in meat plants. South Dakota surges past 3,000 cases.
  • June 30th: As Noem promotes a July 4th celebration with fireworks at Mount Rushmore, to be attended by President Trump, she tells Laura Ingraham that the thousands of people due to attend “will not be social distancing.” She also says masks will be optional. 
  • July 29th: Noem announces that she will push to reopen schools in the fall — and disparages the idea that they might be asked to wear masks. In fact, she once again suggested that masks didn’t work at all, saying that there was “very mixed research and the science has not proven what's effective and what isn't."
  • August 5th: With the massive Sturgis Motorcycle Rally just days away, Noem goes on Fox News to encourage people to attend the event. She says that governors who shut their states down are overstepping and violating the Constitution. In doing so, she ignores the wishes of county officials and residents who wanted the event, which generally draws 250,000 attendees, canceled.

Speaker of the House Robin Vos

The top Republican in Wisconsin, Vos has used both his bully pulpit and the state’s conservative-controlled Supreme Court to limit Governor Tony Evers’ efforts at containing the virus at every turn. He led a lawsuit against Evers and wrested control of the state's COVID-19 response thanks to the conservative state Supreme Court.

Since winning the lawsuit, Vos has done nothing to stop the virus. As a result, Wisconsin’s COVID cases are at an all-time high. And they continue to climb

Speaker of the House Robin Vos

Dossier

  • March 30th: After Gov. Evers issued a “safer-at-home” order that closed all non-essential businesses, Vos announcs his opposition to the order and encouraged conservative groups to file a lawsuit.
  • April 8th: Along with the State Senate Majority Leader, Vos blocks all efforts to delay an in-person election during the middle of the safer-at-home order, putting people in danger.  Vos then assures Wisconsinites that they were “incredibly safe to go out” while wearing head-to-toe PPE gear while working at a polling site, earning national mockery.
  • April 17th: After Evers extends the order that had kept the state from reaching the projected COVID case count, Vos decides to file a lawsuit himself, asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to reverse the order. “We’re angry, we’re frustrated and we’re trying to push back in every way that we can,” he says.
  • May 13th: The conservative-dominated State Supreme Court hands Vos a victory, blocking the extension of the “safer-at-home” order. It gives the State House control over the COVID response.
  • September 22nd: Vos calls Evers’ statewide mask mandate amid a spike in COVID cases “illegal” and supports court challenges.
  • October 5th: Over 145 days after winning in state court, Vos has still failed to introduce a new plan to deal with COVID.

PA House Members

The Republican majority in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives has from the start of the pandemic undermined public safety as well as the safety of its own staffers and Capitol building employees. They refuse to enforce a mask rule on the floor of the House, resulting in several disasters.

State Reps. Andrew Lewis, Russ Diamond, and Kerry Benninghoff have been especially egregious in their actions.

Over 8,000 people in Pennsylvania have died of COVID-19. There have been more than 165,000 cases.

PA House Members

Dossier

  • April 15th: Both houses of the Pennsylvania legislature pass a bill that would repeal Gov. Tom Wolf’s shelter-at-home order and allow counties to permit businesses to open while COVID numbers skyrocket in the state.
  • May 28th: State Rep. Andrew Lewis reveals that he tested positive for COVID-19 — something he didn’t reveal to Democrats or Capitol employees for weeks, putting them in danger.
  • October 1st: State Rep. Paul Schemel tests positive for COVID-19. He refused to wear a mask and exposed colleagues to the virus for weeks.

Michigan Legislature Members

Michigan Republicans have refused to wear masks, sued to reopen the state multiple times, supported armed and maskless protestors marching on the state Capitol, and lied about the virus, and exposed other people once being diagnosed with COVID-19 themselves.

There have been several Republican lawmakers in particular who have been egregiously awful on the issue: Rep. Beau LaFave, Sen. Tom Barrett,

Nearly 140,000 Michiganders have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and over 7,000 have died of the virus.

Michigan Legislature Members

Dossier

  • April 24th: Sen. Tom Barrett sponsors a bill to strip Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of her emergency powers as governor, which go back to 1945.
  • May 6th: Barrett announces his support for the Republican legislature's lawsuit against Gov. Whitmer's shutdown orders.
  • July 20th: As Gov. Whitmer urges people in Michigan to wear masks, Rep. LaFave made two very false pronouncements. 
  • The first: “The masks are not going to save anyone,” he said. “The masks aren’t going to save anybody. It doesn’t make much sense.” 
  • The second: “I’m less likely to die if I get COVID-19 than the flu. I can’t get this virus and I’ll be OK.”
  • July 24th: While still arguing against people wearing masks and taking precautions, LaFave offered a useless proposal that would have required that the state send China an “itemized statement of the damages, costs, expenses and other losses” stemming from the pandemic.
  • September 29th: LaFave tests positive for COVID-19 as the number of cases rise in his district. And yet, he still argues against increased safety measures.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick

Lt. Governor of Texas began the COVID-19 crisis not denying its existence, but simply saying that he thought that senior citizens should sacrifice themselves to keep the economy humming.

His subsequent statements and behavior have not been any better.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick

Dossier

  • March 23rd: During an interview on Fox News, Patrick harshly criticizes states that issued shelter-in-place orders. The economy, he says, could not survive a shutdown, so sacrifices were necessary. Literally.
  • “No one reached out to me and said, ‘as a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’” Patrick says. “And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.”  
  • April 21st: After taking heat for his comments, Patrick doubles down on them in another interview with Tucker Carlson: “I don’t want to die, nobody wants to die, but man we’ve got to take some risks and get back in the game and get this country back up and running,” he says.
  • April 30th: Texas hits its highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths — one day before Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick reopen the state.
  • June 26th: As numbers of cases and deaths continue to spike, Gov. Abbott decides to close bars and suspend elective surgeries. Patrick goes on TV and offers several lies: “Our hospitalizations are up, but here’s the good news, the good news is we’re not seeing it translate to the ICU unit or into fatalities.”
  • ICU cases were, in fact, rising in Texas’s major cities. In San Antonio, it was up 420%, while hospitals in Houston said 100% of its ICU capacity was gone.
  • July 1st: Patrick goes back on Fox News, this time to fire back at Dr. Anthony Fauci’s criticism of Texas’s handling of COVID-19. Patrick says Fauci had “been wrong every time on every issue” and wholly rejected his advice.
  • “Fauci said today he’s concerned about states like Texas that ‘skipped over’ certain things. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Patrick says. “We haven’t skipped over anything. The only thing I’m skipping over is listening to him.”


Ron DeSantis (Florida)

Gov. Ron DeSantis has overseen one of the largest outbreaks of COVID-19 in the country. Florida has now had 700,000 people diagnosed with the coronavirus, while 13,000 Floridians have died. DeSantis has shouldered much of the blame for the outbreak, as his initial refusal to act and premature reopening led to the worst spike in the nation this summer.

Timeline of Events

  • March 25th
    Experts said that Florida had just one week before hospitals would be overwhelmed. DeSantis defied public health officials and refused to close down the state.
  • March 31st
    DeSantis still refused to issue a stay at home order. He had a journalist removed from a press conference for asking to social distance.