Trump instituted relatively early travel from bans from China and then Europe, issuing a January 31 order that banned foreign nationals flying from China. “Foreign nationals other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have traveled in China in the last 14 days will be denied entry into United States,” the federal government announced.
The media, even health experts, lambasted Trump. “At this point, sharply curtailing air travel to and from China is more of an emotional or political reaction, said Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, an epidemiologist and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota,” according to the NYT article.
The World Health Organization (WHO), too. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebrevesus said in early February body’s advice entailed the imposition of zero travel or trade restrictions on China, saying the measures might cause “fear and stigma.”
Of the move, Fauci has since given his approval: “That was a very smart move right there.”
The later announcement banning travel of foreign nationals from Europe sent stocks tumbling, after which Trump held a conference featuring C-Level Executives from across North America.
He then appointed Vice President Pence to create and lead the coronavirus task force to mobilize a “whole of government” approach. When the Federal supply of test kits proved defective, the task force solved the issue of test kits and went on to test more than double the number of people tested in the second country which administered the most tests, Germany.
The task force then projected needs for hospital beds, ICU beds, ventilators, test kits, PPE, ventilators, and Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, creating a huge government-industry partnership. Hospital ships were available on both coasts.
Lots of flawed criticism was levied at Trump, claiming he told people to self-administer Hydroxychloroquine or to inject themselves with bleach, which he didn’t.
About 45 days after the start of the response in the U.S., the expected death toll has fallen from 1-2 million to 70,000. In the U.S., many people are pushing to reopen, while stay-at-home orders get extended in coastal states. The expectation is the U.S. could fall into depression, giving Trump plenty more in terms of future headwinds.