Denial, dysfunction, delays: Tracing Trump administration’s failures over first 70 days of the virus fight

President Trump, reflected in a television camera, speaks with the coronavirus task force at a White House briefing on March 18. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
President Trump, reflected in a television camera, speaks with the coronavirus task force at a White House briefing on March 18. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
Trump, with Alex Azar, left, and Steve Monroe of the CDC, holds a picture of the coronavirus during a tour of the CDC in Atlanta on March 6. (Getty Images)
Trump, with Alex Azar, left, and Steve Monroe of the CDC, holds a picture of the coronavirus during a tour of the CDC in Atlanta on March 6. (Getty Images)
Flowers are tied to trees with ribbons on March 13 outside Life Care Center, a long-term-care facility in Kirkland, Wash., that was linked to multiple coronavirus cases. (Reuters)
Flowers are tied to trees with ribbons on March 13 outside Life Care Center, a long-term-care facility in Kirkland, Wash., that was linked to multiple coronavirus cases. (Reuters)
Jackie Copeland wipes down her cart in an effort to protect against the coronavirus before shopping at a Walmart in Fairfield, Calif., on Feb. 29. (Nick Otto for The Washington Post)
Jackie Copeland wipes down her cart in an effort to protect against the coronavirus before shopping at a Walmart in Fairfield, Calif., on Feb. 29. (Nick Otto for The Washington Post)
It may never be known how many thousands of deaths, or millions of infections, might have been prevented with a response that was more coherent, urgent and effective. But even now, there are many indications that the administration’s handling of the crisis had potentially devastating consequences.

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Political Reckoning

America was unprepared for a major crisis. Again.

Inadequate planning, uneven leadership, lack of agility and bureaucratic inertia compound problems when disasters hit, say veterans of past national crises.

Guide to the pandemic

There have been more than 1 million confirmed cases of covid-19. The virus has killed more than 58,000. Access to the following stories is free:

Why physical distancing shouldn’t mean social distancing

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