Trump gives himself 10 out of 10 on coronavirus response
President Trump told reporters Monday that he would rate his administration’s response to the coronavirus a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10.
“I’d rate it a 10,” Trump said at a White House press briefing Monday when asked by a reporter how he would rate his response to the pandemic.
The president pointed to his administration’s decision early on to restrict travel from China, where the coronavirus originated.
“I think we’ve done a great job, and it started with the fact that we kept a very highly infected country, despite all of the, even the professionals saying it’s too early to do that,” Trump said. “We were very, very early with respect to China, and we would have a whole different situation in this country if we didn’t do that.”
“I would rate ourselves and the professionals, I think the professionals have done a fantastic job,” Trump said, crediting public health officials who have spearheaded the administration’s response to the outbreak.
Last week, Trump declared a national emergency, a move that opens up more than $40 billion in funding to states as they look to combat the coronavirus, which has sickened nearly 4,000 people in the United States.
The decision has earned the president praise. Still, the Trump administration has faced scrutiny for delays in testing for the coronavirus, prompting officials to take steps over the past week to ramp up testing.
Trump defended his administration’s efforts during Monday’s briefing, saying he took over an “obsolete system” from his predecessor and that the U.S. is now testing “tremendous amounts of people.”
“We really took over an obsolete system, or put it maybe in a different way, a system that wasn’t prepared to do anything like this,” Trump said. “We took the system, we worked with the system we had, and we broke down the system purposefully.”
Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, could not offer a precise count of Americans who have been tested for the coronavirus on Monday afternoon.
Trump also faced criticism for downplaying the threat from the virus early on, but he has since shifted his tone. On Monday, the president urged Americans to avoid traveling and gathering in restaurants and other public spaces as part of a new set of enhanced guidelines the administration is rolling out to stem the spread of the virus.