The Trump administration and its allies are mostly playing it cool when it comes to the coronavirus. Trump himself tweeted Wednesday that the media was trying to make the outbreak "look as bad as possible," suggesting everyone is overreacting.
But his seemingly lax attitude is dredging up some memories of his reaction to the 2014 Ebola outbreak, which was anything but calm. That was during Trump's pre-White House days when he was a frequent critic of the Obama administration. As Ebola made headlines, Trump, among other things, called for barring infected patients from returning to the U.S., claimed the Centers for Disease Control weren't being truthful about how easily the disease could spread, wanted to prosecute the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., and questioned former President Barack Obama's mental health because he wasn't stopping flights.
Ebola, of course, is a very serious disease, but Trump's tempered response to coronavirus — which while certainly less fatal will likely spread much further — now amplifies his past fear-mongering over the outbreak.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.