The road to 100,000+: How Trump decisions cost U.S. lives
Omar Elwafaii

With more than 1.7 million confirmed cases and over 100,000 deaths, more Americans have died from COVID-19 than the total combined combat deaths from every U.S. conflict since the Korean War. In the two months since becoming COVID-19's hardest-hit nation, the number of confirmed U.S. cases and deaths both surged to more than 20 times those in China - the pandemic's original epicenter.

Here is a timeline showing how that happened.

Dec 31, 2019

Chinese health authorities alert the WHO about a cluster of 44 pneumonia cases of "unknown cause" in Wuhan, China.

Jan 8, 2020

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) alerts physicians to watch for "patients with respiratory symptoms and a history of travel to Wuhan, China."

Jan 9

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports Chinese researchers made a "preliminary determination" linking Wuhan's pneumonia cases to a "novel (or new) coronavirus."

Jan 18

U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly ignores U.S. intelligence reports about the virus. The Washington Post reports that when Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar finally talked to Trump about the virus on Jan. 18, Trump wanted to discuss "vaping."

Jan 21

The CDC confirms the first "Travel-related Case" of "2019 Novel Coronavirus" identified in the United States - a patient in Washington state who had traveled to Wuhan.

Jan 22

The next day, Trump says he's not concerned. "No, we're not [worried] at all and we have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China.”

Jan 23

China takes unprecedented action to contain the outbreak - shuts down Wuhan, a megacity with more than 10 million people.

Jan 24

Jan 29

Trump forms the Coronavirus Task Force.

Jan 30

WHO declares the outbreak a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern."

Jan 31

Trump suspends entry of travelers who were in China 14 days before arriving at U.S. ports of entry.

Feb 4

The WHO calls on countries not to impose such restrictions because they could increase "fear and stigma, with little public health benefit."

Feb 10

Trump's proposed fiscal 2021 budget includes a 16% cut in CDC funding.

Feb 24 

Feb 26

"View this the same as the flu," Trump says at a press conference. "You treat this like a flu … Because of all we've done, the risk to the American People remains very low."

Feb 27

Trump predicts a "miracle." He says: "It's going to disappear. One day, it's like a miracle, it will disappear."

Feb 28

Trump blames Democrats for "politicizing" the outbreak. "This is their new hoax," he says, adding, "And, so far, we have lost nobody to coronavirus in the United States."

Feb 29

CDC confirms first COVID-19 death in the U.S.

March 9

March 11

WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic, reporting 25 deaths in the U.S.

March 13

Trump declares a "National Emergency." WHO reports 36 deaths in U.S. - a 44% increase in two days.

March 17

Trump says he knew it was a pandemic all along. "This is a pandemic I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic. All you had to do was look at other countries."

March 26

U.S. overtakes the world with "at least 81,321" confirmed cases and "more than 1,000 deaths" - based on WHO data on March 11, an increase of around 3,900% in 15 days.

April 14

Trump halts funding to the WHO.

May 20

Researchers at Columbia University release statistical model showing "54.6%" fewer COVID-19 deaths had the U.S. started control measures "just one week earlier" [March 8]. If started "two weeks earlier" [March 1], the model shows an "82.7%" reduction in deaths.

May 27

The U.S. reached a bleak milestone: Over 100,000 people have died of COVID-19 in three months.

Check out The China Report, our new weekly newsletter. Subscribe here!