During an interview with the Daily Beast, actor Dennis Quaid said Trump is “doing a good job” handling the pandemic and also said he’s “handling it in a good way.”
Quaid was then asked several contentious questions by Marlow Stern, who was challenging the premise that Trump is doing a good job and Quaid refused to back down.
Here are a few of the Q&As.
You’ve raised quite a bit of money for hospitals and are a big patient-safety advocate, so I’m curious how you feel the president and federal government are handling the current pandemic? It does look like hospitals are criminally undersupplied right now.
Well, to tell you the truth, I think the president is handling it in a good way. We see him on television every day, he’s involved, and the travel ban early on was a great idea—which he did in spite of protest about that. But I don’t want to get into the protest. I’m an independent—I’ve voted both ways throughout my life, swinging like a pendulum toward what the country needed at the time—and I think this might be an opportunity for the country to come together again. World War II did that for that generation, and this might be our defining moment of a generation. It’s going to be a different world, for sure, when all this is over, and hopefully we can all be a bit more unified.
But partisanship aside, when we talk about the lack of medical supplies and hospitals not having the gear and ventilators they need, in February, the Trump administration shipped 17.8 tons of medical supplies to China—knowing full well that this pandemic was about to hit our shores. They’d been briefed on it. So that’s a big reason why we’re so depleted right now.
We were trying to defeat the virus at its source at that time, and as I heard yesterday, Arnold Schwarzenegger and a few other people are taking planes over there and shipping a lot of it back.
The states are also responsible for having stockpiles of their own, according to their own needs. You know, New York, I really feel for those people and I think they’re doing their best to get them everything they need. We’ll figure that all out when it’s over, as far as whether anybody died because they couldn’t get a ventilator in a hospital. I haven’t heard reports about that, have you?
Yeah. There have been reports about people dying because there aren’t enough ventilators in New York, and they’ve been practicing “ventilator-sharing,” where they’re putting two people on a single ventilator because they’re short on them. And certain states, like Florida, are getting what they ask for as far as supplies go, while New York, which is the epicenter, isn’t receiving anywhere near what they’ve asked for, which is puzzling on a number of levels.
Well, New York had a chance to buy thousands of ventilators at a very good price like two years ago, but I don’t want to get into the finger-pointing, because Cuomo is doing a great job out there working for the people of his state. And I think Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is doing a good job at trying to get these states—and all of the American people—what they need, and also trying to hold our economy together and be prepared for when this is all over.
I don’t want to get into petty arguments about it. There’s a lot of talk about how South Korea handled the crisis, and the thing about South Korea is they’re still in a state of war with North Korea and are always on the alert for all kinds of threats—nuclear threats, biological threats—so I would imagine that had something to do with how quickly they were able to respond to it.
That may be a part of it, but the government also took swift action. We, on the other hand—
—Oh, I think that we did too though. As soon as we found out what the threat was… China wasn’t really revealing to the rest of the world what was going on.
Five million people I heard had fled the Wuhan province before they had quarantined it, and were all over the world and allowed to come to this country. There was no warning whatsoever. The virus probably started back in November, and we didn’t learn about it until January.
Right. China has definitely not been above board here. But Congress was briefed that this pandemic was coming to our shores on Jan. 24, so the Trump administration knew before then, and the Army warned the Trump administration in early February that the virus could kill upward of 150,000 people, yet we didn’t really get any stay-at-home orders or cautioning until mid-March, which is a long time to not really act on it.
But Trump did do the travel ban to China, and then to Europe very quickly afterward, and he was castigated by a lot of members of Congress, who were just getting out of the impeachment, that it was racist what he was doing.
It’s a good thing we had that travel ban at the time. You know, the world has never experienced this, and I don’t think it’s a time to be political. I think it’s just time to get behind our government and have everybody do what they can. If you want to point blame after, that’s another story, but right now I think we all just really need to come together on this.
To get back to your original question, I do appreciate that Trump is giving the briefings and on television every day giving out the information, and I think they have great people handling it. Just one more thing out side of that: Despite presidents, Congress, and political parties, this is the United States of America, and we’re a very adaptable people in situations like this, and I think we’re all going to get through it. My heart goes out to everyone.
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