Over 700 people, including the survivors of COVID-19 and survivors of those who were killed by the Coronavirus infection, signed an open letter to US President Donald Trump accusing Trump of lack of leadership.
They urged him to do more to protect the public health as the COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country and some 5,000 people continue to die each week. The letter reads, "Together, we represent a human toll that is staggering to describe. On an average day, more than 43,000 Americans test positive for COVID-19 and hundreds die."
It was sent via email and also a physical mail to the White House. The letter was put together by COVID Survivors for Change (covidsurvivorsforchange.org), which describes itself as a nonpartisan community for Coronavirus victims.
To The President of the United States
The letter also reads that the failed leadership by Trump continues to put millions of lives at risk. "This is negligence and a callous disregard for our suffering," it says adding that the President has betrayed his duty to protect the health and wellbeing of all Americans.
"We deserve better. We demand better," says the group's letter. The "lies and gross mismanagement" of the COVID-19 pandemic response by Trump has led to a death toll in the country that no other nation is experiencing and "this number continues to grow every day."
The letter also included some demands such as a data-driven pandemic response plan which is based on proven prevention and outbreak reduction strategies, as well as a plan to reopen the economy that prioritizes the safety of all Americans. The letter also lays out a demand for direct support for those people who are most affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The group also wrote: "We come from diverse backgrounds. We are Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, and some of our loved ones voted for you in 2016."
During the last presidential debate, as a response to former vice president Joe Biden's statementâTrump is taking "no responsibility"â Trump said,"I take full responsibility. It's not my fault that it came here. It's China's fault." It took him months to make this comment, and till this time what he was doingâtried to convince people that this virus will go away, repeatedly opposed science, ignored the importance of wearing a mask, and after testing positive for COVID-19, he said Coronavirus is a "blessing from God".
However, in response to the letter, a White House spokesman said that Trump has continually expressed "his deepest sympathy" to those affected by the pandemic and had been "unrelenting" in his "efforts to defeat this virus." According to the spokesman, the group was overlooking the fact that Trump has led a "data-driven pandemic response and safe reopening plan in his unrelenting efforts to defeat this virus."
While citing several decisions made by the White House, the spokesperson talked about restricting travels from China and Europe earlier this year, the government's vaccine development and testing strategy. But he did not note the early problems about the supply of testing kits around the country and Trump's contradiction about the timeline of vaccine availability, reported People.
One of those who signed the letter after losing his mother because of the Coronavirus infection said that "It's pretty sad that he â as a president â said to the nation: 'This is like the flu, it's going to disappear.' He was the one who got airlifted to a hospital and got first-class healthcare, recovered, came out and acted like 'Haha look at me, I survived' and then takes his mask off on national television."
Columbia University recently published a report in which researchers estimate that hundreds of thousands of people in the US died due to COVID-19 because the White House's response to the pandemic was an "abject failure." Dr. Irwin Redlener, who led the study said that the US is facing a lethal COVID-19 pandemic, and "we had very misguided leadership that chose to berate the purveyors of masks and social distancing. The president himself became a superspreader. He has blood on his hands."