While the new coronavirus, COVID-19, spreads across the world, we are discovering just how stunningly ill-prepared the incompetent Trump administration is to deal with such a menace.

President Donald Trump himself has mainly confined his efforts to pretending the disease poses no danger, in the hope of calming the stock market. It’s not working, of course, because nobody believes him about anything anymore.

It also doesn’t help that he’s tried to cut funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in each of the last three years; gutted the government of experienced experts who could help the situation; and disbanded the National Security Council team set up by President Barack Obama to coordinate the response to a potential global pandemic. Because, naturally, anything Obama did has to be automatically undone.

Trump has, however, put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of handling the COVID-19 epidemic. This is the same Pence whose woeful inaction while governor of Indiana exacerbated a lethal outbreak of HIV in that state. The science-denying Pence’s solution was that everyone should pray for it to go away.

As inept and clueless as the Trump administration obviously is in the face of a looming health crisis, it’s clear what a huge mistake we made in choosing an ignorant failed businessman and reality TV show host to lead our country. Maybe our only hope really is to pray that the new coronavirus goes away.

Ward Latshaw

East Hempfield Township

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