Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki has created a “Trump Death Clock,” a way to highlight the number of lives he has determined to be lost because of President Donald Trump’s delayed response to the coronavirus crisis.
“Accountability needs a brand, and the National Debt Clock is a helpful precedent,” Jarecki wrote in The Washington Post on Wednesday. “It demonstrates how to plant a symbolic flag in the numbers — one that can’t be knocked over by bluster or misleading campaign videos. This pandemic is ongoing, and the lives already unnecessarily lost demand we seek more responsible crisis leadership. Just as the names of fallen soldiers are etched on memorials to remind us of the cost of war, quantifying the lives lost to the president’s delayed coronavirus response would serve a vital public function.”
Jarecki wrote that his team set up a counter to estimate the death toll “of the White House’s delayed response.”
“The site displays both the number of people who have died in the country from covid-19 and an estimate of that portion whose lives would have been saved had the president and his administration acted just one week earlier,” he wrote. He said that it was based on the findings of leading epidemiologists. It is restricted to a one week period from March 9 to March 16, which he says would have made a difference had the administration implemented social distancing and other mitigation measures. The White House guidelines were issued on March 16.
Trump has defended his administration’s response to the crisis, often pointing to his decision in late January to restrict travel from China, where the outbreak originated. But that was not a complete ban, as Americans still return from visits to the country.
The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.