Experts criticize the federal COVID-19 response as inadequate: Part 2

Both supporters and critics of President Trump have accused him of downplaying the threat of the pandemic. As it spread, hospitals saw shortages in supplies and racial disparities began to emerge.
5:47 | 07/29/20

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Transcript for Experts criticize the federal COVID-19 response as inadequate: Part 2
A state of emergency issued in Washington state. This disease is running rampant. March is the month we will never forget. That's when the pandemic really hit our shores. The world health organization declaring it a pandemic. The NBA suspending its season until final notice. The financial market in free fall, the worse day since 1987. My fellow Americans, to keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. He misstated the nature of the travel. He said he was banning everyone. That led to a panic. It led to thousands of thousands of people coming back from Europe who didn't need to come back. People ended up in those crowded hallways for a long period of time. Many were exposed and have passed because of their exposure, waiting to clear customs. By the time we realized the threat in Europe we shut down travel to Europe. There was already two or three weeks of 60,000 people every day of people coming back from Europe. Hotspots flared up in parts of the country, and testing efforts continued to falter. The U.S. Badly trailed the world in March on the testing situation. New York City quickly became the new epicenter for the virus. We always knew that there were a lot more cases out there than we were diagnosing. 23% of people in New York City have anti-bodies, so a quarter of New York City was infected with this virus. It was inevitable that this novel coronavirus would show up in New York City. What they didn't expect was that it would be transmitted silently in the population and they have no tests. It had been decided at some point in time, not in this administration, that test supplies were not going to be part of the stockpile. So when I looked to see what was there, there was nothing there. There's no game plan. There was nothing. Thank you very much, everyone. Thank you. To unleash the full power of the federal government today, I am officially declaring a national emergency. Across America, almost 22,000 schoolers shuttered. Major areas of American life shutting down to stop the spreading coronavirus. One of the things that people don't realize is that the manufacturer of personal protection equipment or ppe, the majority of that production is offshore, not in the united States. President's position was the states were in charge. States. The governors, the governors, the governors. I'm calling China to buy ppe. Every governor is calling China to buy masks. It made no sense. It should have not been left to each state to figure out what to do. We're all connected. I mean, honestly, this is one nation. We need one response. In April, the white house pushes a reopening plan. April 16. Dr. Fauci standing in the white house briefing room saying here's the plan for reopening. You go into phase one. If you get no rebound you go to phase two. If you have no rebound you go into phase three. The next day, the president's tweeting people to ignore his own expert's plan. The reopening from a health perspective, it was reckless. So, with the masks, I'm choosing not to do did. I'm not doing it. I woke up in a free country. President trump's announcement that he wasn't going to wear one I think was just something from that. It's all about freedom. What you see by the end of April is complete chaos. As coronavirus cases in the U.S. Approach 1 million, more states rolling out plans to open up. When you mix science and politics you get politics. You going to get deaths that could have been avoided. You have to open safely, right? And we never, ever got this right. We now have the greatest public health failure in our nation's history. President trump wearing a mask in public for the first time since the pandemic began. It came 99 days after the CDC made its mask recommendation. Florida now has more new cases of coronavirus daily than most countries in the world. By mid July, the virus becomes so out of control, some states that had reopened forced to shut down again. There is a very heated debate across this country about schools. Deaths from the virus now climbing in 27 states, as nearly half the country either pauses or reverses reopening. The story this summer is February and March in the northeast has become July and August in the sunbelt, in particular in Florida and Georgia, in Arizona. Even if we can't seem to get it right in Washington, I would love to see the American citizens come together and say we're going to fight this. We're going to be united in how we approach this disease, and trying to do the right thing so we can protect one another. The current state of affairs is not our destiny. We can get this disease under control using strategies that have been used all over the world successfully. So message number one, mask on. Okay? Anytime you're out in public, wear this thing. It may take sacrifice. But now is the time for sacrifice.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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