Disaster Expert Slams Donald Trump’s ‘Preposterous’ Coronavirus Claim

Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of Columbia University's National Center for Disaster Preparedness, ripped Trump's mixed messages as "based on ignorance."

A Columbia University professor who leads the school’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness on Thursday called out President Donald Trump for once again claiming no one could have imagined a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic hitting the U.S.

Dr. Irwin Redlener, talking to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, described Trump’s comment as “a preposterous statement” that “has no bearing to reality.”

“But, you know, why are we surprised?” he asked.

Redlener slammed Trump ― whose administration’s chaotic response to the crisis has been fiercely criticized ― for sending “mixed messages” about the outbreak that in the U.S. alone has sickened more than 85,000 people in the U.S. and killed almost 1,300.

Trump’s claims were “based on ignorance, a lack of understanding of the science and just a complete misunderstanding of what the message should be to Americans,” said Redlener, an expert in preparedness and response to large-scale catastrophes.

“The problem is he’s using that kind of information to justify, in some way or explain, the incompetencies of what this administration has been doing, or not doing, in preparation for something that we knew was coming,” Redlener continued, citing the biggest problem being the “complete active melting down of America’s health and hospital system. It is staggering in its breadth and scope in its incompetence.”

“The president did not cause this virus to develop,” Redlener acknowledged. But he blamed Trump “for leading the country in the wrong direction with misinformation that has been extremely destructive to our efforts to combat this calamity that we have on our doorstep.” 

Check out the interview above.