Timeline: Trump administration's response to coronavirus

An examination of how the Trump administration responded to the coronavirus outbreak.
Image: President Donald Trump listens to Vice President Mike Pence during a press conference on the coronavirus at the White House on March 16, 2020.
President Donald Trump listens to Vice President Mike Pence during a press conference on the coronavirus at the White House on March 16, 2020.Doug Mills / NYT via Redux

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By Ken Dilanian, Didi Martinez, Merritt Enright, Phil McCausland and Robin Muccari

As the virus continues to spread across the United States, the nation is reeling, with schools closed, sporting and cultural events shut down, and an economy in danger of lapsing into recession.

An examination of how the Trump administration responded to the coronavirus outbreak that was first documented in December reveals a story of missed opportunities, mismanagement and a president who resisted the advice of experts urging a more aggressive response. All the while, Trump made a series of upbeat claims, some of which were flatly false, including that the number of cases was declining in the U.S. and that “anybody who needs a test gets a test.”

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Follow our complete timeline of coronavirus events, public remarks made by the president and a selection of Trump's tweets.