Dennis Quaid praised President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak despite a journalist’s repeated attempts to push the actor to find fault.
Daily Beast entertainment editor Marlow Stern first asked Quaid what he thought of Trump and the federal government’s overall COVID-19 response, adding before he allowed the “Parent Trap” star to respond, “It does look like hospitals are criminally undersupplied right now.”
“Well, to tell you the truth, I think the president is handling it in a good way,” Quaid answered. “We see him on television every day, he’s involved, and the travel ban early on was a great idea — which he did in spite of protest about that. But I don’t want to get into the protest.”
The actor went on to say he is an independent politically, voting for who he believes the country needs at the time, and right now it’s in a World War II kind of moment.
Stern next pressed Quaid on Trump’s decision to send medical supplies to China in February, contending the president knew “full well that this pandemic was about to hit our shores.”
“We were trying to defeat the virus at its source at that time, and as I heard yesterday, Arnold Schwarzenegger and a few other people are taking planes over there and shipping a lot of it back,” the “Right Stuff” star answered. “The states are also responsible for having stockpiles of their own, according to their own needs.”
“You know, New York, I really feel for those people and I think they’re doing their best to get them everything they need,” Quaid continued. “We’ll figure that all out when it’s over, as far as whether anybody died because they couldn’t get a ventilator in a hospital. I haven’t heard reports about that, have you?”
“Yeah,” Stern responded. “There have been reports about people dying because there aren’t enough ventilators in New York.”
At a news briefing on Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “Have we saved everyone? No. But have we lost anyone because we didn’t have a bed or we didn’t have a ventilator, or we didn’t have health care staff? No,” The New York Times reported.
While thousands of ventilators have been shipped into the Empire State from the federal government, other states and the private sector, Quaid noted, “New York had a chance to buy thousands of ventilators at a very good price like two years ago, but I don’t want to get into the finger-pointing, because Cuomo is doing a great job out there working for the people of his state.”
“And I think Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is doing a good job at trying to get these states — and all of the American people — what they need, and also trying to hold our economy together and be prepared for when this is all over,” the actor said. “I don’t want to get into petty arguments about it.”
Stern pivoted his line of questioning, asserting the U.S. government, unlike China, did not take swift enough action — but Quaid wasn’t buying that either.
“Oh, I think that we did too, though. As soon as we found out what the threat was … China wasn’t really revealing to the rest of the world what was going on,” said Quaid, who became a strong patient safety advocate after his newborn twins nearly died in 2007, when they were accidentally administered the wrong dosage of a medication.
“Five million people I heard had fled the Wuhan province before they had quarantined it, and were all over the world and allowed to come to this country,” he continued. “There was no warning whatsoever. The virus probably started back in November, and we didn’t learn about it until January.”
Stern finally conceded a point to Quaid, acknowledging China had “definitely not been above board,” but he still argued stay-at-home orders should have been issued earlier given that Trump knew of the potential danger of the virus in late January.
“Trump did do the travel ban to China, and then to Europe very quickly afterward, and he was castigated by a lot of members of Congress, who were just getting out of the impeachment, that it was racist what he was doing,” Quaid replied.
He then reiterated that he appreciated the way Trump and his administration have been keeping Americans informed with daily briefings and the “great people” the president has handling the crisis.
Quaid concluded, “Just one more thing outside of that: Despite presidents, Congress and political parties, this is the United States of America, and we’re a very adaptable people in situations like this, and I think we’re all going to get through it. My heart goes out to everyone.”
The actor launched a new podcast on Wednesday, dubbed “The Dennissance.” According to the Daily Beast, it will feature Quaid “chopping it up with his noteworthy pals — upcoming guests include Billy Ray Cyrus, Billy Bush, Lance Armstrong, and Logan Paul — and, hopefully, showing listeners a side of them that they don’t normally see.”
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