Scott Morrison and Donald Trump at the opening of Pratt Paper Plant in Wapakoneta, Ohio (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

February 18

Confirmed cases and deaths: world — 73,332 (1873 deaths); China — 72,528 (1870 deaths).

Donald Trump “I’ve talked to my health gurus and we all agree that the United States is best positioned in the world to handle any kind of epidemic. We’re the best. ”

Scott Morrison “There is no need for hysteria about this issue. We are on alert, but the last thing we want to do is create havoc and confusion in the community.”

February 19

Confirmed cases and deaths: world — 75,204 (2009 deaths); China — 74,280 (2006 deaths).

Donald Trump: “I think it’s going to work out fine. I think when we get into April, in the warmer weather, that has a very negative effect on that and that type of a virus. So let’s see what happens, but I think it’s going to work out fine.”

Scott Morrison: “You can imagine how exciting it is for me as a prime minister — as difficult as that issue is, the coronavirus impacts on the globe and its particular impacts here in Australia — that Australian scientists are the ones who are the first to grow and share that virus and understand its componentry” 

February 25

Confirmed cases and deaths: world — 80,239 (2700 deaths); China — 77,780 (2666 deaths); Italy — 229 (six deaths); Iran — 61 (12 deaths).

Donald Trump: “You may ask about the coronavirus, which is very well under control in our country. We have very few people with it, and the people that have it are … getting better. They’re all getting better”

Scott Morrison: “If we can overcome the virus, we can overcome the longer term and medium term impacts … We’re not a government that engages extreme fiscal responses.”

February 27

Confirmed cases and deaths: world — 82,294 (2804 deaths); China — 78,630 (2747 deaths); Italy — 400 (12 deaths); Iran 141 (22 deaths).

Donald Trump:

Scott Morrison: “You can still go to the football, you can still go to the cricket, you can still go and play with your friends down the street, you can go off to the concert, and you can go out for a Chinese meal. You can do all of these things because Australia has acted quickly, Australia has got ahead of this at this point in time.”

March 3 and 4

Confirmed cases and deaths: world — 93,091 (3198 deaths); China — 80,422 (2984 deaths); Italy — 2502 (32 deaths); Iran — 2336 (77 deaths).

Donald Trump: “I think the 3.4% number is really a false number. Now this is just my hunch, but based on a lot of conversations … personally, I’d say the number is way under 1%.”

Scott Morrison: “In Australia, we moved very early. We got ahead of it early and we’re staying ahead of it. And we’re working together with state and territory governments, but also those in the private sector as well, the big companies to ensure that we can stay ahead of what’s occurring here.”

March 9 and 10

Confirmed cases and deaths: world — 113,702 (4012 deaths); China — 80,924 (3140 deaths) Australia — 92 (three deaths); Italy — 9172 (463 deaths); USA — 472 (19 deaths)

Donald Trump:

Scott Morrison: “Australia moved quickly, and we got ahead of the rest of the world. Our swift and decisive action to initiate travel restrictions on the basis of expert medical advice has helped to first contain and now slow the spread of the virus in Australia.”

March 11 

Confirmed cases and deaths: world — 118,319 (4292 deaths); China 80,955 (3162 deaths); Australia — 112 (three deaths); Italy — 10,149 (631 deaths); United States — 696 (25 deaths)

Donald Trump: “This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history.”

Scott Morrison (on Labor’s GFC stimulus package): “What we’ve been having to deal with over the last six years is repairing an over extended stimulus that went well beyond the event and baked in spending, you know, a decade into the future.”

March 13

Confirmed cases and deaths: world — 132,758 (4955 deaths); Australia — 140 (three deaths); Italy — 15,113 (1016 deaths); USA — 1264 cases (36 deaths).

Donald Trump: The FDA “will bring, additionally, 1.4 million tests on board next week and 5 million within a month. I doubt we’ll need anywhere near that.”

Scott Morrison: “Look I’m sorry to say that to the Bunnies fans down there at South Juniors this morning, but I’ll be out supporting the Sharks on Saturday night.”

March 16

Confirmed cases and deaths: world — 167,515 (6606 deaths); Italy — 24,747 (1809 deaths); USA — 1678 (41 deaths); Australia — 298 (five deaths).

Donald Trump: rates his administration’s response “10 out of 10”.

Scott Morrison: “The shops remain open, the trains still run, the phones still work, the lights still switch on. This is not a physical disaster where you’ve had a cyclone or something like that, which, you know, we do see in parts of Australia.”

March 18

Confirmed cases and deaths: world — 191,127 (7807 deaths); Italy — 31,506 (2503 deaths); United States — 3536 (58 deaths); Australia — 414 (five deaths); Iran — 16,169 (988 deaths).

Donald Trump: “I always treated the Chinese Virus very seriously, and have done a very good job from the beginning, including my very early decision to close the “borders” from China – against the wishes of almost all. Many lives were saved. The Fake News new narrative is disgraceful & false!”

Scott Morrison: “Life is changing in Australia, as it is changing all around the world. Life is going to continue to change as we deal with the global coronavirus. This is a once in a hundred year type event, we haven’t seen this sort of thing in Australia since the end of the First World War.”

Peter Fray

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