In 2017, a journalist predicted that Trump's Hurricane Katrina would be 'a deadly pandemic.' He tells us why he made that prediction.
- In 2017, Wired writer Steve Silberman predicted that "Trump's Katrina will be a deadly pandemic."
- A best-selling author, Silberman told Business Insider that it was his expertise on autism - which President Donald Trump once incorrectly suggested is caused by vaccines - that led to his prediction.
- "Obviously, having been so on-the-nose with this tweet three years ago is cold comfort now that a deadly pandemic is upon us," he said.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
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But journalist Steve Silberman was first to make that comparison with a now eerily prescient tweet. In May 2017, Silberman, the author of a New York Times bestseller, "NueroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity," was livid over the Trump administration's decision to slash the budget of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."Trump's Katrina will be a deadly pandemic," he tweeted in response.
"Obviously, having been so on-the-nose with this tweet three years ago is cold comfort now that a deadly pandemic is upon us," Silberman told Business Insider.He wasn't alone, either, as he readily admits: the outgoing administration of former President Barack Obama sought to impress upon its successor the need to prepare for a pandemic.
What is especially interesting about Silberman's unfortunate prescience is that it was his expertise in autism that informed his assessment.
In 2014, the future US president promoted the long-discredited theory that vaccines cause autism. That, Silberman said, led him to question his understanding of science altogether - and his ability to manage a public health crisis."Long before I ever heard the word, 'coronavirus,' I knew that Trump was simply incapable of thinking and working at that level," Silberman said.
He likens Trump's promotion of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as a no-lose remedy for the coronavirus to snake oil salesman offering crank "cures" for the neurologically divergent. There is no hard evidence that this drug - used for malaria, lupus, and arthritis - works as a COVID-19 treatment, and it can have both short-term side effects in addition to and serious long-term side effects. Misuse of the drug can be lethal.
"He is precisely the wrong man at the wrong time in history," Silberman argued. "And now many Americans will pay the price with their lives."Have a news tip? Email this reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org
And get the latest coronavirus analysis and research from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is impacting businesses.
Trump's Katrina will be a deadly pandemic. https://t.co/e4rMUQOAqs- Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) May 5, 2017
Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn't feel good and changes - AUTISM. Many such cases!- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2014
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