There’s a name for Trump playing down the threat and failing to take action against the virus: Institutional betrayal
U.S. intel agencies issued dire, classified warnings to President Trump in January and February about the dangers posed by the coronavirus, according to revelations reported in The Washington Post. For weeks, U.S. communities coast to coast sounded the alarm. They didn't have enough tests to diagnose, track and limit the spread of COVID-19. Meantime, federal and some state officials downplayed the need for a coordinated response.
There's a name for situations when systems that are supposed to take care of others do harm: institutional betrayal. As trauma psychologists, we see that betrayal by the Trump administration, and we offer some lessons from behavioral science to guide the government response to this global health crisis.