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Dennis Quaid praised President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and broke with many in Hollywood by calling on the country to rally behind the government during this historically difficult time.
The “Parent Trap” actor has been watching the COVID-19 situation’s effect on the nation’s healthcare system closely. He became a patient-safety advocate after his newborn twins almost died in 2007 after they were accidentally administered an overdose at a hospital.
Speaking with The Daily Beast, Quaid praised Trump and his administration for taking early action such as the travel ban despite many of the president’s critics arguing that he didn’t take warnings of the pandemic that came as early as January seriously until March.
“Well, to tell you the truth, I think the president is handling it in a good way. 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,” Quaid said when asked about the government’s response. “I’m an independent—I’ve voted both ways throughout my life, swinging like a pendulum toward what the country needed at the time—and I think this might be an opportunity for the country to come together again. World War II did that for that generation, and this might be our defining moment of a generation. It’s going to be a different world, for sure, when all this is over, and hopefully we can all be a bit more unified.”
The actor defended Trump’s decision to send medical supplies to China in February after being briefed that the virus was likely to hit U.S. shores within weeks by saying that he was “trying to defeat the virus at its source at the time.”
He echoed the president’s words by criticizing the state of New York, which has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., for not buying “thousands of ventilators at a very good price like two years ago.” However, he praised Gov. Andrew Cuomo for “doing a great job out there working for the people of his state.
He went on to further extend praise to Trump.
“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. I don’t want to get into petty arguments about it.”
Several continue to blame Trump for the country being underprepared for a pandemic-level crisis, with reports indicating that he was warned about the potential scale and death toll in January but failed to act until the travel ban.
The actor blamed Congress for hindering Trump’s response following the president’s impeachment trial, which ended in the Senate on Feb. 5.
“You know, the world has never experienced this, and I don’t think it’s a time to be political. I think it’s just time to get behind our government and have everybody do what they can. If you want to point blame after, that’s another story, but right now I think we all just really need to come together on this,” Quaid concluded. “I do appreciate that Trump is giving the briefings and on television every day giving out the information, and I think they have great people handling it. Just one more thing out side 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.”