Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said that rather than denying leaked reports about the country's progress with coronavirus, the Trump administration must present a full document publicly that assesses where the United States is now and what can be predicted for the future.
"This is really not a complicated equation," Johnson said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "We need to get a fully informed, fully coordinated, through the interagency process document that assesses exactly where we are...from the perspective of leadership, goal number one has to be to simply tell the American people the truth. Tell us the truth. We can handle it."
His comments come in the wake of Trump administration denials about a Federal Emergency Management Agency chart leaked to The New York Times projecting up to 200,000 coronavirus deaths by June 1.
The administration must "tell us what our government is doing about the problem and what Americans can do to support the government and solve the problem," said Johnson, who served under former President Barack Obama."
Johnson said that he learned, through several crises while in office, that first, the American people must be told the truth, "not off the top of the head predictions about overly rosy predictions, but an assessment from the U.S. government. The American people can actually handle that."
Unfortunately, that guidance isn't coming from the federal level, so Americans must look to their mayors or governors for leadership through the coronavirus crisis.
Johnson said he's also concerned that the nation may not be able to handle another major crisis if one comes up.
I'm very concerned that because Homeland Security is facing a national crisis, as opposed to a regional natural disaster, it may not be prepared to deal with the next hurricane, tornado, border surge, or even another virus.
"The diversion of resources that are going to dealing with this problem may be at the cost of the next natural disaster," said Johnson. "That's my concern."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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