Donald Trump’s criminally negligent response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic will go down as one of the most deadly abdications of leadership in history. From the beginning he refused to take the threat seriously. He insisted that the few cases reported in the U.S. would shortly drop to zero. His claim that he had everything under control was either a flagrant lie or fatally ignorant.
Trump also failed to pressure his pal, Xi Jinping, into providing honest and accurate data on the rapidly spreading infections. At the time, Trump was bragging about a pretty rotten trade deal that he was negotiating with China. He was afraid to jeopardize it by holding Xi’s feet to the fire on a public health catastrophe that has now taken the lives of more than 40,000 Americans.
Trump continues to tread the hypocritical territory between “total authority“ and “taking no responsibility at all.” He spends the vast majority of his Coronavirus Task Force briefings (aka Trump 2020 reelection campaign TV infomercials) bragging about what he imagines are unprecedented achievements, but that don’t actually exist in the real world. Yet somehow these claims of outright victory are adjacent to his accusations of abject failure for which he blames mostly Democratic governors and the media.
Monday morning Trump shoveled another heap of garbage into his Twitter feed. It was typically self-aggrandizing, while maligning anyone he regards as less than utterly adoring. He began by unleashing a tired and impotent attack on Democrats, and concluded by praising himself:
… “Testing, Testing, Testing,” again playing a very dangerous political game. States, not the Federal Government, should be doing the Testing – But we will work with the Governors and get it done. This is easy compared to the fast production of thousands of complex Ventilators!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2020
Let’s break down this tantrum. For starters, it was not the Democrats (radical, do nothing, or otherwise) who “screamed” for ventilators. It was doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, and other public health experts. It was also patients who were suffering, many of whom later died.
Secondly, acquiring ventilators was not exclusively the job of state governors. The federal government has a long established role in responding to national emergencies like the one that is in effect today. By not coordinating that response, Trump produced an environment where states had to compete with other states to get critical medical equipment and supplies. What’s worse, they also had to compete with the feds, who were undercutting efforts by the states to get these supplies. And Trump’s claim that “everyone got their V’s” is patently false.
Thirdly, Trump segued into a bizarre rant about “Testing, Testing, Testing,” and claimed that the states were “playing a very dangerous political game” simply because they asked the Trump administration to do its job. While testing is done in the states, the responsibility for producing the test kits rests with the president who alone can invoke the Defense Production Act to compel companies to gear up the manufacture of necessary medical items.
Finally, Trump pretends that he’s going to work with the governors. That’s when he isn’t attacking them with childish insults and inciting his cult followers to engage in open rebellion to the “Stay at Home” and “social distancing” policies that are critical to flattening the curve of the pandemic. And perhaps the most preposterous assertion in Trump’s Twitter tirade is his claim that “This is easy compared to the fast production of thousands of complex Ventilators!”
Really? Trump thinks it’s easy to manufacture, distribute, and process the tens of millions of test kits that are required before we can ever return to some semblance of normality? If so, then there is just one simple question he needs to answer: Why hasn’t he done it?
Obviously, Trump is only focused on shifting blame for his failures to others. That’s because he’s desperate to halt the brutal decline he is suffering in the polls, and to salvage his floundering reelection prospects. He’s just too stupid to realize that everything he’s doing will have the opposite effect that he’s hoping for. But what’s worse is that he is continuing to contribute to the tragedies and loss that the American people are suffering. And he just doesn’t care.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.