When the history of Donald Trump’s presidency is written, it will be difficult to find documentation of any genuine expressions of sympathy for the American people, whether those whose lives were upended by hurricanes, refugees from poverty and oppression, or the victims of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Trump appears utterly incapable of having a human feeling for people who have suffered misfortune. Although he always seems to be pretty charitable toward corporations and the wealthy.
On Friday morning the latest jobs report was released and it revealed a historic decline for the month of April. More than 20.5 million jobs were lost, a number not seen since the Great Depression. The unemployment rate tripled to 14.7%, which is likely an undercount because it doesn’t include those who are not currently looking for work due to the Stay-At–Home policies currently in effect.
Trump was being interviewed on Fox News by the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends when the report became public. The program interrupted their predictable Trump-fluffing to announce the new data and get a response from Trump. So in keeping with his callously uncaring demeanor, Trump’s initial message to the nation was this:
“It’s fully expected. There’s no surprise. Everybody knows that. Somebody said, ‘Oh, look at this.’ Well, even the Democrats aren’t blaming me for that.”
The worst job losses since the Great Depression just slammed into our economy because of Trump's egregious mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak, and his first reaction?
"It's totally expected. There's no surprise." pic.twitter.com/6LIMhj31MG
— Andrew Bates (@AndrewBatesNC) May 8, 2020
That’s typical Trump. No compassion for the people who are now unemployed. No concern for how they will pay for rent, groceries, medicine, etc. No acknowledgement of the stress and anxiety that millions of people are enduring. Nope. Trump can be relied on to always put his own interests above those of the nation or any of its citizens. And that is openly in play as he seeks to stem his personal financial losses by rushing to allow hotels and golf courses to resume operations. So naturally, Trump’s first thoughts upon hearing the jobs report were both egocentric and dishonest.
Trump’s malignant narcissism was on display in his first remarks when he complained about the prospect of being blamed for the pandemic and its consequences. That’s a key concern for Trump. Never mind that his documented negligence and incompetence has directly resulted in exacerbating the severity of the pandemic’s impact in the U.S. Trump relentlessly rejects any responsibility. He is so afraid of having to accept the blame he so richly deserves that he is pushing for a premature relaxation of business restrictions. That will undoubtedly result in even more illnesses and fatalities. And he keeps moving the goalposts on estimates of the dead. For weeks he “bragged” that it would be under 60,000 by August. Now that we are over 76,000 in May he has upped it to 110,000. Keep in mind that neither estimate is worth bragging about.
Trump lied by saying that he expected this catastrophic jobs market. In truth, he denied that there was any problem at all for the first two months. He insisted that it was fully “under control” and that the handful of cases would quickly “go down to zero.” Instead they went up to 1.3 million with more than 76,000 deaths. And contrary to his current position that he expected this, he literally said that “Nobody ever expected a thing like this” during a Fox News town hall two weeks ago. What’s more, his Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, said this on January 30:
“I don’t want to talk about a victory lap over a very unfortunate, very malignant disease. But the fact is, it does give businesses yet another thing to consider … I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America.”
So not only was the Trump administration not planning for an employment debacle, they were actually looking forward to a jobs boom resulting from a rush by companies to relocate their manufacturing to the U.S. That turned out to be a figment of their overactive and self-serving imaginations. However, Trump did get one thing right during his segment with his Fox friends. “Next year,” he assured, “we’re going to have a phenomenal year. People are ready to go.” Indeed. President Biden will see to that. And the American people are surely “ready to go” to the polls to vote in November to oust Trump and his enablers in the Republican Cult.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.