Donald Trump’s negligence as president becomes more and more glaring as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop. He not only failed to act when he should have to curb the virus, he continues to mismanage the crisis.
Hopefully, this is the final act of his presidency. The nation has suffered from the day he was sworn in as president, complaining bitterly about the size, or lack thereof, of his inaugural crowd.
It was clear, even then, that Trump was unfit to lead. Far from a president who would unite the nation, Trump has purposely sown division to further his racially tinged political agenda.
Even as the COVID-19 pandemic envelops the nation, Trump continues to grind a political ax.
He demands “appreciation” from state governors before answering their pleas for help and allocates scarce federal medical supplies depending on a state’s political leanings.
Trump sycophants at Fox News and other right-wing media outlets have worked overtime during his presidency to obfuscate Trump’s missteps. The goal was to create enough white noise to diffuse the reality of his failings as president.
But this time, even Trump’s echo chamber can’t keep up with the president’s gross mismanagement, which has gone from calling the virus a “Democratic hoax,” to now acknowledging that “a very, very painful two weeks” lie ahead.
According to the latest estimates, hundreds of thousands of Americans will die during the pandemic. Many of those deaths could have been prevented had it not be for Trump’s colossal failure of leadership.
As the coronavirus pandemic grew exponentially around the globe, Trump spun an alternate reality of lies, deceptions and denials that significantly delayed the U.S. response and put tens of thousands of citizens at risk.
As the situation worsened, pulling the rug out from each of his rosy pronouncements, Fox News talking heads veered into the theater of the absurd in an attempt to cover for his misstatements.
Trump fell back to his usual trope: It was the Obama administration’s fault. In the latest absurdity, Senate President Mitch McConnell argued that impeachment distracted the president from the crisis, causing his delayed response.
Beyond those crucial early weeks when the president was in denial, his “leadership” has included pushing an unproven drug as a possible cure and botching early nationwide testing. He argued for ending social distancing, the nation’s only current defense against the disease, by Easter, just 12 days away. That’s not only ridiculous, it’s criminally negligent.
He’s failed to marshal the federal government to provide a united response to the virus, encouraged the states to scramble for their own resources and constantly undermined the scientific evidence presented by his own experts.
He repeatedly declared that COVID-19 was no worse than the flu, even when medical experts around the world said just the opposite.
His own administration experts have been forced to walk back Trump’s statements over and over again.
When the U.S. went to war in World War II, President Roosevelt didn’t ask individual states to raise their own troops and equipment and send it overseas.
The federal government marshaled the resources and raised the greatest army in the world to defeat Fascism in Europe and Japanese expansionism in the Pacific.
How is this any different now?
Trump says we are in a “war,” but has refused to use the federal government’s emergency powers to fight the virus. It’s unconscionable that states are being forced to compete against each other for hospital supplies.
The federal government’s response floundered for one reason, Trump’s indecisiveness. This is a national crisis, that requires a coordinated national response. The federal government should have taken the lead weeks and weeks ago.
Trump authorized use of the Defense Production Act on Wednesday (Mar. 18). It gives the federal government the power to compel corporations to produce goods to address national emergencies. Yet, he wait until just last week to use it.
Now, the virus is in every state, and Trump still hasn’t fully grasp the severity of the problem. The United States now leads the world in confirmed cases, and we’re not even close to the end of the virus’s spread.
When confronted with the reality of his actions, the President has chosen another familiar trope: attack the media.
Not a day goes by where Trump fails to launch a highly visceral attack on the “fake media.”
These attacks appear to be contrived and targeted to support his fundraising, according to a campaign email examined by The New York Independent.
Trump’s echo chamber of Fox News talking heads repeatedly accuses the media and Democrats of politicizing the virus. But Trump’s actions from the get-go have been political, calculated to aid his re-election.
His latest act of political pique is his refusal to open the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges to allow Americans without insurance to register on an emergency basis.
One thing is certain, Trump is no Roosevelt. He’s another Herbert Hoover, who failed to act, or pushed hair-brained solutions while the nation slid into the Great Depression. By the time Hoover finally acted it was too late.
Trump, like Hoover, needs to suffer the same fate. He should be a one-term president. And, good riddance.