Most distressing about this coronavirus pandemic is that thousands of our fellow citizens will fall victim to its ravages, not to mention the economic pain being visited upon tens of millions. But did we have to go these depths?
It is now well-known that Donald Trump and his administration did not take the threat of a pandemic seriously despite several credible warnings dating from January. Instead of undertaking a massive mobilization of resources and instituting social distancing, they chose to lie to the American public, suggesting that the virus would simply disappear in days.
Their response, when it came, was itself a disaster. Their plan has been a giant hodgepodge with no centralized coordination. They have been unable to get adequate supplies to medical facilities on a timely basis, putting far more providers and patients in danger. And the absolutely essential testing system is almost laughable. Who can be tested? What test to take? Where to go? How long to get results? Are the results accurate? Unfortunately for America, Trump has shown himself to be completely incapable of doing the job of president.
Not only has the public had to absorb the ineptitude of the Trump administration, but we all have been subjected to the interminable, outrageous show that Trump puts on every night under the guise of a coronavirus briefing. What is really unconscionable is that the information he pretends to provide concerning supplies and testing is blatantly wrong. His angry, demeaning rebuke of reporters asking valid questions is shameful.
Inexcusably, Trump has an agenda of boosting irrelevant medicines based on minimal anecdotal evidence. Nightly, he jeopardizes containment initiatives by threatening to reopen businesses, large and small. In general, he dominates the briefings, refusing to permit more knowledgeable voices to be heard. The science-oriented members of the task force dare not question anything he says. Now, it appears that Trump will force out the most reasonable voice in the room: Dr. Fauci.
It is hardly unknown that Trump views these briefings as a substitute for his canceled campaign rallies. He is actually most concerned about the ratings of these Trump reality shows. The American public is getting to see the real Donald Trump, a man so obsessed with self-promotion, and so psychologically flawed, that he cannot guide this nation through a horrific crisis.
If it can be said that there is any good news in all of this, it is that there are literally tens of thousands of medical personnel who are making extraordinary efforts to combat the epidemic. It is a shame that the president does not have it in him to follow their examples. One can only hope that Americans are paying attention to this fiasco, orchestrated by Donald Trump.