Nobel Prize-winning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman blasted President Donald Trump’s “deadly narcissism” on Friday and warned that “millions of Americans are going to suffer, and hundreds if not thousands die, because Trump and his officials are too self-centered to do their jobs.”
Krugman wrote that the botched response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the Republican Party’s ongoing obsession with sabotaging healthcare reform in the U.S. are both emblematic of the kind of selfish policies the Trump-led GOP is pursuing.
It’s been eight days since Maria made landfall, Krugman wrote, and “much of the population still lacks access to drinkable water. How many will die because hospitals can’t function, or because of diseases spread by unsafe water? Nobody knows.”
The Trump administration’s response to the catastrophic hurricane has been desultory and slow, which San Juan’s Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz told CNN means that “people are dying” even as the White House pats itself on the back for a job well done.
“Furthermore, although it’s more than a week since Maria made landfall, the Trump administration has yet to submit a request for aid to Congress,” said Krugman.
“Trump spent days after Maria’s strike tweeting about football players. When he finally got around to saying something about Puerto Rico, it was to blame the territory for its own problems,” he said. “The impression one gets is of a massively self-centered individual who can’t bring himself to focus on other people’s needs, even when that’s the core of his job.”
The effort to repeal Obamacare has collapsed on a legislative level, so now the administration is trying to starve the program from within with budget cuts.
Krugman said, “These actions translate directly into much higher premiums: Insurers don’t know if they’ll be compensated for major costs, and they have every reason to expect a smaller, sicker risk pool than before. And it’s too late to reverse the damage: Insurers are finalizing their 2018 rates as you read this.”
The GOP’s obsession with destroying the Affordable Care Act, Krugman said, “is best seen not as a strategy, but as a tantrum. We can’t repeal Obamacare? Well, then, we’ll screw it up. It’s not about achieving any clear goal, but about salving the president’s damaged self-esteem.”
He concluded, “In short, Trump truly is unfit for this or any high office. And the damage caused by his unfitness will just keep growing.”