There will be deaths and those deaths will have been avoidable.
President Donald Trump’s Friday afternoon press conference announcing a national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic was an astonishing self-congratulatory exercise in awful oratory, but it was also a grotesque snapshot into the decrepit world of Donald Trump.
For a moment just ignore all of Trump’s figurative elbow-rubbing and back-slapping, literal hand-shaking, infomercialization, Disneyization, and commercialization of a global pandemic in which now Americans are no longer citizens but “consumers.”
When a top fed govt official refers to all of us as “consumers” at an announcement at the White House of a national emergency declaration due to a global pandemic. pic.twitter.com/7IRwcjZThw
— Andy Manar (@AndyManar) March 13, 2020
Ignore the false claims and all-too-real coverups Trump painted. Ignore Trump’s total lack of interest in the virus and his total interest in creating income streams for his corporate sponsors, like Google and CVS.
Focus for a moment on this extremely important fact: President Donald Trump shut down the White House Pandemic Office in 2018, and less than two years later America and the world are struggling through a global health emergency that Trump’s own administration says could kill 5.1 million people in this country alone.
Friday afternoon PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor asked President Trump about shutting down that office.
His response was not just offensive and unpresidential, it was filled with lies.
“You said you don’t take responsibility [for slow response to coronavirus] but you did disband the White House Pandemic Office,” Alcindor asked President Trump. “So, what responsibility do you take to that? And the officials that worked in that office said that you — that the White House lost valuable time because that office was disbanded? What do you make of that?”
“Well, I just think it’s a nasty question,” Trump responded, weaponizing a word he regularly uses when speaking about women. “What we’ve done is — and Tony had said numerous times that we saved thousands of lives because of the quick closing. And when you say me, I didn’t do it. We have a group of people.”
“It’s your administration,” Alcindor reminded the president.
“I could ask, perhaps — my administration, but I could perhaps ask Tony about that, because I don’t know anything about it,” Trump claimed. “I mean, you say we did that. I don’t know anything about it.”
Yamiche questions the President on not taking responsibility vs. his decision to disband the White House pandemic team… The President pleads ignorance as a defense pic.twitter.com/LmTZUPc0Y5
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) March 13, 2020
Trump is lying, and here’s how we know.
First of all, as U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said on Twitter Friday afternoon, when Trump closed the Pandemics Office Brown sent him this letter “demanding answers.”
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) March 13, 2020
Next, this Washington Post op-ed, published just this morning, titled, “I ran the White House pandemic office. Trump closed it.”
And finally, this video of Trump from just a few weeks ago admitting he closed the office:
— Jeffrey Lieber (@JeffLieber) March 13, 2020
“I didn’t do it.” “I don’t know anything about it.”
Those are lies, and they’re lies to hide the fact that President Donald Trump is responsible for the United States’ horrific handling of the coronavirus pandemic. There will be deaths and those deaths will have been avoidable had he pushed for the testing he repeatedly, even now, tries to suppress, and had he not shuttered the Pandemics Office.
Donald Trump is no longer president: Robert Reich
You’d be forgiven if you hadn’t noticed. His verbal bombshells are louder than ever, but Donald J. Trump is no longer president of the United States.
By having no constructive response to any of the monumental crises now convulsing America, Trump has abdicated his office.
He is not governing. He’s golfing, watching cable TV, and tweeting.
How has Trump responded to the widespread unrest following the murder in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes as he was handcuffed on the ground?
He has incited more police violence. Trump called the protesters “thugs” and threatened to have them shot. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he tweeted, parroting a former Miami police chief whose words spurred race riots in the late 1960s.
Activists attack the New York Times for giving ‘fascist’ Tom Cotton editorial to call for violence against protesters
Activists and commentators are furious that the New York Times gave the column width to Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who has been advocating the violent overthrow of the protesters if necessary.
While that move is illegal and a clear violation of the Constitution and Cotton's oath of office, he took to Twitter to encourage murdering protesters instead of arresting them.
"No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters," Cotton tweeted this week.
Trump’s attempt to look tough backfires — and even Republicans seem to see the writing on the wall
From the moment that protests against racist police violence started to spread from Minneapolis to the rest of the country (and the world), after a white police officer named Derek Chauvin killed an unarmed black man named George Floyd in a gruesome incident captured on video, it's been clear that Donald Trump thought this was exactly the Hail Mary he needed to win re-election. Trump has been desperate for a way to distract the country from the soaring death rate of the coronavirus pandemic (now at 108,000 and counting) and the 40 million left unemployed in the resulting economic collapse. He believed that a racist and sadistic backlash against the protesters was just the ticket.