Peter Wehner, who served in the Reagan administration and both Bush White Houses, has written a new column for The Atlantic in which he declares that "the Trump presidency is over."
Wehner argues that while all the warning signs of Trump's unfitness for the presidency have been clear for years, it's taken the coronavirus crisis to really drive home just how big of a mistake it was to make him the most powerful person on the planet.
"The president and his administration are responsible for grave, costly errors, most especially the epic manufacturing failures in diagnostic testing, the decision to test too few people, the delay in expanding testing to labs outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and problems in the supply chain," he writes. "These mistakes have left us blind and badly behind the curve, and, for a few crucial weeks, they created a false sense of security."
Wehner says that these mistakes are particularly unforgivable because the president was warned repeatedly about the threat coronavirus posed to both public health and the American economy.
"The president reportedly ignored early warnings of the severity of the virus and grew angry at a CDC official who in February warned that an outbreak was inevitable," he writes. "The Trump administration dismantled the National Security Council’s global-health office, whose purpose was to address global pandemics; we’re now paying the price for that."
Even more damning than all this, he believes, has been the president's repeated spread of misinformation about the disease.
"Day after day after day he brazenly denied reality, in an effort to blunt the economic and political harm he faced," he argues. "But Trump is in the process of discovering that he can’t spin or tweet his way out of a pandemic. There is no one who can do to the coronavirus what Attorney General William Barr did to the Mueller report: lie about it and get away with it."