'We don’t have a leader -- we have Trump': Columnist writes brutal epitaph for coronavirus response
September 15, 2015, Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during a rally aboard the Battleship USS Iowa in San Pedro, Los Angeles, California (Photo by Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock)

New York Times columnist Jennifer Senior has written a brutal epitaph for President Donald Trump's widely panned response to the coronavirus pandemic.


In her latest column, Senior pointed to the president's "horrifying" Oval Office address this week as a symbol of his failed leadership in a time of crisis. In particular, she condemned the president for putting too little emphasis on social distancing measures that for the moment are the best way to stem the spread of the virus.

"Trump’s biggest crime Wednesday night was the short shrift he gave to what should have been his core message: Keep your distance," she writes. "Yes, he mentioned it in passing, but only on the way to rah-rahing himself, denigrating foreigners, and announcing policies that terrified the markets."

She then speculates that Trump's rampant psychological insecurities are the reason why he doesn't like encouraging people to stay indoors and away from large crowds.

"Motoring on through adversity seems, at this moment, like the macho thing to do," she writes. "Social distancing is seen as cowardly and weak, rather than what it truly is, which is altruistic and courageous."

She then imagines what Trump would achieve if he could overcome these insecurities.

"A real leader, one who’s secure in his own skin and intellect, could explain the paradox of aggression through isolation," she writes. "He could encourage cooperation through isolation too, explaining that the two needn’t be incompatible. But we don’t have a real leader. We have Trump."

Read the whole column here.