'Wrong man for the moment': Conservative columnist rips Trump's 'painfully obvious' leadership failure on coronavirus
President Donald Trump. (AFP / Jim WATSON)

On Thursday, writing for The Bulwark, conservative columnist Priscilla Jensen savaged President Donald Trump for his inability to lead on the coronavirus pandemic.


"For only the second time, President Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office Wednesday night, in an attempt  to convey gravitas and determination in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic now affecting the United States," wrote Jensen. "But if he was aware that he needed a drastic change of course after a disastrous six weeks of underplaying the looming pandemic, he didn’t get the reset he was thinking of."

Trump's travel ban, Jensen wrote, made no sense, "blindsided" European leaders, and needlessly antagonized allies. And his promise that health insurance companies would cover treatment for free took them by surprise too.

"Sensible people have warned since before he was elected that Donald Trump lacks both the disposition and the basic competencies needed for the office of the presidency during a crisis," wrote Jensen. "It has been our good fortune — and manifestly not the result of Trump’s leadership — that there have not been any major crises in the last few years. Until now. The coronavirus pandemic makes Trump’s failings as a crisis leader painfully obvious."

Among his many failings, she wrote, is that he "lies about petty things ... speaks thoughtlessly and sloppilly ... prefers to surround himself with sycophants ... lacks technical knowledge [and] the curiosity to learn ... has spent the last three years denigrating news outlets and the government ... [and] thinks about everything in terms of how it benefits him and his family" — none of which helps the American people in a time of crisis.

"None of this will be news to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear. Even his supporters will concede some of these points; in fact, some of these points are reasons they admire him," concluded Jensen. "But these qualities make him the exact wrong man for the moment."

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