Writing for the Washington Post this Wednesday, Greg Sargent details the push by pro-Trump media figures to whitewash his bungled response to the coronavirus outbreak.
At the forefront is Fox News host Sean Hannity, who, according to Sargent, is "memory-holing Trump’s catastrophic refusal to take coronavirus seriously for weeks and weeks, and instead substituting a narrative in which he acted decisively throughout."
The end goal is to create the image that major actions undertaken by the government during the crisis are examples of how seriously Trump took the crisis throughout its course. "But it’s nonsense," Sargent writes. "What Hannity doesn’t tell you is that in many of the cases he himself cited, Trump directly resisted those efforts, publicly undercut them, or privately raged over them for the most nakedly corrupt of reasons."
"First, Hannity’s timeline begins by citing numerous warnings that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued to the public early on about coronavirus," Sargent continues. "But Hannity doesn’t tell you that Trump repeatedly and explicitly undercut the CDC’s efforts to create a sense of public urgency about the threat."
Sargent also highlights the fact that Trump has repeatedly undermined his own health experts with his desire to reopen the economy and lift broad stay-at-home orders, suggesting potential deadlines that defy the warnings of health officials -- only to reverse course when he couldn't deny the reality any longer -- a detail that Hannity refuses to include in his timeline of Trump's alleged successes.
"Hannity has unintentionally done us all a public service," he writes. "He has reminded us just how vast the gulf was between many members of Trump’s administration, who did urgently want to take coronavirus seriously, and Trump, who serially and pathologically refused to do so."
Read Sargent's full piece over at The Washington Post.