Presidential historian and MSNBC/NBC News contributor Jon Meacham often delves into U.S. history when discussing current events. And when he appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday morning, April 7, Meacham made a Trump/FDR analogy — stressing that President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s response to the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor are worlds apart.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941 was described by FDR as “a day which will live in infamy,” and Meacham described FDR’s response to that tragedy as one of strong crisis management. FDR, Meacham told host Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, candidly told Americans that “it’s going to get worse and worse before it gets better and better.”
But Meacham quickly added that Trump, on the other hand, has been asleep at the wheel during the coronavirus pandemic. The historian told Scarborough and Brzezinski, “This is a calamity, an economic calamity. And people saw it coming…. It’s changing everything about us.”
One the people who saw it coming, Scarborough asserted, was Trump’s economic adviser Peter Navarro — who, in a late January memo, warned that coronavirus could be devastating in the U.S.
Trump, Scarborough noted, has repeatedly said that “nobody saw this coming,” but in fact, Navarro and others saw it coming — and Trump ignored their warnings. Meacham agreed, asserting, “Trump is ill-served by his own instincts.”