Speaking to The Washington Post, historian Jon Meacham had a dim view of how President Donald Trump sees his responsibility to the American people during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Trump has cast himself in the role of generous monarch who is saying, ‘I have given you this, dear subjects’ — and it’s a remarkably selfish and self-referential performance,” Meacham told Robert Costa and Philip Rucker. “It’s our money, for goodness sake. It’s not his money.”
"President Trump often speaks of federal payments coming to many Americans as an act of his own benevolence, calling the bipartisan stimulus legislation “a Trump administration initiative” and reportedly musing about printing his thick-and-jagged signature on the government checks," wrote Costa and Rucker. "Trump touts the deployment of the USS Comfort to New York Harbor in personal terms, saying it was his choice to allow the hulking Navy hospital ship to be used to for coronavirus patients — and even traveling to 'kiss it goodbye' before its trek north. And Trump talks about the Strategic National Stockpile of ventilators and medical equipment being shipped to hard-hit states as if it were his own storage unit, with governors saying they recognize that in turn they are expected to tread gingerly with him or risk jeopardizing their supply chain."
"Trump’s approach may be by design," their report continued. "With his reelection campaign all but paused during the country’s stay-at-home spring, Trump’s confidants and allies say he is trying to earn political points by taking credit in any way he can for his handling of the pandemic."
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