Writing for the Associated Press this Thursday, Jonathan Lemire says that President Trump is reverting to a familiar strategy as the coronavirus pandemic continues to envelop cities across the nation: deflect, deny and direct blame elsewhere.
As the death toll mounts, Trump is compiling a long list of targets he’s looking to blame for his failures in tackling the virus early on:
“Democratic governors for alleged mismanagement at the front lines of the crisis. The media, first for hyping the threat of the virus and then for not giving the administration credit for its response. Federal inspectors general, believed to be conspiring to make the White House look bad. The Obama administration, for not adequately preparing. China, initially absolved of responsibility, then accused of covering up worrisome health data. And now the WHO, from which Trump has threatened to withhold funding.”
Trump, of course, accepts none of the blame.
Lemire contends that Trump’s coronavirus press briefings have become a replacement for his rallies, which have been put on hold. “And, as he often does, Trump has leveled many of his broadsides at the media, attacking news organizations and individual reporters alike in an effort to boost his base supporters and cast doubt on the integrity of the reporting as bad headlines pile up,” he writes, adding that Trump has “used this playbook before.”
Speaking to Lemire, presidential historian Jon Meacham said that since ancient times, “leadership has been about wearing a mask of command. Trump is the opposite — a bundle of insecurities, neediness and wants.”
Read his full op-ed over at the Associated Press.