Post editor pens scathing column saying it's clear to Trump the election comes first -- and the lives of Americans come later
A bullish President Donald Trump warns China of an even deeper trade war ahead of a G20 summit where he will meet President Xi Jinping

To one Washington Post editor, it has become clear that President Donald Trump places his election far before the welfare of the American people he hopes to win votes from.


Writing Sunday, Fred Hiatt noted that many Americans aren't surprised, but the plan to reopen the country come hell or high water seems to fly in the face with the safety of the very voters he's asking to support him.

"That is more of a puzzle," wrote Hiatt. "Trump is busily inciting people across the country — and especially in swing states — to ignore public health guidance on limiting the spread of COVID-19 and resume socializing and working in the riskiest of ways. Modeling masklessness, he welcomes any sabotage of orderly reopening."

Hiatt called it "recklessness in defiance of his own administration's guidance" and the caution of every expert urging caution and prudence. Trump is so desperate to hold a large rally with his supporters packed into an arena that he's willing to do whatever it takes to get it.

"It's not far-fetched to think that this blowback could arrive with the cooler weather next fall — just as people are voting in the presidential election," he explained.

There are theories about Trump's self-destructive actions. Hiatt said that some have claimed Trump can't see beyond the next day's headlines. He had spent three years bragging about his economic success that hinges on the stock market, which fell back to what it was when he first took office. His instant gratification so clouds his judgment; he simply can't plan.

"Or, he is simply discounting the advice of experts, confident that his gut provides a better guide than their knowledge and experience," he said. "All of these theories may contain some truth. But they also understate Trump's cunning, and his cynicism."

But then he had another theory that goes to the heart of Trump's political fears.

"Trump and his team realized weeks ago that he was losing to Joe Biden, badly. They began casting China as an enemy and, preposterously, Biden as a Communist sympathizer. They intensified their slanders of the presumptive Democratic nominee as doddering and (because he is following public health guidance) cowardly. They invented 'Obamagate,'" he explained.

It's not as farfetched, and regardless of the reason, Trump and his enablers will continue, even if it means driving their own political careers off the cliff with him.

"It should be shocking that a president would gamble the health of the American people to improve the odds of his reelection. What is shocking is that it is no surprise at all," he closed.

Read the rest of the editorial at the Washington Post.