In an uncharacteristically blunt column for the New York Times, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman declared President Trump "Mad King Donald" and said his refusal to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously will only lead to more needless deaths for at least the next six months.
Admitting that he feels like Americans, including himself, are trapped on the Titanic he described the president as "a madman who insists on steering straight for the iceberg" and those around him as being too fearful to take the wheel and avert disaster.
According to Krugman, what is happening, with "daily new cases of Covid-19 are running two and a half times as high as in early June" was entirely predictable and that a "normal president and a normal political party would be horrified by this turn of events."
"Trump, who began his presidency with a lurid, fact-challenged rant about 'American carnage,' seems completely untroubled by the toll from a pandemic that seems certain to kill more Americans than were murdered over the whole of the past decade," Krugman wrote before expressing dismay that now the president want to force schools to open over the advice of his own CDC.
According to the economist, there can be only one reason why the president is encouraging behavior and policies that are not only putting people at risk, but are also resulting in furthering the spread of COVID-19.
"Clearly, Trump and those around him don’t care very much how many Americans die or suffer lasting damage from Covid-19, as long as the politics work in their favor. But this cynicism is wrapped in multiple layers of delusion," he wrote before adding, "Until early 2020, Trump led a charmed political life"' where he was never faced with a crisis.
"Then came Covid-19," he explained. "Another president might have seen the pandemic as a crisis to be dealt with. But that thought never seems to have crossed Trump’s mind. Instead, he has spent the past five months trying to will us back to where we were in February, when he was sitting on top of a moving train and pretending that he was driving it."
According to Krugman, the president is highly unlikely to admit that he made, and has continued to make mistakes, in responding to the health crisis and, because of that, the death total is going to soar.
Writing, "Incredibly, even as hospitalizations climb he’s still insisting that the rise in reported cases is just an illusion created by more testing," Krugman asked what can be done in the face of the Trump-led disaster.
"Trump has another six months in office (if he’s still there after Jan. 20, God help us all). And it’s now clear that he won’t change course, no matter how bad the pandemic gets. As I said, we’re all passengers at the mercy of a mad captain determined to wreck his ship," he wrote before concluding, "But a lot more Americans are going to die. And if Joe Biden becomes president, he, like Obama 12 years ago, is going to take the helm of a nation in a deep crisis."
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