'Idiot' Trump is more and more 'out of it' as COVID-19 death toll cracks 200,000: columnist
(AFP / Brendan Smialowski)

Calling the president of the United States an "idiot," longtime political observer Michael Tomasky admitted he was appalled by Donald Trump for not only downplaying the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic but also for praising his own leadership during the national health crisis that is set to pass 200,000 deaths within days.

In his column for the Daily Beast, Tomasky pointed to comments the president made during a town hall on ABC about the pandemic that he claims showed the president wants nothing more than to move on from talking about those who have died, calling Trump an "embarrassment" to himself.

To make his case that the United States is nowhere near getting the pandemic under control, Tomasky wrote, "For those who still believe in American exceptionalism, rest assured: We’re number one, by a mile. We have 4 percent of the world’s population and 21 percent of its deaths. Lately, we’ve been averaging around 600, 650 deaths a day. That would mean that by Election Day, we’d have another 30,000 dead. But the experts expect things to get worse as the colder weather arrives."

This, he notes, is all on the president who recently said, "we did a good job. If the not-so-good job was done, you’d be between 1.5 million — I remember these numbers so well — and 2.2 million. That’s quite a difference.”

According to Tomasky, "... every day, Donald Trump gets more and more embarrassing, shows himself as more out of it and more callous than he’d been the week before, when he was already saying out of it and callous things. His breaking the death count down to blue deaths vs. red deaths Wednesday was factually wrong (of course) and morally sick."

The columnist focused on one comment made by Trump where he mistakenly referred to "herd immunity" as "herd mentality," with Tomasky writing, "The idiot couldn’t even get that right."

"When you realize that’s what he meant, it’s anything but funny: The president of the United States was suggesting a 'solution' that would leave about three million Americans dead. Two hundred thousand, three million, he doesn’t really care as long as it goes away and the Big 10 plays football and the waiters at Bedminster and Mar-a-Lago can stop wearing those sissy masks," he charged. "Trump has uttered hundreds of comments that deserve to live in infamy as emblematic of his incompetence, denialism, self-centeredness, and monstrous indifference to human travails. But not many of them stack up to 'Nothing more could have been done. Nothing more could have been done. I acted early. I acted early.'"

According to the columnist, the only thing standing between the country and total disaster caused by the president is the "scientific infrastructure" and dedicated health care professionals trying to stem the deadly tide.

"I think back to mid-March. I remember reading then those University of Washington forecasts, that we could hit 250,000 dead. On the basis of (obviously) zero epidemiological knowledge but a reasonably honed political instinct, I remember thinking: No. This guy is an amoral boob, but surely American ingenuity and innovation will kick in before this hits that point, and, recognizing that it’s good for him politically, Trump will stay out of its way," he wrote. "But he destroys everything. A part of me thought that even if only for the sake of his vanity, he wouldn’t want to destroy tens of thousands of American lives. I should have known that destroy and lie about it is much truer to his authoritarian nature."

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