Author Dan Benbow has compiled the most comprehensive overview to date of how President Trump failed in protecting Americans from the coronavirus pandemic. It's a must read — and we're giving it away to new Raw Story Investigates subscribers for free.
ANATOMY OF A MAN-MADE DISASTER documents 830 ways the Trump administration was derelict in their duty to protect the American people from the coronavirus. This timeline is, by far, the most detailed history available on the president’s mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis.
Following is a sneak peek at Benbow's staggering work:
“What do you have to lose?”
-Donald J. Trump, 2016
Crises have a way of sorting the good presidents from the bad. Historians rank Abe Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt among the top three presidents for their handling of the Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II.
By contrast, the string of catastrophes that trailed George W. Bush, from 9/11 to Iraq to Hurricane Katrina to his obliviousness to warning signs in the housing market before the 2008 crash guarantee that he will have a permanent place in the bottom tier of presidents.
Also certain to be at or near the bottom of that list is Donald Trump.
Trump has been able to maintain 40% approval ratings by effectively manipulating the lizard brains of white Republicans, but even before the coronavirus hit, he was considered one of the worst presidents in the two surveys of scholars done in 2018.
Trump’s increase in attention to the virus for the brief window of time between when he declared a national emergency on March 13 until he shifted his attention back to his re-election campaign (roughly five weeks later) helped mitigate the damage somewhat, but his inaction from January 3 (when the administration claims to have first become aware of the virus) until March 13 made the situation exponentially worse than it should have been. And his failures of governance since March 13 greatly outweigh the handful of positive steps he took in that time in scope and number.
As Anthony Fauci said, numbers don't lie. Our federal response has been the shame of the first world, as America has posted over 224,000 deaths (5X any other developed country) and 8,300,000 infections (more than 10X any developed country), the latter a significant undercount from the true numbers.
This story starts, as many tales of Republican incompetence do, with sheer ignorance and lack of curiosity. Ronald Reagan was able to ignore the AIDS crisis for years because it was “a gay disease” and didn’t impact anyone close to him until his old Hollywood acquaintance Rock Hudson asked for—but did not receive—his help in 1985. Despite having spent months manipulating post-9/11 public fear with an orchestrated campaign of lies about fictitious WMDs, George W. Bush still didn’t understand the historical friction between Sunnis and Shias in Iraq when he invited Iraqi guests of mixed faiths to a super bowl party two months before the invasion.
History repeated itself with Donald Trump, like Reagan and Bush a P.R.-centric empty suit lacking intellectual curiosity, policy chops, or any interest in the mechanics of governing. Addressing his lack of qualifications for the job on the campaign trail in 2016, Trump asked voters “what do you have to lose?” America would find out the hard way.
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