Monday, March 30, 2020

The Covid-19 Crisis and the Unraveling of a President

by Nomad

Embed from Getty Images

As the Covid-19 crisis deepens, President Trump held another press briefing on Sunday in the Rose Garden and it went pretty much as anybody could have predicted. 

"PBS NewsHour" reporter Yamiche Alcindor asked Trump to elaborate on comments he made on Fox News, specifically, he suggested that some states may not need as much medical equipment as they've requested. Initially, Trump denied ever making the statements despite the fact that his comments to Sean Hannity were reported by most media outlets.

Characteristically, he then went on the attack, interrupting and speaking over her words. 
Trump said to Alcindor:
"Why don't you act in a little more positive? ... It's always get ya, get ya, get ya," You know what? That's why nobody trusts the media anymore."
When the journalist asked the president to explain which health professionals are telling him that more people will die from the economic impact than coronavirus?  Trump refused to answer directly and instead just repeated his claims.
He continued:
"That's why you used to work for the [New York] Times and now you work for somebody else," "Look, let me tell you something. Be nice. Don't be threatening."
Also on Sunday, Trump received criticism for a series of tweets in which he actually quoted- out of context- a New York Times article. That article cited the millions of people who have tuned in for his briefings and a CBS News poll that found Republicans have far more faith in Trump than the news media. 
The main point of the article was the fact that news networks were debating whether to air the conferences because the president has consistently provided the public with false or misleading information about the COVID-19 outbreak.
And then he hinted at a conspiracy against him by the new media outlets.

Even his usual staunch defenders were backing away.

Meanwhile, according to official figures for Sunday, the pandemic has infected 142,735 Americans and killed 2,489. In New York City, the epicenter of the illness in the US, medical teams are overworked and overstretched and short of supplies and equipment. 

Here are links to a few other related articles

Beyond narcissism, Trump's other personality flaws are putting Americans at risk

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters. Throughout the coronavirus crisis, critics of Donald Trump have repeatedly referenced his profound and outrageous narcissism. It was partly this pathology that led Trump to downplay the threat and resist widespread testing for weeks.

It's Trump's coronavirus response now, to his political profit or peril

WASHINGTON - For President Donald Trump, the spring of 2020 was supposed to be a time for trumpeting the economy, scaring voters about a Joe Biden presidency, and trying to get some foreign policy wins. But with the world consumed by the threat of the coronavirus, the president has increasingly been focused on using to his advantage the crisis that he initially tried to downplay.

Trump's Coronavirus Response Is a Failure by His Own Standards

Who Is Our Best Governor in a Crisis? New Orleans' Coronavirus Shutdown Dredges Up Memories of Katrina Can the House Pass the Senate Coronavirus Bill Without Coming Back for a Vote? The Senate Coronavirus Bill Is Not Going to Be Enough President Donald Trump says it's unfair to criticize his response to the coronavirus pandemic.