“It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.”

President Donald Trump (February 26, 2020)


Driven by a primal urge to constantly be the center of attention and bask in the adulation of adoring supporters President Trump sought a substitute for his near non-stop campaigning as states began to ban large gatherings as Coronavirus took hold in the United States. 

After eschewing press conferences for much of his three years in office, Trump discovered they could now become a tool to gratify his narcissistic ego while portraying himself as the nation’s COVID-19 savior.  His daily White House briefings have predictably morphed into a platform for Trump to preform while he stage-manages his coronavirus taskforce representatives; each of whom (with the notable exceptions of Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx) predictably lavish praise on their boss.

However, Trump commands the majority of screen time as he clearly struggles to read prepared remarks which are interspersed with rambling ad-libs featuring his favorite adjectives; “beautiful”, “wonderful”, “incredible”, “tremendous” and “fantastic”, as he describes his Administration’s COVID-19 progress and self-perceived results.  

Instead of providing factual updates, these rituals have become little more than virtual campaign rallies; frequently providing false and misleading information and often setting unrealistic expectations on the part of his domestic and international audiences.  The only things missing are the sea of MEGA hats and signs in the background.

Using his bully pulpit Trump plays fast and loose with history and facts; appears to have little regard for science except when he believe is supports his latest “feelings”, ignores requests for evidence to support his claims, blames others and derides his predecessors for the his Administration’s lack of preparedness to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak; which in late February he predicted would be temporary, stating; "It's going to disappear.  One day it's like a miracle – it will disappear." 

The nation’s then total of just 20 cases now skyrocketed more than 85,000!

Not to be forgotten in his litany of those to blame for his abject failures to respond in a timely manner to the COVID-19 crisis are the usual suspects; Democrats, Pelosi, Schumer, China, the EU and other critics, including his favorite public enemy, the media. 

Forgetting the Administration’s proposed past and current cuts to CDC and NIH funding, just a few of Trump’s own words are cause for great concern about his understanding and management of the crisis.

  • COVID-19 vaccines “soon” … while the medical community estimates will take 12-18 months;
  • Test kits were readily available and "Anybody that needs a test, gets a test.  We – they're there.  They have the tests.  And teh tests are beautiful." … which even his own vice president admits do not exists;
  • Automobile companies which volunteered to manufacture medical equipment are "making them right now."  Yet, while those companies have halted car production in North America, they clearly admit they are many months away from even beginning the production of ventilators; and
  • Publicly stating the FDA approved the antimalarial drug chloroquine to treat COVID-19, Trump added, “Normally the FDA would take a long time to approve something like that, and it’s—it was approved very, very quickly and it’s now approved by prescription,” … sending people around the globe scurrying to obtain quantities of the drug. 
  • FDA Commissioner Hahn quickly clarified the drug still had to be tested in a clinical setting.  
  • Another FDA representative tol Bloomberg the drug has not been approved for COVID-19 use, though physicians could prescribe it for that purpose.
  • Later that same day, Dr. Fauci cautioned widespread prescription use of an unproved medication for a brand-new disease could result in serious problems; adding
  • The evidence of chloroquine’s effectiveness, based on the results of its use in China and North Korea and a Trump-touted but scientifically questionable test in France, is very weak.
  • The drug’s side effects include blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, cramps, headache, and diarrhea.  Similar side effects are associated with hydroxychloroquine, another form of the drug, which is also linked to convulsions and “mental changes”.
  • There are already shortages for people who need chloroquine, including those with Lupus for which there is no alternative medication, as there have been runs on pharacy stocks of the drug following the president’s comments. 
  • People rushing to doctors to take unproven drugs might interfere with clinical trials to test them to find out if they really work or not.
  • False drug hopes might take the brakes off social distancing too early.
  • Nigerian health officials issued warnings over chloroquine after three people there overdosed and died on the drug, following President Trump's comments about using it to treat coronavirus.

Relying on the stock market to validate re-election, the president continues to push for “opening’ as much of American business as possible by Easter … despite universal cautions from the medical community which warns such deadlines are unrealistic and perhaps dangerous.

What the country needs now is an unselfish statesman solely dedicated to steering Americans through what could be an extended COVID-19 crisis, relying on his medical, scientific and logistical experts, together with the nation’s governors take the lead … not a self-absorbed politician who believes he can do no wrong, makes statements and decision s based on feelings rather than facts, believes wrapping a flag around himself demonstrates his patriotism and who’s primary concern is re-election!

American lives are on the line!

Retrospectively, on a Sunday evening in 1968, the president took to the airways in the midst of a crisis which was tearing our nation apart, Vietnam.  He spoke clearly;

"With America's sons in the fields far away, with America's future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world's hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office — the presidency of this countryAccordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president."

Lyndon Johnson, for all of his mishandling of the war, finally understood that American lives were on the line.

Can anyone in their wildest dreams imagine Donald Trump being that courageous?