“America Doesn’t want a King Trump”

Piers Morgan

In November 2019, U.S. intelligence officials warned a contagion sweeping through China was altering lives and business and posing a mortal threat to its population.  By January, senior White officials tried in vain to warn the president about the looming danger to America as did the President’s Daily Briefing report, which it is rumored he often doesn’t read.

On January 29th, economic adviser Peter Navarro warned the national security council coronavirus could kill half a million Americans and deliver a $5.7 trillion hit to the economy.  A month later he issued an even more dire warning.  The president’s only concern was that such talk might impact the economy.  The following day Trump opined, “DC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” 

However, pandemic warnings were not new. 

In 2006 President Bush, after reading a book on the 1918 Influenzas pandemic, became so alarmed he addressed WHO and other domestic and international medical groups on the dangers of not adequately preparing for another pandemic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSDC5L7qYUc).  Not surprising President Trump, who perceives himself as the smartest person ever to hold the office, was oblivious, perhaps as he has bragged about never having read anything about his predecessors.

In 2015 Bill Gates issued a stark warning that the country and world were not ready for the realities of another pandemic  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Af6b_wyiwI).  In his 2017 book, “Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs”, infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm wrote, “This is a critical point in our [US] history.  Time is running out to prepare for the next pandemic. We must act now with decisiveness and purpose.

In January, the president said, “We think we have it very well under control.  We have very little problem in this country at this moment … and those [5] people are all recuperating successfully. But we're working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it's going to have a very good ending for us … that I can assure you.”  Throughout February Trump repeatedly told the American public, “We have it totally under control,” and dismissed HHS Secretary Azar’s coronavirus warnings as “alarmist”. 

It wasn’t until March 17th, as the stark realities of COVID-19 became publicly evident, President Trump proclaimed, “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic".  A week later, he reported, “we've done a great job.  Everything is really under control."  Then on March 6th he added, ”we're prepared, and we're doing a great job with it.  And it will go away.  Just stay calm.  It will go away,"

As U.S. COVID-19 infections rates and deaths climbed the president reluctantly began bending to the counsel of medical professionals and gave his tacit support to social distancing, shelter-in-place, shuttering non-essential businesses and other techniques many state governors had already adopted and which appeared to be effective in slowing its spread.

At his daily COVID-19 updates, the president continues to struggle to read is prepared remarks.  Trump only becomes animated when adlibbing with rambling, repetitive and adjective-filled comments, peppered with self-aggrandizements, denials of having made any mistakes and finger pointing at Democrats, the media, and governors and mayors who criticized the government’s long-delayed and inadequate support and responses to the pandemic.  Without offering any proof, Trump has dangerously speculated of a variety of unproven medical treatments and opined COVID-19 would likely run its course by April and foreshadow an Easter “opening of the country”.   

When challenged by the press corps for detailed explanations for government delays and evidence of his other questionable claims, the president predictably lashed out at reporters and their networks … telling them they should be congratulating him and saying, ”Thank You!

Mr. Trump, the press’s job is to inform the public which requires asking often-challenging and uncomfortable questions.  Its mission is not to heap praise on you or your Administration. 

Then as Trump announced he wanted to “open up the country” at a time of his choosing he claimed, "When somebody's the president of the United States, the authority is total,” forcing governors to relax or abandon their restrictive policies which appeared to have significantly reduced the spread of the contagion.

Mr. Trump, even some of your closest supporters have read Article II and understand the limited scope of your president powers.

Next day the president walked back that statement, indicating he was “empowering” governors to make such decisions, adding, “I like to allow governors to make decisions without overruling them, because from a constitutional standpoint, that’s the way it should be done.  If I disagreed, I would overrule a governor, and I have that right to do it. But I’d rather have them — you can call it ‘federalist,’ you can call it ‘the Constitution,’ but I call it ‘the Constitution’ — I would rather have them make their decisions.” 

Mr. Trump, actually you lack any authority to empower or not empower any governor’s pandemic actions nor can you unilaterally override them.  Check out the Tenth Amendment.

He then delayed issuing individual stimulus checks, solely because he wanted his signature on each one.  This unprecedented move was nothing short of another demonstration of his insatiable appetite for personal notoriety as well as backdoor advertising for his re-election efforts … for which his campaign should be required to reimburse the Treasury, perhaps $1.00 for each check issued. 

Mr. Trump, these are not your funds, they are public monies.  It was Congress, not you, which had the sole authority to appropriate the necessary funds and did so by passing the bipartisan stimulus package bill you only had to sign.  Article I, Section 8 makes great reading.

With only a handful of governors “opening up” this month, the president lambasted Democratic governors for delaying their openings although many of them are actually Republicans.  Responsibly, many governors and most medical experts have determined that adequate and accurate testing is the only way to ensure that when reopening their state’s economies there will not be a phase II of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite Trump’s daytime remarks, his nighttime Tweets are often more revealing of his actual state of mind, filled with angry rhetoric designed to stir up his base; calling for people to “liberate” states which have not fully opened up, suggesting 2nd Amendment in under assault, continuing attacks on the news media, and condemning the “radical socialist left”, Democrats, Obama, the CDC, and China for his Administration’s problems.

His efforts have precipitated demonstrations protesting some governors who have opted to listen to their medical experts and continued or extended their restrictions until adequate and reliable testing is readily available.  It is noteworthy these rallies, mostly in “swing states”, have been quietly orchestrated by conservative backers of the Tea Party movement and are being cheered on by the president as he attempts to divide the nation for personal and partisan political interests.  

In fairness, many of the protesters and others desperately need to return to work to make ends meet and support their families even after receiving their stimulus monies … while nationwide polls indicate a 60%-plus majority among both Republicans and Democrats favoring current restrictions over an overly quick opening of the economy. 

Trump rounded out his week declaring himself the King of Ventilators

Mr. Trump, it has been the unselfish efforts of scores of large and small companies across the country and their employees which converted their facilities to manufacture ventilators, masks and personal protection equipment for medical personnel and first responders, many who ultimately contracted COVID-19 because of their efforts, are the new heroes!  It is noteworthy none of them ran from the challenge or potential danger due to bone spurs!

Had the president and his Administration listened the intelligence community last fall, heeded the dire warnings of George Bush, Bill Gates, Michael Osterholm and others, and taken decisive actions earlier, the impact on our economy would have been greatly mitigated and, more importantly, the number of unnecessary American deaths could have been drastically reduced.

It is time this president’s arrogance, narcissistic behavior, casting of blame, childish name calling, spreading unsubstantiated facts and misinformation, and ignorance of the constitution while expending enormous efforts to bolster his own ego must end.   

Our country desperately needs a nationally respected and compassionate leader committed to disease prevention and cures, responsibly rebuilding our economy, dedicated to truth and science, refusing to blame others for their own shortcomings, and willing to sacrifice personal ambitions for the greater good.