In retrospection, it’s now clear that when President Trump certainly stated that “I don’t take obligation at all” for essential aspects of his catastrophic response to the coronavirus, he meant it both seriously and actually.
2 brand-new developments drive this house with terrific clarity. Trump just rolled out a incredibly unethical effort to reword the early history of this pandemic, and to blame the media for his own failings– at exactly the minute that a new report in the New york city Times has now shown those failures in extremely damning information.
When Trump stated that “I do not take obligation at all,” he meant it seriously, because this was more than a simple passing effort to dodge one reporter’s hard concern. Rather, it was a clear declaration of function and intent: Trump will not take responsibility for whatever we discover his federal government’s failures, no matter how bad they are established to be.
Trump likewise meant this literally, because he actually does not think it’s his responsibility to successfully manage this action, and actually does not think he is accountable for the effects that will now unfold, which might wind up proving unbearably awful.
” I always treated the Chinese Infection very seriously, and have done an excellent job from the start,” Trump simply tweeted, hailing his early decision to limit travel from China. “Lots of lives were saved. The Phony News new story is disgraceful & incorrect!”
This effort to eliminate the early history of the reaction is concerted and purposeful. It has been wholeheartedly welcomed by some of his leading media propagandists. This rewording effort will continue, and it will grow even worse. Trump is set to hold a press conference on Wednesday, and when pressed about different failings, he will surely falsify essential aspects of what actually happened.
A damning report
On that score, the brand-new report from the Times is nothing except irritating. Amongst its essential discoveries:
- Numerous states made frenzied early requests for equipment and aid that went largely unheard and unmet. It was just recently, after an internal report shook up officials with its harrowing forecasts of 18 months of challenges ahead, that the federal government rotated to treating these state requests far more seriously.
- Many federal agencies– such as the Army Corps of Engineers and other parts of the Defense Department– have not been pressed into service in a major method, more than 8 weeks in As the Times puts it: “Much of that capability is untapped.”
- Trump’s apparent decision to put the Department of Health and Human being Solutions in charge of the response might have hampered the function that the Federal Emergency Management Company must be playing, despite the fact that FEMA “generally is created as the lead federal company throughout significant catastrophes to take demands from private states.”
- Numerous states put in requests for masks, and received far less than requested– and numerous were beyond their expiration date. As one Democratic governor put it: “We’ve been contacting this administration every day since then and we have received absolutely nothing. Zip. Zero.”
It is becoming obvious that Trump really does not “take any obligation” for any of this.
When Trump declares that the “Phony News” media narrative about all of this is “disgraceful & false,” this really acts as yet another reminder that Trump is actively focusing on protecting his reelection potential customers over safeguarding the country.
The standard facts of how we entered this disastrous mess needs to be reworded wholesale. He now declares he took it seriously the whole time, even though a timeline of his own quotes and actions shows that this is steaming rubbish. And going forward, any media efforts to reconstruct the actual story, or notify the public about it, or enforce responsibility for it must be totally rejected.
Simply put: We are heading into an extremely grim set of situations, yet the president recognizes absolutely no institutional responsibility to openly acknowledge his own failures in a manner that might enable himself or everybody to discover from them– and thus benefit the country in the immediate term and in the long run.
” He’s most likely to be responsible for lots of deaths,” Max Skidmore, a government teacher and the author of a book on presidential reactions to pandemics, informed me.
” We are weeks behind where we need to have been if a qualified administration had actually been dealing with the reaction,” Skidmore continued. “The misinformation that he spread triggered individuals to be cavalier.”
An unprecedented approach
Yet Skidmore told me that in one stressful sense, Trump’s handling of the pandemic may likewise be extraordinary. Unlike previous presidents, Trump appears to only care about appearances in a manner that is completely removed from issue about his government’s actual performance.
” We have seen presidents who refused to gain from the past,” Skidmore stated. “However one great danger of the Trump presidency is that he’s uninterested in performance as long as he can produce the image that he’s achieved success. Actual success is irrelevant to him. The image of success is what is essential.”
Skidmore added that even presidents whose failures he has slammed– George W. Bush’s on Hurricane Katrina; Dwight Eisenhower’s on vaccinations; Woodrow Wilson’s on the Spanish influenza– didn’t sink to rather this level of unconcern about real results.
” Even if they twisted the reality, they wished to have an excellent result,” Skidmore said. By contrast, Trump seems wholly “unconcerned about his efficiency, so long as he can look great.”
In sum, we desire presidents to acknowledge their own failures as having real and momentous effects for real individuals, as teachable moments on their own and the nation– not as absolutely nothing more than “fake news” that can be expunged and reworded through sheer force of bluster or tweet.
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