Just to get this out of the way, and in case you hadn’t already noticed, I hold a longstanding dim view of Donald Trump’s performance in his job as our Supreme Leader, and that certainly includes his performance during the current COVID-19 health crisis. He was slow to recognize the seriousness of the threat to our nation’s health and slow to mobilize the country’s defenses against it.
Because I still try to be fair, despite my dim view of his performance, I would stipulate that he didn’t cause the problem, and it’s probably not possible to estimate how much worse he made it by his long reluctance to recognize or mobilize against the pandemic.
It’s not unreasonable to suggest that the situation would be substantially better if the commander in chief had acknowledged and mobilized against the virus sooner and more aggressively. China, where the virus first appeared, has dramatically reduced the number of new cases per day, almost to zero, which is impressive.
Several other countries have seen a reduction in that key statistic, new infections per day. (Of course, it’s not a perfect measure, since many new cases go undetected for a period of time. The United States has done especially poorly on the task of testing and detecting new cases. But I’m not sure any national leader did anything quite as despicable as Trump, who tried to prevent allowing a cruise ship full of his own citizens from landing, or as stupid and political as Trump did in admitting that his thinking on that matter was influenced by the fact that once those Americans got off that ship, the U.S. numbers would rise.)
Trump minimized the threat for weeks, which also got in the way of mobilizing the nation to meet it. He shows no remorse for this nor for his denial/minimizing/fantasizing about a magic cure that would occur when the spring weather came and refusing to acknowledge the seriousness of the threat. This basic display of bad character is not surprising, coming from him, and he is now trying to brazen it out by denial.
So I pass along to you this devastating little video, compiled by The Recount, in which you can see all the days that went by with Trump dismissing and minimizing the threat. It’s quite impressive; it’s titled “Trump’s Coronavirus Calendar,” and it’s viewable right here.