Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


With U.S. as COVID’s epicenter, Wapo offers sad, frightening look inside the White House

Whether the coronavirus started in a Wuhan wet market or a Chinese lab (no one knows; most rational observers lean toward the wet market, President Donald Trump leans toward the lab), the United States now has, by far, the biggest share of cases of the pandemic, with no cure on the immediate horizon and most experts saying that even if new cases start to decline, the decline will be short-lived as new case numbers continue to go up and down for a while pending breakthroughs in testing and treatment, which I hope will come soon.

As a matter of scrupulous accuracy and fairness of a sort seldom practiced by Trump, I should note that the United States has a larger population than most countries and others have been hard hit, including especially Italy and Spain in the early stages of the pandemic. But the United States has, since at least March, been viewed as the “epicenter” of the pandemic.

Trump, whose lies become more transparent and desperate every day, says he’s done a great job of dealing with the threat, and I’m not aware of any syllable from him admitting to any errors on his part that might have contributed to our unenviable position at the epicenter. According to me, he’s done and is still doing a terrible, terrible job of limiting the spread of the virus across the United States or dealing with it now, although he continues to lie about it and minimize it every day.

I would like see to him asked, explicitly and repeatedly, if necessary, why, if he has done such a great job, have so many other countries had better success at limiting the size of the pandemic, compared to the U.S. numbers?

The Washington Post just published a review of the story so far. You don’t need to read another word of mine this afternoon if you would just go to the Post piece. It is sad, frightening, devastating to Trump and struck me as authoritative. Here’s the link.

Here it is again.

If you need more urging, I’ll just focus for a second on Trump’s lying. It’s very hard for me grasp why any American who has lived through the rise of current incumbent credits anything he says. Maybe the answer is that everyone knows he lies constantly, but a great many don’t care, or don’t care enough to let it outweigh all the great things they believe he’s doing for the country.

But the lying is so shameless and so blatant that I just want to highlight a little video that was embedded in the Post piece, but which the paper also published previously. The video shows Trump saying various things relative to the pandemic and his actions regarding it that he later, apparently, wished he hadn’t said because they later sounded wrong or stupid. The video shows him saying these things and then shows later video in which he was subsequently asked about the things, which had turned out to be wrong or foolish in retrospect, denying that he said them.

It’s hard for me to understand the 40 percent or so of Americans who continue to “approve” of the way Trump is handling his job. I wonder how they feel about the lying. Are they unaware of it? Do they not think it’s important to tell the truth? Or, perhaps, do they wish he would lie less often but excuse it on the grounds that all politicians lie or that the great things he’s doing for the country are more important than whether he lies a lot? I don’t claim to know, but I invite the Trump defenders who sometimes comment under my posts to share their views on it. Seriously, I respect those who disagree with my own policy preferences, most of which are in disagreement with Trump’s, and agree with his. But I’m looking for help on how his supporters deal with the constant lying.

Here’s a link directly to that I-never-said-the-things-I-said video from when it first ran.

Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by ian wade on 05/04/2020 - 05:51 pm.

    “But Obama said that we could keep our doctors so the lying all evens out.”

    I just thought I’d cut out the middleman and go right to the conservative rebuttal.

    • Submitted by LK WOODRUFF on 05/05/2020 - 02:12 pm.

      Trump is incapable of not lying. He will never change; he’s almost 74 years old and has slithered and threatened and manipulated his way through life. You can’t have a rational dialogue w a crazy person. The only thing I can think of regarding the approx 40% who still support him and the sycophant REPs is: years and years of daily lies and propaganda shoved in their faces thru a large variety of ways. I compare it to abused spouses who hate their abusers but after years of abuse still hesitate and make excuses when presented with an escape. Or refuse to file charges when given a chance. At some point their self-eseem and confidence just ceased to exist and they just stay in place. Or worse yet: have stopped being able to picture life ever being better. So they over salt the soup or spit in it…but still cook it and serve it to the abuser. They can’t rouse themselves to stand up to them more or take serious enough actions to free themselves. This is what appears to have happened to those who are unable to turn away or walk away from the “politicians’ who grab all the $$$ and authority and take away peoples’ rights and protections and lie incessantly. These poor abused folks have just been pounded into the ground….and been fed a steady stream of lies about “the other side’ for over 40 years. They wouldn’t know truth if it walked up to them and introduced itself. They are buried deep in the muck:(

  2. Submitted by Charles Thompson on 05/04/2020 - 06:36 pm.

    The murder at the Dollar Store in Michigan today speaks to this. You disrespected my wife by making her wear a mask. Diego Montoya lives!

    • Submitted by T.W. Day on 05/11/2020 - 01:10 pm.

      “As a matter of scrupulous accuracy and fairness of a sort seldom practiced by Trump, I should note that the United States has a larger population than most countries and others have been hard hit, including especially Italy and Spain in the early stages of the pandemic.” Of course, as “as a matter of scrupulous accuracy and fairness” I will note that at least two countries with 3-4X the US population, China and India, have done a far better job of controlling the virus outbreak. Not to mention that every European country has a dramatically denser population than the US with an infection rate that is far lower or, at least, no worse than the US. I, for one, am tired of “winning” this kind of contest.

  3. Submitted by BK Anderson on 05/05/2020 - 08:37 am.

    “The president went into one of his rages”

    Continuing with the American fascism theme of the last EB Ink piece, all one can do when reading an article like this WaPo piece is recall the fantastic film “Downfall”, about the last days in the Hitler bunker, with the Russian tanks on the Oder river and the Allied forces driving through western Germany at will.

    Everyone has seen mock-ups of the incredible scene of Bruno Ganz as Hitler going “into one of his rages” when his generals tell him that some military fantasy of the dictator has (predictably) failed. I’m amazed someone hasn’t yet adapted that scene with the dialogue contained in this WaPo piece and sent it out into the digital universe.

    The feeling of the movie, of course, is the suffocating claustrophobia of the bunker, where the reality of the Third Reich’s situation can’t be acknowledged, yet none can deny the feeling of the walls closing in. Hitler places all his faith in his “wonder weapons”, while moving imaginary panzer divisions around the maps, ordering (impossible) attacks that cannot be undertaken by any sane general.

    I could go into all the um, similarities to the current events reported in the WaPo article, but I will decline, and would recommend the film if by some incredible chance one hasn’t yet seen it.

    Trump and his collection of lick-spittles and sycophants are not quite at the “Downfall” stage yet (wait until this fall!), but the underlying current is already present, and Trump is not one who is going to “snap out of it” and suddenly recognize reality and his responsibility for the catastrophe. As the “star” of one of our (totally phony) “reality” TV shows, that’s the world in which Trump dwells, where he is a totally successful billionaire, with everyone importuning him with “Please, Sir…”

  4. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/05/2020 - 11:07 am.

    Trump’s lies are bad enough, but the defense he gets from his lackeys and his supporters is even worse. The excuses that have been used to wave away the lies(“Fake news!” “Bias!” “Context!” “What about what Obama said!”) have become cliches, but, in part, they show a disturbing reluctance to confront the truth.

    The reluctance to confront the truth is amplified or encouraged by the delight Trump supporters take in his lies. A key part of Trump’s appeal is the anger that he rouses in anyone who can see him for the disgrace that he is. “Pissing off the libs,” as the eloquent formulation puts it, is one of the highest functions of his regime. Truth, accuracy–who cares? I’ll bet it really makes that guy in the Prius mad!

  5. Submitted by Brian Mann on 05/05/2020 - 12:50 pm.

    Eric, I’ve heard from a number of Trump disciples I know that their “reasoning” (if you can call it that) is exactly the all politicians lie so it’s no big deal, and what he does is what’s important. They say he’s done a good job. I ask what they think he’s done, and they can’t answer.

    This is cognitive dissonance at it’s finest – the hallmark of intellectually lazy authoritarian culture. I don’t hate them – I hate what they’re doing to all of us and denying it until it is way too late.

    • Submitted by T.W. Day on 05/11/2020 - 01:12 pm.

      It’s a cult and cults are known for the ability to deny reality right up to and, barely past, when the cult leader leads them over a cliff.

  6. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 05/05/2020 - 01:07 pm.

    “It’s hard for me to understand the 40 percent or so of Americans who continue to “approve” of the way Trump is handling his job.”
    I think it is hard for a lot of us, Usually hear more conservative judges, but never hear what values does that support, or what do we as a country plan to gain? Perhaps over throw Roe v Wade, roll back LGBT laws, more guns and murders, increase big business right to pollute, reduce governemnt land ownership (governemnt is us) dig more oil and gas wells on (our land), Decrease spending on social programs? Well that sure blew the budget this year! It sure isn’t reduce the debt or make American more equal, all Trump has done is blow the budget and increase wealth transfer up. Or was it better trade deals, better deal with Iran, well those sure as H didn’t happen either. Perhaps it was the resurrection of coal, industry is dying faster now than under Obama, or farming, took profitable farms and made them welfare recipients. I don’t know and don’t think that many of us will, can’t have rationale conversations with irrational people, they always end up at Benghazi, or what about Obama, or the Clinton’s………………. never at personal values that correlate with Trump,

  7. Submitted by Sherry Gray on 05/05/2020 - 03:05 pm.

    I’m curious why you continue to push the other equally unproven claim, that the virus “started in a Wuhan wet market” when most research indicates that the virus has been circulating in SW China for a period longer than the Wuhan market outbreak, and even perhaps for up to 7 years? The virus was first observed in human populations in Henan but outside Wuhan before the cases exploded around the market, with evidence that the market was a transmission hot spot, not the origin point.

    • Submitted by richard owens on 05/05/2020 - 04:24 pm.

      Last week was reported a January 26th case in southern California.

      Today it was reported that France has a case from December 2019.

      We know that the virus spreads fastest when the carrier is feeling well and has no symptoms. 14 days later they might be dead.

      Sometimes its better to keep learning than to start blaming.

Leave a Reply