After proving that he is second to all in providing leadership as the global Coronavirus crisis continues to grow — sending tweets downplaying the danger of the threat the virus poses and seemingly more concerned with its effects on the stock market than on the health of the American people — Donald Trump finally addressed the nation this evening to attempt to demonstrate that his administration is completely on top of the developing health emergency surrounding the erupting pandemic.
After a brief preface expressing condolences to the victims of the shooting at the Molson Coors facility in Milwaukee, Trump immediately undercut the intended purpose of reassuring America by declaring that he was putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the government response to the coronavirus crisis.
In essence, Trump did exactly the same thing that he slammed then-President Obama for doing when he appointed someone without medical experience to oversee the government response to the Ebola crisis back in 2014.
Of course, there’s a Trump tweet for everything.
Obama just appointed an Ebola Czar with zero experience in the medical area and zero experience in infectious disease control. A TOTAL JOKE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2014
Given Pence’s track record slashing healthcare spending in Indiana when he was governor of that state — a policy widely credited for causing a massive HIV outbreak during his tenure — the appointment of the Vice President as the point person for the federal response to the outbreak inspired the president’s critics on Twitter to new heights of sarcasm and despair as they typed their outraged comments on the press conference as it was broadcast live.
This is the opposite of reassuring
— Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp) February 26, 2020
Reassured yet, folks?
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) February 26, 2020
This is the day Trump became president
— Andrew Beatty (@AndrewBeatty) February 26, 2020
oh word, we're talking about how pence has handled disease outbreaks? and he's in charge now? oh great, fab
— Caitlin Kelly (@caitlin__kelly) February 26, 2020
These men nervously reading scripted language in soft monotones does not inspire confidence. But the floppy plain paper color printout one of them held up put my mind at ease.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) February 26, 2020
I know this Trump press conference seems frightening and all, but on the other hand, if we go with one of the Democratic candidates, they’ll try to raise taxes on the rich and give more people health care.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) February 26, 2020
So, the guy who allowed an HIV outbreak in Indiana while he was governor is now in charge of dealing with containing the coronavirus outbreak?https://t.co/cYDk414oR3
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) February 26, 2020
Crazy Coronavirus has been Very Mean and Nasty to Mr Trump!
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) February 27, 2020
The struggle to get the dosage right backstage continues.#Pressconference
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) February 26, 2020
My takeaway from that #Pressconference:
It’s time to drink heavily. pic.twitter.com/RrCKhxfYwb
— Elaine (@rosalita2740) February 27, 2020
— UndergroundViews (@LoveitStill) February 27, 2020
Here we are.
Three years in, a real global emergency, and look who we have as the captain of the ship.
How could you possibly feel confident this bozo and his crony business buffoons with no experience will be able to handle a pandemic? #Pressconference
— Michael R. Piazza (@michaelrpiazza) February 27, 2020
Pence is in charge?? The guy who doesn't believe in Science and thinks the world is 6,000 years old??
— Chum The Water (@ChumTheWater) February 27, 2020
— Deep State All-star (@DeepSt8AllStar) February 27, 2020
— 999Username000 (@OrionWinning) February 27, 2020
— SageRobinson (@SageRobinson) February 27, 2020
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.