There are now over 10,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus within the United States with predictions that the number will skyrocket exponentially in the coming days. The deadly outbreak has been exacerbated by the Trump administration since day one from the president’s decision to fire the government’s pandemic response team to his claim during the early days of the pandemic that it was a “hoax” engineered by the Democratic Party.
By every imaginable metric, Trump has botched his responsibilities to keep the American people safe. The gross incompetency that has been rotting the government from the inside out since inauguration day is finally being laid bare in all its horrible totality.
Trump, of course, insists that he has done a great job responding to COVID-19. During a press conference earlier today, he was asked why the United States wasn’t prepared to carry out more testings for the virus. Rather than accept responsibility for his outsized role in the problem, Trump instead chose to gaslight.
“We were very prepared,” Trump said despite all the evidence to the contrary. “The only thing we weren’t prepared for was the media. The media has not treated it fairly,” he added.
The media, of course, is not responsible for the White House’s failure to provide more testing. Quite the contrary: the major news networks (with the notable exception of Fox) have been covering the coronavirus outbreak with the seriousness it deserves for quite some time whereas Trump himself only recently began to admit it was a real problem.
Q: "Why was the United States not prepared with more testing?"
President Trump: "We were very prepared. The only thing we weren't prepared for was the media. The media has not treated it fairly."
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 19, 2020
During the same presser, while standing behind the podium with members of his administration packed in tightly around him, Trump hypocritically scolded the reporters in the room for sitting too close to each other and floated the idea of reducing the number of journalists present by 75% or 80%. True to boorish form, he also said he only likes two or three of the reporters present.
Pres Trump says press still sitting too close together and suggests reducing # of reporters by another 75-80%. Says there are 2 or 3 reporters he likes and that should be enough to question him. pic.twitter.com/0cvD2cgs8K
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) March 19, 2020
Trump got in his usual shots at The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times for having the gall to cover the dire shortcomings of his administration accurately.
The three newspapers Trump mentions here are the same three who recently had *all* of their American reporters kicked out of China. https://t.co/NF5eHmW88Q
— Felicia Sonmez (@feliciasonmez) March 19, 2020
The mad circus of a press conference was rounded out with an interaction between Trump and a reporter for One America News, a fair right publication that makes Fox News look sane by comparison. The president said OAN treats him “nicely” and then entertained the reporter’s unhinged assertion that media outlets have “teamed up with Chinese Communist Party narratives.”
The ludicrous conspiracy peddling would have been swatted down by a reasonable president but Trump refused to do so. As this pandemic worsens we should expect him to lean more and more into this kind of fringe rhetoric as he desperately tries to distract from his abject failings as a leader.
The OAN reporter is as batshit crazy as you would come to expect pic.twitter.com/Br1GAG7qjo
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) March 19, 2020