The president who cried wolf is having a difficult time getting people to accept the lies that he is peddling.
Perhaps it’s better to describe Donald Trump as the boy who didn’t cry wolf after being warned that the beast was barreling rapidly towards our wide-open front door at top speed.
As the nation wakes up to the consequences of Trump’s failure to mobilize resources quickly enough to respond to a pandemic that his administration was warned about the possibility of multiple times but nonetheless dismantled the national security task force dedicated to addressing such emergencies, the president is scrambling to project competence and an ability to handle the dire results of his early inaction.
Unfortunately, Trump still thinks he can worm his way out of the crisis with the same avalanche of deceit and thickly-slathered bull turds that he’s used to get his way his entire life.
With much of the nation on lockdown and in panic mode, particularly in the hard-hit urban areas of New York, California, and Washington state, the president tweeted out this overly rosy picture of the state of coronavirus testing of U.S. residents.
Just reported that the United States has done far more “testing” than any other nation, by far! In fact, over an eight day span, the United States now does more testing than what South Korea (which has been a very successful tester) does over an eight week span. Great job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2020
The news that America has now surpassed South Korea in testing — a nation that has widely praised for its speedy reaction to the epidemic by instituting rapid and near-universal testing of its citizens that quickly allowed them to slow the spread of the virus — would be welcome and comforting news to Americans worried about their health and that of their families and friends.
If only it had any resemblance whatsoever to the truth.
Notice the lack of any attribution of the source that “just reported” the claim that it appears as if Trump simply made up out of thin air.
The New York Times‘ White House Correspondent Maggie Haberman pointed out the depth of the disconnect between reality and Trump’s self-congratulatory nonsense in a tweet responding to the president’s putrid propaganda.
This isn’t true; and there are few things more dangerous than a president or top official saying something like this to a scared public. Most people still can’t get tests. https://t.co/3RA7JKTiRL
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 25, 2020
Haberman followed up her tweet with a second response that further explained why Trump’s pathetic boasts were so far off the mark.
The figures that matter are over time, and per capita. The president's tweet creates an impression of the testing in the US that isn't matched by the reality of how many lags and delays there were. https://t.co/FX95FPpOrE
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 25, 2020
Keep in mind that both the United States and South Korea both had their first reported cases of coronavirus on the same day back in January. While the South Korean government immediately recognized the magnitude of the problem that they would soon be facing if immediate measures weren’t taken, Donald Trump was busy downplaying the virus as no worse than a normal flu.
The results of South Korea’s quick action meant that they were able to quickly ramp up testing and isolate those with the virus to prevent its spread from overwhelming their healthcare system. With a population of 51 million packed into the much smaller country at a density more than 10 times that of the U.S., South Korea managed to test one out of every 170 people in their country since then.
While the United States may have finally caught up with South Korea in the number of raw tests that have been administered as of yesterday, what Trump fails to mention is that, with over 275 million more people in our country, only one out of every 1,090 Americans have been tested, over six times less per capita than in South Korea.
While Trump tries to spin statistics to make himself look good, the over 800 (and counting) people who have died from COVID-19 infections in our country are likely spinning in their graves as Trump makes political hay out of his misleading tweets.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's 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.