The president is struggling to keep his dense head above water. It’s now become clear to a huge swath of the population that his administration has botched its response to the coronavirus from the start and that Americans are dead because of it.
Shelter in place orders on the state level have finally managed to curb the infection rates somewhat, but right-wingers are already clambering for an immediate reopening of the economy.
Trump is torn between placating his unhinged base and the self-evident truth that a premature attempt to return to normalcy will lead to a huge spike in deaths. He’s in a lose-lose position and already seems to be tipping towards the more deadly option.
Pressured on several fronts and lacking the intellectual acuity or work ethic to actually solve any of these problems, Trump has been reduced to desperately slinging out counter-narratives and distractions in the hope that something will stick. To that end, the president fired off a whiny tweet accusing Joe Biden and Barack Obama of being a collective “disaster” in their handling of the H1N1 Swine Flu.
Ignoring the baseless claim that the Obama administration bungled their swine flu efforts (neither of them dismissed that pandemic as a hoax), it should be pointed out that the CDC estimates 12,469 Americans died from H1N1 between 2009 and 2010 (not the 17,000 that Trump claimed in his tweets). For comparison, the CDC estimates that at least 31,000 Americans have already died from COVID-19 with more to come.
In case the first part of the tweet alone didn’t make it abundantly clear that this was nothing more than a cheap attempt to shift negative attention off himself, Trump included a complete non-sequitur about the website for the Affordable Care Act.
The transparent partisan hackery on display is enough to make one cringe. Unable to formulate a real defense of his White House, Trump is reduced to slinging out random, irrelevant Fox News talking points.
Biden/Obama were a disaster in handling the H1N1 Swine Flu. Polling at the time showed disastrous approval numbers. 17,000 people died unnecessarily and through incompetence! Also, don’t forget their 5 Billion Dollar Obamacare website that should have cost close to nothing!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
John Brennan, former CIA director under President Obama and a vocal critic of the current occupant of the White House, saw the tweet and decided to take Trump to task for his dishonesty which Brennan observed “has no limits.”
The ex-CIA chief when on to correct the record, pointing out that swine flu was made an “immediate top priority and handled decisively” by the Obama administration. He went on to outline all the ways in which the Obama response was vastly superior to Trump’s COVID-19 actions and finished by pointing out that approval for Obama and Biden was much higher than Trump’s is during this current crisis.
It was a succinct, top to bottom drubbing of our current president’s shameless lies.
Your dishonesty has no limits. H1N1 was an immediate top priority & handled decisively. FDA quickly approved testing kits, issued emergency authorizations & approved rapidly developed vaccines. Approval of Obama/Biden leadership was 66% at beginning of outbreak; 57% through fall. https://t.co/JNLgsxTKZm
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) April 17, 2020
This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.