The United States now has over 1.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 with over 81,000 deaths. This pandemic has proven to be a tragedy of historic proportions and far too much of this suffering can be laid directly at the feet of the president, a man who refused to take the outbreak seriously at first and who decided early on that hurling blame at his enemies was more important than focusing on the hard work needed to save lives.
Trump has proven to be an abject failure when his country needed him most and rather than own up to that difficult reality he is insisting that he has done a spectacular job at fighting the pandemic.
Today, the president tweeted out that coronavirus numbers are “looking MUCH better” and “going down almost everywhere” which he claimed constitutes “big progress.” As usual, he failed to provide any evidence or specific figures and the tweet reads like yet another attempt to downplay the severity of the virus in order to blunt backlash at the ballot boxes in November.
Coronavirus numbers are looking MUCH better, going down almost everywhere. Big progress being made!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2020
Coronavirus numbers aren't even going down in the White House https://t.co/kO00YE53No
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) May 11, 2020
While Trump is busy presenting a disingenuously brave face to the public about COVID-19, CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz reports that in private he “expressed concern” over the weekend that White House aides contracting the virus might “undercut his message that the outbreak is waning and states should be reopening.”
So far, there have been two confirmed White House staffer COVID-19 cases. Katie Miller, Press Secretary for Vice President Mike Pence has been infected as has as one of Donald Trump’s valets. The exposure to Miller has prompted Pence to self-isolate.
Clearly, the risk of infection is still incredibly high and reopening the economy right now means more people, especially the at-risk elderly, will die. If the White House with its unparalleled resources can’t even manage to prevent new cases within its own walls, how can regular places of employment be expected to?
In conversations this weekend, President Trump has expressed concern that aides contracting coronavirus would undercut his message that the outbreak is waning and states should begin reopening, according to a person who spoke to him.@kevinliptakcnn
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) May 10, 2020
During a press conference in the Rose Garden today, Trump was asked about the White House coronavirus cases.
“Where did the system break down to allow that to happen? And what would you say to employers who look at the experience here at the White House and say: ‘Are we ready for this?'” Fox’s John Roberts asked.
Trump immediately tried to spin the situation.
“I don’t think the system broke down at all. One person tested positive, surprisingly because the previous day tested negative. And three people that were in contact, relative contact who I believe they’ve all tested totally negative but they are going to for a period of time self-isolate,” Trump rambled.
“So that’s not breaking down,” he went on. “It can happen. It’s the hidden enemy, remember that, it’s the hidden enemy. So. Things happen,” he said, showcasing his trademark refusal to accept responsibility for anything, even his own White House.
Watch the interaction below.
“Things happen” — Trump downplays two White House staffers testing positive for coronavirus pic.twitter.com/33D3HnbSsq
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 11, 2020
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