There is now little reason to doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic will prove to be the defining chapter of Donald Trump’s disastrous presidency. His legacy is composed of a smattering of disasters, blunders, and likely crimes but none of them come close to the gross incompetency he has displayed in the face of the coronavirus outbreak and the toll in human life it has exacted.
When the outbreak first began, Trump dismissed the virus as a Democratic “hoax,” repeatedly downplayed the risks it posed, and failed to take immediate, appropriate action to curb its spread while dismissing warnings from his intelligence officials. Facing a global crisis, he proved himself to be the myopic, solipistic, utterly incapable buffoon so many of us have long suspected him of being.
As a direct result of Trump’s inaction, the United States now has over 1.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 95,000 people have died already. The president is drenched in the blood of Americans, with only his own laziness and ignorance to blame.
Of course, Donald is a man pathologically incapable of ever taking responsibility for any of his mistakes so he refuses to admit that he botched the government’s response to this pandemic. He continues to brag about his imagined victories against COVID-19.
Today, the president was asked by a reporter about a new Columbia study that found 36,000 American lives could have been saved from the virus if social distancing measures had been recommended by the government just one week sooner. Faced with such data, Trump decided to categorically reject reality.
“I was so early, I was earlier than anybody thought. I put a ban on people coming in from China. Everybody fought me on that. They didn’t want it. Nancy Pelosi a month later was dancing in the streets of San Francisco in Chinatown so that people wouldn’t believe what’s happening and I don’t even blame that,” Trump rambled, trying as usual to pin the blame for his own mistakes on a political enemy.
“But I was way early. Uh, Columbia University is an institution that’s very liberal. Uh, it’s a uh… I think it’s just a political hit job you wanna know the truth,” Trump added.
Unfortunately for Trump, the GOP’s kneejerk aversion to institutions of higher learning has no bearing on the validity of the study. Americans are dead because of him, and no amount of bluster or lying can change that tragic fact.
REPORTER: A new Columbia study says 36,000 lives would’ve been saved if social distancing measures would’ve been recommended just one week earlier. Do you believe that?
TRUMP: “I was so early. I was earlier than anybody thought… Columbia is an institution that is very liberal” pic.twitter.com/avLKBZLNGc
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 21, 2020
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.