The president said, “I don’t take responsibility at all” on March 13 in the Rose Garden. This simple statement says it all. That the pandemic occurred is not his fault, but the total unpreparedness, the misinformation, and the decisions and non-decisions since he first received a briefing in November and then at the beginning of the year are on him.
Ten weeks of insisting that the coronavirus was a harmless flu that would quickly go away by itself? Continually giving the public inaccurate information only to be corrected by medical experts? The elimination of the pandemic response network established by President Barack Obama is Trump’s fault. The failure to store sufficient protective medical gear in the national stockpile is Trump’s fault. The loss of stockpiled respirators to breakage because the federal government let the maintenance contracts lapse in 2018 is Trump’s fault. That states like Montana are bidding against other states for equipment, paying far more than their original price for ventilators is Trump’s fault. Thank goodness for the leadership of Gov. Steve Bullock. People traveling from abroad who were told to come home only to be forced to stand for hours in crowded airport lines along with infected people is Trump’s fault. Or how about governors of red states refusing to close public beaches in Florida or the Gulf Coast beaches until late March? There is blame to go around; but, Trump could have stopped it, but didn’t. Republican governors and evangelical leaders responded to Trump’s lackadaisical and uninformed messages by being misinformed.
Or how about the lying about the coronavirus by Fox News and conservative talk radio to protect Trump. The false hopes of instant cures and nonexistent vaccines Trump told to cover up his failure to act in time. The severity of the economic crisis is Trump’s fault because if he would have acted sooner, the number of jobless Americans would be far less. The volume of families in food lines, such as in San Antonio, would be fewer. And the number of dead Americans, grandparents, parents, loved ones would be less. A severity that may rival the Great Depression for unemployed and hungry Americans.
Yes. It was Trump’s fault. Now the blame game has begun by Trump, Fox News, Breitbart, social media like Facebook, Twitter, and conservative talk radio. It’s the media’s fault. Or, it’s another way to bring down the president. Or, the president was preoccupied with impeachment at the time to make good decisions or it was the Democrats’ fault. Though Trump was not too preoccupied to take 11 golf trips to Mar a Lago from January to mid-March, or too preoccupied to fire civil servants who testified at his impeachment. Nor was he too preoccupied to fire the man he holds responsible for that impeachment or speak at 12 public rallies.
Again to reassert, the coronavirus pandemic was not Trump’s fault. He just made it far worse than it needed to be.
David R. James
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