Fellow citizens, please take note: A President of the United States needs to be concerned not with circumstances as he or she would like them to be, but as they really are, and to lead the nation diligently through them.
President Donald Tump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, however, has been far different.
“I wanted to always play it down,” Trump told Bob Woodward in February of 2020, “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
Mr. President, it’s not what you like, but the realities of things as they are, like a coronavirus pandemic. Presidents are in office to lead, not to mislead or dissemble. They can get lots of help from government agencies as well as understanding from fellow Americans, akin to FDR’s New Deal. Instead we have something akin to a charnel house.
Despite knowing that the virus was “deadly stuff”‘ and highly contagious, Trump often said that it was under control and would go away.
That is so mistaken, the opposite of leadership. A stance like that, in fact, goes far to justify the subtitle of Mary Trump’s book on her Uncle Donald, “How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous Man”.
Dissembling is always dangerous. But when you are President of the United States, it can have far graver consequences. Like coping with a pandemic that has so far killed over 200,000 Americans.
Here is a timeline of what Trump said of the virus from January when there was one case through September 23, when there were 7.26 million cases of Covid-19 in the U.S. and 207,000 deaths.