In these times of the COVOD-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Donald Trump has taken to calling the American people “warriors.” Never mind that Cadet Bone Spurs is conscripting them involuntarily to service for which he steadfastly refuses to enlist. It is a noxious analogy for a public health crisis that requires leadership to align national resources and to promote rational behavior, not some pseudo-macho allusions to combat. If this were war, Trump would have to be listed as Missing In Action.
Trump's latest official action to address the crisis was an executive order advising governors to declare churches as “essential” businesses. He threatened to override any state executive who failed to obey his command – an authority that he doesn't have. In the meantime, Trump spent the past two days on his own golf course, including Sunday when the Pastor-in-Chief might otherwise have gone to one of those essential churches.
So with more than 1.5 million Americans infected and close to 100,000 dead, you might be wondering what became of the much vaunted White House Coronavirus Task force. Trump launched it to great fanfare, appointing Vice-President Mike Pence to lead the effort. The most prominent function of the group was to hold daily briefings ostensibly to update the public on the status of the pandemic and the progress made to mitigate the harm.
You'll recall that – in true reality TV game show host fashion – Trump cast himself as the star of the show, hijacking attention from the experts who the American people really wanted to hear from. He then spent a couple of hours every day distorting the facts, bragging about imaginary achievements, shifting blame for failures to others, and yelling at and insulting reporters. It was a bizarre spectacle that even Trump's allies could see was hurting Trump and the Republican Party. But Trump's malignant narcissism would only allow him to see an image of himself as a beloved figure whose every act was perfect.
It was clear that Trump was using these briefing as a replacement for the cult rallies that he could no longer use to bask in the glory of his glassy-eyed disciples. He justified his role by citing the Nielsen ratings, which he was egocentric enough to believe were due to his glorious presence. In reality, viewers were tuning in to hear Dr. Anthony Fauci and other health professionals. The more people saw of Trump, the more repulsed they were. Eventually, his staff was successful in persuading him to stop exacerbating the damage.
Now we have confirmation that these briefings were just an extension of Trump's 2020 reelection campaign. They were, in fact, nothing more than campaign infomercials. We know that because as soon as Trump stopped featuring himself as the lead character, the briefings themselves came to an end. It's been two weeks since the last of what were daily briefings. If their purpose was actually to provide information to the public, they would have continued. Obviously, that was not their purpose. Without Trump the briefings had no point to this White House. What's more, the supporting cast of doctors and administrators also became irrelevant as their presence in the media was immediately curtailed. And what we saw of them was mostly restricted to Fox News.
Since the cancellation of The Task Force Briefing Hour(s), Trump has created new campaign programming by showing up at various corporate facilities where he did nothing but parade around – without a face mask – pretending to be relevant. These events had no purpose other than as photo-ops for a figurehead president who has nothing better to do.
If anyone needs further evidence that Trump's only concern about the coronavirus was with regard to how it affects him, they need look no further than his Twitter feed. This weekend he posted dozens of tweets that covered subjects that ranged from nauseating accusations that MSNBC's Joe Scarborough is a murderer, to a Fox News assertion that President Obama would soon be in prison. He also whined about Joe Biden, mail-in voting, Michael Moore, Nancy Pelosi, the hydroxychloroquine miracle drug, his floundering polls, Jeff Sessions, and the Russia “hoax.”
However, in all of that garbage heap of hostility, self-promotion, disinformation, and infantile insults, there was one subject he didn't address even once. That, of course, was the pandemic and its catastrophic effect on the American people. NOT.EVEN.ONCE! And that should tell you all you need to know about what this “president” cares about.
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