Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller, the Sam Johnson and Jimmy Boswell of the Trump regime wrote a ten-minute Trump address worth diagramming. Unfortunately Trump mumbled his way through it on Wednesday Night. WaPo decided to color-code its content.
President Trump’s address to the nation about the spread of the novelcoronaviruswas clearly aimed at conveying a sense of an administration with a firm grip on the growing crisis.
We took the text of Trump’s speech and color-coded it. His new proposals are in yellow and his advice to Americans in blue. His efforts to promote his administration’s actions both on the coronavirus and the economy are in orange. In green, two instances in which he pointedly mentioned that the virus originated overseas. More on that in a second.
The visual effect makes the point clearly. A lot of Trump’s speech was aimed at bolstering perceptions of his handling of the government, an apparent attempt to immediately quell investor concerns manifested in sharp drops in stock prices. Market futuresdropped quicklyas Trump spoke.
His mentions of the “foreign virus” having “started in China” havetheir own rationale. One reason for noting the point of origin of the outbreak is to counteractChina’s apparent willingnessto let its citizens believe that the virus originated in the United States. The other reason is that Trump and his allies clearly want to remind Americans that this is a crisis not of Trump’s making, however one views how he’s handled it since it emerged.
What Trump’s speech didn’t include was any significant announcement about controlling the spread of the virus inside the United States. There were no blanket recommendations about how to approach large events, just mentions of how the White House is working with the most affected communities. That, of course, is a dubious measure; the lack of widespread testing means that some communities may have far more cases than are known.
The speech by @realDonaldTrump is most remarkable for its xenophobia, but it also failed to prepare Americans for what it is to come or for fixing the testing fiasco. We are about to prove the adage that things have to get worse before they get even worse.— Richard N. Haass (@RichardHaass) March 12, 2020
My former boss @RonaldKlain nailed it on @maddow – containment is the last war, we need to stop fighting and think about how to use the time we have to surge hospital and response capacity. What is the top 10 to do list and who is working through it? Not the WH.