Acknowledging Trumpian failures. Recall when Trump bragged that because of his “natural ability”, he could make medical pronouncements. This occurred as he ignored epidemiological advice, as well as beginning the fiasco of not attending to cases that came into East Coast airports. Note that New Zealand has had one COVID death in the last five months.

“I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it- Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.”

A comment President Trump made during his visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday brought into focus a unifying theory of his administration’s fumbling response to the growing spread of the coronavirus.He was asked if passengers on a cruise ship anchored near San Francisco, some of whom have been exposed to the virus, should be brought ashore.“From my standpoint, I want to rely on people. I have great experts, including our vice president who is working 24 hours a day on this stuff. They would like to have the people come off,” he said, wearing a baseball cap promoting his reelection campaign. “I’d rather have the people stay, but I’d go with them. I told them to make the final decision.”

“I would rather because I like the numbers being where they are,” Trump continued. “I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault. And it wasn’t the fault of the people on the ship either, okay? It wasn’t their fault either and they’re mostly Americans. So, I can live either way with it. I’d rather have them stay on, personally.[…]Some passengers on the Grand Princess, the ship near San Francisco that is part of the same cruise line as the Diamond Princess, only learned about the coronavirus case onboard during news coverage of a news briefing held by Pence. The message they and their families hear now is that the president of the United States would like them to remain there, confined to the ship as the passengers on the Diamond Princess were, possibly with the same fate. And why? So that the number of cases in the U.S. doesn’t increase.Consider why such an increase would be bad. It’s not that bringing the passengers ashore would infect them or, if handled properly, that they’d infect other people. Trump’s concern is just that numeric increase, a concern that has no other apparent root besides his insistence that his administration is keeping that particular number low. Efforts to remove the passengers are facing friction from the president primarily because of that political concern.…

  • March 8, 2021