Instead of adequately preparing the United States for the spread of the coronavirus, President Trump is desperately trying to downplay the risks of the outbreak in the hopes of stabilizing the stock market and insulating his reelection campaign from economic backlash.
In what amounts to a tacit admission that Trump isn’t taking the threat seriously enough, he has appointed Vice President Mike Pence to be our coronavirus czar, this despite the fact that Pence failed miserably at dealing with an HIV outbreak while he was Governor of Indiana.
On top of that, Trump and his Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney are blaming the media for overhyping fears about the virus and are smearing the coverage as nothing more than a plot to bring down the president. Trump also tried to scapegoat Democrats for good measure, which just proves that he realizes he isn’t handling this problem and will need someone else to blame when things worsen.
While all of this was going on, the World Health Organization (WHO) upgraded its threat assessment of the coronavirus to “very high.” Clearly, this is something that deserves the full attention of the White House but instead the president has been raging about CDC officials doing their jobs and hosting D-List right-wing celebrities to amuse himself.
Speaking to reporters today, the president did little to assuage concerns. He claimed that things are under control because the federal government is stockpiling supplies. He made sure to keep the details incredibly vague (presumably because he has no idea what he’s talking about) and bragged with his usual cluelessness that his administration is “ordering a lot of different elements of medical.”
One struggles to imagine a single person who could watch this rambling, incoherent clip and come away thinking our government is handling things properly. The president lacks the attention span to read up on the issue enough to speak intelligently on it and the people he’s delegated to oversee it are incompetent opportunists. Look to the CDC for guidance, not the White House.
"We're ordering a lot of supplies. We're ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn't be ordering unless it was something like this. But we're ordering a lot of different elements of medical." — Trump on the coronavirus pic.twitter.com/id6YLzbmRE
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 28, 2020
Of course, it wouldn’t be Trump if he didn’t also manage to get in some smearing of the free press. Expect more of this inane rhetorical flailing as things worsen.
Reporter: Do you think this is a hoax?
Trump: Well I think that the media is uhh yes, I think that CNN is uhh a very disreputable network pic.twitter.com/GwCiadzuQy
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) February 28, 2020