Fandango’s Provocative Question #61 is to ask what is our reaction to Don Lemon’s assessment regarding Trump’s handling of the coronavirus. On the video from CNN, Lemon tells us that Trump is gaslighting us and has been downplaying or downright lying about the seriousness and extent of the coronavirus pandemic.
Don Lemon is spot on.
As I have been watching Trump appearing on TV with various officials and experts around him the last few weeks, as he downplays or lies about the coronavirus, I look carefully at the faces of those around him to see if I can read anything about what they are REALLY thinking based on their facial expressions. I’m having a hard time – many of them wear a mask. But some of them I’m sure must be thinking that Trump is a complete idiot. I just want so much for one of them to step forward and say, right in front of Trump and the press, that he has been lying to the public and that this is a serious pandemic that is spreading rapidly in our country. Some, like Dr. Fauci, are telling us the truth, but usually not at the same press conference that Trump is at.
In truth, we need a leader in the White House and WE DON’T HAVE ONE. I imagine Trump watching TV one morning and thinking, Shit! I don’t know what to do about this pandemic! They’re expecting leadership from me but I am not able to do this. At the same time, he can’t stand to be seen as a failure. So he gives the problem to Pence to deal with and meanwhile, he says the response has been “perfect” and “the best in the world.”
When Trump finally really addressed the pandemic (because his staff pressured him to, since he doesn’t understand it at all), he read from a teleprompter in a very flat, expressionless voice. There was no emotion or compassion there. In truth, the only thing he’s passionate about is money and thus his concern primarily about the stock market. As of today, all the gains in the stock market during the three years of the Trump administration have been lost.
Meanwhile, the economy is on the verge of collapse. The response of the U.S. government has been slow and inadequate. There aren’t enough test kits. (Why we haven’t gotten them from China, Korea or the WHO is beyond me.) Who you are and how much money you have determines, at least in part, whether you get the test. The number of cases of coronavirus are skyrocketing, and because of lack of testing, the current number being quoted (9,000+) is low. Medical personnel are clamoring for supplies and for protective gear, which are also in short supply. We need those medical professionals to stay healthy so they can do their jobs. OUR COUNTRY IS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS.
But my biggest criticism of Trump in all this was that he had dismantled the pandemic crisis team that Obama had put together. And why? Because Obama did it. And because of this petty envy of a president far better than himself, PEOPLE ARE NOW DYING. He first denied it, then basically admitted it the next day by saying he didn’t want to employ “thousands of people” who, he implied, were sitting around doing nothing (which was not true) until a possible and unknown epidemic might sweep the country and need their expertise.
Stuck at home, I watch too much news and see failure after failure, delay after delay – one thing after another – it’s so depressing. I’m already depressed because it seems this enforced “social distancing” will go on for quite a long time, and we have no libraries, restaurants, shows, etc. Yes, I will make the best of it, but for how long??
Trump gets worse, in my eyes, every day. Hopefully, this crisis will cost him reelection.
*Note: I preferred downloading images of the virus rather than Trump’s face for this post.