My skin isn’t thick enough to endure criticism trailblazers like Harris, Pelosi, Gandhi, Meir, and Thatcher have had to suffer; but I have been inspired to follow in their footsteps, in my own ways. As Harris told Marie Claire magazine, “I want [young] women to know, you are powerful and your voice matters." Amen, Sisters. Amen.
Giving credit where due, President Trump (FINALLY) admitted COVID-19 is serious, and more deadly, than he thought – with 100,000 U.S. deaths predicted and 240,000 possible.
Trump claims he knew how bad it was: “I knew it could be horrible, and I knew it could be, maybe, good. I want to give people a feeling of hope.” (March 31)
Moderates prefer presidents tell us the truth, then how TOGETHER we’ll deal with it.
Vice President Pence, leading America’s crisis response (and some speculate, taking the fall for it), said “I don’t believe the president has ever belittled the threat of the Coronavirus.” He apparently didn’t hear Trump’s previous pronouncements:
• “We have it very well under control.” (January 30)
• “I think the numbers are going to get progressively better as we go along.” (February 19)
• “It’s going to disappear.” (February 28)
• “I’m not concerned at all.” (March 7)
• “Just stay calm. It will go away.” (March 10)
When Trump (FINALLY) listened to legitimate experts advising him, he began tempering his optimistic projections. He called the virus “horrible” and “foreign” – but also promised the pandemic was “a temporary moment” and a financial crisis was NOT occurring. (March 11)
Initially, Trump resisted Democrats’ appeals for a declaration of national emergency, countering “I don’t think you’ll need that because I really think we’re in extremely good shape.”
Then he (FINALLY) declared a national emergency (March 13).
For context, the last time a President declared one was… last year. Trump decreed Congress’ refusal to spend billions on a Mexico border wall constituted an emergency, allowing him to divert military funding to his wall – challenging his professed dedication to military spending.
Then Trump (FINALLY) acknowledged COVID-19 was “not under control”; and the pandemic was “bad”, likely disrupting society for months, possibly causing a recession. (March 16)
When the number of confirmed cases reached 5,000, he (FINALLY) introduced social distancing guidelines and declared a public health emergency.
What took him so long?
• Trump’s salesman persona.
He’s selling the idea America is great with him as president, so he should be re-elected. Too busy selling, he didn’t comprehend the looming disaster. More at:
• Trump’s narcissistic personality.
He worried accurate information would make him look bad, weakening his re-election chances. More at:
Trump’s quotes above clearly demonstrate those character traits.
• Right-wing ideologues (example: some Fox News commentators).
They don’t want government to get much credit – if any – and convinced him dire predictions from National Institute of Health, CDC, National Security Council, among others, were inaccurate. Trump, trusting them and his own instincts more than experts, agreed with their anti-government biases.
• U.S. counties with no COVID-19 cases.
Most are rural, in red states, prime Trump territory. Untouched by the virus (so far), supporters there believed the crisis was exaggerated, politicized by Democrats and the media. Trump knows fanning his base’s passion is his only ticket to re-election, so he encouraged those views.
Political advisors (FINALLY) convinced Trump if he continued downplaying Coronavirus, his place in history would mirror former President George W Bush’s bungling of Hurricane Katrina. Until then, Trump believed belittling the disaster and hyping the sagging economy would bolster his popularity.
Trump (FINALLY) admitting COVID-19’s grim reality reveals he’s seen dramatic evidence that shook him to his core. Hang on tight, the worst is yet to come.