Every Day a 9/11

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

While the corona crisis is still developing and the virus spreads across the US it’s fascinating, albeit in a perverse way, to watch Trump rewrite history and fantasize about the future.  The president clearly is not well.  He spends hours at night tweeting insults about those who have criticized him – as long as the criticism has been on TV, otherwise he wouldn’t know about it – and changes positions faster than Secretariat at the 1973 Belmont Stakes.  Not long ago Trump considered limiting the number of deaths in America to 65,000 a ‘spectacular job,’ but now he’s looking at more than double that number by late July, when 3,000 Americans are expected to die every day.  As the number of deaths increases the standard against which the president measures his performance changes drastically.  Originally it was 100K but now it’s 2.5 million deaths, which makes his accomplishments even more impressive.  However, for everything Trump does and sacrifices for the American people he receives very little appreciation.  ‘I’m being treated worse than Lincoln’ he said during a Fox News Town Hall, briefly forgetting that Lincoln was assassinated.

Asked whether his decision to ‘open up’ the economy will be the hardest decision he’ll ever make the president said that the decision to close it down was even harder, which is interesting because neither of those decisions were his to make.  For the latter he could only issue guidelines that he subsequently urged governors and demonstrators to ignore, and for the former he can only be a cheerleader.  Responding to the question why there were almost two months of inactivity after the first corona patient had been diagnosed in the US Trump said that Obama had not left enough supplies and a vaccine, which would have been tough since the virus didn’t emerge until 2019.  To a follow-up question why he had not used the first three years of his presidency to stock supplies he answered that he had been too busy with the Russia hoax, followed by the Ukraine hoax.   But once the urgency of the situation manifested itself a key role in the acquisition of supplies was given to Jared Kushner, who assembled a team of bumbling amateurs from the private sector that by comparison made the Keystone Cops look like Elliot Ness and his men.

As a reward for his abysmal performance or just to keep Ivanka happy Kushner has now been put in charge of operation ‘Warp Speed,’ that has to produce a vaccine by the end of the year, a move that for starters resulted in the US being absent from a global teleconference about vaccine development.  Also in that vein the White House started floating the message that the Corona Task Force would soon be disbanded, because managing the economy would now be more important than fighting the virus, so Fauci and Birx would have to take a back seat to Navarro and Hassett.

Changing the policy focus and replacing the two top pandemic experts by two economic cranks disturbed even some of Trump’s closest advisors, so the decision was put on hold, not in the least because there was no other plan than to let tens or even hundreds of thousands of Americans die and spread the blame from Obama to Biden and from China to Europe.  The president doesn’t have daily pressers anymore to convey the latter  message, but he’ll trumpet it any which way he can.

Silencing Dr. Fauci instead of letting him testify in the House relayed another message: if Trump cannot talk, nobody talks.  Yesterday the president visited a mask factory wearing safety goggles but not a mask, setting another terrible example.  This kind of behavior is inexplicable but for a serious mental disorder, and someone who understood it played ‘Live and Let Die’ in the background.

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