Day 1,158: Predictably, Trump is trying to tweet away coronavirus culpability
Now, Donald Trump is trying to lead and deflect via his favorite medium: Twitter.
As of 10:30 pm ET on Sunday, Trump mashed the tweet button 80 times. For the most part, it’s been an effort to show that he’s working hard, while ignoring the fact that he has sat on his hands for months, left states to fend for themselves, called the coronavirus a “new hoax” just three weeks ago, and been completely cavalier with American lives.
For instance, first he claimed he was working well with governors and state officials.
But shortly after that he blasted many of those governors who are desperately trying to protect their constituents.
Trump is continuing to ignore the fact that a nationwide issue must be dealt with by someone with nationwide authority. If not, the person with nationwide authority must properly assist those with statewide authority, which Trump has refused to do.
He also retweeted Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) over and over and over again about a Republican plan that would overwhelmingly help certain large businesses over small businesses and employees. In fact, Trump’s own properties could have stood to gain substantially simply if his Treasury Secretary wanted it that way. And the American people would have no way of knowing it Trump actually profited from his own bill until, conveniently, after the 2020 election.
Achieving [a weekend deal weekend] now looks less likely as lawmakers and the White House spar over restrictions on a $500 billion fund that will be used to rescue businesses in danger of failure due to coronavirus-related losses. That cash is intended for companies that are vital to national security, airlines, and others, and it’s also meant to be distributed to states to help their hard-hit small businesses.
But the draft legislation gives enormous discretion to treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin in deciding how the money is spent, and offers little in the way of transparency about where the money ultimately goes. Mnuchin can waive provisions that prevent companies from using funds to buy their own stock, and Democratic senators say there aren’t real requirements that businesses keep workers employed, provide them paid leave, or limit pay and bonuses to management.
The bill is in stark contrast to the rescue fund created after the 2008 financial crisis, which included redundant oversight measures, like its own special inspector general, and required the government to identify recipients of aid publicly. Recipients of loans in the current bailout legislation wouldn’t need to be disclosed for six months.
The lack of transparency also raises questions about whether any money will flow to Donald Trump’s businesses, particularly his hotels, given his record of diverting public spending to his private companies. The administration has repeatedly shifted money away from congressionally approved work toward its pet projects, leading to constitutional challenges.
And with an on-going crisis, he retweeted a never-ending string of right-wing talking heads and some weeks-old tweets from RTUWMBB (Random Twitter Users Who May Be Bots).
After he pried himself off his phone for his daily press conference, he was no better. He openly smirked about Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) self-isolating over coronavirus concerns.
Trump campaigned on the promise that he was an incredible leader with business savvy and tremendous intellect. Virtually any three-month window of his presidency would undercut those claims, but in no window has that lie been more prescient than the first three months of 2020.
1,158 days in, 304 to go