During his coronavirus briefings that he treats like MAGA rallies, Donald Trump doesn’t seem to have a grasp of basic facts.
At least 100,000 Americans are expected to perish from the disease that Trump said would soon be be eradicated a little more than a month ago. And Trump can’t seem to find appropriate, measured or truthful remarks for any length of time.
For instance, Wednesday he boasted about his Facebook presence, falsely bragging that he was “No. 1 on Facebook. Did you know I was No. 1 on Facebook? I just found out I’m No. 1 on Facebook.”
He also didn’t seem to understand how long the coronavirus is going to be an issue. That despite the topic being addressed heavily on Tuesday as Trump spoke somberly about the virus.
Asked why he didn’t issue a universal stay-at-home order for the entirety of the country, Trump implied that some states are basically fine when it comes to the coronavirus.
“There are some states that don’t have much of a problem,” he said. “There are some, well, they don’t have the problem. They don’t have thousands of people that are positive or thousands of people that even think they might have it, or hundreds of people in some cases.”
So what is Trump doing all day?
His public schedule is remarkably empty. In the three days to begin the week, outside the late afternoon briefings, Trump has had a total of three teleconferences and one intelligence briefing. While in-person meetings should be curtailed in light of social distancing guidelines, averaging a single call a day is ludicrously light.
Trump is known for huge swaths of “executive time” wherein he smashes the tweet button until his fingers bleed and watches enough TV to embarrass a cartoon-loving eight-year-old.
If he’s doing the latter, the information doesn’t appear to be seeping in. Most networks are covering the outbreak with wall-to-wall coverage. Even Fox News, Trump’s favorite network — whose anchors seem to fawn over Trump every five seconds or else receive a jolt of electricity reminding them to do so — have had to play the coronavirus reporting slightly more straight recently. (That’s likely thanks to fears of pending lawsuits due to their horrific coverage for months.)
So how is it Trump is so wrong at the afternoon briefings?
But more dangerously, it simply becomes clearer every day that Trump isn’t up for this. Three weeks ago we wrote:
Now, with the coronavirus officially a pandemic, it’s woefully clear that Trump is not capable. As a leader, he has failed to prepare the country (he gutted funding and task forces over the past three years that could have been the first layer of defense); he has failed to take action (he oversaw a heavily delayed response); and he has failed to warn the public (calling it the “new hoax” just a week ago, and saying that a vaccine was close when it’s really over a year away).
It’s gotten worse over the past three weeks, as he has bumbled along, blaming governors and doctors and General Motors and anyone else that is not named Donald Trump.
1,168 days in, 294 to go