Day 1,243: With coronavirus cases surging again, Trump’s schedule is absolutely empty

There was a time, not that long ago, when Donald Trump and the White House pretended to take the coronavirus seriously. (Of course, there was a time for months before that Trump claimed that the virus was a hoax.)

Fast forward and after a period of social distancing and mask-wearing, much of the country is experiencing a spike in the number of coronavirus cases after easing restrictions.

That includes record-setting numbers Oklahoma, where Trump is having a rally with thousands of supporters on Saturday.

“They’ve done a great job with COVID, as you know, in the state of Oklahoma,” Trump told reporters Wednesday about his decision to jump-start his indoor campaign rallies despite the ongoing pandemic.

In truth, Oklahoma has not flattened the curve since a relative dip in late May. While Oklahoma reported just 41 new cases of COVID-19 on May 28, the lowest number it had recorded since late March, the number of positive tests has risen since then. Over the weekend, the state set records for the number of new cases on both Saturday (222) and Sunday (225). On Monday, the state reported another 186 new cases.

Meanwhile, Trump is sitting in the White House, apparently doing next to nothing. His schedule for Monday was empty, as it often is. The only two things on it were a lunch date with Mike Pence and a roundtable discussion about senior citizens.

The entire chat lasted about 30 minutes and only included members of his administration.

Despite plenty of time in his day, there’s appears to be no real discussion about bringing back the White House coronavirus task force for daily press conferences to give guidance to the nation. (For all intents and purposes those briefings ended when Trump suggested the nation ingest household cleaners to treat the coronavirus.) Dr. Anthony Fauci has been completely shoved into the background.

Trump and company want nothing more than news about the virus to go away, going so far as holding a rally in an state that’s experiencing a record surge and pretending nothing is amiss. As Americans are dying by the tens of thousands — the U.S. is approaching 120,000 deaths in just four months’ time — the dearth of national leadership remains more apparent than ever.

1,243 days in, 219 to go

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