Ladies and gentlemen, behold, some s*** the president said during the previous week:
Two weeks ago, Donald Trump considered himself akin to a “war-time president” with the virus as the enemy. Last week, he stated this war would be fought with no regard to maintaining supply lines (“we’re not a shipping clerk”). Now he believes it’s inappropriate for his troops to so much as ask for supplies – because that’s not treating him well. Our commanding general in this war turns out to be quite a snowflake.
“[VP Mike Pence] calls all the governors. I tell him, I mean I’m a different type of person. I say, ‘Mike, don’t call the governor of Washington. You’re wasting your time with him. Don’t call the woman in Michigan.’…If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call.”3/27/2020 at the White House.
In case you thought the whole “Donald Trump only provides life-saving medical equipment to governors whom kiss his ass” thing was a one-off; it wasn’t a one-off. He really is tying ventilators and hospital worker PPE to a governor’s willingness to lavish him with praise. Now, it is true that just one day after saying this, the president approved a disaster relief declaration for Michigan. So, perhaps saying these things simply scratches some demented itch. Maybe he thinks making liberals sweat a bit before receiving federal aid is “winning.” Who knows, but it’s gross.
“Well, because of you, I made it at 10:30 so that just shows you the power – that just shows when you have the number one rated show in television I better change things around. No, I am talking to [Chinese President Xi Jingping] at 10:30 right after this call.”3/26/2020 interview with Sean Hannity.
In this one, the President of the United States has a call scheduled for 9:00pm with the Chinese president. He then delays the call by an hour and a half to chat with a cable TV host. It is during this time that President Trump is seeing record high (for him) approval ratings. Sometimes I don’t understand people.
“I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’”3/26/2020 interview with Sean Hannity.
He doesn’t believe it. Faced with a once in a hundred years public health emergency, the president just doesn’t believe it. Unfortunately, he’s not just some stubborn dude from your high school. If he doesn’t believe it, people will die unnecessarily.
Wait a minute. The night before, President Trump didn’t believe we needed even 30,000 ventilators. Barely 12 hours later, 40,000 are “much needed.” Given Trump’s constant flubs like this, it’s impossible to believe General Motors was to blame for whatever miscommunication there may have been. The cherry on this sundae is the mysterious “Invoke ‘P’,” which has to be the vaguest presidential directive of all time. What a mess.
The COVID-19 mortality rate is not down, because reality does not depend on Donald Trump‘s opinion.
“Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it’s a hot spot. New York, New Jersey, maybe one or two other places, certain parts of Connecticut quarantined. I’m thinking about that right now…Restrict travel. Because they’re having problems down in Florida, a lot of New Yorkers going down there. We don’t want that.”3/28/2020 at the White House.
Something tells me Florida’s problem isn’t New Yorkers:
This is a Florida beach on Saturday, March 28, 2020. You can clearly see the line where Duval County (which has a “stay at home” order similar to Erie’s) ends and St. John’s County (which doesn’t) begins. Unless you’re going to tell me all those beech goers are New Yorkers on vacation, I’m thinking the problem is within Florida itself.
Well, that was confusing. What was the point of blurting a severely restrictive, multi-state quarantine he was merely “thinking about” before consulting his own task force, sending states scrambling to respond during a time when they have better things to do, only to walk it back hours later? This kind of ineffective communication only wastes time. We don’t have time to waste.
“When a hospital that’s getting 10,000 masks goes to 300,000 masks during the same period…I would like them to check on that, because I hear stories like that all the time. You know, we’re delivering millions and millions of different products and all we hear is, ‘Can we get some more?’ …So I think people should check that because there’s something going on. I don’t think it’s hoarding. I think it’s maybe worse than hoarding.”3/29/2020 at the White House.
He is suggesting New York’s hospital staff, whom are currently swamped and overrun and seeing more cases every day, are wasting or selling or doing something otherwise nefarious with their equipment. He is accusing them of fraud.
Rant alert: Let’s just all take a collective moment of silence for the brokenness of this person. There’s a deadly virus ripping silently through America and we’ve performed worse than most every other country in the world in detecting it. We’ve thrown the American economy at it to try to slow it down. People are scared, isolated, and out of work. Now is when we rely on our leaders for guidance and a calming influence. This leader, though, takes to the microphones making gobs of false and inflammatory statements, relishing the nation’s attention as a sign of his personal greatness. He takes the time to review television ratings. He compares them to The Bachelor and Monday Night Football, as if there is no difference between keeping literal death at arm’s length and entertainment. This is a sickness.
Side rant: there’s that reference to “reviving the daily White House briefing.” Remember those? Sarah Huckabee Sanders used to lie for an hour every day, but she left a year ago. Stephanie Grisham has been the press secretary for almost exactly nine months and has held exactly zero press conferences. A press secretary completely unaccountable to the press. Nice gig.
That’s our report for this week. Be sure to check out the links for more info on any particular topic and, as always, thanks for reading.