In a muddled, dishonest, rambling news conference from the White House press briefing room President Donald Trump for over an hour talked to reporters Wednesday evening about coronavirus, in an attempt to stave off three days of market near-collapse. He lied. He twisted the truth. He displayed little grasp of basic facts. He didn’t let the experts run the show. . .
The markets on Thursday rewarded his efforts with the DOW posting the largest single day loss in history. . .
Trump returned after two days of about 1000 point drops in the DOW each day. He hastily called a press conference for Wednesday at 6 PM. Just after it began at 6:30 PM it became clear there was not going to be a coronavirus czar, there was no real plan, other than to put in charge Vice President Mike Pence. Even a Fox News pundit eschewed that decision, noting Pence doesn’t believe in science, is not a doctor, and has a horrific record when it comes to public health – he oversaw an explosive HIV outbreak during which he decided to pray for guidance rather than listen to what experts told him he had to do.
And now, as the markets tumble, as Trump lies about the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. and pretends that there might not be “community spread” – the first case of which the CDC literally announced just after Trump’s news conference, it’s become even more clear Trump and his administration aren’t interested in protecting the American public, but rather, they are interesting in appearing to be doing “things” that might make it appear they are protecting the American public – when their goal is to protect the markets.
That’s why Vice President Pence’s first act as head of the Coronavirus Task Force was to add top and Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to the Task Force, along with the Surgeon General (finally).
Absent from the list: any public health experts, any crisis experts, anyone not from the Trump administration, the CDC, or the NIH. In other words, there is no one on the Trump Coronavirus Task Force the Trump administration cannot control.
That’s dangerous. It’s dangerous because the administration has already told the federal government all communication, to reporters and others, is to go through Vice President Pence, and it’s dangerous because there is no one who will tell Trump or Pence anything they don’t want to hear.
How is putting a bunch of unqualified sycophants in charge of a major public health crisis working out so far? Not too good!
For three plus years now, a lot of rich and semi-rich white and semi-white people were pretty much A-OK with an incompetent demented authoritarian clown being at the head of the government, because they were making money, and no “real” crisis had hit the country (at least if you were semi-rich/semi-white).
Well now they’re losing money, and they’re starting to get afraid that all this incompetence might actually make them or somebody they care about sick.
It’s a whole new ballgame.