A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 169th Unpresidented Week As POTUS
Trump’s first major typo after winning the election was spelling Unprecedented incorrectly. He infamously tweeted “Unpresidented.” This typo is emblematic of his administration: An impulsive, frantically thrown together group of characters with virtually no oversight. After Trump was sworn in, I started writing the weekly “Unpresidented” column, analyzing every week of his presidency. This is week 169.
The United States is now at over 750,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 40,000 deaths. As we begin to flatten the curve in states like New York, some Republican states have begun prematurely lifting restrictions, like beaches in Florida. Meanwhile, the President of the United States is telling his supporters to protest states with stay-at-home orders. This is what happens when you elect a scatter-brained unstable egomaniac.
On Monday, President Trump was falsely claiming to have “total authority” to overrule governors and reopen the economy. The next day, he woke up accusing the governors of mutiny, only to surrender to the 10th Amendment later that evening, saying the pace of reopening is up to the governors. But by Friday, President Trump was tweeting out calls to “LIBERATE” Michigan, Virginia, and Minnesota – inciting dangerously foolish protests against Democratic governors with stay-at-home orders. With these actions, President Trump is stifling his own government’s ability to combat COVID-19.
First, we’ll discuss President Trump’s disjointed claims of total authority with no responsibility. After Trump’s Monday claim of “total authority,” Trump sent out a Tuesday tweet that metaphorically told governors to fall in and line and stop critiquing him, referencing a mutiny. He also seemed to be saying that they’ll have to bend to his demand to reopen the government or he may withhold medical equipment.
Later that same day, Trump said he was “authorizing” states to make their own plans to reopen the economy at their own pace. Of course, this was already the case because the 10th Amendment exists. Governors were already regionally making plans to reopen. This was just an attempt on Trump’s part to not look weak. By Friday, Trump simply released guidelines for how states could reopen. It was vague on specific benchmarks and Trump continues to pass the buck on increasing testing capacity and contact tracing systems that would be necessary to reopen the economy.
When it comes to scapegoating, President Trump continued his smears of the World Health Organization (WHO). On Tuesday, Trump officially announced that he has put WHO funding on hold and accused them of mismanaging and covering up the spread of COVID-19 – exactly what he himself is guilty of. Trump also accused the WHO of regurgitating Chinese talking points, when he himself did the same thing in January, praising their response “transparency.”
By the weekend, The Washington Post published a piece revealing how the WHO alerted the Trump Administration in real-time about the spread of coronavirus in late 2019. This blame game was inevitable. President Trump’s base thrives on whataboutism. Trump can’t defend his indefensible, failed COVID-19 response, so he’s now throwing them a “what about the WHO” talking point to hold on to.
Let’s touch on the briefings, shall we? Having watched almost all of Donald Trump’s appearances since he became President of the United States, his coronavirus briefing on Monday definitely made the top ten most unhinged moments of the Trump presidency. In that briefing, Trump once again demonstrated why his personality traits and lack of character makes him unmistakably unfit for the most powerful position on earth. His ignorance, instability, depravity, and inability to see past himself was on full display.Looking to make a difference? Consider signing one of these sponsored petitions:
President Trump used the briefing to play a campaign video that was widely panned as blatant propaganda with the intent of rewriting history. The video displayed selective clips of governors praising him then showed a dishonest timeline of his own response omitting February, where he spent the month downplaying coronavirus and holding numerous rallies. This was rewriting history. Trump also sought another distraction by threatening to adjourn Congress if they don’t push through his appointees.
When looking at that propaganda ad, remember this was Kayleigh McEnany’s first week as White House Press Secretary. She was previously on the 2020 Trump Campaign. The merge of the campaign and administration has always existed, but it will only get worse from here. This is just the beginning. Aside from his stunning unfitness for office, this week’s briefings signaled one resounding truth: Donald Trump is terrified of his re-election prospects.
President Trump’s approval ratings have taken a major hit in recent weeks. This is 100% why he’s been freaking out in his briefings and trying desperately to rewrite the history of his coronavirus response. So now, he’s trying to push for a preemptive reopening of the economy and egging on protests against COVID-19 shutdowns.
We heard more depraved “die for the economy” calls this week. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN) outright said that letting people die is the lesser of two evils when compared to keeping the economy closed. Dr. Oz went on Fox News to say that sending kids back to school was “appetizing” even if it increases mortality. Dr. Phil also went on Fox News to falsely equate coronavirus to other forms of deaths.
The economy will come back. Lives lost will never come back. Is it surprising the very people in the Republican Party who spent decades preaching about the sanctity of every single life when it comes to fetuses are now brazenly advocating we prematurely reopen the economy and kill more people? No. It’s not. Because they’ve never been pro-life. They’re frauds.
Now, we get to the irresponsible protests around the country. This week, there were COVID-19 protests in Michigan, Minnesota, Kentucky, Utah, North Carolina, Ohio, and more. Thousands of people are likely spreading coronavirus at these protests under the guise of fighting for liberty. If one of these people have COVID-19, chances are they all do now. In Michigan, there were chants of “lock her up!” targeting Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
For Whitmer’s part, she is clearly not trying to take away people’s liberty, she’s trying to save lives. It’s really something to hear these hypocritical Trump supporters claim Whitmer is being “close to totalitarian” or trying to “rule” when they support an authoritarian president who abused his power for years and just falsely declared that his authority is “total” just this week.
President Trump explicitly incited his supporters to participate in these protests by saying that some governors have gotten carried away with their social distancing enforcement, specifically citing Michigan and Virginia. This is false. They are following CDC guidelines from his own administration.
When asked about his “LIBERATE” tweets, President Trump said some states are “doing too much” then rambled on about the 2nd Amendment in Virginia. When asked about the protests, Trump said they’re expressing their views and called them “very responsible people.” This isn’t a surprise, as we learned more this week about the Trump Campaign and Betsy DeVos-connected groups organizing these protests.
Does Trump not realize how self-defeating it is to incite mass COVID-19 protests among his base when everyone else is staying inside? Within days, we’re going to see reports about how people attending these protests are coming down with symptoms. Trump is harming his own voters and his administration’s ability to combat the spread of COVID-19. The vast majority of Americans oppose these protests and fear reopening the economy too early.
Taking a more broad view, these “protests” are the inevitable result of the intellectual devolution of the Republican Party. They denied science and gaslit their base into an alternate reality. But objective reality always comes knocking. COVID-19 doesn’t care if you yell MAGA while it’s infecting you. It will infect you nonetheless. Unfortunately, this will have consequences far beyond his base, as it puts more health workers at risk and any Americans in the path of these protests.
Let’s dive into another Unpresidented week.
Trump Claims Total Authority, Melts Down After Airing Propaganda Video
Day 1,180: Monday, April 13
Monday’s top stories:
- CNN: Trump lashes out in grievance-filled briefing claiming ‘total’ authority as president
- Vox: Trump’s latest coronavirus press briefing featured one of his most memorable meltdowns yet
- NBC News: Fact check: Trump claims it’s his call on when to ‘reopen’ the country. He’s wrong.
- CNN: Fact check: A list of false claims from Trump’s bitter coronavirus briefing
- CNN: Governors on East and West coasts form pacts to decide when to reopen economies
- The New York Times: He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump’s Failure on the Virus
- The Washington Post: Bernie Sanders endorses Joe Biden: ‘We need you in the White House’
- Politico: Liberal challenger wins Wisconsin court election marred by coronavirus
- The Washington Post: Trump administration has many task forces — but still no plan for beating covid-19
- Business Insider: Trump retweeted a threat to fire Fauci after he said the US’s slow response to COVID-19 has cost lives
- The Daily Beast: Trump Spends Easter Asking Confidants: ‘What Do You Think of Fauci?’
- Rantt Media: Calls To Prematurely Reopen The Economy Are Dead Wrong
- NPR: Stock Trades After Coronavirus Briefing Complicate Loeffler’s Reelection Bid
- CNN: Virginia governor makes Election Day a holiday and expands early voting
- Rantt Media: What Is Hydroxychloroquine And Does It Really Work?
- Bloomberg: France Reports Heart Incidents Linked to Drug Promoted by Trump
- CNN: One of the largest pork processing facilities in the US is closing until further notice
- Newsy: France Extends Coronavirus Lockdown Until Mid-May
- The Guardian: Five months on, what scientists now know about the coronavirus
- Reuters: South Korea reports more recovered coronavirus patients testing positive again
Trump’s Blame Game Rhetoric Turns To Action
Day 1,181: Tuesday, April 14
Tuesday’s top stories:
- NBC News: Trump says he is halting funding for the World Health Organization
- The New York Times: Criticized for Pandemic Response, Trump Tries Shifting Blame to the W.H.O.
- The Daily Beast: Trump’s WHO Funding Freeze Is a ‘Crime Against Humanity,’ Medical Experts Say
- Business Insider: ‘The world needs WHO’: Bill Gates slammed Trump for halting the $400 million in US funding for the World Health Organisation in the middle of a pandemic
- The Hill: Trump WHO cuts meet with furious blowback
- Politico: Trump halt to WHO funding violates same law as Ukraine aid freeze, House Democrats say
- Newsweek: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo responds to Trump’s claim of absolute authority: “We don’t have a king”
- NBC News: Trump backs down after Cuomo, governors unite on coronavirus response
- NPR: States Unite On Reopening Economies: ‘Science — Not Politics — Will Guide’ Decisions
- BuzzFeed News: Barack Obama Endorsed Joe Biden For President And Praised Bernie Sanders’ Campaign
- AP Interview: Sanders says opposing Biden is ‘irresponsible’
- CNN: 27 migrant children in government custody test positive for coronavirus
- NBC News: As world set to reach 2 million coronavirus cases, leaders come under scrutiny
- Politico: Coronavirus testing hits dramatic slowdown in U.S.
- CNBC: Countries risk second wave of coronavirus infections by easing restrictions too early, says expert
- NBC News: Antibody tests need to be in place for 2nd coronavirus wave, CDC director says
- Rantt Media: Amid COVID-19, Trump Attempts To Rewrite History
- The Washington Post: Coming to your $1,200 relief check: Donald J. Trump’s name
- The Washington Post: More than 2,100 U.S. cities brace for budget shortfalls due to coronavirus, new survey finds, with many planning cuts and layoffs
- Mother Jones: Republicans are trying to kick thousands of voters off the rolls during a pandemic
- The Daily Beast: Fox News Anchor: ‘Conservatives’ Heads Would’ve Exploded’ if Obama Claimed ‘Total’ Authority
- ProPublica: How Panic Buying Has Put an Incredible Strain on Food Banks Even As the Need for Them Explodes
Trump’s Threat To Adjourn Congress
Day 1,182: Wednesday, April 15
Wednesday’s top stories:
- NBC News: Trump threatens to adjourn Congress to make recess appointments
- Rantt Media: What Are The Powers Of The President?
- The Daily Beast: Trump’s WHO Funding Freeze Is a ‘Crime Against Humanity,’ Medical Experts Say
- The New York Times: Elizabeth Warren Endorses Joe Biden: ‘When You Disagree, He’ll Listen’
- NBC News: ‘Lock her up!’: Anti-Whitmer coronavirus lockdown protestors swarm Michigan Capitol
- USA TODAY: Stimulus program for small business nearly depleted as Congress still negotiating a deal
- Politico: White House snubs Azar, installs Trump loyalist Michael Caputo as HHS spokesperson
- Business Insider: House Democrats introduce plan to pay Americans $2,000 a month until economy recovers from COVID-19
- Rantt Media: COVID-19’s Bigotry Epicenters: Asian And Jewish Americans
- CNN: Fact check: Trump denies saying another thing he said and makes more false claims at coronavirus briefing
- The Daily Beast: Barr Pressed Australia for Help on Mueller Review as DOJ Worked to Free Its Hostages
- ProPublica: There’s Been a Spike in People Dying at Home in Several Cities. That Suggests Coronavirus Deaths Are Higher Than Reported.
- CNN: Prominent scientists have bad news for the White House about coronavirus antibody tests
- CNN: GOP congressman says letting more Americans die of coronavirus is lesser of two evils compared to economy tanking
- The Hill: Kelly expands lead over McSally in Arizona
- AP: China didn’t warn public of likely pandemic for 6 key days
- The Guardian: Jacinda Ardern and ministers take pay cut in solidarity with those hit by Covid-19
Calls To Re-Open The Economy Prematurely Increase
Day 1,183: Thursday, April 16
Thursday’s top stories:
- CNN: Trump tells govs ‘you are going to call your own shots’ and distributes new guidelines
- The New York Times: Testing Falls Woefully Short as Trump Seeks an End to Stay-at-Home Orders
- CNN: 7 Midwestern governors announce their states will coordinate on reopening
- Politico: Hot spots erupt in farm belt states where governors insist lockdowns aren’t needed
- NPR: ‘We Alerted The World’ To Coronavirus On Jan. 5, WHO Says In Response To U.S.
- CNBC: Dow futures rally 700 points after report says Gilead drug showing effectiveness against coronavirus
- CNN: Roger Stone denied new trial, gag order lifted
- NBC News: Romney the only GOP senator not invited to join Trump’s coronavirus congressional group
- Rolling Stone: While Trump Advised Against Wearing Masks, White House Staff Were Provided with Thousands
- Politico: Sen. Joe Manchin will back Biden for president
- NBC News: Trump appears to equate Chinatown with China
- Rantt Media: Quarantined Radicals: Right-Wing Extremism In The Age Of COVID-19
- Rantt Media: What Does The Education Secretary Do? (Duties And Powers)
- CNN: France’s president says US and China back a world truce — and he thinks Putin will ‘definitely agree’
- CNN: Millions of Americans could lose stimulus payments to debt collectors
- Politico: ‘Yes’: Warren says she would accept Biden’s VP nod
- The Daily Beast: California Governor Announces $125M in Aid for Gig Workers, Undocumented Immigrants
- Bloomberg: Trump Fundraising Machine Slowed as Virus Spread, Filings Show
- HuffPost: Trump Supporters Protest Shutdowns And People Say It Looks Like A Zombie Movie
- CNBC: Some countries in the Middle East are using artificial intelligence to fight the coronavirus pandemic
- CNN: In Brazil, a 99-year-old war veteran has defeated the coronavirus
Trump Incites COVID-19 Protests
Day 1,184: Friday, April 17
This photo, from an Ohio protest demanding opening the economy, is everything (taken by Joshua A. Bickel for The Columbus Dispatch) pic.twitter.com/WlSHauMvjM
— Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp) April 15, 2020
Let’s be clear, he’s urging people to engage in behavior that will dramatically increase their odds of contracting the virus & dying. This conduct is plainly a “grossly negligent deviation from his duty of care” to the American people. That would be Negligent Homicide element 1. pic.twitter.com/QNgWUyydHh
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) April 17, 2020
Friday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: Perspective | Trump’s ‘LIBERATE MICHIGAN!’ tweets incite insurrection. That’s illegal.
- The Daily Beast: U.S. Virus Deaths Hit Horrifying One-Day Record: 4,591
- Reuters: Global coronavirus death toll hits 150,000: Reuters tally
- CNN: Wuhan officials have revised the city’s coronavirus death toll up by 50%
- Los Angeles Times: Texas and Florida easing some coronavirus restrictions as Trump pushes for reopening
- CNN: Heartland hotspots: A sudden rise in coronavirus cases is hitting rural states without stay-at-home orders
- MSNBC: Cuomo questions Trump’s integrity, blasts him for doing ‘bare minimum’ as president
- CNN: Wuhan officials have revised the city’s coronavirus death toll up by 50%
- Bloomberg: As $2 Trillion Relief Flows Almost Nobody Is Watching for Abuse
- CBS News: Trump administration rolls back Obama-era EPA rule that curbed toxic pollutants
- CNN: Michael Cohen will be released from prison due to pandemic
- CNN: Texas judge rules all registered voters can vote by mail if they fear catching coronavirus
- ABC News: President Trump’s ‘opening the country’ council features several political donors and supporters
- Mother Jones: A DeVos-linked group helped promote the right-wing “Operation Gridlock” tantrum in Michigan.
- NPR: Thousands Of Cars Line Up At One Texas Food Bank As Job Losses Hit Hard
- Business Insider: The Trump administration paid a bankrupt company with zero employees $55 million for N95 masks, which it’s never manufactured
- Politico: Matt Gaetz rents office space from longtime friend and donor — at taxpayer expense
- CNN: Biden says he’s starting to put together a White House transition team
- HuffPost: Dr. Fauci Shuts Down Laura Ingraham’s ‘Misleading’ Coronavirus Claim
- BBC: Space crew return to very different Earth
- NBC News: Stimulus cash is being sent to dead people. Their loved ones can probably keep it.
- CNN: Michelle Obama is hosting a weekly story time for kids during the pandemic
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