A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 165th 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 165.
NBC reporter Peter Alexander: “What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now, who are scared?”
President Donald Trump: “I say that you’re a terrible reporter, that’s what I say… I think that’s a very nasty question.”
President Trump’s attacks on Peter Alexander were a microcosm of his egomaniacal presidency. Before Alexander asked his question, he highlighted the number of cases and deaths in the United States. Trump is so thin-skinned and insecure that he sees any facts he doesn’t like to hear as a personal attack. It’s why he doesn’t read his presidential daily briefings. It’s why he didn’t move fast enough to get ahead of the coronavirus. It’s all about him. He sees coronavirus as a political inconvenience not a threat to real lives. This week, there were multiple developments that proved just how dangerous his character flaws are.
The United States could’ve been months ahead of this. We could’ve prepared testing kits, stocked up on respirators, ventilators, and put processes in place to limit the spread once the first case was detected here. Unfortunately, we didn’t. We were unprepared, and now we have over 45,000 COVID-19 cases in the United States and over 500 deaths. All because Donald denied reality.
The Washington Post reported that Trump, who now says he always thought this would be a pandemic even though he called it a hoax in February, was told about coronavirus on January 18th by HHS Secretary Azar. Rather than take the threat seriously, Trump interjected to talk about vaping. President Trump then went on to downplay the threat to prop up the stock market, and the CDC rejected WHO tests, setting us back, as we’ve covered here for weeks.
Meanwhile, reports revealed that several senators sold stock after learning of the dangers of coronavirus in a January briefing, the most damning were Republican Senators Burr and Loeffler. They learned how bad the coronavirus outbreak was going to be and then used that info to trade stocks and avoid the incoming market crash, all while Trump downplayed the threat.
After selling other stock that would later drop in value due to the coronavirus pandemic, Loeffler bought teleworking stock knowing we could likely be in quarantine, and people would work from home. Loeffler profited from the coronavirus with insider info. This has the makings of a major insider trading scandal.
We also learned from a Reuters report that in July, the Trump Administration eliminated the CDC role responsible for detecting disease outbreaks in China. If this position was still active, we likely would’ve been aware of COVID-19 earlier, Reuters reported.
Trump was asked about the Reuters report and The Washington Post report in his press briefings and launched into an attack on the media broadly and called the reports inaccurate without addressing any of the central allegations. That means they’re true.
In perhaps the most disgusting question I think I’ve heard in the White House Press Briefing Room, an OANN propagandist accused the mainstream media of teaming up with communist propaganda, Islamic radicals, and cartels (lies). Trump agreed. Trump also claimed coronavirus drugs had been approved by the FDA, only to be contradicted directly by the FDA.
There was also another telling moment from these briefings. When Trump was read quotes of health workers on the frontline talking about shortages, rather than offer words of reassurance and say they’re working to rectify this, he blamed Obama.
When it comes to his messaging strategy, it appears Trump has found his gaslighting footing on coronavirus. Trump called this a foreign virus during his Oval Office address and now calls it the “Chinese virus,” and keeps talking about limiting border crossings. It’s a typical Trumpian ploy to fit this pandemic into his nationalist agenda.
As anticipated, this is having discriminatory effects throughout the country. Many people of Asian descent have reported an increase in racist attacks. A man walked up to up to CNN correspondent Kyung Lah hurling a racial slur. She said: “That is something that I have not experienced in a very, very long time in this country.” This anti-Asian bigotry is on Trump. Given how we’ve seen Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric trickle down to inspire white nationalist violence, I think we need to be concerned about the safety of Asians in America. Trump needs to stop calling it the Chinese virus.
President Trump’s week culminated in a rambling press conference on Sunday that he made all about himself. Trump talked about how he doesn’t take his six-figure presidential salary when he’s spent his entire presidency funneling millions of taxpayer dollars into his properties. Trump also bragged about when he announced his bid for the presidency and talked about how much money it cost him to run.
But there were worse developments that embodied Trump’s poor character. Showcasing his lack of patience and obsession with the economy and stock market, President Trump is now sending tweets and retweeting others who are calling for people to go back to work next Monday. If Trump calls for the end of self-isolation and social distancing too soon, then this will lead to further spread and significantly more deaths.
We’re walking into a consequential week as Democrats try and prevent Republicans from turning the new coronavirus relief package into a corporate-only bailout, so let’s take a look back at the Unpresidented week we just left behind.
Abdication Of Leadership
Day 1,152: Monday, March 16
Monday’s top stories:
- Rantt Media: What Is Coronavirus: Cases, Symptoms, And How To Avoid It
- CNN: Infected people without symptoms might be driving the spread of coronavirus more than we realized
- Business Insider: ‘Try getting it yourselves’: Trump told governors they’re responsible for getting their own medical equipment to treat coronavirus patients
- MarketWatch: Romney, other lawmakers call for sending $1,000 checks to Americans as part of coronavirus response
- NBC News: Lone GOP congressman delays House coronavirus relief bill from moving to Senate
- The New York Times: Justice Dept. Moves to Drop Charges Against Russian Firms Filed by Mueller
- Axios: States order bars and restaurants to close due to coronavirus
- NBC News: New York City to close schools; bars, restaurants around U.S. ordered closed over coronavirus
- The Washington Post: Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”
- The New York Times: 2020 Democratic Primary Election: Coronavirus Postponements and Cancellations
- NBC News: Biden commits to picking woman as VP; Sanders strongly considering the same
- CNBC: Canada closing borders to noncitizens because of coronavirus, U.S. citizens exempt from ban ‘for the moment’
- CNBC: Coronavirus lockdown: France orders people to stay at home for 15 days due to pandemic
- The New York Times: Russia’s Highest Court Opens Way for Putin to Rule Until 2036
- The Washington Post: CDC urges halting gatherings of 50 people or more
- Business Insider: ‘Not for sale’: Germany has reacted furiously to Trump’s attempts to poach German scientists working on a coronavirus vaccine
- CNN: Oklahoma governor who faced backlash over ‘packed’ restaurant tweet now declares state of emergency
- CNN: Trump claims coronavirus is under control — contradicting reality and his own top expert
- Politico: Trump finds his MAGA movement fracturing over coronavirus
Biden Wins Florida
Day 1,153: Tuesday, March 17
Tuesday’s top stories:
- ABC News Live Updates: Biden projected to win the Florida Democratic primary
- AP: Biden wins Washington primary, capturing 5 out of 6 states
- TheHill: Voters to head to primary polls despite coronavirus pandemic
- Yahoo News: Bernie Sanders staffers say it’s ‘time for some hard decisions,’ after another trio of losses
- The Guardian: Trump sparks anger by calling coronavirus the ‘Chinese virus’
- CNN: Coronavirus now in all 50 states as death toll reaches 100
- The Washington Post: Americans are very likely to get $1,000 (or more) checks. Here’s what you need to know.
- CNN: Live updates: Coronavirus cases pass 182,000 as countries go into lockdown
- TheHill: McConnell says Senate will pass House coronavirus bill without changes
- The New York Times: U.S. Virus Plan Anticipates 18-Month Pandemic and Widespread Shortages
- Vox: Scientists warn we may need to live with social distancing for a year or more
- Mother Jones: Jared Kushner once controlled a firm now running a coronavirus testing website
- ProPublica: Inside the Pro-Trump Facebook Group Where First Responders Call Coronavirus a Hoax
- The New York Times: China Announces That It Will Expel American Journalists
- NBC News: Former Rep. Duncan Hunter sentenced to 11 months in prison
- The Washington Post: Trump administration seeks roughly $850 billion in emergency stimulus to confront coronavirus economic fallout
- The Daily Beast: Kushner Repeatedly Advised Trump the Media Was Exaggerating Coronavirus Threat, Says Report
- NPR: Poll: Americans Don’t Trust What They’re Hearing From Trump On Coronavirus
- ProPublica: Coronavirus Panic Buying Puts Grocery Workers and Shoppers at Risk of Infection
- BuzzFeed: The UK Only Realised “In The Last Few Days” That Its Coronavirus Strategy Would “Likely Result In Hundreds of Thousands of Deaths”
- CNBC: Macron warns ‘we are at war’ as France unveils $50 billion in coronavirus measures
First Coronavirus Aid Signed As Grim Milestone Reached
Day 1,154: Wednesday, March 18
Wednesday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: Live updates: First member of U.S. Congress tests positive for coronavirus; Senate passes bill, Trump signs into law, to ensure paid leave for many Americans
- CNBC: Worldwide coronavirus cases top 200,000, doubling in two weeks
- NPR: Poll: Nearly 1 In 5 Households Have Lost Work Because Of Pandemic
- TheHill: CDC analysis shows coronavirus poses serious risk for younger people
- Esquire: Here Are the 8 Senators Who Voted Against the Coronavirus Relief Package on Wednesday
- CNN: Some schools closed for coronavirus in US are not going back for the rest of the academic year
- Vox: Trump spent weeks downplaying the coronavirus. He’s now pretending that never happened.
- Rantt Media: Who Is Still Hiring During The Coronavirus Pandemic?
- Popular Science: What the 1918 flu pandemic can teach us about COVID-19, in four charts
- Politico: Republicans suddenly find a bailout they can back
- NBC News: Senate coronavirus vote delayed after Rand Paul pushes doomed amendment
- NBC News: Florida governor refuses to shut down beaches amid spread of coronavirus
- Vox: Marie Newman unseats one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in Illinois’s 3rd District
- Business Insider: Facebook is wrongly blocking news articles about the coronavirus pandemic
- The Guardian: Top UK Covid-19 expert self-isolates after developing symptoms
- South China Morning Post: Global race for virus vaccine heats up as China seeks volunteers for trial
- Axios: Bernie Sanders suspends his 2020 campaign Facebook ads
- PBS NewsHour: USDA fights to purge food stamps recipients despite pandemic
- Axios: Bernie Sanders suspends his 2020 campaign Facebook ads
Coronavirus Insider Trading
Day 1,155: Thursday, March 19
Thursday’s top stories:
- ProPublica: Senator Dumped Up to $1.7 Million of Stock After Reassuring Public About Coronavirus Preparedness
- The Daily Beast: Sen. Kelly Loeffler Dumped Millions in Stock After Coronavirus Briefing
- CNN: The number of US coronavirus cases has topped 13,000 as testing becomes more available
- CNN: Italy surpasses China in number of coronavirus deaths
- The New York Times: Coronavirus Live Updates: As Virus Spreads Swiftly Worldwide, China Reports Zero New Infections
- NBC News: Two members of House test positive for COVID-19
- Vox: Trump’s latest coronavirus press briefing was a disastrous failure in leadership
- CNBC: Senate Democrats propose canceling $10,000 in student debt for all borrowers amid coronavirus
- Reuters: Exclusive: Trump cancels G7 at Camp David over coronavirus, to hold video-conference instead
- AP: Celebrities get virus tests, raising concerns of inequality
- The Daily Beast: OAN Reporter Asks Incredibly Bonkers Softball Question at Trump Coronavirus Presser
- CNN: Trump says HUD is suspending foreclosures and evictions
- CNN: New coronavirus cases in US jails heighten concerns about an unprepared system
- Politico: State Department warns Americans: Don’t travel abroad, come home if overseas
- Axios: Tulsi Gabbard suspends presidential campaign, endorses Biden
- Politico: Why Texas is so far behind other states on virus response
- HuffPost: Maryland GOP Governor: ‘No Question’ Donald Trump Made A Mistake With Coronavirus Response
- The Independent: Coronavirus: EU Commission’s Michel Barnier says ‘we’re all in this together’ after testing positive
- The Atlantic: Exclusive: Amazon Confirms First Known Coronavirus Case in an American Warehouse
Trump Knew And Didn’t Act
Day 1,156: Friday, March 20
Friday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: U.S. intelligence reports from January and February warned about a likely pandemic
- CNBC: Coronavirus live updates: Member of Vice President Pence’s office tests positive, US cases now total more than 17,000
- NBC News: Trump, promoting unproven drug treatments, insults NBC reporter at coronavirus briefing
- The Week: FDA clarifies that no drugs are approved to treat COVID-19 after Trump names 2 contenders
- CNBC: WHO officials warn health systems are ‘collapsing’ under coronavirus: ‘This isn’t just a bad flu season’
- BuzzFeed News: All Californians, Nearly 40 Million People, Have Been Ordered To Stay Home To Stop The Spread Of The Coronavirus
- Bloomberg: Trump Told Governors to Buy Own Virus Supplies, Then Outbid Them
- CNBC: IRS extends tax filing deadline to July 15 as coronavirus spreads, Mnuchin says
- CNN: Italy calls in military to enforce lockdown as 627 people die in 24 hours
- CNN: UK government will pay 80% of wages as it closes pubs to fight coronavirus
- Business Insider: Dr. Anthony Fauci did a facepalm after Trump mentioned the ‘Deep State Department’ in a wild coronavirus briefing
- NBC News: Biden trashes Trump over coronavirus response: ‘Step up and do your job, Mr. President’
- Rantt Media: Trump vs Biden: What Are Their Stances On Healthcare?
- NBC News: No new domestic cases in China for second day in row
- Sky News: Coronavirus: COVID-19 cases in Spain and Germany rise by nearly 3,000 overnight
- ABC News: US evacuating Americans from Morocco, as bans to block virus strand thousands abroad
- CNBC: The Dow is set to open 400 points higher, a second day of gains; tech shares jump
- BuzzFeed News: More Costco Employees Have Tested Positive For The Coronavirus Days After A Coworker Died From The Disease
- ABC News: Coronavirus upends nation, as three in four Americans’ lives changed by pandemic: POLL
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