A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 173rd Unpresidented Week As POTUS
Moments like these require unrelenting truthtelling. We take pride in being reader-funded. If you like our work, support our journalism.
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 173.
This was a week of congressional hearings that highlighted two unfortunate truths: President Trump botched his response to the first wave of COVID-19 and is now taking actions that could make a deadly second wave inevitable. While this was ongoing, Trump leaned into his favorite defense mechanism of undermining the rule of law, calling to jail his political targets, and spreading lies about his predecessor President Barack Obama.
On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci and other Trump administration health officials testified before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. As I wrote in The Independent, the format of the Senate hearing itself wordlessly made the case against prematurely reopening workplaces. Chairman Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and 3 of the witnesses including Fauci, CDC Director Robert Redfield, and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, participated via video conference because they were exposed to people who have coronavirus in their own workplace.
While that was certainly powerful enough, Dr. Fauci made the case against prematurely reopening states by contradicting several of President Trump’s claims. Dr. Fauci warned of “needless suffering and death” if states open up without having had 14 days of declining cases and a suitable testing and contact tracing system. Dr. Fuaci also claimed that the idea of the US having a vaccine by the fall is a “bridge too far.”
On Thursday, former head of BARDA Dr. Rick Bright testified before the House. While Dr. Rick Bright’s whistleblower complaint was focused on the Trump Admin’s ignored warnings, failure to prepare, cronyism, and retaliation he faced his opening statement was forward-looking. Dr. Bright warned that “2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history” if we don’t prepare.
Throughout the Q&A portion of the hearing, Dr. Bright further proved Trump officials knew, they lied, and they failed to act against coronavirus. This was like if President Trump was told about dozens of 9/11s being planned in the US and—as the attacks began to occur—he called fears a Democratic “hoax.”
President Trump criticized both Dr. Fauci and Dr. Bright for their honest testimonies, but most of the week, Trump was focused on another topic. If you watched Fox News or President Trump’s Twitter feed last week, you would’ve entered an alternate reality in which coronavirus doesn’t exist and Obama is the greatest existential threat facing humanity right now.Looking to make a difference? Consider signing one of these sponsored petitions:
The Obamagate conspiracy theory is just another Obama conspiracy theory from the guy who said Obama was born in Kenya. President Trump has made over 18,000 false or misleading claims as POTUS according to The Washington Post. Trump has lied about Hillary Clinton, voter fraud, immigration, Joe Biden, the list goes on. Trump was a con man as a “businessman” and is a con man as president. I won’t spend any time debunking “Obamagate” since we’ve already done here at Rantt Media, but I will discuss why he’s talking about it.
Public polling, as well as internal polling, indicates President Trump’s re-election prospects are struggling hard and his base is slipping. That’s why Trump and his allies are shifting focus to falsely accusing Obama of corruption. Trump can’t run on the economy or successfully combatting coronavirus, so he’s trying to manufacture a new “lock him up” rallying call for his base and to throw a wrench in the “Trump’s botched coronavirus response” news cycle.
The problem with Trump’s Obamagate efforts to distract his base from coronavirus is that as rural areas see more outbreaks in the coming weeks, you can’t distract people from their own family and friends getting sick.
In other, less authoritarian, efforts to present a new message, President Trump launched a new vaccine initiative called Operation Warp Speed. While this is a good move, I can’t help but think about who would’ve been excellent to have on this operation: Dr. Bright, the vaccine expert and head of BARDA who was ousted for raising alarms in HHS about the Trump administration’s coronavirus response.
President Trump also announced the new “Super Duper Missile” (I’m not kidding) and a new Space Force flag that looks exactly like the Star Trek’s Starfleet logo. Not spending another minute of your reading time on that lol.
All of President Trump’s moves now do nothing to erase the fact he failed combat coronavirus domestically between January to mid-March, ignored warnings, downplayed it, failed to ramp up testing, and failed to stockpile medical equipment—which resulted in over 90,000 deaths so far.
In his commencement speech to graduates over the weekend, President Obama very subtly blasted Trump’s failed response, but first, he gave students a hopeful message and excellent advice. Obama began his remarks for the LeBron James-created “Graduate Together” event by reminding Americans what full sentences from a president sounds like. That fact that Obama’s praise of values like honesty, generosity, and respect for others felt like an attack on Trump speaks volumes about Trump’s complete and utter lack of character.
Obama destroyed the entire Trump Administration without even mentioning his name:
“All those adults that you used to think were in charge and knew what they were doing? It turns out that they don’t have all the answers… A lot of them aren’t even asking the right questions. So, if the world’s going to get better, it’s going to be up to you.”
He’s right. It’s up to us.
Let’s dive into yet another Unpresidented week.
Day 1,208: Monday, May 11
Monday’s top stories:
- ABC News: Nearly 2K former DOJ officials call for AG Barr to resign over Flynn case
- ABC News: Any Obama officials involved in Flynn ‘unmasking’ declassified: Source
- NBC News: Coronavirus live updates: U.S. death toll tops 80,000
- CNN: Trump abruptly ends press conference after contentious exchange with reporters
- The New York Times: White House Races to Contain Virus in Its Ranks: ‘It Is Scary to Go to Work’
- NBC News: Fauci, CDC chief, FDA head all forced to quarantine after exposure to COVID-19
- CNN: Sen. Lamar Alexander to self-quarantine after staffer tests positive for coronavirus
- The Wall Street Journal: White House Directs Officials to Wear Masks at All Times Inside the West Wing
- The New York Times: As States Rush to Reopen, Scientists Fear a Coronavirus Comeback
- NBC News: Georgia attorney general asks Justice Department to review Ahmaud Arbery case
- ABC News: President Trump to claim ‘absolute immunity’ from subpoenas in Supreme Court appeal
- The Washington Post: Republicans grow nervous about losing the Senate amid worries over Trump’s handling of the pandemic
- Vanity Fair: “Trump’s Feeling Is, ‘Why Are We Losing Everywhere?’”: With Advisers Feuding and Numbers Plummeting, Trump Eyes Campaign Shake-up
- Rantt Media: Lincoln Project Ad Censorship Highlights Facebook Double Standard
- CNN: Twitter says it will label misleading coronavirus tweets — even if they’re from Trump
- Reuters: Hong Kong police arrest more than 200 as pro-democracy protests return
- BBC News: Wuhan in first virus cluster since end of lockdown
- Reuters: South Korea scrambles to contain nightclub coronavirus outbreak
- Reuters: Russia overtakes Italy and Britain after record rise in coronavirus cases
The Fauci Hearing
Day 1,209: Tuesday, May 12
Tuesday’s top stories:
- The Independent: Dr Fauci told the real story of what will happen when states reopen in a coronavirus Senate hearing today
- NBC News: Supreme Court appears headed for a split decision on Trump taxes, financial records
- The Washington Post: U.S. judge puts on hold Justice Dept. move to dismiss Michael Flynn’s guilty plea to hear outside groups’ challenges
- NPR: Despite Early Warnings, U.S. Took Months To Expand Swab Production For COVID-19 Test
- Vox: Democrats’ $3 trillion opening bid for the next stimulus package, explained
- CNN: Fact check: McConnell claims Obama didn’t leave Trump a pandemic ‘game plan.’ Obama left a 69-page playbook
- CNN: Fact check: Trump falsely claims, again, that anybody who wants a test can get one
- CNBC: Unreleased White House report shows coronavirus rates spiking in heartland communities
- CNN: CNN Poll: Negative ratings for government handling of coronavirus persist
- NPR: U.S. Officials: Beware Of China And Others Trying To Steal COVID-19 Research
- Axios: Russia reports most coronavirus cases outside the U.S.
- The Guardian: UK coronavirus death toll passes 40,000, official figures say
- CNBC: As countries consider lifting lockdowns, some in Asia are experiencing a resurgence in coronavirus cases
- Business Insider: Germany’s daily coronavirus case count has nearly tripled as regions consider an ’emergency brake’ to reinstate harsher lockdowns
- BuzzFeed News: Wuhan Plans To Test All 11 Million Residents After Six New Coronavirus Cases Were Reported
- Sky News: Coronavirus: South Korea scrambles to contain outbreak from nightclub cluster linked to one man
- Bloomberg: Sweden Revises Covid Strategy After Deaths of Elderly Spiral
- BBC News: ‘Oldest woman in Spain’ beats coronavirus at 113
Trump Ramps Up False Attacks On Obama
Day 1,210: Wednesday, May 13
Wednesday’s top stories:
- Rantt Media: Debunking “Obamagate,” Trump’s Latest Conspiracy Theory
- The Washington Post: Judge Sullivan asks retired judge to oppose Justice Dept. effort to drop Michael Flynn case, examine if ex-Trump adviser committed perjury
- NBC News: ‘DOA’: That’s what Trump says about House Democrats’ coronavirus relief package
- Bloomberg: Path to Reopening Has U.S. States Confronting Regional Divides
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down Wisconsin’s stay-at-home order that closed businesses to limit spread of coronavirus
- MarketWatch: Dow ends 500 points lower after Fed’s Powell says pandemic’s hit to economy is worst since World War II
- The Daily Beast: Team Trump Pushes CDC to Dial Down Its Death Counts
- AP: CDC docs stress plans for more virus flareups
- USA TODAY: Republicans claim California seat vacated by Rep. Katie Hill
- The Daily Beast: Manafort Walks. His Fellow Inmate Is Facing 12 More Years.
- The Times: After Covid-19, how we can prepare for a new pandemic
- The Daily Beast: Trump Administration Cancels $50 Million Mask Contract With Company That Doesn’t Make Masks
- Los Angeles Times: CSU plans to cancel most in-person classes and go online this fall, chancellor says
- CNN: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to co-chair Biden campaign climate task force
- CNN: Rep. Maxine Waters says her sister died from coronavirus
- Vox: Germany and South Korea excelled at Covid-19 containment. It still came back.
- The Washington Post: Brutal attack on mothers and newborns prompts Afghanistan to resume offensive operations against Taliban
- South China Morning Post: ‘The dumb team’: US-China trade deal attacks grow as virus fallout deepens
Dr. Rick Bright Speaks Truth To Power
Day 1,211: Thursday, May 14
Thursday’s top stories:
- The Independent: The coronavirus whistleblower outlined Trump’s failings today
- NBC News: FBI seizes Sen. Richard Burr’s cellphone in probe over stock sales
- The Washington Post: Sen. Richard Burr stepping aside as Intelligence Committee chair amid FBI investigation of senators’ stock sales
- Politico: Graham shoots down Trump’s call for Obama testimony on Russia probe origins
- CNN: CDC guidelines shelved by Trump administration spell out far stricter road map to reopening
- Politico: CDC releases scaled-back guidance on reopening after White House blocked earlier release
- The Washington Post: Postal Service to review package delivery fees as Trump influence grows
- Rantt Media: How The GOP Plans To Use China To Bolster Their Reelection Chances
- Business Insider: Mitch McConnell is pushing the Senate to pass a measure that would let the FBI collect Americans’ web-browsing history without a warrant
- The Daily Beast: Trump Feared Testing Too Many People for Virus Would Spook Stock Markets, Says Report
- HuffPost: Donald Trump Refuses To Wear Mask At Mask Supplier, Suggests Testing Is ‘Overrated’
- Business Insider: Trump criticizes Fauci for urging caution in reopening schools and suggests the expert exaggerated the risk the coronavirus poses to children
- The Washington Post: Trump’s company has received at least $970,000 from U.S. taxpayers for room rentals
- NBC News: Areas with no social distancing see 35 times the amount of coronavirus spread, study finds
- Law & Crime: Roger Stone Judge Orders White House to Turn Over Ukraine Emails Being Withheld from the Public
- NBC News: Virologist hospitalized with coronavirus believes he got it through his eyes
- Axios: Russia’s coronavirus epidemic brings Vladimir Putin down to size
- The Guardian: The coronavirus slayer! How Kerala’s rock star health minister helped save it from Covid-19
- Sky News: Coronavirus: New 100% accurate COVID-19 antibody test approved for use in UK
- Reuters: Japan says drugmaker Gilead’s COVID-19 treatment remdesivir now in use in hospitals
Reopenings Risk Calamity
Day 1,212: Friday, May 15
Friday’s top stories:
- Rantt Media: Right-Wing Push For Premature Reopenings Will Prolong Pandemic
- CNN: House approves historic rules change to allow remote voting during Covid-19 pandemic
- The Washington Post: Trump promises hundreds of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses by January, but scientists doubt it
- NBC News: Coronavirus live updates: Global coronavirus deaths top 300,000
- TheHill: Hopes fade for coronavirus relief deal before June (McConnell opposes House Bill)
- Bloomberg: Trump Unveils Space Force Flag and ‘Super-Duper Missile’ Plan
- NBC News: Burr wants last volume of Senate Trump Russia report declassified
- The New York Times: As Virus Ravages Budgets, States Cut and Borrow for Balance
- NPR: FDA Cautions About Accuracy Of Widely Used Abbott Coronavirus Test
- The Daily Beast: Loeffler Turns Over Coronavirus Stock Sale Docs to Feds
- Newsweek: Michigan coronavirus cases jump by over 1,000 as armed anti-lockdown protesters shut down Capitol
- NBC News: McConnell admits he was wrong to say Obama didn’t leave Trump a pandemic ‘game plan’
- CNBC: Mike Bloomberg plots spending blitz to support Joe Biden’s run for president
- HuffPost: Brazil’s Health Minister Quits After Refusing Bolsonaro’s Chloroquine Push
- CNN: Top health officials vanish from national TV interviews as White House refocuses messaging
- Politico: ‘Manipulative, deceitful, user’: Tara Reade left a trail of aggrieved acquaintances
- CNN: 6.4-magnitude quake rattles Nevada
- NBC News: Africa faces nearly a quarter of a billion cases, WHO model predicts
- Quartz: While the world wasn’t looking, Beijing re-wrote the rules in Hong Kong at startling speed