A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 164th 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 164.
“I don’t take responsibility at all.” – President Donald Trump
That quote defines Donald Trump’s presidency. For real leaders, the buck stops with them. For President Trump, it stops with anybody but him.
That was President Trump’s response to a question about whether he takes responsibility for lagging testing in response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has now been characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. But of course, it is his fault.
At the time of this writing, there are over 170,000 cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, in at least 155 countries/regions. There are now over 3,600 confirmed cases within the United States, which is only because of the lack of testing. US cases are accelerating at a faster rate than Italy did at this point in their epidemic, and we all know where their situation is now. This hasn’t stopped President Trump from deflecting blame away from his administration’s failures to contain this virus.
Let’s start with Trump’s Oval Office address on Wednesday. President Trump praised his response to the coronavirus but failed to mention the fact he disbanded the National Security Council’s global pandemics team in 2018, made cuts to the CDC, limited testing after rejecting WHO tests, and spread disinformation that undercut his own administration’s health professionals.
In his address, President Trump also called this a “foreign virus” as if he was trying to fit this crisis into his nationalist agenda. Trump also announced a European travel ban that led to crowded airports which could only lead to further spread. That was the only major measure he announced in that address, which worried many. The problem with that is the fact the virus is spreading within the US.
Throughout this week, President Trump also blamed President Obama for his coronavirus testing failures, citing “red tape.” Did Obama make Trump fire the NSC team responsible for global pandemics? No. Did Obama force Trump’s CDC to deny WHO tests, create their own, and restrict testing criteria? No. The American people are tired of Trump’s repeated deflections of blame to Obama or whoever else is his scapegoat of the day. This is a crisis taking lives and destroying families. They want action.
Luckily, by Friday, President Trump declared a National Emergency. You heard that right. President Trump went from declaring coronavirus a Democratic “hoax” to declaring it a National Emergency in 14 days. If enough people are paying attention right now, this is the week Donald Trump lost re-election. Just an absolutely stunning failure in leadership amid one of the greatest crises this world has faced in the 21st Century. Luckily governors around the country are filling that leadership vacuum, painting a stark contrast that highlights President Trump’s incompetence. Also, props to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for working around the clock to get a bill passed in the House to address this but there are still major issues with their paid leave policy that need to be addressed.
Now, we’ll touch on the dangers of Trump’s disinformation. On MSNBC, Mayor Francis Suarez just said that he was asymptomatic when he tested positive for coronavirus. In his Friday press conference, President Trump said he doesn’t have symptoms and that’s why he hadn’t been tested yet (as he shook hands with everyone). He’s since been tested and the results came back negative, but that’s beside the point. Asymptotic people can spread the virus and Trump’s mixed messaging has proved dangerous.
This is where the dangers of right-wing gaslighting meets the immovable sturdiness of objective reality. People who are parroting Fox News disinformation that the coronavirus pandemic is “hoax” are putting everyone at risk. This is also why Trump’s attacks on the media are corrosive. Now is when Trump supporters should be trusting the media most. Instead, there have been far too many people believing dangerous disinformation, as polling indicated Republicans are less worried about this pandemic than Democrats. It’s not hyperbole to say this could get people killed.
If millions of people think the coronavirus pandemic is a hoax or just another flu and aren’t taking precautions, it extends this crisis. Everyone who isn’t taking this seriously is doing the opposite of flattening the curve. We saw that attitude run rampant over the weekend as young people around the US packed bars for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations or took advantage of cheap flights to visit beaches.
If testing really does ramp up as Vice President Mike Pence has announced, we’re about to see an enormous surge in the coming days as we finally begin to understand exactly how widespread this is. In the meantime, people need to be taking massive precautions and assuming the virus is everywhere. Combating this pandemic is more than just testing and stimulus from the government, it’s about every single American taking the precautionary steps to social distance, wash their hands, and stay home.
If you’re a young person reading this, listen up. I get that you want to go out, but you have no idea if you have COVID-19 or not until you’ve been tested. Asymptomatic people have been tested positive and studies show that they are responsible for massive spread in multiple countries. I’m 27 myself and I’m currently staying in my house at all times unless I need groceries. If we all make short-term sacrifices we can drastically reduce the spread and shorten the time of this crisis. But if we have people not social distancing, ignorant of the fact they could be asymptomatic and spread it to the vulnerable, we’re in for a long, deadly ride.
Recent event cancelations, school closings, and restaurant closings in various states are a great start, but we need the federal government to get money into the hands of average Americans to offset the damage done to their livelihoods and the damage to the economy. We will beat this, it’s just a matter of how quickly and how much less deadly we make this crisis. If every American takes this seriously and does their part to stay at home and if the federal government does their part to make that possible, we will rise from this stronger than before.
Let’s dive into another Unpresidented week.
Coronavirus Crisis Worsens
Day 1,145: Monday, March 9
Monday’s top stories:
- CNN: 5 congressmen – including Trump’s future chief of staff and lawmaker who shook President’s hand – to self-quarantine after CPAC
- CNBC: Italy expands its quarantine to the entire country as coronavirus cases and deaths surge
- The Washington Post: U.S. markets crater as coronavirus, oil prices trigger brief halt in trading
- The Daily Beast: White House Staff Fear for Trump’s Health After Handshake With Man Exposed to Coronavirus, Says Report
- Business Insider: Nearly half of Americans disapprove of Trump’s response to coronavirus, according to a new poll
- Los Angeles Times: Trump, who tied himself to stock market when it rose, struggles to respond to its plunge
- CNBC: Trump floats payroll tax cut, other financial relief amid coronavirus outbreak
- Time: The Trump Administration Is Stalling an Intel Report That Warns the U.S. Isn’t Ready for a Global Pandemic
- NBC News: Grand Princess cruise ship carrying coronavirus patients docks in California
- Rantt Media: Top 10 Causes You Can Support In 2020 With One Click
- CNN: CNN poll: Biden has double-digit lead over Sanders for Democratic nomination
- Los Angeles Times: Sen. Kamala Harris endorses Joe Biden for president
- The New York Times: Senator Cory Booker Endorses Joe Biden
- Axios: Twitter labels Biden clip retweeted by Trump as “manipulated media”
- CNN: North Korea launches unidentified projectiles for second time in two weeks
Super Tuesday 2: Biden Wins Big
Day 1,146: Tuesday, March 10
- FiveThirtyEight: Joe Biden Now Has A Clear Path To Be The Democratic Nominee
- CNN: Andrew Yang endorses Joe Biden for president
- The Washington Post: N.Y. creates coronavirus containment zone; new deaths reported in S.D. and Washington state
- Bloomberg: Trump Hasn’t Been Tested for Virus But Top Aide Is Quarantined
- CNN: Coronavirus is now in every EU country, as Cyprus detects its first two cases
- Business Insider: Angela Merkel estimates that 60% to 70% of the German population will contract the coronavirus
- Politico: CDC director breaks with Trump on claim that border wall will help stop coronavirus
- CNBC: Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Wuhan for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak
- Business Insider: One chart shows how many coronavirus tests per capita have been completed in 8 countries. The US is woefully behind.
- Sky News: Coronavirus: ‘Stop saying it’s a bad flu’ – Doctor fighting Italy outbreak shares dramatic account
- The Daily Beast: CPAC Attendees Want to Know Who the Mystery Coronavirus Patient Is
- CNBC: Dow rallies more than 1,100 points in a wild session, halves losses from Monday’s sell-off
- CNBC: Trump pitched 0% payroll tax rate for the rest of the year, White House official says
- BBC: UK Health minister tests positive for coronavirus
- The Daily Beast: Fox News Host: 2 People Died in Florida From Coronavirus, but They Were Old So No Biggie
- CNN: Walmart confirms coronavirus case in one of its stores
- The Daily Beast: Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Arrested on DWI Charge
- Politico: Trump and GOP mount coordinated campaign to paint Biden as senile
- HuffPost: Fox Host Claims Coronavirus Is ‘Impeachment All Over Again’ In Bonkers Rant
Trump’s Oval Office Failure
Day 1,147: Wednesday, March 11
Wednesday’s top stories:
- The New York Times: Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump’s Europe Travel Ban Is Met With Confusion and Anger
- Business Insider: The White House scrambles to clarify key details from Trump’s speech announcing his coronavirus response
- CNN: Trump calls coronavirus a ‘foreign virus’ in Oval Office address
- NBC News: Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson test positive for coronavirus
- ABC News: NBA suspends season due to coronavirus
- The New York Times: ‘It’s Just Everywhere Already’: How Delays in Testing Set Back the U.S. Coronavirus Response
- AP: Tests show new virus lives on some surfaces for up to 3 days
- Politico: Exclusive: U.S. coronavirus testing threatened by shortage of critical lab materials
- NBC News: U.S. coronavirus cases top 1,000
- TheHill: Italy confirms nearly 200 people died from coronavirus in 24 hours: report
- CNBC: Italy passes 10,000 coronavirus cases as national quarantine moves closer to total shutdown
- The New York Times: Behind Bernie Sanders’s Decision to Stay in the Race
- CNBC: Dow drops 1,400 points and tumbles into a bear market, down 20% from last month’s record close
- CBS Sports: 2020 NCAA Tournament games to be played without fans in attendance due to threat of coronavirus
- HuffPost: Senate GOP Blocks Emergency Paid Sick Leave Bill
- The Verge: Some states are offering drive-thru coronavirus testing
- The Daily Beast: Trump Is Seething Over Having to Work With Pelosi on a Coronavirus Response
- NBC News: Gabby Giffords backs Biden ahead of Arizona primary
- BuzzFeed News: Uber Says It Will Consider Suspending Drivers And Riders Exposed To The Coronavirus
- AP: Russia passes bill allowing Putin to stay in power past 2024
- Politico: Trump endorses Sessions’ opponent in Alabama Senate primary
Day 1,148: Thursday, March 12
Thursday’s top stories:
- CNBC: World Health Organization declares the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic
- NBC News: ‘It is a failing. Let’s admit it,’ Fauci says of coronavirus testing capacity
- The New York Times: Coronavirus and Its Impact on the U.S: New Cases, Cancellations, And More
- Yahoo News: CDC tested only 77 people this week; coronavirus testing slow around the nation
- CNN: Brazilian president’s press secretary tests positive for coronavirus, days after meeting Trump
- CNBC: Dow plunges 10% amid coronavirus fears for its worst day since the 1987 market crash
- Politico: Trump’s travel ban sidesteps his own European resorts
- ProPublica: Trump’s Company Paid Bribes to Reduce Property Taxes, Assessors Say
- Mother Jones: Katie Porter just got a Trump administration official to promise free coronavirus tests
- TheHill: Ohio health official estimates 100,000 people in state have coronavirus
- CNN: How Fox News misled viewers about the coronavirus
- TheHill: Graham to self-quarantine after Mar-a-Lago trip
- AP: Officials: US strikes Iran-backed group that hit Iraq base
- Politico: Florida poll shows Biden with staggering 44-point lead over Sanders
Day 1,149: Friday, March 13
It’s not just like the flu#COVIDー19 fears are not a hoax
Because of Trump’s botched response and limited testing, we have to be extra careful
Whether you’re asymptomatic or not, you must do your part
We can limit the spread if we ALL take precautionshttps://t.co/yKNJ3fepcG
— Rantt Media (@RanttMedia) March 14, 2020
Friday’s top stories:
- Vox: Coronavirus: Trump declares state of emergency, says none of this is his fault
- NBC News: House Democrats and White House reach deal on coronavirus aid package
- BuzzFeed News: 7 Times Trump Shook Hands Or Touched People At The Coronavirus Press Conference
- The Daily Beast: Google Contradicts Trump: Coronavirus Site in ‘Early Stages’
- CNBC: Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, wife of Canada PM Justin Trudeau, tests positive for coronavirus
- Politico: Chinese businessman to donate 500,000 test kits and 1 million masks to the U.S.
- Reuters: Drive-through coronavirus tests: coming to a store near you
- The New York Times: The World Has a Plan to Fight Coronavirus. Most Countries Are Not Using it.
- USA TODAY: Coronavirus school closings: Ohio, Maryland, Michigan become first states to shut all K-12 schools
- Business Insider: A second person who visited Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club over the weekend has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus
- CNBC: Stocks post biggest rally since 2008, clawing back some of their coronavirus collapse
- NBC News: Europe now ‘the epicenter of the pandemic,’ WHO says
- TheHill: Italy reports record 250 coronavirus deaths in one day
- USA TODAY: Australian politician who met Ivanka Trump, Attorney General William Barr infected with coronavirus
- South China Morning Post: China’s first confirmed Covid-19 case traced back to November 17
- HuffPost: Influential Evangelical Calls Out Trump’s ‘Sloppy & Dangerous’ Coronavirus Lies
- Newsweek: Majority of Americans don’t trust Donald Trump to tell truth about coronavirus threat: Poll
- CNN: Chinese diplomat promotes conspiracy theory that US military brought coronavirus to Wuhan
- CNBC: Stocks set to surge following worst day since the ’87 crash, S&P 500 futures hit ‘limit up’
- The Atlantic: The Dos and Don’ts of ‘Social Distancing’