A Complete Analysis Of Trump’s 167th Unpresidented Week As POTUS
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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 167.
Donald Trump spent his entire presidency fear-mongering and exaggerating threats at the southern border, but when the greatest threat to American lives in our lifetime hit our shores, he called fears about it a Democratic “hoax,” ignored warnings, and failed to take adequate action. Now, we’re all suffering the consequences.
South Korea learned of their first case of COVID-19 the same day the US did on January 20. Unlike the Trump Administration, the South Koreans mobilized with mass testing and contact tracing to isolate known cases. They now have just over 10,000 cases and over 180 deaths. The United States now has over 300,000 cases and over 10,000 deaths.
This week, the White House delivered terrifying death projections indicating as many as 100,000-240,000 Americans could die due to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump tried to spin this and say that the number is low and due to their “great” response. That’s a lie. This was not inevitable. This is because of their incompetence and negligence.
As the humanitarian and economic effects of COVID-19 increase, President Trump’s botched response becomes clearer. New reporting this week further highlighted just how terrible the early response from the Trump Administration was. While China’s unwillingness to hand over a sample of the virus in the early days of the outbreak and their overall secrecy certainly played a role, the Trump Administration had some major failures of their own. The Washington Post‘s reporting revealed the early warnings and budget requests from HHS Secretary Alex Azar in January and February that President Trump ignored. That reporting, along with countless others, further showcases how the CDC’s creation of their own failed testing kits set us back in crucial weeks.
While we failed to widely test in January and February, President Trump was downplaying the threat in order to assuage stock market fears. On January 22, Trump said we have it totally under control. On February 2, Trump said we shut it down from China. On February 26, Trump said 15 cases would go down to zero in a couple of days. On February 28, Trump called fears about COVID-19 a Democratic “hoax.” As recently as last week, Trump said he hopes we’ll be able to crowd churches on Easter.
While this was ongoing, we failed to stockpile critical medical equipment, which President Trump spent this week blaming the states for. Trump attacked the states for not stocking up on PPE before this pandemic while the federal government was entirely unprepared themselves and they were aware of all the intelligence regarding the incoming
threat months ago.
Jared Kushner went as far as to say this: “The notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile. It’s not supposed to be states stockpiles that they then use.” HHS then changed the language on their website to reflect Kushner’s statement.
This wasn’t the only effort to take the heat off the Trump Administration’s failed response. This week was full of deflections. President Trump repeated his claim that he inherited a broken system and that’s why testing was slow. He said he “inherited” broken tests, in spite of the fact COVID-19 was not infecting humans until late 2019, so it would’ve been impossible for President Obama to have had tests for it. For the last time, the CDC refused the testing protocols from the WHO and developed their own unreliable tests they had to fix. That’s why we’re here.
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) attempted to blame impeachment for the Trump Administration’s failures. Did the 2020 impeachment trial ripple through time and space to force Trump to disband the NSC pandemics team in 2018? Did impeachment force the CDC to refuse WHO testing protocols? Did impeachment, which ended February 5, make Trump call coronavirus fears a hoax on February 28? No. No, it did not.
In Wednesday’s briefing, the opening statements had no health workers, but Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was there. President Trump used this briefing to talk about the border, cartels, and narcotic operations. Trump was clearly exploiting the ratings of the briefings in order to highlight his Administration’s various initiatives. This is why I began this week’s column referencing the caravan because even amid this pandemic, President Trump still finds time to fear monger about immigrants.
Pundits who chose to praise President Trump’s “new tone” were once again left disappointed, as briefing after briefing unraveled into egomanical ramblings. “Did you know I’m number one on Facebook?” Donald Trump said in one of the briefings after projecting potentially hundreds of thousands of deaths.
In his effort to deflect, President Trump went as far as to call it a false story that he disbanded the NSC team responsible for global pandemics in 2018. John Roberts from Fox News was the one who brought it up. Trump can’t rewrite history and manipulate objective reality with words.
There was another recurring theme this week: President Trump’s touting of the anti-malaria and lupus drug, hydroxychloroquine. While Dr. Anthony Fauci and other scientists have asserted the drug is unproven, this hasn’t stopped President Trump and his surrogates to push this drug based on anecdotal evidence of success.
We need to know if, and how many, people working in the White House have financial ties to the various companies developing medical equipment and drugs to combat COVID-19. If this is the case, it should be publicly disclosed.
With another hard week ahead, let’s dive into the Unpresidented week we left behind.
Social Distancing Guidelines Extended, State Lockdowns Increase
Day 1,166: Monday, March 30
Monday’s top stories:
- NBC News: Trump extends social distancing guidelines as governors warn of shortages
- Newsweek: Arizona joins Virginia, Maryland and D.C. in enacting stay at home order amid escalation in COVID-19 cases
- The New York Times: Restrictions Are Slowing Coronavirus Infections, New Data Suggest
- The New York Times: The Lost Month: How a Failure to Test Blinded the U.S. to Covid-19
- CNN: First US service member dies from coronavirus
- CNBC: Lockdown could last up to 6 months, UK warns, as US and Europe also gear up for extended restrictions
- CNN: Exclusive: Justice Department reviews stock trades by lawmakers after coronavirus briefings
- AP: FBI reaches out to Sen. Burr over stock sales tied to virus
- AP: New Trump mileage standards to gut Obama climate effort
- ABC News: Inside Trump’s reelection effort amid the pandemic: Digital canvassing, virtual trainings and marathon press briefings
- CNN: Trump falsely denies saying two things he said last week
- The Washington Post: Trump blames hospitals for mask and ventilator shortages
- Business Insider: Trump berated Yamiche Alcindor, telling her to ‘be nice’ and not ‘threatening’ at a coronavirus briefing, but she refused to take the bait
- HuffPost: Liberty University Students Showing Signs Of COVID-19 After Returning To Campus
- CNBC: Italy’s death toll surpasses 10,000 as prime minister warns of rising ‘nationalist instincts’
- BuzzFeed News: Judges Struck Down Bans On Abortions During The Coronavirus Outbreak In Texas And Ohio
- CNN: Hungarian parliament votes to let Orban rule by decree
- Bloomberg: Israel PM Netanyahu to Enter Quarantine; Awaiting Test Results
- Rantt Media: Who Is Dr. Anthony Fauci? (Record And Background)
A Dire Death Projection
Day 1,167: Tuesday, March 31
Tuesday’s top stories:
- CNN: Trump warns of ‘painful’ two weeks ahead as White House projects more than 100,000 coronavirus deaths
- NBC News: WHO warns COVID-19 epidemic in Asia, Pacific ‘far from over’
- Bloomberg: China Reveals 1,541 Symptom-Free Virus Cases Under Pressure
- HuffPost: Illinois Asked Trump For More N95 Masks. He Sent Surgical Masks Instead.
- The Atlantic: Exclusive: Kushner Firm Built the Coronavirus Website Trump Promised
- MarketWatch: Dow closes 400 points lower to end worst first quarter on record as coronavirus worries linger
- CNN: Pentagon says it still hasn’t sent ventilators because it hasn’t been told where to send them
- Los Angeles Times: New rulings amid coronavirus could force Trump to release migrant children and parents
- CNN: Fact check: Trump again touts unproven drugs for coronavirus, and other misleading statements from Monday’s briefing
- HuffPost: Lemon, Hayes Urge Networks: Stop Airing Trump’s ‘Dangerous’ Coronavirus Briefings Live
- Axios: Mark Meadows resigns from Congress to officially begin work as Trump’s new chief of staff
- Vox: 9 charts showing what coronavirus is doing to the economy
- Rantt Media: Who Does The Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Help Most?
- CNN: Wisconsin is moving forward with April 7 primary despite coronavirus concerns
- Vanity Fair: “I Have No Ideology. My Ideology Is Health”: Dr. Anthony Fauci on the Tactics of Dealing With the Novel Coronavirus—And Trump
- Los Angeles Times: California to release 3,500 inmates early as coronavirus spreads inside prisons
- CNN: Obama slams rollback of vehicle emission standards in rare rebuke of Trump
- Rantt Media: Who Is Surgeon General Jerome Adams?
- Rantt Media: How I Sparked A Fox News Correction And Tweet Deletion
Trump Refuses To Extend The Obamacare Enrollment Period
Day 1,168: Wednesday, April 1
Wednesday’s top stories:
- CNN: US coronavirus cases pass 200,000. More states are saying stay at home
- CNN: Coronavirus live updates: Cases top 860,000 globally
- Politico: Trump rejects Obamacare special enrollment period amid pandemic
- The Washington Post: Social Security recipients who don’t usually file tax returns will automatically get $1,200 payments, Treasury says in reversal
- CNN: Documents show backlog of 160,000 coronavirus tests at just one lab company
- USA TODAY: Worried about paying rent on April 1? What states are doing, and not doing, to help
- The Washington Post: Anthony Fauci’s security is stepped up as doctor and face of U.S. coronavirus response receives threats
- The New York Times: C.D.C. Weighs Advising Everyone to Wear a Mask
- CNN: Trump uses coronavirus briefing to unveil new military counternarcotics mission
- CNN: Fact check: Trump again misleads on ventilator shortages and coronavirus timeline at off-topic briefing
- CNBC: US, Italy and Spain have the most coronavirus cases. These charts show their infection curves
- Los Angeles Times: ‘Coronavirus coup’? As outbreak grows, authoritarians around the world seize the moment
- Sky News: Coronavirus: Anger is growing at China over COVID-19 and its apparent cover-up attempt
- The Washington Post: Opinion | CNN, MSNBC refused to carry full Trump coronavirus briefing. Yay!
- TheHill: Pentagon looking to provide up to 100,000 body bags for potential civilian use
- The Washington Post: Protective gear in national stockpile is nearly depleted, DHS officials say
- Vanity Fair: “The Campaign Panicked”: Inside Trump’s Decision to Back Off of His Easter Coronavirus Miracle
- Axios: Scoop: Netanyahu shared fake video as proof of Iranian virus cover-up
- Mediate: Devin Nunes Says Closed Schools Are ‘Overkill’ During Coronavirus
- TheHill: Bill Gates calls for nationwide shutdown: ‘Shutdown anywhere means shutdown everywhere’
- MarketWatch: Traffic at Walmart, Costco and Target falls for the first time in weeks as coronavirus stockpiling behavior shifts
The Monumental Million Milestone
Day 1,169: Thursday, April 2
Thursday’s top stories:
- The Washington Post: Live updates: Coronavirus cases exceed 1 million and death toll passes 50,000 worldwide
- NBC News: A record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week
- USA TODAY: More than 1,000 in US die in a single day from coronavirus, doubling the worst daily death toll of the flu
- CNN: Pelosi announces House committee on coronavirus crisis to exercise oversight of pandemic response
- ProPublica: In Desperation, New York State Pays Up to 15 Times the Normal Prices for Medical Equipment
- Politico: Navy fires aircraft carrier captain who raised alarm about virus outbreak
- Bloomberg: China Concealed Extent of Virus Outbreak, U.S. Intelligence Says
- CNN: Experts tell White House coronavirus can spread through talking or even just breathing
- The Wall Street Journal: Questions About Accuracy of Coronavirus Tests Sow Worry
- ABC News: How Trump has contradicted himself, in his own words, on the coronavirus crisis
- HuffPost: Florida Governor Exempts Religious Services From Stay-At-Home Order
- CNN: Fact check: Georgia governor says we only just learned people without symptoms could spread coronavirus. Experts have been saying that for months
- The Daily Beast: Seventy Spring Breakers Ignored Warnings and Charted a Plane to Mexico—Now 41 Have Coronavirus
- Vanity Fair: Anger Builds in Congress Over Richard Burr’s Coronavirus Stock Trade
- Reuters: Why is New Orleans’ coronavirus death rate seven times New York’s? Obesity is a factor
- The Daily Beast: Secret Service Signs Mysterious $45K Contract for Golf Carts Near Trump’s Virginia Club, Says Report
- NBC News: Coronavirus cases in Iran top 50,000
- Politico: Chinese county goes into coronavirus lockdown amid fear of second wave
Day 1,170: Friday, April 3
Friday’s top stories:
- Los Angeles Times: Trump administration ended pandemic early-warning program to detect coronaviruses
- CNN: The whole country should be under stay-at-home orders, Fauci says
- CNN: As coronavirus cases grow, hospitals adopt a system to rank patients for treatment
- The Daily Beast: Trump Says CDC Recommends Masks—but He Won’t Wear One
- Vox: “We’re gonna find out”: Amid coronavirus crisis, Trump admits New York may not have ventilators it needs
- CNN: Top doctor says White House coronavirus task force still missing 50% of testing data
- The Washington Post: As virus takes hold, resistance to stay-at-home orders remains widespread — exposing political and social rifts
- CBS News: Small businesses applying for Paycheck Protection Program express frustration — and fear
- Politico: Strategic National Stockpile description altered online after Kushner’s remarks
- ProPublica: Early Data Shows African Americans Have Contracted and Died of Coronavirus at an Alarming Rate
- CNN: CNN’s Brooke Baldwin tests positive for coronavirus
- Politico: ‘It’s a sh– sandwich’: Republicans rage as Florida becomes a nightmare for Trump
- Politico: Kushner company stands to benefit from freeze on federal mortgage payments
- NBC News: Fact check: Trump falsely claims U.S. is testing more people per capita than other countries
- NBC News: German leader Angela Merkel resumes work in office after quarantine
- CNBC: Singapore shuts schools and closes most workplaces temporarily to stem the spread of coronavirus
- CNN: The first coronavirus-related death has been reported in Libya
- South China Morning Post: Coronavirus: pandemic could last for months says top Hong Kong expert, as he disputes claim from Chinese peer crisis will be under control within weeks
- The Daily Beast: Fox News Moguls Stockpile Attorneys Against Coronavirus Lawsuits
- CNBC: Coronavirus pandemic economic fallout ‘way worse than the global financial crisis,’ IMF chief says
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