Sometime in the next few days, the 100,000th American will succumb to Covid-19 in a pandemic that President Donald Trump once predicted would just “miraculously” disappear.
Yet despite, and perhaps because of, his earlier cavalier attitude, Trump spent the long holiday weekend bemoaning everything but the tragic roll call of death — while also finding time to claim he got “great reviews” for handling the crisis.
In his most politically significant maneuver, he heaped intense pressure on North Carolina’s Democratic governor to allow a traditional, crowded Republican National Convention, despite fears such a mass gathering could seed virus hot spots. Trump warned he could pull the large money-earner out of Charlotte, which was picked to play host in August.
The move came because the President intensified his push for a full reopening of the country and tv footage showed packed beaches and boardwalks in some states as Memorial Day crowds fueled fears that social distancing could also be breaking down.
On social media, he waged a weekend of Twitter wars against his critics, targeting a favorite foil, Barack Obama, after Trump’s return to the golf links — his 266th such trip in office — sparked involves him to concentrate more fully on the pandemic.
And he indulged his preoccupations on his tax returns, Hillary Clinton, Fox News, slanders against MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, the Russia investigation, Joe Biden’s psychological state, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, mail-in voting in November and highlighted dangerous and unproven Covid-19 therapies promoted on conservative media he has tested himself.
In between Twitter eruptions, a mask-free Trump solemnly presided over Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington Cemetery, and tweeted a campaign-style video of himself leading observances.”For as long as our flag flies within the sky above, the names of those fallen warriors are going to be woven into its threads,” he said during a moving speech at Fort McHenry.
“For as long as we’ve citizens willing to follow their example, to hold on their burden, to continue their legacy, then America’s cause will never fail and American freedom will never, ever die.”
Yet the scripted solemnity and unifying patriotism only made Trump’s explosion of fury on Twitter seem even more surreal and underlined how he finds it impossible to avoid thrusting himself into the social media feeds of USA citizens even for a weekend. Indeed, Trump returned to criticizing North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper shortly after returning to the White House Monday afternoon.
A surreal glimpse into a President’s mind
After three years of Trump deliberately trampling the traditional codes of presidential behavior — partly to point out supporters he remains an anti-elite outsider, none of this is often surprising. But that does not mean it is not jarring, because the most wrenching moment thus far approaches within the nation’s battle against an epidemic that while ebbing in terms of total deaths is trending up in 18 states, is steady in 22 and easing in 10 more.
More than 98,000 people within the US have now died from the coronavirus and quite 1.6 million are infected. quite 30 million Americans have lost their jobs and therefore the percentage is approaching Great Depression levels.
In 50 years, Trump’s weekend Twitter blasts may encounter as a startling document of a presidency rooted quite ever in personal obsessions, and constant wars with the media and his increasing throngs of political enemies.
There was little evidence of a deeper aiming to his presidency at this stage than personal and political grievances. Also missing may be a more sweeping policy framework for a possible second Trump term. And aside from a relentless push to support an aggressive opening of the country, as an example during a new demand for schools to open, Trump seems far less curious about how the task are often accomplished safely — aside from retweeting CDC hand washing advice — than his boiling political feuds.
No White House could are fully prepared for the disaster and subsequent economic hollowing of this year’s pandemic. But it is also hard to imagine a previous recent president from either party fighting it with an equivalent campaign of denial, distraction, and misinformation.
As an example, the foremost substantive administration action of the weekend was a report back to Congress on the state of the pandemic — which turned over responsibility for testing and tracing operation that experts say is critical to the states. The report did however include a pledge from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send 12.9 million swabs utilized in coronavirus testing to states in June.