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The COVID-19 Crisis Underscores Trump's Incompetence & Disdain For Science

It's still too early to judge all the lessons America will learn from Donald Trump's catastrophic failures during the COVID-19 crisis, but there are two fairly obvious conclusions the nation should draw.

1. While Trump may have been a mildly entertaining lout during good times, hugging tyrants and castigating wind turbines and modern toilets, he is not a competent crisis manager and his limited talents, combined with toxic narcissism, have put the nation at risk. And this was easily predictable as conservative security analyst Max Boot was happy to remind us recently.

Washington Post, Boot: "Who could have predicted that Trump would be such an incompetent crisis manager? Pretty much everyone, actually. Yet nearly 63 million Americans voted for him anyway — and the Republican-controlled Senate refused to convict and remove him in January for his impeachable conduct. The entire country is now paying for those colossally irresponsible decisions as we face the worst crisis since 9/11 under the bungling leadership of the worst president in modern times."

2. Trump's "deep state" nonsense and disdain for science undermined our ability to combat the virus. The nation is now beginning to recognize the value of expertise, experience, and, god forbid, a science education, but such professionals have never felt particularly welcome in the Trump administration.

Vox, Lopez: ..."The Trump administration, with John Bolton newly at the helm of the White House National Security Council, began dismantling the team in charge of pandemic response, firing its leadership and disbanding the team in spring 2018."
"The cuts, coupled with the administration’s repeated calls to cut the budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health agencies, made it clear that the Trump administration wasn’t prioritizing the federal government’s ability to respond to disease outbreaks."
"That lack of attention to preparedness, experts say, helps explain why the Trump administration has consistently botched its response to the coronavirus pandemic."

As the virus raged in China, Trump was warned by the "deep state" [intelligence officials] that COVID-19 could expand globally and impact America.

Washington Post: "U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while President Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen, according to U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting."

And, as the first cases of the coronavirus appeared in the United States, Trump lost more precious time arguing with health experts, governors and the media, downplaying the threat, and telling Americans that it would go away.

New York Times: "Trump, for his part, spent these first weeks of February telling Americans that the problem was going away. On Feb. 10, he repeatedly said — in a speech to governors, at a campaign rally and in an interview with Trish Regan of Fox Business — that warm spring weather could kill the virus. “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away,” he told the rally."

As a result, America was not prepared to fight the virus as it exploded across the nation. Nasty tweets weren't going to cut it this time.

David Michaels: "There was little recognition of the need to rapidly ramp up testing, or that the strategic stockpile was bereft of the necessary respirators and ventilators. As a result, it will be many weeks before the nation will have an adequate testing program or provide the personal protective equipment or ventilators our health care workers desperately need to safely diagnose and care for patients infected by the virus."

When the crisis has passed and Americans are preparing to cast their ballots in November, perhaps competence and expertise will again be traits they value. We can only hope.

#news #opinion #science #Trump #coronavirus

By: Don Lam & Curated Content

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