Plagued by the President

Trump washes his hands of responsibility.

Comments: 249

  1. He looks so small when contrasted with the various governors/mayors who are taking charge. I suspect that even some of his ardent supporters are seeing the man behind the curtain now

  2. @Ancient mariner Wish that were so, but see no evidence. The FoxoSphere looks intact in upstate New York.

  3. @Ancient mariner Unfortunately, his supporters won't see a thing - never have, never did

  4. @Ancient mariner I suspect that even some of his ardent supporters are "seeing the man behind the curtain now" Don't be so sure. Most of them will bow down before their cult master no matter what he says or does. They. Don't. Care. They believe every lie, I guarantee you that most of them really do now think Obama is responsible for this. Never underestimate the smallness of a Trump supporter.

  5. As bad as Trump is--and there is no denying that--some of the budget cuts that have hampered public health services here in the USA date to before his presidency. He has certainly made things worse, but the groundwork for what we see now has been laid by both parties. Aside from the inevitable political narratives that will occur, let us hope Congress can do a much better job of bolstering the needed infrastructure from now on.

  6. @JSK If we are truly being honest, it's mostly Republican administrations that defund government agencies, sometimes with the purpose of dismantling them.

  7. @Daniel I am not sure that is entirely accurate (not understanding what "truly honest" is here), given all the cuts during the Great Recession. I do understand that attempts at political blame are inevitable. I still hope Congress can work together as things go forward--but during a presidential election cycle that might not occur.

  8. @JSK when has the Republican party done anything positive about healthcare? All they do is want to cut benefits for the elderly and poor.

  9. I hope there will be media ads every single day juxtaposing Trump's 2013 Tweet about leadership and his saying that he takes no responsibility at all. Drum this into ALL voters' and prospective voters' heads every single day until November 3--and on November 3 as well. This can be a very brief ad. That's all folks need to know.

  10. @Miriam Helbok Or his rambling and incoherent press conference the night he returned from India, when Trump dismissed the coronavirus as something that would soon just go away on its own. That ad should be all Biden needs to win in November.

  11. @Miriam Helbok We'll have a clear choice - between Biden, Sanders, and Trump. Tomorrow night we can watch the performance of the two challengers to this president and make up our own minds. What a golden opportunity!

  12. @Miriam Helbok Biden's gaffes/mistakes/lies are legion and will be broadcast in campaign ads ad infinitum (well...until November 3rd, anyway). Besides, I heard that Trump is considering postponing the 2020 election until further notice in lieu of public safety. I guess that makes sense since the public's health is the main concern.

  13. The Cornoavirus national emergency is teaching President Trump, the supposedly storied businessman, that a leader is someone who has a hopeful vision, with followers who actually believe in him, a man who has the character to empower and maximize the efforts of the experts he hired in his administration.

  14. @Linus Trump learns nothing. Ever.

  15. @Linus But that's exactly the point: Trump was never a successful businessman.

  16. @Linus "The Cornoavirus national emergency is teaching President Trump..." It can teach all it wants. Unfortunately, we don't have a president who's open to learning.

  17. Trump denied knowing anything about the pandemic team being dismantled. There is nothing that goes on in the Trump administration that he does not know about. It wasn’t long ago that he addressed this issue and said “Those people were not being used for anything”. Great. Now that they are needed, I wonder what he thinks about his misguided mistake.

  18. Yes...but it’s ok to have thousands of military weapons & servicemen & women sitting around waiting for a war!

  19. The only thing we know with certainty is that he doesn’t think that this - or anything else - was his fault!

  20. @Lyndsey Here are the unfortunate answers to your questions; he does not think, and he does not believe he can make a mistake.

  21. Nearly 42 years ago, I departed Los Angeles for rural South Korea to serve as a Tuberculosis control worker with the Peace Corps. At the time, Tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in Korea. Today, South Korea has not only created one of the most effective single-payer national healthcare systems in the world, it has also created one of the world's most effective public health systems. Nations around the globe are looking to Korea for guidance in how to stop Covid-19. There is no better evidence as to why America needs a national single-payer healthcare system than South Korea. There is no better evidence of how an excellent healthcare system can also deliver superb defense against pandemics. Republicans and timid Democrats tell us that a national healthcare system is "pie-in-the-sky." South Korea shows us that it isn't just doable, it is essential. It's time for national single-payer healthcare. And Bernie Sanders.

  22. @Sean A single payer healthcare system does not depend for its existence upon one legislator but upon the insistence of the American public.

  23. @Sean This new disease should be from henceforth known as Trumpersculosis in loving memory of the worst president in history. The appalling sycophancy shown by Pence, Azar et al should be memorialised as trumpersculosis psychosis or TP.. By ridiculing him (more so his psychphants/sycophants) I do not intend to make light of the ongoing tragedy inherent in this calamity. The way Pence and others continue to grovel like awe struck heavy metal groupies is extraordinary. It is utterly incomprehensible and correspondingly contemptible.

  24. @Sean: We need to stop trying to push Bernie to the forefront when he has a very low chance of defeating trump. Let's keep the eye on the White House, and in turning the Senate BLUE. As to single-payer, most democrats and moderate republicans will agree it is a better system. However, anyone who has thought of our CURRENT system, and how we change (or replace) it to single-payer, understands the immense complexities. As long as we have a Trillion dollar insurance industry and healthcare industry that both benefit from the current status-quo, and who will deploy billions in PAC funding to stop single-payer, there is very little chance without politicians who will stand up for it. To bring single-payer to America, we first need a unified BLUE Senate, BLUE House, and a DEEP-BLUE President who will push back on these entrenched industries!

  25. The closing of the pandemic disease office and the flushing of all of the federal government of those career employees over the past three years will cost us all, but we paid little attention while it was happening. It turns out government does have a role in our everyday lives. As Bill Bradley used to say, it is the third leg on the stool of civil society. The stool is shaking and it is interesting that the career survivors are the only ones seen as credible. Those who saw they could not junction under Trump and left, stay close to the phone ... I hope it will ring to call you back soon.

  26. @D Altman "... we paid little attention while it was happening" Really? This has been front and center in much of the literate media since the hollowing out began.

  27. @David I am talking about all those who saw and did nothing (which is most citizens)... I know some of the best CDC'ers and US EPA health people who saw that they could not function under Trump and went to work for the WHO. People do not understand and appreciate that career civil servants are the glue that holds the federal apparatus together. You apparently do, and the others that do are the ones who have been incrementally dismantling the federal infrastructure before our eyes.

  28. For the past three years Trump has been relying on 'fake it until you make it' as his guiding principle as president. This pandemic has unmasked him in ways nothing else has to-date. Let's hope there's enough of us left in November to send him and his complicit republican enablers packing. Forever.

  29. It will be interesting to see how the virus discriminates between Democrats and Republicans as it spreads across the U.S.

  30. @Aweesker Teddy indeed. Given that dems are more likely to be taking actions to protect themselves, it's possible there may be a measurable difference in outcomes. Time will tell.

  31. @Markymark That has been Trump's lifelong mantra.

  32. I think it's inevitable that with the slow to develop measures for this pandemic, we are certainly going into a long anticipated recession. Uncertainty has created fear and irrational panic. Epidemiologists would not have advised any measures without widespread testing and interpretation of results. The prolonged delay in doing widespread testing is clearly due to the president's short sighted and self serving nature. I just hope this results in a failed re-election of him when the economy can no longer be his claim of success.

  33. @Tim Be careful what you wish for, the sum of DJT's actions and inactions will crash down and pull everyone with it. The engine of our huge country is "brakes on", and idling; to start it up again will take more than reconnecting all the scattered components, and "mashing on" the accelerator.

  34. @Tim What people don't understand: he may deny responsibility for disbanding the pandemic task force unit and cutting the CDC (of course, no one believes that) but the real terror is that a person like that is incapable of accepting responsibility for the present and the future. He will not step up to take necessary actions, and is incapable of leading, because he is too afraid of negative consequences. Taking action contains the risk that of negative consequences. He's only here for the winning, as he's told us and as he has proven his whole life. The losers are always someone else-- in this case it's us, again.

  35. @Tim Why no polls on "Approve or Disapprove of Trump's handling of Coronavirus Testing"?

  36. And don’t forget, this is a dress rehearsal for worsening climate problems. We need to listen to scientists and each and everyone play a mitigating part.

  37. @APM from PDX Absolutely, though many folk won’t realise it because the climate crisis is a slow burn (if you pardon the pun) compared to the immediacy of a viral pandemic.

  38. @APM from PDX The flip side of this frightening coin is that one could view the virus as the antibody that Mother Nature has sent out to fight the fever we are causing her. A significant net effect of reduced traffic, flights, cruises, manufacturing, oil production and consumption, much of human commerce, is to forcefully jam the brakes on carbon release into the atmosphere. If Bolsonaro (Amazon forest destroyer) and tRump (paid for fossil fuel fan boy who says "windmills cause cancer") get infected, those would be scored as direct hits on the enemy by Mother Nature. We humans could/ should be changing our behavior and using available technology to reduce carbon emissions and accommodate commerce without making the planet ill, but we have failed miserably to do so. Now Gaia's immune system is having to take forceful measures to try to protect herself from a damaging pathogen - us.

  39. @APM from PDX I'm so pleased that someone has mentioned this. I have been thinking the same thing myself. The party is over!

  40. "No, I don’t take responsibility at all" should be a loop broadcast at every one of his forthcoming rallies for the remainder of this year through the November election, and for Dem ads that can juxtapose what Biden and Congressional candidates propose for their own agendas nationwide, and in each Senate and House race. It is THE signature tag line for Tweety and his GOP enablers who must be defeated with him.

  41. @EJ - Trump's degree of responsibility should be judged by what he's doing - as exemplified by his news conference yesterday - rather than by anything he said. And I suspect that's how he'll ultimately be judged by the public. If this thing comes under control by late summer he'll be a shoo-in for re-election. You'll just have to hope his efforts fail.

  42. @EJ If he doesn't use this as an opportunity to cancel the November election....a thought as scary as the virus.

  43. @HurryHarry I have huge confidence in Trump’s gross behavior, his malfeasance in office, his corruption, and his documented incompetence, etc., will convince most voters, it’s time for a new president. And, I am counting on the best known stable genius of all time to convince them: Donald John Trump.

  44. For Trump the pandemic is a just a business opportunity. He can offer to promote a pharmaceutical corporation, a Walmart, a Google and others , providing immediate sole-source billion dollar contracts with them, if in return they commit to multi-million dollar contributions to his campaign fund. Another Trump "deal of the century".

  45. I doubt Google was intentional - Trump’s been critical of alleged “biased” search results that highlight negative aspects of his administration. The only reason Google got a mention was due to Trump inadvertently equating it with Verily, another company under Alphabet, that Jared Kushner stumbled upon while trying to steer Trump out of this crisis. Who needs experts when you have Jared Kushner and Mike Pence at the ready? The blind leading the blind...

  46. @Greg those CEOs want you to be just healthy enough to consume their product, just sick enough to be a repeat customer. once you run out of money, then you are no longer a consideration.

  47. A person who refuses to take responsibility for his own past actions is not capable of taking responsibility ever. As trump said, he is only here for the winning.

  48. For everybody who is self isolating, remember you can always just take a walk around the block to get a breath of fresh air. So long as you don't interact with anybody. I am hoping this time of isolation gives individuals a chance to think for themselves. Also hoping Fox News opinion personalities go off the air. That would be a real breath of fresh air for the country.

  49. @As-I-Seeit Trish Regan is already on hiatus... But come Monday she will have joined the administration and will be handling press for the coronavirus task force.

  50. Good advice, AS I SEE IT. . . I just did and it was lovely.

  51. @As-I-Seeit , please do not refer to Fox as "news", it's lying propaganda.

  52. Reading "The Masque of the Red Death" by Poe once more, recalling the irony of using wealth, walls and "Who dares" arrogance as a defense against nature- closing it in among us . Fiction to be sure, but the metaphor of building walls rather than accumulating knowledge through Science is prescient.

  53. @johnquixote that short story by Poe is right on the mark. I wonder how many Americans have read it?

  54. @johnquixote Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" also applies here with revenge - and walls.

  55. This virus redirected focus away from William Barr, who was scheduled to testify at the end of the month about his decisions regarding the Mueller Report. Can we keep our eye on this, please?

  56. @Alix Hoquet: Yes that is important. However, the way I see it we elected a strong and capable House of Democrats who will not drop the ball. They will take Barr's testimony. They will get it done, while the public rightly focuses on trump's lack of testing kits.

  57. Was just thinking about this and what else may be going under the radar.

  58. @Alix Hoquet Happily, Nancy Pelosi can manage more than one thing at a time, and she manages all of them well!

  59. Life, as we know, is very unfair. That good and decent people in this country are paying equally for the sins of those that voted for the gangster-president and continue to prop him up is truly an injustice if ever there was one. Well, I suppose Democrats also have themselves to blame, considering how poorly they failed to unify in 2016, thus allowing for Trump's assent in the first place. So now it's finally come down to a matter of life and death. How will this translate to the upcoming election, I wonder. Fact is we will never fully recover as a nation from the utter debacle of these lost years. While other countries make hard decisions to close down and TRULY fight this epidemic, even here in New York we are unable to do so because we don't have the proper safety nets in place to allow for such life-saving measures to be taken. So while it's true that Republicans can NEVER clean their souls of the taint of greed and avarice and lack of empathy for their fellow citizens, Democrats are not free to claim the high road either - we all seem to search for a low road to follow, even if that of the Democrats isn't quite as low as that of the GOP. "Not as low" - that's not saying much.

  60. @ManhattanWilliam: That's an odd thing to say. Respectfully, I do not agree.

  61. @ManhattanWilliam Uh no...Trumps ascent is not the fault of the Dems. Its is and was the whole fault of the Repubs! They laid the groundwork for his ascent. Not the Dems. Nor did the Dems assent to him. (Assent means to agree.) "I suppose Democrats also have themselves to blame, considering how poorly they failed to unify in 2016, thus allowing for Trump's assent in the first place." Also, Trumps ascent is due to the inherent racism that most white folks in the US refuse to acknowledge and in turn eradicate from themselves and the mostly white institutions that keep it systemic. The GOP has been spewing racist themes and gas lighting, while dog whistling Americans for decades, and they allowed Trump and those who love him and his style to rise up. Dems didnt do that! Remember HRC won 3 million more popular votes. The HRC campaign truly only failed in its on the ground strategy. 1. Repubs gave rise to and allowed for Trump. 2. Angry and belligerently ignorant Americans, mostly whites, voted for Trump.

  62. I sent in the quote below for an article about Trump a few weeks ago, it pretty much seems appropriate for anything regarding Trump's presidency and the utter emptiness of MAGA. The psychologist Robert Johnson wrote these prescient words in 1991, "The attempt to "go back" or romanticize the "good ol' days" is a common political theme in American culture. It usually marks the desire to avoid difficult times ahead, and of course it is always a lie. Nostalgia means business profit but psychological disaster." (from the book "Transformation: Understanding the Three Levels of Masculine Consciousness", HarperCollins publ.)

  63. @JoeM Thanks. Really enjoy Robert Johnson's work. Our Episcopal priest used to say, "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be!"

  64. I'm still proud to have voted from Bloomberg. During his interview on PBS, he made clear that the US should always have a crisis team with crisis plans in place so that there is not a scramble in the chaos. Who said, the solution to chaos is not in the chaos? With Pandemics, floods, tornados, farming/ livestock disasters, enterprise supply chain collapse, student debt issues which could rock the economy - we would be calmer with capable, rational, methodical leadership.

  65. @lee palmer it's not like he's the only pol or candidate that would fund and maintain a crisis team. Any sane, professional executive would think it's a no-brainer for the largest economy on the planet,

  66. @JP The problem we are facing, is that Trump is neither rational nor sane in his thinking. How can we hope to get through this without a lot of harm to innocent people that didn’t need to happen? Sigh.

  67. Somehow I am still shocked daily that any educated, moral and/or sane adult would or could stand by Trump. How can anyone, of any politics, accept him? All of us, on all sides of America and our issues, deserve better.

  68. @Charlene "any educated, moral and/or sane adult would or could stand by Trump. " Unfortunately, you just defined so many Trumpies. They have stated many times that they forgave his amoral behavior because he was making them rich. --not so much now.

  69. @Charlene Oh, I'm sure these guys think they might be able to change Trump's pea-brain mind. Only one, Bruce Greenstein, the chief strategy and innovation officer at LHC Group, came close to correcting or "standing up" to Trump by extending his elbow instead of his hand to shake. Bruce Greenstein, what a hero!

  70. @Charlene Witnessing the hypnotic power of a demagogue and his cult of personality.

  71. Trump even used the pandemic to spin his gift to the fossil fuel industry and Saudi Arabia and Russia. In the midst of this pandemic with a world awash in oil, the last thing the US needs to spend its money on is filling up the strategic petroleum reserve. If the world's largest consumer really wanted to buy a large amount of crude at the lowest possible prices, then the last thing that buyer would do is advertise its intentions. Instead Trump just lifted the price with his announcement. His friends in the oil patch and especially Putin and the crown prince are grateful.

  72. @James Ricciardi if only those stock buybacks went to investments in solar/wind/water energy instead of a third mansion.

  73. @James Ricciardi actually, the idea behind that is to raise the price so shale producers can stay in business and avert bankruptcy. A lot of people work in that space.

  74. @Imperato Isn't shale oil contaminated with Bitumin? It requires refineries able to deal with it; we have a few, not enough; so we have offloaded it to China primarily.

  75. The big, under-reported news is that the stock market, which Trump had held up as his "report card," was not following his lead and, to the contrary, was selling as he was speaking. This is a mighty blemish on the first, openly-stated "stock market president." He has used this as a cudgel to bludgeon his naysayers and trumpet his wonderfulness: but no longer until finally, Friday, after far too many weeks, there was at least the semblance of some meat on the bones...albeit to placate the market...which took the bait.

  76. @Srose We should ignore the Stock Market manipulated gyrations; the Market is not the national economy which is at risk due to delivery problems for businesses, lack of foot traffic due to Trump's mishandling of a deadly virus; uncounted and untested numbers of infected citizens; terrible leadership in the WH and in the GOP controlled Senate. Hopefully Nancy Pelosi's plan to help small businesses stay alive will prevail. Small towns and neighborhoods in NYC depend on small businesses to support taxes and tax paying workers' jobs. I do not wish to see unemployment benefits compromised by a national crisis. There are pictures of breadlines from the Great Depression. WWII saved us from a complete collapse; FDR put industry to work, and it employed thousands. We now need the Federal government to sustain a healthy economy. I miss Obama and the programs he put in place, since dismantled by a fraud who did not even finish middle school. Trump doesn't even read Security Reports. He actually admires Putin, MBS, Duterte, Kim un Jung and Erdogan, dictators all. I want to see his tax records; I want to see loan deposits to Trump from Deutsche Bank, now under investigation. The money from Russian oligarchs in London was laundered through The Bank of Cyprus, then deposited in Deutsche Bank. The money trail was documented by an investigative reporter from New York Magazine. I believe Bloomberg when he states that Trump is not a real billionaire.

  77. In 2018 trump did remove National Security Council staff tasked for pandemic response. He then also allowed his staff to eliminate the Global Health Security and Biodefense Directorate (office), which was vital to our pandemic planning, prevention, and response. Something pivotal happened prior to that, when trump's staff met to review specifically pandemics. This excerpt describes that crucial meeting: "On January 13, 2017, national security officials assembled in the [trump] White House to chart a response to a global pandemic. A new virus was spreading with alarming speed, causing global transportation stoppages, supply-chain disruptions, and plunging stock prices. With a vaccine many months away, U.S. health-care infrastructure was severely strained." That excerpt is from the highly reputed journal of Foreign Affairs, in this article: It is startling just how EXACT our current situation is, to the discussion at that meeting. Did trump's team forget everything they learned? The most significant point is that that meeting was setup and held by Obama's outgoing team, SPECIFICALLY FOR tRUMP's TEAM to train them (pass on knowledge) on how to manage and the need to manage pandemics. Obama trained trump in this exact pandemic. trump ignored the lessons, and he instead eliminated our government's ability to deal with pandemics, and then tried to defund the CDC/other agencies.

  78. @WeNeedFacts This is a brilliant reference. Having worked in local government, it is a reminder of the requirement of briefing and training one’s replacement when moving from one assignment to another. Thank you.

  79. @WeNeedFacts Obama did it. So trump had to undo it.

  80. @WeNeedFacts An important fact you omit: NO ONE from the Trump team actually showed up for this training. I listened to an interview with Michael Lewis last year about his research for the book The Fifth Risk, where he talked about how Obama staffers in all departments spent hundreds of hours preparing turnover briefings which NO ONE AT ALL from the trump administration attended. The issue is not simply that they were not briefed, it was that they REFUSED to be informed.

  81. Nice piece. Superb photo and nifty caption.

  82. Trump never comes out alone on these pronouncements to the public. He has to be surrounded by a retinue of sycophants who when introduced must begin their oratory: “ Thank you Mr. President.” And throw in a couple of: “ With the President’s great leadership.” Or some similar complimentary phrase. You wonder if in preparation for these talks the President requests such complimentary phrases. The entire attempt to calm the county’s anxiety, just turns into a sham. And has the opposite effect of what was intended.

  83. @jwgibbs, I suspect that Trump does request such complimentary phrases (maybe not requested directly but in code, as Michael Cohen talked about). I always look at Trump rather than the speaker when his sycophants are gushing their rote compliments during public pronouncements and watch his body language and facial expression: without fail, he stares fixated at the speaker, shark-like, listening for the compliments that he wants and needs to hear. Nodding in approval sometimes. It's clear that Trump requires this from his appointees and others and that there is nothing spontaneous or natural about it. To me this ego-stroking is beyond creepy, just as it is creepy to see Kim Jong-un interact in public. The obligatory praising leaves the impression that everything is staged, forced, hollow - and terribly off - yet his supporters cannot or will not see it.

  84. @jwgibbs , true. Sad.

  85. Crash dummy-understudy Pence’s bland pronouncements are no more reassuring than a pop-goes-the weasel wind up toy ( made in China).

  86. Perhaps this has been true from the beginning of time: nothing tests leadership like a global viral pandemic. "No, I don't take responsibility at all" is not leadership, and neither is "I alone can fix it." How poetic that one of Trump's key "fixes" was to close the White House’s National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense in 2018, a move heartily endorsed by the GOP. How many Republicans will need to get sick before they see the profound error in this?

  87. @Will In answer to your final, rehetorical question: we can only hope - ALL of them.

  88. @Will Republicans will never blame their misfortunes on Trump.

  89. @Will It is a marvel of karma that a germaphobe is handed a pandemic crisis. The fact that, one after another, people who later test positive for coronavirus meet and shake hands with Trump indicates that the Gods intend for him to contract the virus. The arc of history bends towards justice.

  90. Here’s a status report from my local big-box store last night around 3 am. Liquid soap, bar soap, hand sanitizer, baby wipes and rubbing alcohol nonexistent. Canned goods (particularly tuna fish) hit hard. Bottled water (and beer) hit hard. Toilet paper nonexistent. I was told by a cashier that a fistfight had broken out that day in the toilet paper aisle. People have been waiting in line long before stores open, their carts spaced an inch apart (if that), jostling for position, pushing each other around. Trump has just told us that he is not responsible for the delay in the distribution of coronavirus tests. He played the blame game. He passed the buck. This president is going to do what he is going to do. Trump has shown his true colors. And they’re ugly ones. Now it is time to show ours. We should make sure that they’re the right ones. We obviously cannot control much of what our government does. But we can control ourselves. Let’s be civil out there. Let’s respect one another. The coronavirus pandemic will come and go. It doesn’t have to take our souls along with it. And it won’t, if we don’t let it.

  91. @Blue Moon It was unsettling to see so many people out yesterday, as I was doing my "regular" shopping. There were empty shelves (pasta, rice, vinegar, TP and paper towels, etc.), but there was a calm and quiet I had not experienced before, especially considering that the store I was in was so full that there were no carts left, not even one in the cart return. People talked to each other in line, were courteous, bagged their own groceries to hurry things along, in consideration for the long lines. Everyone asked the checkers how they were holding up (They looked wear, tired and frightened). As your story illustrates, it could have been much worse. I feel I experienced the best of humanity under trying circumstances yesterday. I only hope it lasts.

  92. @Blue Moon And VOTE in November!!

  93. @Blue Moon My 90 year old father is in intensive care. He can hardly breathe, has a sore throat, he has all the signs of coronavirus. The hospital said they do not have a coronavirus test available, but what they did say is that he has a virus....some other kind, but they are sure he does not have coronavirus. Thanks GOP for helping Trump lie, lie, and lie again.

  94. Be it Biden or Sanders who wins the nomination, the first order of business by his campaign should be printing up bumper stickers and t-shirts with trump’s face next to “No, I don’t take responsibility at all.” That has been the motto of his presidency.

  95. @scotharr Unfortunately, due to age and health conditions, both Biden and Sanders are at very high risk of coronavirus complications.

  96. @irene so is Trump and Pence.

  97. @scotharr giving that mug anymore attention than it already gets is a waste of t-shirts. starve him of what he craves.

  98. I had a father that was much like Trump. It was especially strange in times when empathy or sympathy was needed. My father was a smart guy, and you could practically hear the gears turning, trying to conjure up and display what comes so naturally to most humans. I can’t hear any gears turning with Trump though, it’s like watching someone who was raised by a robot that was programmed by another robot. The fact that so many people still think he’s ‘making America great again’ is comical. The election of a person like Trump is an indicator, at least to me, of how far from greatness we are.

  99. I think it’s a sign of Trump’s cognitive decline that he can no longer fake normal emotions or empathy, or read a room. Just a few years ago he could figure out what people wanted to hear and give it to them, true or not; but now he’s lost that essential skill of a con man. Now he’s saying what he himself wants to hear, a very different matter.

  100. @Rad Rabbit "I had a father that was much like Trump." Sorry for you childhood circumstances.

  101. Me too. It’s called narcissism. Sorry for you, me and for our country. God save us all

  102. Ever the cynic, I predict that events will unfold in such a way as to allow His Majesty to claim successes in conquering the plague and to turn those, rightly or not, to redound to his glory. And thus will he be re-elected. He will claim credit for any advances in this war, and disavow any failures. We forget at our peril that even now maybe 40 percent of our fellow citizens remain in abject fealty to their Lord. And with the Never Bidens not voting at all, look for another Victory! in November . . . unless the King suspends the elections all together - not at all an unlikely thing.

  103. @Robert Hunt I'm guessing his doctors are loading him up with anti viral medications (the best, of course) in the hope that he will not succumb. This would play into his invincible vibe. However, coronavirus is an equal opportunity bug which attacks other organs as well as the respiratory system. In particular, for those at risk, the heart. And The Donald is definitely At Risk.

  104. @Robert Hunt He cannot suspend the election, he does not have the authority. First Congress has to pass a law allowing that, and I don’t think it would ever get out of the House. Thank goodness that is one thing he has zero authority over, Federal elections were not even suspended during the Civil Way.

  105. Nonsense. Democratic turnout is already through the roof. Moderate citizens are exhausted with this bizarre circus. If the election were held today, Trump would be crushed like the dung beetle he is.

  106. dear Ms. Dowd, Gosh, I sure wish President Trump would wash his hands - for any reason. I"m just grateful not to have been in the Rose Garden with him yesterday as he shook everyone's hand and bunched up close for the photographs. It's a good thing we'll get to see Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden debate tomorrow night. We can judge with our own eyes and ears which one would be best to lead our nation - at a time of crisis - come November 2020. Which one can give us trustworthy leadership? Which one is laser focused on the issues facing our world? And, yes, which one could/can top our current president and win at the polls? We have some real choices to make, for sure.

  107. @EB I'll not watch them tear each other apart. We have enough stress and dissension in this country. And this vile president will use every accusation of wrong doing against the eventual nominee. If they want to debate their plans to insure COVID-19 TESTING is available to those in need, then fine...debate. (Not "SOON", as TrumPence has promised for the past three weeks, but Tomorrow) If they want to debate how hospitals and healthcare workers get the equipment and supplies needed to handle the overwhelming surge of ICU patients expected in the next two-three months, then fine...debate. But otherwise, stay quiet.

  108. @JM You see the upcoming debate as a distraction. I see the Sanders - Biden debate as a timely opportunity. At a time of national - and world - crisis, who is best positioned to lead our country, the most powerful in the world?

  109. Have any of our reporters asked: Did S. Korea use tests offered by the W.H.O.? If no, what was the source of their tests allowing them to be far ahead of the US. Did US State Department have eyes and ears (staff) in China to report back early-on concerning developing issues that may be of importance to the US security.

  110. Great photo through the cherry blossoms! The current president is sadly unable to address most issues, and especially crises, with any credible authority. I hope the team led by the veep is more capable of working effectively together, and that we get a change of administration in November.

  111. @B F Wiese I thought they were magnolia blossoms..cherry blossoms look bit different?

  112. @B F Wiese those are magnolia blossoms

  113. Great conclusion! America's for-profit medical system, along with Trump and the GOP are now exposed as one of the most inept and incompetent systems to deal with a pandemic. There is no better time than this to realize why a national health care system with strong working networks supersedes a system that is focussed on profits instead of the care for human life. We are lagging behind other nations because of this administrations ill preparedness. It is now trying to dump money into a system that is more adept at figuring out charges, worrying about fees, shortages, and paper work than caring for people. Democratic Gov. Jan Inslee of Washington may be our brightest leader in the face of this pandemic. It certainly is not the person int he oval office.

  114. @1blueheron This pandemic will be over at some point even if a few more months. Trump will then say SEE I WAS RIGHT! That wasn't so bad. It was the MSM making a mountain out of a molehill as usual.

  115. @Butterfly No, it will fade in a few months, when it is warm, and come roaring back in the fall when it is not. See: 1918 Spanish Flu. See: annual flu. I don't expect you to admit error, it is much easier to ignore the facts and claim you never said that than to admit error.

  116. @Bruce Maier No, I think you're very wrong there. China has temperatures in the 80's as does Australia. Hasn't seemed to stop it there. Just ask Tom Hanks.

  117. In a couple of weeks it will become even clearer that we're essentially a third world country, one where tens of millions can't afford healthcare, and where almost half the population cannot afford to miss work. No safety net, an incompetent government who has essentially told the public it serves that its on its own, and a healthcare system that is beholden to insurance companies. Hopefully it'll lead Americans to see just how broken the country is and begin to rebuild.

  118. @Vin We already are a third world country.If 25 per cent of our children require food subsidies via school lunches the fact is proven.

  119. I find it interesting that this administration that champions survival-of-the-fittest is now confronted by a pandemic. It doesn't take much to see what a house of cards we have. Imagine Americans being instructed to think of the greater good. Ware a mask, not only for yourself, but to help prevent spreading the virus to others. Don't stockpile, or buy up supplies to sell at a profit, because other people may need these supplies. This virus has offered a stark contrast of the different kinds of responses to a public crisis. Now we have the survival-of-the-fittest proponents in charge downplaying a 4% death rate like it's just collateral damage and not that bad. Worried more about the stock market than impending death toll. Other more socially minded countries have taken the proper steps early on and will consequently have a much better outcome than the US which will soon be overwhelmed in the hospitals making life and death decisions for people who won't get a respirator. All because our "great leader" didn't want to use tests which may show increasing numbers of people getting the virus. This is like reading a fiction book that doesn't seem believable. But here we are, and it's what is actually happening. Shame on you Trump admirers.

  120. I am an atheist currently praying for the health of Joe Biden, Ruth Ginsburg and Nancy Pelosi. I am in awe of the bravery and commitment of my friends working in health care and the grace of Italians singing from their balconies and ringing bells in support of their health care heroes. Best to not listen to anything Trump says. May this crisis be a reality check on Americans' self congratulations- modeled by Trump- of a country that ignores its homeless, pressures and bankrupts its students with debt, embraces scapegoating of the foreign and of brown people and fails to provide affordable health care to all but the rich. This could change going forward if Republican voters recognize their leaders have denied health care via medicare to their neighbors in need. There is a cost to supporting their Dear Leader and McConnell'd subversion of the will of the American people to care for Americans in need. Set aside the status quo and the Republican political dogma a moment and consider: McConnell takes no action or notice that many children in his own state need to attend public school to avoid going hungry. That's McConnell's America. Like Walt Whitman, we contain multitudes. A country of great heart and accomplishment and immense failures. Please embrace decency and vote blue. Lies and the protection of a man who believes strength is measured by the degree he is willing to watch others suffer are not American values worthy of support.

  121. @JT - John Tucker I too am an atheist praying (mostly to Gaia) for those dear people and additionally Elizabeth Warren and our superb Senator Patty Murray. On a more practical front I went and gave blood yesterday in anticipation of a situation where that will become increasingly difficult. I now have to self-isolate with my immuno-compromised spouse so that I am not a threat to his health. I will have to emerge in a month to replenish the stores. Thankfully we harvested the honey last week and the first of the strawberries and asparagus will be along in May. We will be sharing with those in need.

  122. @lilliofthewest How wonderful of you! I live in a rural area. Still lots of snow on the mountains here. The fall garlic has not yet emerged and the chickens were all killed by a bear last October, so no eggs to share. I live in an easy place for an older couple to ride out this storm. I don't know how to help my urban countrymen and others in places and circumstances that are less secure. Maybe giving blood is a good idea. Will check with my Doc friends. Hope people will suggest other ways for rural and secluded people to offer more direct help. I can support Dems in swing states, but would appreciate diretions on how to be more immediately effective. Is there a fund for helping with child care and other needs of health workers?

  123. @JT - John Tucker The best comment of all! I also pray for Biden, RBG, Nancy Pelosi; I add Katie Porter and some others.

  124. The slowness is related to the same reason it takes years to build a new building, inconsistent and overlapping regulations instituted at the behest of Democratic bureaucrats and single-issue interest groups. It's good of Trump to break free of them and make changes to how things are done, and should make many of them permanent while ensuring public safety.

  125. @Robby Two years ago, Trump "brilliantly" disbanded the WH pandemic office. Instead of immediately acting a month ago, Trump and Fox were telling their public that this was a problem created by the Democrats and it was overblown. They kept beating that drum until this past week with actions that will do little to prevent widespread infection in the US. Now he's attempting to privatize, deregulate and stockpile oil reserves - all to benefit his corporate friends. Trump is the slow one - slow witted.

  126. Well, I am less certain we in America will really pull through this, but Trump supporters who want to pay attention only to what he and the sycophants say are quite free to not protect their families, themselves, or their neighbors. That’s the underlying message here. So , if those folks get sick or die from COVID19, it’s not immediately clear to me that letting the Trump administration off the hook is an honest reading of who failed to cope adequately with this crisis! And, of course, Trump couldn’t care less about any if them, tho he might care if they aren’t around to vote for him.

  127. Good luck with you worldview, sir, I wish you well. Hopefully after you wake up to reality, you might realize that the Fox News bubble is in the process of deflating, thankfully. Again, best wishes.

  128. What happens to a banana republic when the banana trees get a blight? We are about to find out. This administration is only good at failing to do the right thing.

  129. I think trump understands his base very well and they buy what he’s selling. I think he fails to understand the traditional republican or conservative Democrat who gave him a chance three years ago. These folks aren’t all that loyal to him and will tire of him very quickly if he shows he can’t manage a crisis. The continuing complaint of being a victim is getting tired, he needs to grow up and act like an adult.

  130. Have you seen the sign on Trump's desk? "The buck stops there".

  131. @Dan That was Truman's desk. Trump does not take responsibility for anything

  132. The Con continues, though by now, a slipstream of people are becoming "woke" and will, hopefully, renounce their fealty to this man. Part of what was so striking about Friday's "news" conference was the sycophantic flow of compliments Mike Pence lavished on Trump. The entire affair was nauseating.

  133. COVID-19 will be Trump’s downfall. His bizarre Oval Office address shows that he can barely read. It was riddled with falsehoods, inconsistencies and gross inaccuracies. Yesterday’s display, surrounded by competent specialists for the most part, underlined his stunning intellectual deficiencies, as the mantle of the presidency slid off him and exposed petulance, malignant narcissism, lies and the inability to truly understand and counter the catastrophic health crisis. There are still not enough test kits available to Americans! Mummified, boot-polishing Pence was a complete robotic embarrassment. And hyperbolically creepy. This stunning exposure of Trump’s science-denying self-congratulatory incoherent ramblings has done him in. Come November, he, his mafioso family and cohort of miscreants will be leaving the Rose Garden forever. November cannot come soon enough.

  134. "I don't take responsibility at all." Thank you giving voice to my dismay watching those last two national train wrecks of President Cadet Bone Spurs addressing said nation.

  135. We are, ultimately, all revealed. That is the saying by which I have lived my entire life. It has taken time, but it has arrived. Our fearful leader has been stripped bare to the bone as he flaps around aimlessly trying to prop up his ratings, the stock market, and the sentiments of his ever-sagging base. We are, ultimately, all revealed. Everyone: look in the mirror. And think. And on 11/3/20, VOTE.

  136. “ I take no responsibility “-Trump. THAT quote should be on bumper stickers, T-Shirts, Yard Signs, and EVERY single Ad and TV commercial for all Democrats, starting Now. Seriously.

  137. Dear Maureen, Actions speak louder than words. A week ago when Trump visited the CDC he was wearing his red campaign hat. Where did he spend the weekend? Playing golf at Maralago. While the world and markets were imploding over the lack of leadership from the President, he showed us all what his priorities are.

  138. “I am not responsible”, that says it all. It is everyone else’s fault- the Chinese, the foreigners, the Democrats, and Obama in particular. What an indictment of the political system that can elect such a “leader”!

  139. This article really tells everything you need to know about Trump. The question is when will his zombie like supporters start to acknowledge the failings of this snake oil salesmen as Dowd calls him. This is the question, if some of his support peels off he will never recover. Yet November is a long way from here. The disconnect in this country rivals the hateful Confederacy from 160 years ago. Who would ever have thought these people who support Trump could stick with him in the face of his immorality and incompetence. It is mind boggling and hangs like a dark cloud over all our futures.

  140. The Democrats couldn't have paid for a better noose to hang around Mr. Trump's neck: "No, I don’t take responsibility at all." I hope they take full advantage of those seven words.

  141. Can anyone be surprised that the crisis has been mismanaged by this administration?

  142. He’s beyond useless. While I have never understood his supporters, the sad thing is that now they may pay with their lives for following this charlatan. That’s too high a price but what can you do with people who refuse to acknowledge facts?

  143. I wish there were a way to fire this guy now rather than in November. VP Pence is already much better, and with Trump gone, VP Pence (and all the others) would not have to spend valuable time flattering Trump. Of course, firing both Trump and VP Pence would put Speaker Pelosi in charge. As a San Francisco resident, I get regular updates on COVID-19, as well as what the House is doing to help from Speaker Pelosi. Included are the critical links that will help me if (sorry, when) I get sick. Trump should be doing the same for all Americans. I’ve included part of Speaker Pelosi’s update that I received this morning for all to see: “Coronavirus Hits San Francisco With the coronavirus reaching America from coast to coast, we are seeing residents of our city coming in contact with COVID-19. In light of this, caution is being taken across the board to slow the spread of this virus. Below you can find resources and information to keep yourself informed and healthy during this time. The following are links: San Francisco Department of Public Health Coronavirus Facts (Updated Daily) San Francisco Announces Measures to Support Small Businesses’ in Response to COVID-19 Mayor Breed places moratorium on gatherings of 100 people or more to slow the spread of COVID-19 Resources for Employees and Employers from the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency CDC Guidelines to prevent exposure to COVID-19 CDC What To Do If You Are Sick.”

  144. Although long ignored, it is not too late to begin thoughts and societal changes aimed at prevention of outbreaks in the first place. From HIV through H1N1 to COVID-19, all of these plagues were begun due to unhealthy feeding practices of humans. Identification of loci and vectors of these diseases is easy. A fix will require a world-wide spiritual conversion. These maladies were not God's will but due to our own ingrained stupidity, ignorance and hubris.

  145. @ladps89 The Human Culture has splashed against the edge of the petrie dish. The next step is drowning in our own waste.

  146. I predict that the coronavirus will soon sweep through the White House, Mar-a-Lago, and the Capitol because Trump, the alleged germophobe, continues to shake hands and has failed to be tested. It’s not a question of if, but when.

  147. ...and yet most republicans and almost half of americans would vote him back in if the election were held tomorrow I don't get it

  148. @matt What don't you get about bigotry, racism, greed and religious fanaticism ?

  149. Trump is now unelectable. There is no argument to be made other wise. He has failed us in the only true crisis he has had to face. As Peter Wehner so aptly described it, "Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain." And as national polls foreshadow the end of his presidency, Trump is bound to grow increasingly desperate. Beware a cornered president.

  150. @rab You and I, being from outside NYC, see the level of support he has here. His election isn’t quite in jeopardy yet, unfortunately.

  151. Trump is over and the entire ediface of the political right is crumbling with him. America is about to experience the Coriolanus stage Trump's house on fire politics. For God's sake! and all of our sakes! it is time for the 25th admendment! Before the entire country is reduced to a shambles it is time to remove a failed President who is demonstrably not able to faithfully uphold the Constitution of United States. The case is PRIME FACIE!

  152. How many deaths and injuries around the world can be attributed to Trump's actions? Syria, the southern border, US troops in Iran ... etc.?

  153. The Emperor Has No Clothes! Leave it to the children's fairy tale to tell the absolute truth about Donald Trump. Ask anyone who ever had any business or other dealings with him. He is a damaged human being. He cheated and lied to anyone and everyone in his interactions his whole life. Now he sits in the Oval Office. If we, as a nation, do not stop this nightmare it is the end of "The Shining City On The Hill." One monumental failure. To those shallow individuals who turn a blind eye, I would ask "What will you tell your children and grandchildren when in the future they ask you "What did you do to save our country?"

  154. With Trump, the buck stops with everyone else, unless it can go into his pocket.

  155. This is the price we have to pay for a white, christian, patriarchal delusional fantasy imposed on the majority of this country. The only time investors made money with Trump was when they sold him short. Appointment in Samarra indeed.

  156. Trump tweets at Obama, “Leadership: Whatever happens, you’re responsible. If it doesn’t happen, you’re responsible.” Yet he lives in the reality of, “I want all of the credit and none of the blame.”

  157. The emperor, indeed, has no clothes. Fully revealed, at last!

  158. @jsw Even with eyesight as bad as mine, I can’t blur that image enough.

  159. @jsw And, like the tin man, he doesn't have a brain. He does all his thinking with the back of his lap.

  160. @jsw Perish the thought!

  161. But this was the worst. The Brazilian government official who was here a few days ago and has since been diagnosed with Coronavirus came within a few feet of President Trump. This should be a free square for the President. Now he can say, "Hey, who would have thought I would have personally found myself in the middle of this, but you'll understand if I pick off a few test kits for me and my staff and we'll get tested, just to show how we're all in this together, even me." But he's too caught up in his ego and too tone deaf to even see this situation as an opportunity, much less simply a need for him to behave responsibly. At least it's consistent with his mantra of “No, I don’t take responsibility at all.”

  162. In the law we have what is called the "Captain of the Ship" doctrine. If you are in charge, you get credit for all the good things that happen on your watch, but you bear the blame for all the bad results. Trump has repeatedly taken credit for the rise in the Dow since his election in 2016. Now he must take blame for its fall. He didn't start the Corona virus, but he and his right wing co-conspirators (Jerry Fallwell, Trish Regan, Sean Hannity, et. al.) bear some responsibility for misleading the public about a serious health crisis. Captain, you are unfit for duty.

  163. If trump doesn't want responsibility, why stay at a job that has serious responsibility? Oh yea, probably some of the perks. The fleecing is too good. Are Americans okay with putting a person in the presidency who views it as his own personal gravy train and shies away from the actual job? We'll see, but I think they will. He'll be re-elected because people identify with him-- if he can shoot someone on 5th avenue and still have their support, they believe that they, too, can shoot someone on 5th avenue and still have his support. That's the inherent transaction in the relationship between trump and his base-- they have each others' backs, even when against the wall.

  164. @Mitchell Turner Except that "T" doesn't have anybodies back.

  165. Can anybody explain the shameless grovelling of the people standing beside Trump as he preposterously bungles this very serious matter. This is frightening; especially as he holds the nuclear code. These events may one day seen as the good old days by people who survive a nuclear winter. This is like Mad Max on steroids The Senate must be held accountable for the flagrantly transparent mockery of a trial that resulted in his fake acquittal. Medal of Freedom for Yamiche. Nobel Prize for Donald?

  166. Contrast djt with Canada's prime minister, whose wife has been tested positive for Covid-19. My prime minister addressed the nation (outside and at a distance from reporters) and explained why he was voluntarily social distancing himself for 14 days for the good of the public who are in contact with him every day. My prime minister will work from home. Your 'president' shook hands, touched microphones, crowded together with his syncophants yesterday in the Rose Garden. And he lied and lied and lied. My heart breaks for all my American friends.

  167. The only positive from the Coronavirus is that it exposes how poor the healthcare system in America is, and how harmful limiting government can be. THANKS REPUBLICANS!

  168. Our president, no matter how we loathe and deride him for his actions since he was elected (and long before that), isn't responsible for the plague of Coronavirus Covid-19. He is the inventor of America's delayed response to the pandemic. Gnashing our teeth, renting our clothing, donning sackcloth and ashes, grieving for a kind of life that is fast disappearing in America doesn't mean diddly. We will deal with what is, our daily reality, not pie in the sky. Donald Trump is an isolationist and nationalist and we are now isolated and hunkering down in our homes and washing our hands in what may be a vain attempt to curtail the pandemic from touching us and our loved ones. Anger is useless. worry is senseless, though we are plagued by existential anxiety today. This is real life, Maureen Dowd, not a dress rehearsal, and we are all living actors in this strange panicky play on Earth.

  169. Let's get serious. Trump paid more attention to having his cameo scene cut from Home Alone than he did to the virus. You want to know what Trump really thinks? Watch the clip of him after his address to the nation - when he thinks cameras are off. You might have to track it down on Seth Meyer's "Closer Look" segment. Uncaring, clueless. Okaaaaaaaay. It should be played over and over on every major news network (except FOX of course).

  170. I figured it was only a matter of time before a crisis caught up with Trump. With this one, though, he can't lean on the stock market or his wall or his promise to rip up the government to prop his lies up. Unfortunately, that's about the only good that will come out of this. But, then again, who knows? Maybe his couch potato, sports watching base will continue to rally around him until we've all reached the bitter end.

  171. Here’s a status report from my local Walmart last night around 3 am. Liquid soap, bar soap, hand sanitizer, baby wipes and rubbing alcohol nonexistent. Canned goods (particularly tuna fish) hit hard. Bottled water (and beer) hit hard. Toilet paper nonexistent. (I was told by a cashier that a fistfight had broken out that day in the TP aisle.) It being Saturday morning, I considered venturing out to Costco about an hour before they opened. I would get in line with those waiting to get in, their carts spaced an inch apart (if that), shoppers jostling for position, pushing each other around. I ran a thought experiment about what might happen if I lobbed a roll of toilet paper up into the air, akin to an NBA tipoff. What might I witness? Would it be “American exceptionalism”? I shuddered. I decided it would be best not to hazard a go at it. Trump has just told us that he is not responsible for the delay in the distribution of coronavirus tests. He played the blame game. He passed the buck. This president is going to do what he is going to do. Trump has shown his true colors. And they’re ugly ones. Now it is time to show ours. We should make sure that they’re the right ones. We obviously cannot control much of what our government does. But we can control ourselves. Let’s be civil out there. Let’s respect one another. The coronavirus pandemic will come and go. It doesn’t have to take our souls along with it. And it won’t, if we don’t let it.

  172. When the historians sit down to write this inglorious chapter of U.S. history, they will fill pages detailing the lack of accountability, hubris, political cravenness, and mind-blowing ignorance of this administration and their supporters and enablers. History will judge them for what they are - grifters, charlatans, carnival barkers, and morally bankrupt individuals. Unfortunately it took a crisis of this magnitude to finally reveal the emperor had no clothes. For those of us who believe in the kindness of strangers, the inherent goodness in humanity, and the hope for a better tomorrow, let us unite in the common goal of being our neighbors’ keepers during this trying time and look to a return our country to a more sound path going forward, one grounded in empathy, critical thinking, accountability, strategic leadership, and compassion.

  173. It looks like it will take a significant decline in the economy and capital markets in order for the Trump supporters to question the stable genius's ability to make their lives happy and content. The Trump cult, fed exclusively by Fox News, need to be shocked, much like a cattle prod, into the reality that their fearless leader doesn't have a clue, and doesn't care about them. Unfortunately, it looks like the coronavirus might be the only solution.

  174. Emboldened by his belief he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and maintain his popularity, Trump now wishes to expand the concept to the health of the entire population of the United States. Sadly, we shall see if Trump's fans are willing to follow him to their graves. For the rest of us, we have always known that the Emperor has no face mask.

  175. Beyond everything you have written remains the fact that Trump’s self preservation remains paramount in his twisted mind and he will never leave office voluntarily. That said in the face of this pandemic we must look forward to the distinct possibility that he or his cabal are already plotting to cancel the election. Clear thinking and vigilance is required to defeat the 2 viruses infecting the planet.

  176. Almost no testing means authorities have no idea of the scope of the situation. If they did, small areas, hot spots, could be shut down. But w/o any testing data, the whole nation is shutting down. Here in Miami, the Mayor tested positive but has no symptoms. So it is dawning on people that the virus is being spread by lots of people who don't know it, because they can't get tested. He met with the same Brazilian group as Trump. And Trump says he takes no responsibility at all. How nice.

  177. @Dave Mas But why would people get tested if they have no symptoms? The frightening thing about this Coronavirus is that people are wandering around, interacting with others, feeling O.K., and spreading the disease. You’re right about our lack of readiness for this. The South Koreans are far more prepared than we are.

  178. In a time of crisis, you see who people really are. As if we already didn't know, trump has once again shown how self centered and out of touch with reality he is. Blaming everyone else for his incompetence, and taking credit for everyone else's achievements is a trump trademark. Trumps handling of this crisis has been a mess, and whether he likes it or not, that is on him

  179. If people shakes hands with the President, is that supposed to signify that that they are loyal to the him? Is this Trump's method to sort out the true believers from the untrustworthy sorts? I wonder what goes through Trump's mind when he shakes the hands of others knowing that he might be passing on a potentially fatal virus. Is it malice or just plain old cynicism or a little of both that keeps him from getting tested for coronavirus. Why does he think anyone wants to shake his hand at this point. There are so many lingering questions that Trump leaves in his wake that will never be answered. The simple truth is that a person who really cares about the health and safety of others wouldn't want to inadvertently pass along a lethal virus to others if they have been exposed to it themselves.

  180. @Dan Even without COVID-19, I would NEVER shake hands with that man.

  181. The Democratic presidential opponent to DJT should refuse to have any debates with him, thus depriving him of further opportunities to lie and mislead the voters. Make it clear that a debate with a dishonest, impeached person was not in the country's best interest and that there are more important issues to discuss.

  182. @Ed I doubt that Trump will be willing to debate this time. Most analysts believe he lost the debates with Clinton, and he won't do any better with Biden. He has the bully pulpit now, and he can use it to lie without, as in the debate, having someone prove him wrong in real time.

  183. @LSR Perhaps that bully pulpit would then transform into a chicken roost.

  184. Years ago I read a book "The Peter Principle." It basically said that a person reaches his level of competence and then becomes incompetent. Fits Trump to a Tee. But this is our country he is destroying, not one of his failed businesses. We have to survive this and pay attention to Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader in the country. Trump should NOT be reelected but I don't hold much faith in the Electoral College which gave us him in the first place.

  185. @Sharon Conway “ person reaches his level of competence and then becomes incompetent. Fits Trump to a Tee. ” At his birth.

  186. Please, go outside. This isn’t a storm. Bike, walk, drive your car. Our outdoors focused household will carry on with mountain biking, road biking, and hiking as before.

  187. Yup. Agreed. We need to stay active. Just keep your hands to yourself and wash them often. Stay between 3-6 feet away from each other. Etc.

  188. Just wondering Maureen if your Trump supporter brother has lost any faith in the president? That kind of reflection might force him to consider the core values this nation was founded on and admit the shameful dishonesty in the way Trump has managed the government response to the coronavirus. It turns out that we really do live in a global community. What happens in other nations can't be easily repelled by border walls, tariffs, and snarky insults. For all its present day and historical faults and failures, honesty and fundamental decency towards others are an essential part of the American character. Perhaps your brother believes this whole situation is an overblown hoax, created by political adversaries to defeat Trump in 2020. Regardless, I hope your brother and his family are well and have access to good healthcare in the event they find themselves victims in this crisis.

  189. After the press conference, I understand why an attorney would not want Trump to testify under oath and why his Press Secretaries have minimized formal conferences for the President. What a disaster! Couldn't stick to the script, fumbling, stumbling speech, mumbo-jumbo asides, and outright falsehoods. I never thought at a press conference declaring a National Emergency (...."two very big words"- are you kidding me?) I would hear the President of the United States utter two 6 word sentences: “I don’t know anything about it.” and "I take no responsibility for that." The upcoming election needs to focus primarily on fitness to serve. The Democrats need to hammer the fitness argument by repeatedly playing clips where Trump speaks those words especially in advertising directed to swing voters and Trump's base.

  190. @mjs79 Fitness for office should be uppermost in everyone's minds. We will get to pick between three old men - and many factors should come into play, including who their vice presidential picks might be (For Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden); what is their vision for our nation's - and the world's - future; what they plan to do about the climate crisis; income inequality; immigration; healthcare. We are being tested and seem to be found wanting at the moment.

  191. @mjs79 My apology- the responsibility phrase was "I take no responsibility at all", even worse than what I originally wrote

  192. @EB Isn't the 25th amendment supposed to address fitness for office?

  193. That, behind the scenes, Jared Kushner, yet again, is running this show and advised Trump to wait, is another example of the misanthropic chaos of this administration. How much more incompetence do we need to see before convincing Americans that we are being led by a fraudulent, "fake" president. As one commentor stated this week, Trump likes the title, but not the job.

  194. @Birdygirl He never once took on the job, only the opportunity to rip off the entire country for everything that he could.

  195. The press still seems (at least somewhat) shocked, SHOCKED that Trump accepts responsibility for nothing. NOTHING. If everyone with whom he shook hands at yesterday's Rose Garden fiasco developed Coronavirus shortly after he did, he'd deny he came within 10 feet of any of them. In fact, he'd probably deny he even spoke to the press, let alone among that assemblage. There's much concern that if the pandemic -- which he alternately downplays and uses to cite his flawless leadership -- continues into the fall, he'll make that the excuse to cancel the upcoming election. Rather than, or at least in addition to, pointing out the latest instance (because another will always follow) of Trump's self-proclaimed lack of accountability, it might be helpful if members of the media promoted an effort to provide every citizen with a mail-in ballot. When November comes, even if we all feel residual squeamishness about congregating in public places, or touching public voting machines, there are already other means in place for all of us to vote. We all receive sample ballots by mail -- why not actual ballots (with free postage)? Sure, the counting would take longer (sorry cable news), but the election would go forth. And voting out the current POTUS and his congressional enablers has never felt more important than now.

  196. From the article, ‘It was far from his tweet in 2013, when he loved trolling Obama: “Leadership: Whatever happens, you’re responsible. If it doesn’t happen, you’re responsible.”’ I’d take a wild guess that as a privileged silver-spooner Trump, the child then and now, never learned to take responsibility for any of his actions. Then when he met his devilish fixer, attorney Roy Cohn, he learned to dovetail ‘it wasn’t me’ with ‘I blame him, her, whoever, whatever...’ Make no mistake; his act is practiced and polished over an entire lifetime. Why would he change it now when only the survival of this country is at stake? Just so it won’t hurt him. He only has hell to pay.

  197. Maureen, you slay. As our world tilts and we all slide off, heading to hell in a hand basket, there’s no one better to write the scathing post-mortem than you.

  198. There is no analysis of the connexions between the banking system and the health industry . Health industry related stocks are the most profitable in Wall St and at the same time everything has been done recently in the USA to limit funding and investment in health care for the general public. The government institution that had been created as an organized response to epidemies had been disbanded by Trump. Pandemies are by definition public concerns and we know it too well now but the profits from the health industry speculations go to an extreme minority while representing huge sums paid by the mass payments into health private insurance by the public. That money has been invested and spent elsewhere and the health industry is depleted at a time of a huge crisis. It seems that there is no analysis of that problem in the US press anywhere .

  199. Like a number of powerful people, Mr. Trump tries to use money and influence to isolate himself from many of life's unpleasant realities; poverty, discrimination and delusionally enough, mortality. Life just gave him a wake up call, though sadly for so many others, he'll still try to make everyone else pay the price.

  200. I read today that there is a video of Trump, in 2018, speaking about closing down the office he claimed to know nothing about yesterday. Par for the course, Except that now there are no golf matches. The sports shutdown is probably what upsets him the most, not that everybody's life is upended for the forseeable future.

  201. @Carol lee Don't worry, I'm sure he won't stop golfing.

  202. I hope former Vice-President, hopefully soon to be President, Joe Biden works in "No, I don’t take responsibility at all" several times in every presidential debate. If our current president has the courage to show up to any debates. I hope Michael Bloomberg buys ads in every state stating, the story of Donald Trump's life can be summed up in one sentence "No, I don’t take responsibility at all". Part of me wishes I didn't have such vitriol for any human being. My father is in a nursing home with Parkinson's suspected of being caused by his service in Vietnam. I can't visit him (rightfully so but doesn't make it easier). I'm angry that myself and countless other Americans are now dealing with worries of life and death because of conman's fragile ego couldn't deal with a moment of bad news.

  203. @spughie This American thanks your Dad and you for his (and your) sacrifices for our Nation. Sadly, that's the best I can do right now (but I will work for and contribute to putting the Rough Beast and his henchmen and henchwomen out of office in November).

  204. @spughie Thousands of heroes like your dad are at risk due to the inaction and hubris of this man who must be stripped of his role as Commander in Chief.

  205. I watched with horror and disbelief as he shook hands with three of the corporate execs, before the fourth one offered to elbow bump him. His surprised chuckle and “I like that” presented me with his complete cluelessness and isolation from understanding the basics. I didn't expect him to turn into an epidemiologist overnight, in spite of his MIT uncle, but I did expect him to know something about the change in how we greet each other during the time of pandemic. He is unrepentantly dense, malevolent and we’re in deep deep trouble.

  206. @Chris Bunz For heaven’s sakes, elbow bumping has been around for years, now because many people sneeze into their elbows, the big thing now is hip and/or ankle bumping. I never thought I’d be on the cutting edge, but because I’m among those who have an underlying condition, I have to keep up on the very latest. Who knew?

  207. @Chris Bunz According to one expert I read, even elbow bumping (which our family has been doing for years as a result of health issues) shouldn't be done because it brings you within the supposedly 6 feet safer barrier that is recommended with others. So much for elbow bumping with this virus. It's so atrociously telling that Trump can't even come close to leading by example.

  208. @Chris Bunz -Regarding the shaking of hands and testing of trump. On the one hand, he really is that obtuse and/or simply, stubbornly refuses to believe the virus and the dangers it represents are real, and in doing so, further demonstrates the "hoax" of it all. On the other hand, I find it extremely hard to believe a self professed germaphobe, whose every action and thought begins and ends with "me", would not have been tested already, several times. He lies with abandon and has never shown an ounce of courage. Or, one hand washes the other. Please forgive the pun.

  209. What a week in America as this dark winter retreats and the hope of spring arrives shortly. On Wednesday, it was very sad to watch Mr. Trump’s teleprompter read address to the nation in the Oval Office in such a big moment of American History. At a time when the country was looking for strong leadership and regardless of party affiliation rooting for the POTUS to succeed, it was painful to watch Mr. Trump come off like such a small frightened little man. On Friday, at his press conference surrounded by his staff of sycophants and selected CEOs, it was almost as bad as the President showed utter disdain for reporters who had the temerity ask reasonable questions. Then it turned almost comical watching Vice President Pence set a new standard of over the top obsequious behavior as he lavished a large mountain of praise upon the President for his totally lackluster performance during this crisis. Without being able to preen, rant and ad lib about the stage in front of his adoring WWF inspired rally crowds, this week has been like watching Toto pull back the curtain to unveil the Wizard of Oz for who he really was. On a brighter note, in spite of all this baseball will endure as will the cherished rights of spring and summer because Americans as they always have, will rally together as a nation and successfully overcome this crisis in spite of a painful lack of leadership from the Trump Administration and move forward stronger, more resilient and wiser from the experience.

  210. The writer of this subhead (washes hands) deserves a big hand from readers and a big raise from the NYT bosses,

  211. @james haynes How fitting , especially with it being Easter season, let’s hope Trump’s self absolution, unlike that of Pilate’s, doesn’t get us all crucified. Of course with St Patrick’s Day approaching, it’d be nice to drive out some snakes.

  212. Trump is our own Typhoid Mary.

  213. @SCZ In that case, we'd better get some laws in place to keep him out of the Mens Room.

  214. I think Black Death (i.e., The Plague) is also an apt moniker for DJT.

  215. After all this time I think we need to use some perspective to better analyse things. Trump is not the problem. Trump is merely the magical sigil of the 35% of the country that sees all government as an evil to be destroyed. The people who relish in lies and the exercise of raw power, whether political or military, even to the point that they obliviously hurt their own interests. The United States in 2020 is being driven even deeper into fear, because fear presents opportunity to the opportunists. A pandemic is icing on the cake. Shutting down sports and and other venues makes sense. Delaying elections is a delaying tactic. One that seems likely to result in the cancellation of our national election in the fall, especially as Trump's approval numbers fall as the death count rises. That is the point where we will see if the States will oppose the fear and do their duty. The question is in doubt.

  216. @Bob Woods I live in Ohio and our Primary will be held as scheduled on Tuesday. Our Republican Governor, who i did not vote for, has done an outstanding job of handling this crisis. He has acted, he has communicated and he has reassured. Many of the State governors have shown more leadership than trump could even dream of. At least for my sorry, gerrymandered State, I feel we will ultimately turn out ok, despite all of trump’s efforts to the contrary.

  217. @Bob Woods Bravo Zulu. Trump is the symptom of the worst disease known to mankind. Ultimate greed and the hubris of fools.

  218. Please, concerned voters boot this man and his dreadful party leaders - OUT! Register! Vote!

  219. "Leadership. Whatever happens, you're responsible." Read it and weep, Donny.

  220. April 12, 1961: “I am the responsible officer of the government.” Spoken by President John F. Kennedy after taking full responsibility for the Bay of Pigs debacle, words that will never be uttered by this totally incompetent, useless, reptilian President.

  221. Even if Trump really does get tested I would never believe what he says the results are. He has never released his physicals to the public. I feel sorry for everyone who has to work near him, especially the secret service agents. I just wonder if he would change his position if his family tested positive.

  222. @Delores Porch "I just wonder if he would change his position if his family tested positive." No.

  223. @Delores Porch Reptiles don't care about thier young after they're hatched. And, reptiles don't get coronavirus. I'm glad the GOPs went home this weekend. Somehow I don't think thier constituents who just came home from weekend grocery shopping and bare shelves in America, are going to buy thier unicorn and balloons nonsense....and somehow, I don't think they want to hear "fake news" any longer..ESPECIALLY If any have been diagnosed, have a sick or dying relative they can't visit in a home, or a death in their family. Nope!

  224. @Delores Porch Of course not, it would be Obama's fault, or Hillary's, or China's, or, maybe, the bats in his belfry.

  225. Putin’s Poodle acts like a tantrum-throwing toddler. When confronted with his misbehaviour, his default responses are: “It wasn’t me!” and “I didn’t do it!” It’s past time to send him away and replace him with someone competent and adult..

  226. The tide is rapidly receding. Trump will try to hide his nakedness from his followers by burying deeper into the mud.

  227. One of the freedoms we still have is that writers such as Dowd may pen columns like this one. This publication urged Trump to declare a national emergency, not quite thinking through the concept of handing this would-be dictator essentially unlimited power. And yet here we are. Referring to the Stafford Act, Trump said "I have the right to do a lot of things that people don't even know about." Coming on the heels of three years of his increasingly dictatorial behavior, this remark ought to terrify us. And so we do not need to imagine how Trump will abuse his powers under the Stafford Act. He has done so under other legislation twice, and had a toadying Supreme Court rubber stamp his acts. A president's Constitutional power to declare martial law exists, but it is far from well-defined. And this Supreme Court has bent over backwards to provide the expansive definitions of "executive powers" Trump seeks. The Roberts court granted him "emergency powers" for his Wall and the Muslim ban on a claim wholly devoid of any facts. Trump simply said he needed to take those actions and this Court took him at his word. Expect a replay from this Court when he cancels the November election. They will rubber stamp any action he takes. Now, his threats to journalists, his urging his base to act on their "2nd Amendment solutions" take on new meaning. And if the last three years have shown us anything, it's that a man like Trump should never have been given "emergency powers".

  228. “When you say me, I didn’t do it. We have a group of people. I could ask perhaps my administration” because “I don’t know anything about it.” Trump's answer to Yamiche Alcindor Even if it were true, the arrogant and ignorant present occupant of the White house admits to a complete dereliction of duty. It is incomprehensible that a president would allow disbanding of the White House pandemic office without his knowledge.

  229. Harry Truman: "The Buck Stops Here."

  230. @Dorota What percent of Trumpsters accept or even approve of his ducking responsibility? The questioner was out to make him look bad, and he responded to stop her. She thrust and he parried, which is normal and expected when someone is out to get you. At the most basic level, what is going on is a struggle to attack and defend reputations. The reality is this struggle, not the struggle against a virus or the effects of the atmosphere's growing amount of carbon dioxide. Science is just another tool in the sales pitch.

  231. @Dorota : There's footage of him in late Feb. 2020 in which he talks about the disbanding -- that we can get those people back right away if we need to, and that as a businessman (!) he doesn't like wasting money on resources when they're not needed. I've seen the footage recently, embedded in some article, but despite my Googling a bit, I can't find it. The WaPo has a late-Feb. ?op-ed? (behind a paywall) titled "Trump says he can bring in coronavirus experts quickly. The experts say it is not that simple" -- it might lead you to the actual clip.

  232. Donald Trump is vile and has always been vile. Donald Trump is unfit to be President and has always been unfit to be President. But none of that matters unless Republicans are willing to hold him to account, to wade through the lies and a rabid base, and do what they know to be right. They will not. And thus I've reached a point where I've stopped worrying about Donald Trump. He is, himself, a global pandemic. And like Covid-19, I'm going to wait him out. Until then, we have precisely the country and government we deserve.

  233. "No, I don't take responsibility at all." Save that one for his tombstone.

  234. You would think he would be full of facts, drowning in them actually. Instead, he just looks like he is drowning, and resorts to just making stuff up.

  235. He needs to wash is hands for the sake of the many people he persists in shaking hands with as he sets a poor example.The hubris of this walking, endlessly talking personification of a mistake is astonishing.

  236. You know, geez already, is there anything more to be said at this point? These accurate but redundant comments are tiresome. I want to see a Doctor get in trumps face for once. I want to see Physicians get together and denounce this degenerate as the lying machine that he is. I want to see them explain to him on live TV what an utter failure of a human he is. I want to see someone think about people. I really want to see some wide-scale testing, because without that, we have nothing. When will that happen? A severe lesson is coming to America.

  237. It is easy to point out the blatant hypocrisy, lying , incompetence and the complete unwillingness to take responsibility, and just as easy to see why this is a danger to the Country and how it degrades the US standing in the world and how it damages the office of the Presidency. What is harder to see, and will be discussed for years is how so many still defend Mt Trump and say his behavior is acceptable

  238. Governors and Mayors are leading. The White House is trailing in their wake and doing a mediocre job of it.

  239. Brilliant oped. Tragic consequences of electing a person with serious mental health issues.

  240. Someone has to first show when Trump has ever taken responsibility for anything? That wasn't some means to self-aggrandize? When did he ever claim to be at fault for a bad deal, broken promise, or outright lie? To expect someone to take responsibility for mistakes, they must first have actually done so in their past. Trump never has. Never! So why expect it now? Why are so many people still waiting for Trump to mature and rise to any tough occasion and be a real, true leader? What is this hope so many people hold? Is it the remnants of faith? Wishful thinking? How much more evidence to the contrary do allegedly intelligent people need? The only buck that stops at Trump, are the ones he slips into his coffers. All others...not his. Nope, not mine. Wake up folks. The wishful thinking, the lighting of hope and prayer candles, or whatever arcana you perform, will not ever get Trump to be a real man and as such a real leader. Slap yourselves awake! You're dragging the rest of us already awake folks down!

  241. This marks the end of Trump. When his red state supporters begin to grow sick and die at the same rate as those of us in blue states, political divisions will largely evaporate, depriving Trump and his GOP hacks of their usual combustions. When their actual health and immediate survival is on the line, I trust that many, if not most, of the cult members will put a pin in that hot air balloon and rejoin the body politic (rather than continue to attempt to poison and decimate it). Another lesson inadvertently taught by this pandemic: good government is the ONLY solution - the greed of the marketplace, encouraging hoarding, stockpiling and profiteering, has proven, as always, an ethical/moral free zone. Listen now, anti-gov zealots, after attempting to drown the baby in the bathtub, you can count on watching your elders die as a direct result.

  242. The ever-shifting Republican rhetorical merry go round is in full swing. We have moved from "this is a hoax to overturn the last election" to "it's Obama's fault" at lightening speed. The truth? President 44 told the truth and had a professional pandemic response team in place: Less than two weeks after the H1N1 virus was identified, before anyone had died, diagnostic tests were approved and shipped. The first identified flu case was on 4/14/2009, and Obama declared swine flu a public health emergency on 4/26. The Food and Drug Administration approved a rapid test for swine flu on 4/28 -- with just over 50 diagnosed cases and no deaths at that point. 1,000 diagnostic kits were sent on 5/1/2009. A team was in place, they did their jobs, we were safe. Obama was Captain Picard ("make it so") to Trump's Captain Queeg (dither and blame).

  243. Pathological liars always deny responsibility. That’s why they normally speak in vague generalities, so as to not be held accountable for anything bad. If you examine all of Trump’s pronouncements over the last three years, not only are they infantile oversimplifications, they are the essence of Doublethink: presenting two contradictory truths, which the people of Oceania must believe simultaneously so that only Big Brother can control the truth. Nothing he says is a lie- it’s just Doublethink.

  244. I was driving yesterday while listening to yesterday's press conference. I heard one substantive statement: "I take no responsibility", the rest was a souffle' of superlatives: fantastic, tremendous, terrific, great, excellent, amazing,... blah blah.

  245. The only thing that's going to wake him up is when he gets the virus. When it affects him personally. That's the only reason he cares about anything; when it affects him.

  246. Trump missed an opportunity to show how serious he is about the pandemic by shaking hands with practically everyone who spoke at his press conference yesterday.

  247. Our own Sergeant Schultz in charge: I know nothing! Well except its not my fault. Whatever happened to "the buck stops here"?

  248. I don't listen to or watch Trump any more. I turned off the tv when he appeared. I said to my boyfriend "I'll wager he blames President Obama for this current crisis." It appears I was right. All Donald Trump spews is mendacity.

  249. Americans should be very concerned that the point man for this crisis is Mike Pence. I view him as incompetent, dead wrong on policy and unwilling to keep his religion out of government business. The government bureaucracy and private sector are capable mitigating the crisis provided they are allowed to function. What scares me most is not so much the virus but the fact that Trump and Pence and the likes of Steven Miller and Sean Hannity are in the mix and could foul things up.