A Deadly Lack of Leadership

The president congratulates himself.

Comments: 291

  1. If testing were as available to ordinary Americans as it now is to the elites - including Trump, other high ranking politicians, and celebrities, many of the economic hardships we are now enduring would be alleviated. Trump can go about his daily business because he tested negative, almost everyone else exposed needs to isolate for 2 weeks. We need widespread testing and we need it NOW! Many ordinary Americans, even those with respiratory symptoms, still cannot get tested. So consequently for the good of everyone they need to sacrifice 100% of their income for two weeks if they have been in contact with someone who tested positive. This is called "pulling yourself up my your own bootstraps".

  2. @green mountains - sadly, many ordinary Americans can't pay the rent if they have to sacrifice 2 weeks pay (or 50% of their monthly income). Increasing the homeless population is not going to help. We all need to push the Republicans in government to get real and require EVERY employer to provide 2 weeks paid sick leave. But we definitely need to vastly expand testing, and not just to people who have symptoms or know they have been exposed, since 80% of those with the virus may have mild or no symptoms. So there could be a whole lot of people out there spreading the virus, and even they don't know it.

  3. @mmwhite Nice idea - but not all employers CAN provide 2 weeks of sick pay - especially small businesses such as local restaurants and bars whose own income will be virtually nil while this plays itself out.

  4. Actually, anyone testing negative for this virus is still susceptible and can’t just go about their business. They still need to practice social distancing and good hand washing hygiene. Trump, in particular, must set a good example, since by virtue of his being president, he interacts with so many people. He needs to keep a distance of 6 feet from others, stop shaking hands and touching his face and be regularly re-tested. It’s almost like he thinks he’s like those young twenty-somethings in Manhattan who crowded into late-night bars and is impervious to COVID-19. As a man in his 70’s with underlying health conditions, one negative test does not mean he’ll never be at risk again during this pandemic.

  5. Very well said, sadly, so true. Thanks for putting it out there.

  6. California needs a leader, and it has one. The governor's speech today was exactly what a sane person would expect from the government at a time like this. We need to pay less attention to Trump and more to people who know what to do and are doing it. We have good leadership in this crisis in my city, in my county, and at the state level. Those are the leaders I'm listening to right now.

  7. @Joe Governors around the country are stepping up to the task as best they can. I don’t care what party they belong to, I am impressed at their action and regard to citizens under their care. Look to the helpers, as Fred Rogers used to say.

  8. @Joe NY Governor Cuomo did well too, in my opinion. Seems governors started taking the matter on their own.

  9. @Joe Montana's Governor, Steve Bullock, has also risen to the challenge. He sent out a thoughtful and thorough email to let everyone know what was happening in the state and what to expect in the days ahead. I remember thinking when I read it, this is what real leadership looks like. I hope everyone will help him be elected to the Senate in November.

  10. The deadliest things right now are the lack of common sense, wisdom, and the over abundance of greed. I was at a grocery store yesterday and it wasn’t until the end when I was at the checkout counter and saw that the employee had neither gloves nor sanitizer that I realized how much trouble we are all in. Grocery stores will remain open throughout this crisis no matter how long it lasts. In my county, and state, there are no orders from the governors office that regulate grocery stores. When I called the sheriffs office to let them know, I was told that because there are no binding orders from the governor, they can’t do anything. States should’ve closed everything three weeks ago. For now there are only a few we are schools, restaurants, and bars are closed. Incredibly, movie theaters are still open. We have become a nation of smart fools. We are smart enough to go to school and make a living, but not wise enough to save ourselves from this crisis or the build up to this oligarchy. I hope tonight’s the date changes the course of the coming election. We need FDR not Obama 2.0, as much as we all cherish the calm and competent way he led the nation. We’re too far gone. We need fundamental reform.

  11. @Rima Regas, as usual in America decisions are being made on the basis of money, not well being, not health, and certainly not for the benefit of working Americans. I see it where I work. Management wants us to work from home but we are not allowed to take home the monitors that help us do work on our laptop computers. The laptop screens are so small that every person is given at least one monitor. Most of us need 2 monitors to do our work. Forget about the virus, we could go blind from trying to work off of screens that are too small to see properly. Then we have to worry about meeting our deductibles, the co-pays, our monthly premiums, any out of network costs, etc. Let's not forget how often we have to fight with the health insurance companies over denials. Our entire society is rigged to tire out and drain the average working American. There is no social safety net. The GOP, with our assistance (after all someone votes these people into office), has cut a huge hole in it and most of us are falling through. 3/15/2020 8:21pm first submit

  12. @Rima Regas . We are not going to get an FDR. Biden is selling himself as Obama 2.0.

  13. @Steve C. It's worse than that. He lied repeatedly last night, even though CSPAN and YouTube archives are full of clips of him proposing to cut social security and medicare to reduce the deficit. He also suddenly adopted Warren and Sanders policies when he's spent the last year deriding them and those who need them. He took a page right out of the Trump campaign handbook. Lie through your teeth and govern as you please. It doesn't bode well.

  14. We can wring hands all we want-Trump is President. That Fact isn't changing. It would be nice to have FDRish Leadership-Not Happening. We have to sacrifice-a muscle not often stretched in American culture-but given this opportunity-Iet's pray will benefit us in the end.

  15. @That's What She Said Speak for yourself. Medical personnel, managers and workers in many health related offices and businesses are at this very moment sacrificing time to care for the ill, and to prepare for the disaster that is approaching. Many other “civilians” are giving up routines of life in the interests of public health, and no doubt we will do more when we get even a foggy notion of what that more might be.

  16. Also worth mentioning is Trump's very on-brand over-fixation on borders, which created a false sense of security while other nations focused on testing and isolation. And as predicted the border restrictions failed to stop the virus from arriving into the US and then, thanks to the testing strategy errors, growing undetected.

  17. Trump is not a leader and never has been. He doesn't meet the criteria. He isn't even a follower, as he resents and ignores the input from experts and even his own appointees. So he should just get out of the way, as in "Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way"

  18. So far we have relied on a hodgepodge of leadership from various college and professional sports leagues, local school administrators, a few state governors, and some college presidents. After three years of this administration we should not be surprised that it has no capacity for leadership.

  19. I can understand Trump's reluctance to be tested: he doesn't think he's vulnerable because he doesn't drink beer.

  20. @RKD You win the day; maybe the virus should be called coke virus...

  21. @RKD. Very funny!

  22. Unfortunately the situation is worse than the lack of leadership, trump and mnuchin are angling for special financial powers due to the pandemic that will allow them to make massive payoffs with public money to favored corporations that support trump. These people are venal beyond comprehension, and are hoping to circumvent the House of Representatives and its constitutional duty to control spending of public tax dollars in the public interest.

  23. @Paul That is so true. We the People are no longer citizens. Just consumers, waiting to be fleeced of our money and future.Remember that Mnuchin is the guy who made billions when the banks got bailed out and millions of people lost their homes.

  24. @Paul That reminds me of Cheney and his Halliburton profits from the Iraq War--a war that the US got into under bogus circumstances. George Tenet and Rand Paul (and others) have said that Cheney pushed for the war so that Halliburton could get that no-bid contract worth billions.

  25. @Rich Pein To all those people who wouldn't support Hillary in the general election and voted 3rd party or stayed home and said how bad can it be under Trump, they have found their answer.

  26. Without credibility there can be no leadership. Trump’s ego and benightedness, combined with disdain for educated, experienced experts, science, and truth puts every American at significant risk. The sad fact is this toxic blend has been threatening us for over three-and-a-half years. That we have survived this long is the real miracle. I can only hope the adults in the room are allowed to guide us through this pandemic.

  27. If Americans of whatever politic leanings want to be alive to vote in November, as a healthcare professional I recommend that we all ignore everything Trump ( and Nunes) say about Coronavirus. Until testing is widespread there is no way to know who is a Silent Spreader of this virus ( folks who carry and " shed" or " seed" the virus to others, but do not themselves have any symptoms).

  28. The man is the walking personification of irrelevance. We are already in the post-Trump era.

  29. @Bach Unfortunately, we are NOT in the post-Trump era. He has the ability to do much worse irreparable harm between now and next January. As his reelection chances decrease, his boundless capacity for rage will only increase. He will strike back like a caged beast at everyone and everything that he perceives is his enemy.

  30. @Bach Yet the psychological, tangible, and reputational harm he has inflicted on America and Americans will live on for many, many years, if not decades.

  31. @Bach Not until he's out of office. Remember, Fox is the most watched "news" channel in the country. Have you seen what's broadcast there, Bach?!

  32. I had hoped that Trump would've bumbled his way through one term then voted out with minimal damage, unfortunately he's going out with a bang. But the Mitch McConnells and Lindsey Grahams of the GOP that allowed this so called President to wreak havoc on our society for one reason only. To hijack the only branch of government, the judiciary, not subject to term limits and at the same time subjugate the majority by nullifying the representative legislature (the Senate not included). To impose a minority's will. This crisis, unlike a military or terrorist act, the enemy is within, and his dereliction of leadership will have real consequences. No amount of spin will undo deaths...........

  33. @Elniconickcbr I blame the Republicans even more than Trump. They could have put limits on what Trump could do. Beyond that their policies have brought us Trump.

  34. @Elniconickcbr trump and the GOP are inseparable. His failures are those of the GOP. This must not be forgotten in November.

  35. A scar? It will leave a trail of unnecessary death and destruction through every State in America and many of those deaths will have been avoidable had action been taken sooner. I agree with another poster here...we are already in the post Trump era...people are miles ahead of politicians and they've already seen enough to know who and what exactly is responsible for the storm that's about to hit.

  36. I am convinced, since he is such a big baby, he is getting tested daily. It is most unfortunate, that Dr. Fauci is also not being honest about these test kits and the critical lack of the chemical needed in the processing of the tests that can cover far greater numbers of people. They have also abandoned any idea of general community testing, which will make it impossible to estimate how much virus is circulating in communities and giving us data on an accurate death rate. It’s sad to see a distinguished man like Dr. Fauci not being truthful because of trump.

  37. @ecamp I am convinced he wasn't tested and that he's lying.

  38. We can no longer be surprised by what Mr Trump does and the endless take-downs - however well written and factual they are - don't seem to change his approval ratings or in any way get us closer to ridding the threat to our nation that is our current President Use you column-inches, Mr Blow, to help us understand why 40 something percent of Americans still find the farce acceptable, and help us figure out what we can do to help displace him

  39. @Mark Mark Well well, Double Mark, maybe you could give us a hint as to what Mr. Blow might do to convince the Fox viewers that view nothing but propaganda all day that the lies they believe are not true. Mr. Blow speaks the truth with facts pertinent to the issue. What would you recommend, pleading earnestly?!

  40. Thanks Mark Mark. Exactly to the point.

  41. @Mark Mark ... Trump's found acceptable because of a stepwise induction over time into a cult-like, Fascist-like creation. The cultists all hate everyone else and everyone else hates back but not as much. Not so different anywhere in the world.

  42. It’s going to leave a lot more than a scar. It’s leaving a wake of death and panic and loss. Each of us has to decide to develop a kind of inner leadership that was never asked of us. We have to be our own doctor. Be our own employer. Shake our own hands, for gods sakes. For all of us that live through this, this is the one that taught us not to trust anymore. That’s a pandemic in itself.

  43. The idea of simply ignoring Trump seems to be gaining traction. I will do just that.

  44. I’m with you!

  45. Mr. Blow states that leading a cult is not like leading a country, as if Mr. Trump is actually interested in leading a country. I suggest his readers read the article in today's NYT about Trump's followers looking to him as the only person they can trust, and to health experts who can be trusted because they are the only ones not trying to take Trump down. All these op-ed writers writing as if this is different and will make a dent in his approval ratings. As if the cult is going to wake up.

  46. @Philip, Trump ran on a lark. It was for fun. It's not as much fun being president as it was running.

  47. @Philip Until they start getting sick and dying in increasing numbers and find out that they may be at the losing end of medical triage (Trump demographics tend older) because there aren't enough ventilators to keep every critical patient alive , then their perspective may swiftly change . Nothing like facing losing your life to make you wake up to reality!

  48. First, this was a team effort. There is no one around Trump able to insist on the truth. So, there is a lack of leadership in general throughout his government. Those he has chosen are useless. Second, this may be an opportunity for the republicans to change a number of things they want done by intentionally being inept and thus increasing fear. They will surely try to get something out of this for their corporate masters. There solutions will all include deregulation of the financial industry and tax payer money for corporations. Thus far anything that may help real people has been very weak. There are a lot of people who won't be helped by any legislation in the pipeline thus far.

  49. Even if everything Mr. Blow says is true, what is the point? The only people reading this column ( with a very few exceptions ) are those who agree with him and who hate everything that Trumps says or does. The negative criticisms in the comments are repeated over and over. But there are a lot of voters who really like Trump, regardless of his many faults, and will vote to re-elect him this fall.

  50. And God help this country if that is true. We’ll see. Give it a month where people can’t send their kids to school and can’t see their friends or extended family and can’t do anything fun outside the house, let alone those who will lose their income and businesses and even their loved ones, then we’ll see how much they love Donald Trump. And if he wins but loses the popular vote, it’s time to rise up people. Get ready to get off those couches and into the streets in November if that happens.

  51. @Aaron Adams But there will be many more voters who will vote against him than will vote for him.

  52. @Aaron Adams And what is the point of your post? What is the point of Trump deifiers over on a Fox comment board gushing to each other about how he's the best president in their lifetimes? If you don't want to read (deservedly) negative criticism about your presidential choice, then no one is forcing you to do so here. I will agree with you on one thing, though, about this president: he does have many faults.

  53. Looking on the bright side, the hopefully infinitesimally small chance of Trump's reelection has gotten even smaller. Surely the number of Americans who realize that Trump must go has gotten larger. Also larger is the motivation for even overconfident folks like me to be sure to vote.

  54. @twoberry His job-approval ratings have not budged.

  55. @herzliebster Correct. But, that is not a good sign for Trump. Those who voted for him will vote for him again. Remember, Trump lost the election. Those who refrained from voting in 2016 are probably far more motivated for 2020, and not in a way that will help Trump. Trump will lose "bigly" in 2020.

  56. @twoberry even with his incompetent and dangerous handling of this virus, Trump's approval rating isn't budging one iota. His base is utterly immovable. So please, please don't be overconfident, we all need to vote, every last one of us.

  57. I usually disagree with but read your column and respond your point of view This virus crisis is not Trumps forte but Sanders and Biden scare me too Listened to Cuomo and felt he would be the right person to take care of this crisis

  58. @Gdk Sorry, what? Is there anything that is Trump's forte? i.e., anything do with being a President and caring for the American people?

  59. Trump also tried to spin this health crisis by depicting it as a Chinese virus. To be sure, the Chinese government made serious errors, even knowingly, which put lives at risk worldwide. Nevertheless, coronavirus has hit leaders across the globe. And while Angela Merkel, for instance, has been blunt about the potential devastation, Trump has been more concerned about PR and his re-election than about our wellbeing. In fact, Trump’s overall approach -speaking himself when we should be hearing from the scientists, trying to deflate the number of afflicted individuals, painting optimistic scenarios which don’t match reality - really is not far from that of Xi. We don’t have to look to foreign figures to see someone who has endangered us.

  60. In Vietnam, the live meat markets that spawned this virus are still in full swing. What will it take to shut them down?

  61. Are you serious ? This is a Chinese virus -it originated there and their government lies about everything so we will never know the true facts

  62. Sadly, last week we began to feel the full effects of our President's lack of leadership on our nation's health. Today, in the face of his lack of leadership on the economy, after the Federal Reserve used the last monetary bullet in its arsenal, premarket trading had to be stopped when all of the indices dropped about another five percent. Republicans, led by our President, have spent the last three years living the motto: "Let us eat, drink, and be merry" ignoring the rest of the verse "because tomorrow we die." Even if he loses in November, we will likely spend the next decade recovering as a country from the disastrous presidency of Donald J. Trump.

  63. @Didier If we are able to recover. 2008 10 million family lost their homes. Now our lives, how do you recover that?

  64. I just watched a clip (by a pandemic specialist) that said, based on science, the virus probably has already spread to 50,000 Americans, but that the number could be as high as 500,000 people. Thanks, Donald. (Although this flub-up could be one for the record books).

  65. @JRW This has been galling me for days as I did the arithmetic. We lost about 11 weeks all told. Hiding facts and stalling with lies including happy talk afterward has killed people..AND, will for the same reasons kill many more, specifically.

  66. Trump actually got in a true statement, unknowingly, for emphatically stating on Friday that he took no responsibility for missteps. Trump wants to wash his hands from the responsibilities of his office while rushing to grab the spotlight.

  67. Trump’s Empty Quiver With this latest interest rate cut, there are effectively no more short-term measures the Fed and administration can take other than going to a negative interest rate. There is one more thing that can be done, mail government checks to all Americans, but Republicans are loathe to do that. Anything that doesn’t involve trickle-down and job creators is anathema to 40 years of stone tablet etching handed down from on high (Church of Reaganomics). In trying to keep a 10 year bull market alive for his 3 years, Trump has already spent the easy policy strategies: tax cuts for the rich, tax cuts for corporations, tiny tax cuts for everyone else. What about deficit spending without plans for repayment? Already did that to the tune of a trillion dollars a year, increase. And, that deficit now looks like 2 trillion a year for the foreseeable future. Trump really is doing to the USA what he did to his businesses up until he became a reality star, bankruptcies at the expense of others to maintain his lifestyle.

  68. @dmaurici The Fed has more in its toolkit than just interest rates. I suggest you catch up on Fed powers before posting such glaringly wrong comments.

  69. @dmaurici Explain to me how a Fed rate cut will cause people to spend money in restaurants. Are you going to buy more TP?

  70. @dmaurici "there are effectively no more short-term measures the Fed and administration can take other than going to a negative interest rate." Actually there are. For instance one suggestion is to send at least $1,000 to every American to help with their financial situation. That will be far better than any rate cut.

  71. All true. Trump's behavior has already cost lives! Our brothers and sisters are mourning. Of course, there is a great deal coming more that is an absolute certainty. Trump bears the responsibility for an exponential cost to our nation. Still, a critical step has not yet been taken: Announce that all people who test positive for Covid19 will be treated, and if they are without insurance the federal government will subsidise the cost. This step is a necessary step for public health and is also morally required. If this step is not announced, a vast number of people who are sick will not be tested and potentially will spread the virus. Imagine the worst; it's realistic.

  72. @Joe Yes, absolutely, make sure people get treated at government cost. But that should be a NEGOTIATED, REASONABLE cost: Medicare rates, perhaps, or the lowest amount negotiated by any insurer. This public health crisis should not be allowed to become a bonanza for the providers, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies.

  73. @Terry People are going to be spending weeks in the hospital because of this. A good portion will be in the ICU on a ventilator. Do you have any idea how expensive that will be? We’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars. They’ll be bankrupt if they manage to survive. So yeah, something needs to be done. Fast.

  74. @Terry Medicare rates don't even cover hospitals' costs for care. Not to mention that hospitals will be in dire straits since people will cancel elective procures and routine care. Maybe when Medicare payments actually cover costs you would have a point.

  75. Thank heavens we are taking action and thank goodness for the skill and knowledge demonstrated by local health agencies, decimated as they are by funding cuts. I hope we are moving fast and soon enough to avoid the nightmare scenario of overwhelmed hospitals, doctors, nurses and other caretakers. Has anyone explained to Trump that COVID-19 threatens one of his major voter demographic groups — the elderly? Maybe THAT threat will wake him up — a threat to his precious reelection.

  76. @PJD Exactly. This response is what is needed to "Make America Great Again": sufficient resources to treat every person with dignity and respect for their lives. Trump's money-grubbing approach to the presidency shows his lack of understanding basic human need. Making America Great Again looks like subsidized health care to keep doctors and hospitals well funded and expertly staffed; it pays for the educations of all the health care professionals; it supports refurbishing our infrastructure. We all pay in, we all benefit. It was possible to think this way in the 1930's and 1940's -- working together and everyone pitching in. If that is "socialism" then that is what will MAGA!

  77. @PJD But he's not elderly (in his mind); he's young and fit and taller and weighs less than he measures (in his mind). He assumes that because he says so, no one will notice that he's an obese old guy who has trouble walking up the stairs of an airplane. Then there's his claim that he knows so much about medicine because he had an uncle who was a physicist. Is anyone sure he knows the difference between what a physicist and a physician study?

  78. Wouldn't it be interesting to see the results of a comparative timeline and statistical correlation between covid-19 cases and Trump's "base" which followed every word of their leader, from his first self-serving denials to his later grudging acknowledgment of at least some of the facts? One has to wonder if his "non-believers" have fared better.

  79. As a senior citizen in very good health I feel that at my age, 78, I am in that group more likely to get this virus than those much younger. The moment this deadly virus appeared steps should have been taken in this country to make testing kits easily available, free, for anyone. And yet there was a delay of at least two months and there is no guarantee that they will be available soon. This is an incredible failure on the part of this administration and many will die because of it. We need tests in mobile settings as in South Korea and millions of them. Of all of the policies undertaken by our current leader this one is literally deadly.

  80. Right on the nail there. Well said. The first three paragraphs in your article are more than just words. I have seen, in my relatively small workplace, (a casino in Maine), these very anxieties. They've closed the schools. What are parents to do? They've closed everything around us, what do we do next? Yet this business stays open, Granted, we are just confirming cases here, quite small compared to the rest of the world. What really upsets me though, as the guy at my table coughed, says, "this whole thing is a hoax". I'm calling out sick tomorrow.

  81. The biological war against the coronavirus initially was not as if we were attacked by a foreign nation. trump was immediately flummoxed by that. No one to blame, then his warped divining rod finger point at President Obama, who had an Office of Pandemic Security in the White House, whom trump eviscerated. There are between 65000 and 165,000 ventilators in hospitals across the nation, obviously many already in use by patients with other diseases. trump says, they’re making more. The entire tech industry can mobilize and make parts necessary for the manufacturing of ventilators. We retool for tech fashion every few months it seems. We build obsolescence into what’s manufactured to keep industries going. Start building ventilators. We may need millions.

  82. Unfortunately, all of his at-risk enablers in Congress and supporters around the country may finally have the chance to fall on the sword for him. Was it worth it?

  83. I think over the decades we have let president to accumulate lot of power. We need to take the power away from the presidency.

  84. @Ugly and Fat Git , how about the electoral college, and impeachment trials without evidence or witnesses. Or a Supreme Court Chief Justice who has trouble defining the word preside, and doesn’t have a clique about checks and balances. There’s a lot more to our distortion of democracy.

  85. Imagine this. Trump announces, effective immediately, that ALL Trump properties across the US and around the world are to be repurposed for emergency medical use only. He then instructs ALL Trump property managers henceforth to cooperate with health authorities to operate Coronavirus isolation wards for the most vulnerable. And then try, if you can, envisioning Trump concluding: "And all this will be at my own private expense because I love America and our people are in great need and I have the means."

  86. @Craig Hodges I am a Beatles fan too. But, Trump has repeatedly dashed any illusion that he is capable of doing ANYTHING that benefits anyone not named Trump.

  87. Yes, you have to imagine that because it’s high fantasy that no one will see in reality. I hope he proves me wrong.

  88. @Patio Furniture I believe you meant to say that you are a fan of John and Yoko.

  89. I hear you and agree with you, but I fear you are preaching to the choir. Sunday’s NYT had a story about how Trump’s supporters are finding comfort in his ‘leadership’ and his ‘decisive’ action. Some still believe that this pandemic is largely a hoax being perpetrated by the media. I suppose this is due largely to the role of Fox News as their primary source of information’. Sadly, what may have to happen for these people to have their eyes opened is for this crisis to get far worse, for it to literally ‘hit home’. I sincerely hope it will not take more people in far more places to become seriously ill or perish from the Coronavirus, for that may well just lead to agonizing despair rather than enlightenment about leadership.

  90. @John, The value of preaching to the choir is that it can get people to the polls.

  91. We'll see if faith flags when the faithful fall ill. I'm thinking probably not. This November let's make our great country good again.

  92. @JohnD Thank you for your response. Every now and then I wonder why Fox News is allowed to broadcast... I suppose it is merely a journalistic ethic to verify facts? Are there really no laws that punish news outlets for spreading lies? I don't think that is "protected speech" under our Constitution. No American media company should have the right to falsify and create chaos -- any more than the Russian government should!

  93. You make a great argument that, while true, will be lost on his base who are afraid of admitting their mistake.

  94. @Michael Morandi See how they will love being out of work, no medical benefits and sleeping in a cardboard box. One just has to look back only as far as 08 to see where this is headed.

  95. @Michael Morandi Why do you think they think they made a mistake? This is tribalism and the best one can hope for is a peaceful ending. My eye paints a different picture but I see America from the outside looking in. "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" Samuel Johnson

  96. @Michael Morandi True. The Mark is the last person to admit that a con is going on.

  97. I watched the Biden-Sanders debate tonight and one thing is clear. There are definite differences in their philosophies but they have one essential characteristic in common: They both have genuine empathy for people who are suffering, something woefully absent in Trump.

  98. @nzierler I have a great deal of empathy, too much the experts say. If anybody needs to understand, the real answers are awfully painful, they may acknowledge the unvarnished truth that America is way beyond reconciliation and it is time for bilateral negotiations. We had a referendum on sovereignty and argued whether a one vote majority might call for dramatic change thankfully it was 50.5% 49.5%. For those that try to understand the Bible the allegory is not a moment in history but for all time. When Israelites were forbidden to associate with certain tribes and encouraged to associate with others it was computer dating rather than snobbery. It was about compatibility. I watched purple disappear and I am waiting for the debate whether there is a catalyst that will again allow purple.

  99. @nzierler There is no politician with empathy. They're all in it for themselves otherwise they'd abide for term limits long ago.

  100. @Jason W Term limits for politicians makes about as much sense to me as term limits for MDs or teachers.

  101. Back in January it is believed that the virus ran through Snowmass. There had been visitors from Wuhan in Snowmass. But we won't know for sure because of no testing. And there is still not enough testing. Testing needs to ramp up to the point that if I feel slightly under the weather I could get a test to see if I have a mild infection....but still infectious and need to take additional precautions.

  102. Who would have guessed that one person's health and well being was dependent on the health and well being of everyone else? Millions of our fellow citizens without health insurance, millions more without sick leave. It's a good idea to care about one another.

  103. The president congratulated himself because in spite of millions of Americans being in life threatening peril he’s only interested in himself. This is above all , the single most viable reason for getting rid of this man by any legal means possible. If this is not a good reason to invoke the 25th amendment then please tell me, what is? Donald Trump has become a disaster within a disaster, a crisis within a crisis.

  104. @RD As soon as the cameras turned off the day Trump showed the storm path map he'd altered with a marker, he could have been hauled before a judge. Involuntary committal in the District of Columbia requires someone to be a danger to self or others; that standard, arguably, would also apply to those who let him do it.

  105. Also reports that he offered a German company working on an antidote one billion dollars for the company including 'exclusive rights' for their drugs. The German government stepped in and the Head of the company, an American was replaced. Can you imagine that. Trump buys the company and ONLY allows the drug to be used to treat Americans? I can.

  106. @Steve Ambrose America First! So yes, unfortunately, I totally can see it too. Gods, it's really sad what we have come to this!

  107. @Steve Ambrose But which Americans? Everyone? Rich and poor? More likely he, his family, his friends and his supporters. Anything left will be stockpiled for himself - just in case.

  108. Trump is all heart, Steve Ambrose. The ultimate humanitarian. Trump likely only wants the antidote for himself and his family members and people who voted for him. Nice guy.

  109. All, very true. Yet his approval rating remains at 45%. What is wrong with America?

  110. @Armo The pathology you speak of - the sickness which gives Trump significant support despite everything he has done to show himself unworthy - is going to be harder to turn around than even the coronavirus. Thanks for what you wrote. Take care.

  111. @Armo Those who listen to hate radio, the radical right, fox nutits relay some of the following false news: It's China's fault, they invited the "world" to their lunar new year & sent everyone home sick;People are dying in Italy because they weren't prepared because they have socialized medicine, I said trump wasn't prepared either, No Answer; Or, its people who come here from other countries who don't know about sanitation, I said what about our 88 million homeless who have no sanitation, she said I'm not talking about them;there is no reaching these people of hate, there is no reasoning with them, I don't know how anyone can reach them because they believe, in their rage, God is on their side.

  112. @Armo They never asked me, so I would take that 45% with a grain of salt.

  113. Having no television by choice, I only listened to the news conference in which the president, surrounded by corporate leaders and an obsequious vice president, declared a state of emergency. I heard the words, felt the inadequacy. Then I heard the tone of things turn mean as Trump snarled away questions he didn't like and placed blame on everything and anybody other than himself. The real leadership I yearn for I heard tonight - when Senator Sanders stood head and shoulders over his opponent, Senator Biden, in the CNN one-on-one debate. I will re-double my efforts on behalf of his campaign. We need this man of vision, who will clearly defeat the man currently in the office. Sanders 2020.

  114. @EB I thought Biden did well. But if you succeed in getting Mr. Sanders the nomination I'll stand with him in solidarity. I hope you will do the same if Biden is chosen.

  115. @EB So you did watch TV and the debate. As Biden supporters we were utterly disgusted that Bernie obsessed with his own views stuck the knife into an opponent whom it appears Democrats want as their candidate to oust Trump. There is no forseeable way Bernie can win the nomination and, as WaPo columnist Milbank writes, he wants to be the spoiler in chief! As with Elizabeth Warren who refused to shake Bernie's hand, after the debate, Biden walked away slowly as if Bernie was not there, over to the table of interviewers, over to the one interviewer, Dana Bash, who had not joined in the knifing. Et tu Brute! There s a reason Bernie followers are unkind, they take it from their leader.

  116. @EB Okay fine. But if Biden is the nominee, make sure you vote for him. If you don't, you are helping Trump.

  117. Trump left a scar way before this. Thank God our local leaders have stepped up to this challenge! If we refuse to let fear consume us, we can make good decisions to weather this storm as a united people -- the United States! It will involve listening to scientists and medical professionals and following their advise. We CAN get through this together! Let's unite!

  118. @Michael LET'S UNITE!!

  119. Trump maybe be able to hide the number of deaths by delaying the tests, but he cannot hide the number of deaths. Once the death toll rises exponentially, so will the clamor for his removal. As of now, Wall Street has already fired him. More groups will follow. Trump is done. We might not even have to wait until November.

  120. @Opinioned! From your lips to God’s ears!

  121. Trump is irrelevant to this crisis. Thank you to medical professionals, and infectious disease research centers for stepping into the void. Ordinary Americans are doing what a president is supposed to do. In spite of Trump. And thank you to governors and mayors and county health departments providing Americans with information and guidance.

  122. He’s done. I know that my fellow Americans have learned the hard way that everything just slides off our current President, and any predictions of his demise are always premature, but I think he is done, for good. How do I know? Here’s why: there’s no spin for this. My mind doesn’t go to how this affects his base, how they will rationalize this, or any other political concerns like it normally does in the wake of scandal. His incompetence used to be outrageous, now it is deadly. He has to go. I’m not happy about his failures, I wish he had succeeded. I really do, because it would have meant less suffering for so many. He failed, catastrophically. He’s done. We need new leaders, and anyone can see that.

  123. @Batt Sadly, there was an article right here in this very newspaper earlier today about how Trump supporters think he’s handling this whole thing very well. So I’m afraid not everyone can see that… We are dealing with some very strange and stubborn folks and there’s a lot of them

  124. @Batt Based on letters in the local paper, some Trump True Believers "know" the Democrats paid the Chinese government to develop the virus because the Democrats are angry about the wonderful job Trump is doing and they realize his reelection is a sure thing so they decided to use germ warfare to hurt America. And this is what we've come to and this is what we are dealing with. We're done for.

  125. @Batt I live in an area dominated by Trump supporters. Unfortnately, they believe his rhetoric. The main opinion expressed by his supporters, in my area, is the belief that the news media is blowing Covid-19 out of proportion because it's the fake news. The spin was created the day he was elected into office, and it has been reinforced by certain congressional members as well as sensationalist entertainers such as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. They are as much to blame as Trump. God bless their souls because you are right...this time it is deadly.

  126. President Trump seems to be leaving this up to the individual governors to respond to this crisis. We need a pro-active, coordinated national response to this crisis. We can not wait another one week let alone the two months that we have wasted. Roosevelt was able to mobilize our country during WWII to a war footing. Many Governors are doing a outstanding job but they do not have the tools that the federal government has. We need to start purchasing or manufacturing ventilators today. We need to set up a form of mobile testing units today. And we need to begin to set up milatary field hospitals so our hospitals are not overwhelmed and our nurses and doctors are not exposed and decimated. And yes, we should use our military and our national guard to begin this process. Trump seems hoping that his 'hunch" that this is no big deal is still true. He will , once again, wait until it is to late and then find a scapegoat that he can pin it on.

  127. Facts and the truth have no place in trump's America. Don't be surprised if he maintains the same number of votes he had in 2016. The difference between reelection and ending this madness is TURNOUT!

  128. @Bill Brasky Turnout, yes. But turnout amidst a devastating pandemic with no hint that anyone is preparing to guarantee that every registered voter in every state will be able to vote, postage-free, by mail.

  129. @Leslie Every voter voting? The Republicans can't, and won't, allow it.

  130. @Leslie Every voter voting? The Republicans can't, and won't, allow it.

  131. Trump handled this crisis exactly as we expected him to. He tried to politicize it, to make it seem like just another hoax. He tried to make it appear less consequential than it was. He contradicted the experts when the experts gave us bad news. Now he is trying to take credit for actions which others have been advocating for weeks. In other words, he has acted like Trump. What really bothers me are two issues regarding the testing. Why didn't we take the German test kits that the WHO approved when they were offered weeks ago? Who exactly refused the offer? Which company created the original test kits for the CDC, the test kits that were found to be flawed? And which company is producing the test kits now?

  132. @Joseph Thomas All good questions that reporters should be asking during the briefing. I kept wondering why everyone missed asking these obvious questions. Right now, now there are two things on my mind: (1) the questions you ask re: the testing kits, and (2) what work is being done toward a vaccine? Cheers!

  133. @Joseph Thomas I can tell you one thing: one of the BIG distributors of tests in the national rollout will be OSCAR, a subsidiary of Verily. OSCAR is a health tech/private insurance company co-owned by—wait for it: Josh Kushner, Jerod Kushner’s little brother, who stands to make a fortune off his country’s suffering. Josh is married to model Heidi Kloss , who isthe daughter of the Dr.Kloss that Jerod Kushner inexplicably enlisted to shape national policy on the response to the virus....so...they delayed rolling out the mass testing until they could profit by it...connect the dots at your leisure....

  134. Scientists currently estimate that more than 200 million Americans could eventually become infected with the coronavirus, leading to a possible death toll of almost two million. The US currently has over 3,000 confirmed cases with at least 60 reported deaths. That means we could realistically expect about 65,000 times more Americans who will contract the virus with about 30,000 times more deaths. That means virus casualties (both infections and deaths) are now down about *four to five orders of magnitude* from what we will ultimately see from this crisis. This probably seems incomprehensible at present. But it is not. This is what disastrously inadequate testing and quarantining will do. America needed to jump all over this virus at its inception, and we failed miserably. Now we need to be mentally prepared for the fallout. More specifically, our "I don't take responsibility" president must be held accountable. Because as president, he *is* responsible.

  135. @Blue Moon And they are saying that the US has a total of one million hospital beds. Total, counting the ones already being used. This disaster is in it’s infancy.

  136. @sam From numbers recently reported in the NYTimes: If we fail to "flatten the curve" and see 10 million US coronavirus infections at the peak this summer, with 20% requiring hospitalization, then we will need two million hospital beds just for these virus patients. And we will not have nearly enough ventilators. We could witness a truly devastating number of unnecessary deaths. Our "I don't take responsibility at all" president must be held accountable.

  137. @Blue Moon ... I would note that if you are alarmed about 65,000 deaths from the coronavirus, I would remind everyone that nearly 70,000 are dying every year from drug overdoses. More than 40,000 die from gun violence - about 22,000 of which are suicides (fact check me on that). Those are tragedies year in and year out with no abatement.

  138. I just heard how Vice President Joe Biden would approach this crisis and so yearn that he was in the Oval Office right now. He is calm, directed, unselfish, empathetic, aware of the facts, science driven, and encouraging of letting the experts lead. The incompetence of this administration is breath taking. They have had months to show leadership and have faltered every step of the way. Maybe they should put Joe Biden in charge instead of Mike Pence.

  139. @Jacqueline Jones Unselfish- what a great word to use when thinking of a leader. I have not considered it’s use for the past three years. I am looking forward to using it again come November.

  140. @Jacqueline Jones There were always only two choices tell the truth or tell lies. Just like vaccines needing at minimum a year of testing before approval we really don't know nearly enough to know how this virus will behave. Jimmy Carter speaks the truth and managed to unite Republicans and Democrats in opposing the President.

  141. @Jacqueline Jones - But President Trump is obsessed with trying to dig up more dirt on Hunter Biden, and with pardoning Michael Flynn. Nero fiddles while Rome burns.

  142. Biden compared this emergency to a war. It is apt. We must all sacrifice and bring to bear the resources of this mighty nation to beat back the onslaught of the coronavirus, contain it, defeat it. Our best minds must be put to the task of forging a winning strategy that stops infection where possible and renders lifesaving care where needed. Trump tells us first that this is a hoax, then a passing little nuisance, then a foreign virus that requires strong borders, finally a national emergency. He has not yet put us on a war footing, but he will. He will have to, because the war is on and we are not winning. Pray it is not too late.

  143. Abundant evidence exists already that Trump's delayed response to the virus outbreak has and will cost lives. The delay means it can only get worse. My greatest fear, as the country's ability to cope with the pandemic is overwhelmed, is that Trump and his minions will use growing panic as an excuse to exercise ever greater authoritarian measures against a beleaguered citizenry, in the name of "national security" no less.

  144. @dove This is exactly what he’ll do. And when September rolls around and if we are still in the throws of this, he will cancel the election.

  145. Because of Trump’s testing delays and obfuscations we are on a trajectory to have many tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths. Other Americans directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent U.S. citizens have been given labels of infamy in our written history. You can likely think of some of them. From now on, such words should be the first things written after the name Donald J. Trump.

  146. I'm thankful for our universal healthcare here in Canada more than ever before...

  147. @Matt M And we truly envy you for it! Maybe when we vote the Menace in Chief out this November, we can start having nice things, too. Hope Mrs Trudeau is doing well and best wishes for her speedy recovery!

  148. @Matt M yeah. It helped ms Trudeau avoid this bug You do realize we don’t have to wait months and months here in the US for a hip, right?

  149. Access to healthcare is not actual healthcare a “right” requires an obligation on the part of an individual with their time and talents to provide that service making that individual a slave.

  150. When a doofus continues to mislead and lie while standing beside an expert who explains what really is going on, I am grateful for Dr. Anthony Fauci. He doesn't hesitate to disagree with Trump. He tells Americans what they need to know. Local leaders are taking up the slack in every state and large city. We don't need Trump at all.

  151. @Honey But in the last presser, Trump called Yamiche Alcindor's question "nasty" and differed to Fauci, who did not dare to contradict the muzzler-in-chief, but just shook his head. That was the low point of Fauci's career and showed that science, too, is craven.

  152. How long before Trump fires Fauci?

  153. This article is right on. Trump is more of a danger to us then COVID 19 by a long way. As was stated during the 2016 campaign and repeated since and then verified without a doubt 'Trump is unfit to be President."

  154. I read a beautiful analogy by an epidemiologist who wrote that a first death is like looking at a star. But we confuse it with starlight, the light of something long ago; so in essence the virus that caused it was in the community for a long time already. It suggests another analogy, regarding Trump, who imagines himself the star, whose light is purely effect, and thus leaves us in the dark. Lights out America.

  155. "I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY AT ALL..." should be plastered on very billboard in every state in the nation. The innate character of the man who has driven this nation into the ground: He takes no responsibility at all- and we ALL pay the price.

  156. If we're gonna paster it on billboards we need to get the exact quote right: "No, I don't take responsibility at all. Because we were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations and specifications from a different time". Thereby absolving himself of blame and, once again, blaming President Obama.

  157. @Candlewick If I were the Democratic candidate for President, I would begin each and every political ad with two short videos: the first would be Harry Truman saying "The buck stops here," and the second a video of Trump saying, "I take no responsibility at all." Then no comment on that, just go on to the rest of the ad.

  158. Also plastered on billboards nationwide should be his 2014 tweet when he said that if the Dow drops 2,000 points, then the president should resign.

  159. There will come a day -- relatively soon -- when President Trump will pardon himself and his family and friends for all crimes -- past, present and future -- they have ever committed or might ever commit. There will be appeals to the Supreme Court seeking to overturn these pardons on various grounds. The Supreme Court will decide all of these cases by a 5 to 4 margin in favor of the President.

  160. @A. Stanton You raise salient points regarding High Court actions. If SCOTUS votes to uphold Trump's pardons, particularly those pardons connected with the matter of Impeachment, which the Constitution explicitly (twice) forbids, such action will be a blow to the High Court's prestige from which it will not be able to recover. Such an action will be construed as grounds for establishing & engaging in intensified plans & strategies to address the Court's abrogation of its sacred & solemn duty to uphold the Constitution--& not use sophistry as a means to attempt to hide purely partisan or ideological views, as the Court did when it erred in the 2000 Bush v. Gore, 2011 Citizens United, & 2012 Shelby cases. What those plans might entail we need not utter here & now, but clearly, let those Conservatives on the High Court & elsewhere bear in mind that not only are we observing every word & act they utter & do, we are also actively engaged to act on our own through political & constitutional advocacy & action. In short, we shall not be idle. And Conservatives would be making the mistake of their lives to underestimate what we shall accomplish to reverse & rectify the damage that they have committed. No matter what the costs, no matter what it takes, the damage of Conservative hubristic extremism & its concomitant embrace of inherent Trump & Conservative corruption, incompetence, destruction of our constitutional norms will be the focus of our present & future attacks.

  161. @Chromatic We should create a list of all Trump appointees and they should either resign or be impeached. Anyone who accepted an appointment knew they were dealing with a thoroughly corrupt "leader."

  162. @A. Stanton ...and the U.S. will forever fall into dictatorship.

  163. Sooner or later we will find out how much personal profiteering entered into his calculations.

  164. Trump has cost America an incredible amount of money. Whether we consider the costs of his wall construction (and elimination of budgeted military projects) or the exorbitant costs for "staying" regularly at his resorts or reimbursement to farmers for his trade policies or now, the financial losses just about every business (including Wall Street) and many employees are experiencing because of a late response (including testing) to the Coronavirus Trump has been an extremely costly president. While money seems to be his biggest worry, today the anxiety among most Americans is with those worried about the safety of their lives.

  165. A (what I hope will be perceived as innocuous) aside: I take comfort in my theory that the reason we see Trump on camera these days wearing a cap is because his hair has been falling out in clumps -- to the extent there is not enough left to support what was at best a tenuous hairdo. Maybe at last he can't conceal that underneath there is nothing there at all.

  166. @Brian I hadn't thought of that. I did think it was strange that all of a sudden he started wearing hats everyplace. Hair falling out or no, there is not denying he looks terrible

  167. Any results reported from this Administration should be listed as “reported” and not true - as in the results were reported to be negative. If they were positive what are the chances they would tell the truth? Zero. The chances they did tell the truth? Less than 50-50 - much less.

  168. @Carolyn C — Your cynicism is misplaced. The nation needs leadership in the direction of good health. That means Trump needs to pose as healthy, whether he is or not. The nation cannot get well unless it thinks Trump is healthy. How's my cynicism?

  169. I live in half a year of threats of fires; days of lost power due to threats of fires; not to mention EQ’s...so am somewhat used to fight/flight mode; however, this scare - -and I’m in the age group of vulnerability, harkens PTSD -like memories of post 9/11, because like that horror, we’re in this together people.

  170. @Cece I couldn’t agree more. Since the 2001 I feel as though I’m just navigating my life through one crisis after another. It just never ends. This one is beyond any nightmare I could conjure up.

  171. @Hothouse Flower Welcome to the real world. Folks have been living through one calamity after another without much reprieve from the beginning of civilization. We had a "soft period" somewhat after the Vietnam war without extensive events until 9/11. But for example think about the folks who made it through WWI only to face The Depression and then had it topped off with WWII, followed by Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam without even mentioning the challenges of the 17and 1800's in the US. This is just a small fraction of the struggles for folks around the world from the git go, thousands of years ago.

  172. @Dr. You are correct but this one... I can't tell you how I feel when I hear people defending the president's handling of this crisis. I feel like I have to challenge them... that I can't let it go. God help us. But we can't wait for God. We have to get through this and vote in November.

  173. I think we can safely assume that if Trump was a prominent figure during the era of the Plague, he would have blamed some ethnic group or another for poisoning the wells. Give him time, he'll eventually find a convenient scapegoat for his ineffectual leadership in this crucial hour. Why was he elected? He was a ubiquitous failure in business and other things. Something went seriously wrong with our national mindset. I just hope we resolve the pandemic issue before November. He's very capable of cancelling the election.

  174. That’s already being discussed over on fox message boards. A couple of people talking about Marshall law. We could all vote by mail, there could be drive up voting stations. They are not going to do it, the Republican way to win is to make it harder to vote.

  175. @W , it’s martial law, with the military in control. We don’t have riots in the streets, looting and shootings, insurrections, or other reasons for an authoritarian military response, as much as that would appeal to Trump. We are not in a shooting war here. We do need leadership and provision for human needs, calm leadership, and community. That’s not Trump. But it can be many others, from local leaders, from social and community groups, from family, as well of course. We can have online voting, help for workers, and more without martial law. Beyond that, wealth and power-seekers will use this to inflame fears and profit through them, and we need to be aware of it. Our panic or turning on each other would enable them in that.

  176. @W As of today we already have Marshall Law here in the state of California. Gov. Newsom has relegated over five million residents to house arrest for the crime of being over 65. Not for being more contagious or infectious; but simply for being of a certain age.

  177. Trump is way beyond his depth as a president and a human being. But I can no longer focus on him for that no longer serves. Perhaps ignoring him is the way to go now. I and we need to focus on helping our neighbors and protecting ourselves and in doing this thoughts of Trump are only a wicked diversion and irrelevant as his speeches. My thoughts go out to my 95 year old mother and the plate glass through which I must communicate with her, something Joe Biden mentioned tonight. The corona virus has brought into sharp focus our common humanity something Trump will never understand.

  178. @just Robert My mother died in 2017 after living with me and my children, her grandchildren for the last 6 months of her life. I don't know what I would do and I'm sorry for what it must be like for all of you. I'm currently ill but I don't have anyone to worry about that falls into the vulnerable groups. I cannot get tested and I know you or your mother are unlikely to get testing anytime soon either. It is a tragedy and a national scandal.

  179. @just Robert I, too, have a 95 year old (blind) mother in a nursing home. My sister and I have been a significant part of her care and now, like you, we are locked out. Looking through windows, trying to communicate with health care providers (that are in uncharted territory), and attempting to coordinate her care is a major challenge. Aides with young children now face an additional difficulty due to school closings. We worry about adequate staffing. I believed Trump is a terrible president before (and Republicans are just as deplorable), but now it is much more personal. Remove them all! Wise up America and VOTE BLUE!!!

  180. Biden is absolutely right. Fighting this sort of fast moving virus is a war. You need war time measures to control it. But this is not a war with, missiles, drones and smart bombs. What you need is a smart leader to realize that he has to pool all the resources in the country to fight with a superior enemy. The leader need not be a medical doctor or a microbiologist. He only needs to listen to the experts in the field and come out with a plan of attack and give them political backing for their suggestions; at least stop overruling them. We may have to wait till the next election for that opportunity. Whether virus agrees to slow down till that time is another matter.

  181. Those test results could change. He still defies to take precautions. Still crazy, after all three years.

  182. This is the absolute craziest time in my life. I've never seen anything near close to this. And yet––my mental health is strangely intact. I am not panicking. I am contributing to the effort, including through social distancing and hand washing. I am more mindful not to touch my face. Aside from the panic buying, most people are handling this rather well. If even more changes have to occur, such as lockdowns, we'll see if that holds. But so far, so good, if you ask me. If isolation becomes a problem, we could see an uptick in mental health conditions and exacerbation of existing conditions.

  183. @David Despite our political differences, we can all pull together sometimes. I'm afraid that we are nowhere near the worst of this.

  184. @David I'm not so sure. With so many people not going out in public and/or not going in to work, we're headed for serious economic problems. And none of the measures so far proposed will do anything to help our now vast army of gig-workers.

  185. Just think a few short weeks ago Senate Republicans had a chance to save us from this madness. With one exception, they also lacked the courage and morality to do their jobs. The country is not likely to forget that in November.

  186. @Alan while I agree with your statement, I doubt that if Trump was removed by the Senate that Pence would have done any better at handling the crisis.

  187. @Alan, One correction: Getting rid of Trump would have left Pence in charge, with no better outcome.

  188. @Jerry Engelbach Actually, I think Pence would get more push back. He has manners and is not a bully. I have been shocked at how many grown men cower at the risk of being bullied by Trump, who always sounds like he is in middle school. They are afraid to stand up to the bully, but not to those who aren't bullies.

  189. President Obama set up a structure to deal with global pandemics, and Trump disassembled it. Make no mistake, this is not the Wuhan virus, but the Trump virus. Everything he has done, or not done, made the Trump virus worse. Global markets went into free-fall when Trump undermined Fed indepence. Trump is adding a currency war to a tariff war in the midst of a global pandemic. He doesn't know what he is doing. There is a path policymakers can take that will help: Zero overnight rates and buying Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities was a remedy for 2009, but not the Trump virus of 2020. The government must disintermediate the banking system to provide direct liquidity in the form of low interest, long-term lending to small businesses and individuals. Large corporations should receive large scale convertible debt if needed. Convertible debt is secured by corporate collateral, with upside for equity gains. The large companies and industries that need government assistance would go into bankruptcy without the liquidity, wiping out shareholders and creating economic destruction. We cannot socialize losses and privatize profits. Convertible debt is the best of both, secured debt with upside for taxpayers. Small businesses and individuals need liquidity as well, in the form of low-interest, long-term government loans. A few thousand dollars sent to people will not be enough to offset a deep recession, and this will not add to Trump's enormous deficits.

  190. @David Parsons "We cannot socialize losses and privatize profits." The correct term is "socializing RISK and privatize profits.", and that horse is already out of the barn. You need look no further than the correlation of increased concentration of wealth to the increase in deficit spending and the national debt during periods of economic growth due to ill-advised tax-cuts under supposed republican economic "leadership"

  191. @Patio Furniture Shareholders would bear the losses of companies and industries if not bailed out by the government, hence my statement. So we have crony capitalsm at best. If industries are bailed out with loans instead of convertible debt, the taxpayer is providing liquidity not otherwise available in the private markets, and therefore should participate in the profits of providing such. Convertible debt is secured by company assets, and dilutes shareholders when a company recovers. This provides the taxpayer with just compensation for accepting the risk of extending the liquidty, hence your comment. Agreed on the ill-advised tax cuts, which could have been targeted to grow the economy if directed at families and individual consumers with a higher marginal propensity to consume, or saved to spend on rebuilding infrastructure, leading solutions to climate change, basic research, etc.

  192. The markets recovered after the Rose Garden puppet show because it essentially green-lit consequence-free crisis-profiteering.

  193. @gwr But watch the market today....And the market rebounds after large sell-offs, not because of the President, but because day traders and short sellers see opportunities.

  194. The culture of denying science, truth, and the obvious lives in trump and right wing, faux news has is price. Now people are dying and the country is hurting. Trump took too long to act, and still only worries about the stock market and not the lives of Americans. He did not cause it of course, but he did lead the worst response that this great nation could have taken.

  195. @TeddyV Well he DID try to buy the German company working on vaccines.. no doubt in order to share any breakthroughs with the world.. kidding. And Josh Kushner has a tech company Oscar up and running in order to profit from this disaster. Did Ivanka get any patents from Bolsonaro? If there's a grift this family will be first in line. Anyone thinking that this is going to change has their red hat on too tightly.

  196. I don’t understand why anybody believes White House officials when they announced that the President took the test and the results were negative.

  197. @Raina Denmark You can't test persons who do not display symptoms. Trump has been tested and the test was negative. So Trump must have symptoms for something else. But what? Or is he lying?

  198. @Raina Denmark That's where my thoughts went, too. It really distresses me to have become so cynical and willing to believe that the WH lies about something like this. We'll find out if the golf stops.

  199. @Raina Denmark Yes! My thoughts exactly. He said he didn’t need to. He said he would. He said he wouldn’t. He said he did. I, for one, don’t believe it for a second.

  200. Hopefully when the real contagion comes, both sides of the political spectrum will have learned from this that a health crisis is not a political tool.

  201. @Joan It would seem that one side has been there all along. What's the GOP's excuse?

  202. @Joan, to me it appears that only one side has attempted to use the virus as a political tool.

  203. Is this the healthcare system they costs twice as much as any other country? With consistently worst results? And then this catastrophe. Time to start questioning the applicability of the free market model to the delivery of an essential civic service.

  204. Let us not forget the party that has shielded and enabled the most inadequate president in our history. They had the power to do something. They chose to do nothing.

  205. @Nathaniel Brown As long as they get their ultra-conservative justices, who cares if thousands of Americans die and millions are put through tremendous financial and psychological stress?

  206. They’re not “doing nothing”. They’re packing the courts, at every level, with judges who will do the Republicans’s bidding for the rest of their lives.

  207. @Nathaniel Brown They are willing to do anything to win and will keep on doing so.

  208. Anthony Fauci is the voice of reason, information and credibility during this uncertain and scary time. That’s why he will be fired by Trump within 2 weeks. For one thing, Trump does NOT like anyone else to have the spotlight, and for another, he delivers bad news which Trump would rather lie about and ignore.

  209. @Sheila I doubt that Trump can get away with firing Fauci. It's far too obvious that "Tony," as our President embarrassingly refers to him in public, is the one person willing to contradict Trump publicly; tactfully, but publicly. I think the outcry from the general public would be deafening.

  210. @Linda Maybe, but look at everything else he has gotten away with. He'll do it, and the right wing media will demonize Fauci to make it seem legitimate.

  211. @Linda Deafening and disregarded, . . . unless his base turns on him. Given past events, what are the chances that Mr. Trump will actually loose his base's support? I agree with Sheila. Trump will very likely fire Doctor Anthony Fauci.

  212. Rallying against Trump, however well deserved, does not address the calamity we are currently facing. Now is the time to quarantine Trump. To do our best to work around him and his dysfunctional administration. We have to work with those we can to handle the problem at hand. This is a moment where railing against the fire chief when the city is burning down accomplishes nothing. Further, it takes focus away from what we can possibly do. Most of that will have to be local and with what pieces of the Federal Government can be salvaged. Save it for later. Right now, the concentration of this paper should be on informing and dealing with what we can do. Trump claims to be responsible for nothing. Isolate him to that. The world will be better for it.

  213. @Edward Brennan Unfortunately this is a time when someone in the federal government, namely the President, must make tough decisions, life changing decisions about how behavior must change in order to stop the spread of the virus. Closing of the bars and restaurants and all non essential businesses and all non essential travel takes authority which can only come from a president. In Italy it came from the Prime minister, who closed everything down in order to stop the spread of the virus and his response is now being used as a model for almost all Europe. The USA needs the same medicine.

  214. @Edward, The corrupt Senate majority refused to take away Trump’s abusive power. There is no competent national leadership.

  215. It seems that the President of the United States feels that he can improvise on almost any issue regardless of its importance. Imagine the unease if brain surgeons or those who evaluate the coronavirus samples appeared so extemporaneous in their responses to questions about their work.

  216. To paraphrase Trump's oval office speech, this is just a run-of-the-mill pandemic. While sports events, ski resorts, Broadway plays and Pennsylvania golf courses shutter for at least the next few weeks, Trump soothes his supporters (especially the wealthy ones) by holding open Mar-a-Lago, and his other golf clubs. It is not a big deal to Trump that at least three infected persons were at the Mar-a-Lago event on March 7. It is still open last I looked. Leadership would entail a Trump announcement that he is shuttering all of his properties, and it should come at least when everything else gpes dark if not before. The people whom we know met at least one of infected parties at Mar-a-Lago have so far all tested negative or have shown no symptoms. Fortunately for Trump, we may never know if others caught the virus there because of the administration's general failure to deliver tests to those exposed. The millions of tests promised a few weeks ago to appear "in a few days" have actually been a few thousand in 10 days. Throughout all the Trump statements that masquerade as leadership, his base stands firm for him. His approval ratings are slowly drifting down lately, but are remarkably stable in the low 40s. The US will live through this pandemic with much pain, primarily with the strong help of political leadership. Not by Trump, but rather by the many state governors of both parties who have courageously acted strongly to stop the spread of the virus.

  217. I hope that we eventually have a more accurate accounting of how many people have contracted and died of this virus. Also of when it first began to spread in the US. The Trump administration has actively sought to keep these numbers artificially low. I think that when the extent of this cover up is better understood there will surely be a backlash even from Republican voters who have excused so much in this sorry excuse of a leader.

  218. @Andrea Those who survive either physically or economically.

  219. @Andrea - alas, Trump’s followers will not ever turn away from him. They see him as handling this issue like a successful businessman who is keeping everyone calm and is going about the business of keeping America great. They like that he pokes people in the eye, has temper tantrums, goes after perceived enemies, and makes fun of those he deems inferior - women, black and brown people, poor people, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ community, immigrants - basically, people who are not him. His followers feel he is dishing it out to those who took away their jobs, made it hard to get an education, made their homes worthless, made them “less than”. They saw a world to which they felt entitled slip away over the last 30 years and didn’t like how that felt. Welcome to the world of black and brown people for the last several CENTURIES! Trump fans throw everyone under the bus after a measly 30 years of disappointment- such whiners. Trump cares for no one but himself. Everyone else, even his fans, are the “less thans”. We all better hope Trump keeps the medical experts close and that mayors and state governors continue to step up to the plate. Because the model we have for how Trump treats people in emergencies is Puerto Rico. See how well things are going for them and other Americans in the Caribbean struck by disaster. I’m waiting for Trump to encourage people at his rallies to support those fellow Americans who continue to be in great distress. I’m not holding my breath.

  220. @Andrea I've heard myself say, "This time he's gone too far. Surely his base will repudiate him now," over and over again. I don't think anything will pry loose the 37% even if grandparents die of Covid 19. They'll just blame whoever Trump decides is/are the likely scape goat/s

  221. And even here and now, many many Americans continue to believe he is doing a great job. The curtain has been pulled back - the base is still awed. Therein lies the tragedy

  222. @Eric Alas, The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 47% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty-two percent (52%) disapprove. The latest figures include 34% who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing and 42% who Strongly Disapprove. Looks like you CAN fool some of the people ALL of the time.

  223. @Eric Amen Eric. That is the tragedy.

  224. This, like many problems and potential disasters facing this country is the logical consequence of the Denialism exercised by the likes of Trump, his adoring base, and those sycophantic Republicans who willfully deny "inconvenient" facts based on science and/or empirical evidence, because facts undercut the irrational classist, racist, sexist, religious, and xenophobic bigotry that is the foundation of their fear-based philosophy. How many more crises or disasters under Republican "leadership" and ill-founded "modern" Republican policies must this country endure before we consign self-serving "modern" republicanism to the "dustbin of history" where it rightfully belongs.

  225. Imagine how productivity would be impacted if no one was allowed to drive because of a lack of DUI testing kits. Trump's neglect of the Coronavirus threat has real consequences.

  226. i am so sick of it. The great irony for me personally is that I have been diagnosed by medical professionals as having agoraphobia. I have always insisted that what I really have is demophobia, the fear of public rather than open spaces, the fear of crowds. Yet now that I am told to avoid crowds the command chafes and makes me uncomfortable. It is a weird thing to be human.

  227. This article is in poor taste - very poor taste. People have a very low tolerance for partisanship at this stage of the crisis, and rightfully so. Trump has done things that are good moves, some that are good but should have happened sooner, and some that he didn't do or say. And then there are some things that aren't his "fault" - because we can never really be prepared for a unique crisis of such magnitude. I, for one, don't care about kudos for or criticisms of Trump at this time. There'll be a time and place for that. I am hoping for, maybe even cautiously betting, that the CoronaVirus severity in America will be much lesser and short-lived that other countries.

  228. @Marc Sivam What are the "good moves" by Trump that you speak of? Would the gutting of the CDC Pandemic team be one of them? Is that why there are no experienced people who know how to deal with pandemics? Would that be none of his fault? Would saying the crisis will be over in April another one of his astute remarks? We can go on and on about his stable genius responses but I'm sure you will think of some ways to defend him.

  229. @Marc Sivam If you believe that Trump had influence upon the DJ average, you need to look again at the 10-year average. It shows a linear increase from 2010 to 2017 which continues UNCHANGED until recently. If matters had continued under, say, Obama, the DJ average would be the same. Not clear at all that Trump had much to do with it! On the other hand the recent sharp drop due to the Corona virus disruption also shows that a president does not have much influence over stock prices. Like most Americans (!) I do not share your opinion that Trump exhibits any competence.

  230. @Marc, Partisanship is the unbending advocacy of one’s own group, regardless of circumstances. It’s not partisanship to hold leaders accountable for incompetency. It is partisan to ignore that incompetency just because that leader is part of your group. Now guess who is being partisan and who is not.

  231. Viruses often have second and third waves. The Trump administration’s response also has waves of response. First wave was denial and blame well seasoned with lies. The second wave was an attempt to ignore the first wave and make a show of competence. After a failed press conference, there was a display of Trump adoration in the Rose Garden. Backed by a line of white men in suits who nodded and expressed gratitude to Trump while giving a short, PBS style commercial for their company, they said they would be open for the public’s and the government’s business. This wave was also sprinkled with exaggeration and lies. The third wave will be if Trump’s hand picked officials and family can lead a response to the health and economic effect of the virus. Trump’s competence and leadership will be judged now and in November by the abilities of these people to carry out Trump’s dictates. From now on this is certainly his and his team’s issue.

  232. @DO5 I am glad to be in WA state. My Freshman was sent home form classes a week ago at the University of Washington in Seattle. My other children are out of school for six weeks. Everyone has been self-isolating for some time and working from home if possible. The aforesaid university ignored the federal administrations ban on testing, designed their own and have had a drive through testing site in operation for some time. Our leaders are looking to the successful measures taken in South Korea and Singapore and listening to scientific experts while educating the public. Everyone has ignored the federal government as we quickly lost all faith in their lack of response and denialism.

  233. I am not an expert on the matter, but my non-scientific gut feeling is that the novel pathogen has some extent of immunity to Twitter Messages from Government leaders. At least some action has now been taken. Let's hope and pray!

  234. American memory is the shortest of any other democratic society, proven again and again. Same voters who reelected Bush, gave him an approval rating in the 30's about 3 to 6 months later.

  235. Industry and professional sports, governors, medical professionals, the media, mayors, Universities and local schools all stepped up and took this crisis seriously while Trump sat on his hands. If we manage to minimize the effects of this pandemic, it won't be because of Trump, it will be in spite of him.

  236. @Jim Dennis But you can rest assured that he will take credit for it...

  237. In the United States, scientists expect that between tens of millions and 215 million Americans will ultimately be infected, and the death toll could range from the tens of thousands to 1.7 million. Trump could have acted early to avoid this. He did nothing.

  238. @Rod Was this part of a large dark plan?

  239. The past three years, as Trump took credit for the "great economy" that was already underway when he took office, pundits on tv would occasionally muse about how Trump, with his valuable reality-tv host and bankruptcy experience, would deal with a real catastrophe. Well, now we know. He is great at "tasking" others to do the hard work, and great at congratulating CEO's Beauty-Quean style.

  240. I visited a favorite restaurant last night, likely for the last time. I tipped very generously. Illinois has now closed schools, restaurants, and bars, as have many other states. The economy is now in free fall. No amount of federal reserve fiddling can fix hundreds of thousands of people suddenly unemployed who work for restaurants, airlines, etc. Yet Trump works to help the fat cats only, instead of the suddenly unemployed workers at that favorite restaurant.

  241. @Voter There will likely be at least unemployment benefits for the laid-off regular employees. But note that nothing is being done for the many "gig workers" who are not regular employees anywhere and have no UI paid on their behalf. And they are the first to be laid off or told not to come in, to save the boss money.

  242. @Tokyo Tea - What I fear is that, not only will unemployment benefits will run out, but that the restaurant will go out of business. It may not survive on delivery and pickup business, especially if alcohol sales make up a significant part of its revenue. What about bars? And you have a good point about "gig" workers, who have nothing to fall back on. That is by design by the fat cats.

  243. There is no leadership from Trump and I am proud of the fact that I did not vote for him. Down here in Florida, we have no real leadership either. It's not coming from the state government nor our local government. Not sure what to do in a vacuum such as this.

  244. @SK True. It is making me very angry and frustrated. Can’t help thinking about my Grandfather and Father who fought in WW II...all that sacrifice and look what we have now..in 2020. Sad to see.

  245. It’s a good column. But I don’t agree that anyone should “lead by example.” We are adults. We don’t have to follow what someone else does. Leadership means taking responsibility and making sound decisions. We don’t expect generals to slog with the infantry, but to direct that infantry to victory.

  246. @Jerry Engelbach Leadership means planning, not reacting. Leadership means thinking on a large scale, not on a small one. Leadership means adjusting to a changing landscape, even if that means admitting a previous error in judgment. The American people would accept a change of thought as the situation changes, not a defensive "I take no responsibility" position from someone who would never admit a mistake.

  247. @ Jerry, I do expect our leaders to lead by example. The actions by our President should inspire all of us to attempt to do better for those around us. In the long run, historic figures that continue to be remembered are those who have stood out for their examples of extreme selflessness or their extreme ego. Jesus Christ is remembered and held for example of his concern and sacrifice for others. Martin Luther King for his ability to maintain calm and dignity while protesting injustice by peaceful example. George Washington is remembered for his example of humility and leadership in guiding our country during its infancy, despite being in a position where he easily could have taken advantage of the power given to him. These leaders are still looked up to and their teachings are used as a template in morality. So, yes, I do expect our leaders to lead by example. Presidents take an oath to uphold the Constitution and are fiduciaries for the citizenry. They should all be putting the greater good of our country first, not their personal wealth or ego. If the President cannot or will not, then he needs to get out of office. Be Best!

  248. All states need to come up with a viable mail-in ballot system before the November election arrives. That or make election day a weeklong event. Otherwise, come November 3rd, only the Trump cultists will eagerly stand in line outside of crowded voting places as the flu and the coronavirus return following a summer break.

  249. Not a Trump fan, but give him credit for bringing top members of the private sector into the response. That’s where our strengths lie. Also, having no signs of the virus, Trump was wise to not rush and get tested. That’s what the experts are saying and is an example for us all.

  250. @Tim Mawhinney Our strength lies in the scientists who are working overtime to better understand COVID-19, and in our doctors and nurses, working to protect the population by putting themselves at considerable risk. The private sector is what has caused the severe income inequality in this country, and the leaders of the companies have put profits over people. And even those private sector leaders expressed disbelief and confusion at what the President was promising on their behalf.

  251. @Tim Mawhinney "give him (Trump) credit"? for what - FINALLY doing something a small town council administrator would have done within the first 2 hours of the crisis? Trump was "wise" not to "rush" and get tested? Why? What would have been the harm of early testing? Nothing. The benefit would have been a reassurance to the public that he was indeed taking the virus seriously. I'm exhausted by people not only *explaining* Trump but giving him credit for the base minimum any elected figure should be doing. You say you are not a fan of Trump? Please - at least own that.

  252. @Tim Mawhinney Great satire Tim! (I hope you are saying this tongue-in-cheek.) Give him credit for bringing ing in expert people that he should have brought in weeks or months ago?

  253. Shortly after the Chinese published the full nucleic acid sequence of coronavirus, Germany developed a test, and by March 1 that test was shipped via the WHO to 60 countries. Yet the U.S. refused the gift, and we are now so far behind in testing that experts have advised that mitigation, not containment, is our only viable option. Why did we refuse this test, and why are we trying to take over a German biotech company that is a leader in vaccine development? The logical explanation, given Trump's placement of profit over all other considerations, is that we wanted our own test in order that proprietary control allow our labs to make money. Similarly, control of the vaccine would put our businesses in position to charge whatever people would be willing to pay for it. Recall DHHS secretary Azar testifying in Congress that he would not guarantee affordability of the vaccine to all. As he put it, price controls are not called for. Mike Pence has subsequently walked back the suggestion that there would be a charge for treatment and testing that some might not be able to afford. However, we still must look out for an arrangement similar to the George W. Bush medicare drug plan, where taxpayer money was allocated to pay for medicines, but the drug companies were allowed to charge whatever price they wanted for drugs. Will the taxpayer be forced to pay an exorbitant price for a test or the vaccine? Don't let it happen!

  254. @Jon Gordon The German test kits that were given to WHO cost $3. The company is also distributing the tests for free to poor, third-world countries. Can you imagine any US corporation selling a test for that cheap, let alone giving them away? Predatory capitalism rules the day in America.

  255. @Jon Gordon. We had the news yesterday about Trump's attempt to have the "possible" vaccine to be only for America. He is far from loved here but this is disgusting!

  256. Trump is getting tested.He's neurotic about disease. He won't publicly admit to getting tested unless he knows the results first though. He won't admit to getting tested until he knows the results are negative. If the results were positive, he would deny he ever took the test. We should also note at this point coronavirus testing often produces false negatives. Aside from shortages, accuracy has been another detriment to our healthcare response. We can't test everyone and when we do, we often need to test the same person multiple times. I'm secretly hoping I already caught the thing and never got tested. I had a cold a few weeks ago that checks all the boxes for a mildly symptomatic case. Makes sense I would be an early exposure seeing as I was working in public health facilities at the time. That would be my best case scenario. Of course, that also means I've been wandering around infecting people for weeks without knowing I actually had coronavirus. I was smart enough to call out of work but I was still going to the grocery store etcetera. If no one will test you, how would you even know the difference? It's a bad cold.

  257. @Andy. I totally agree. Of course he's been tested. Are you kidding??? He's a narcissistic germaphobe who (some stories say) eats fast food so his food can't be poisoned. On the question of what he SAYS about being tested and the results, that is totally determined by what spin he is working at the moment.

  258. "This crisis is transcendent, which makes Trump’s disastrous approach to dealing with it all the more transparent." They say that leadership tested in the most dire of circumstances reveals character in a way that's magnified. So far,Trump has been a passive-aggressive player in a crisis that demands his full attention. And he's failed, magnificently. From outright lies, to bumbling assurances that we'll be okay and in every instance, revealing the depths of his selfishness and self-interest, Trump has managed to be himself, and even more so. The latest evidence--that he tried to "buy" a German pharmaceutical company with promising vaccine candidates he hoped to produce in the US and possibly keep from the world at large-is simply astounding. This is a man who, like Faust, believes there's nothing that money can't buy. It's his god, his north star, his ego. With Covid-19, he's met his match.

  259. @ChristineMcM And with all this ineptitude, I'll bet you 10 bushels to a peanut, fools will re-elect him. Where ever I go around here, whether it the waiting room at the Dr office or a car repair. FOX news is on and they are glued to it. That is some scary stuff right there.

  260. In hindsight now it’s obvious that Trump would do his most damage to America not with uninformed and cruel ideas, actions, decisions, tweets supported by a cabal of sycophants, but by his sheer incompetence, driven by a bloodlust jealousy and hatred of Obama. Stunning incompetence, even if utterly predictable in the arc of his life

  261. 40,000 people jammed up tight at the airport? Trump should have picked up the phone and ordered that they all get let in immediately. Compare the risks. They’re we’re no terroriists among them. In lieu of that call it would be understandable if the crowd had rioted.

  262. Why do people believe that Trump's test results were truly negative? He has lied about so much that I can't accept even a simple yes/no about him.

  263. Some don’t believe he even took the test at all. After all, he said his doctor said one day he didn’t need the test, and the next day he said he got tested the previous night.

  264. @michel ridgeway There are also false negatives. The American people mistakenly think that these tests are 100 percent accurate. They are not. Did you read the article a few days ago about the two women in China? One still had the virus (which killed her) and three tests said she was negative. Science is not perfect. These tests are not perfect either.

  265. @michel ridgeway. I assume he's been tested more than once right from the beginning. He's a self-protective germaphobe and liar. He would have access to private testing whenever he wanted to make sure no "alien viruses" had gotten into his body. I believe he would manipulate information to make him appear strong and manly/unafraid and only release information that would bolster his image. I have no doubt his private actions are self-serving. He tells us what he wants us to know without regard for accuracy or truth. Period.

  266. Well said sir. In NY the Governor and Mayor are stepping up and providing excellent leadership. They’re saying it the way it is. The president should have daily briefings for the American people. We get nothing!!

  267. Should one still believe Trump may be reelected? Is it still possible? Of course it is

  268. The Ontario government in 2000 privatized municipal water testing that resulted in an outbreak of bacterial contamination in municipal water and the death of 7 and illness of 2300 people (cited by a public inquiry) due to improper practices and systemic fraudulence by public utility operators. What some realized though many of us knew is that government as oversight is essential in matters of public safety. The ignorance and/or neglect to think that government is somehow non-essential or the enemy of the people is a very dangerous mindset.

  269. In the debates between Bernie and Joe, there should be a reproduction of Truman's "the buck stops here" sign to be displayed. Each candidate should promise that they will adhere to the standard that they will take ownership for problems and decisions that are national in scope. Trump has repeatedly dodged ownership of problems, and his action on Friday was particularly deplorable regarding his role in this coronavirus response. On top of that, criticizing the CDC in the midst of a crisis is beyond belief. More than ever, we need to get out the vote, particularly in red states with large minority populations.

  270. One of my heroes is the late Richard Thornburg, former governor of Pennsylvania. I lived only 15 miles from Three Mile Island when the nuclear accident occurred. Thornburg was the model of leadership: calming, direct, decisive. He led us through a very scary time, and I shall always be grateful for his character and sense of public service and duty. I have similar feelings of gratitude now toward Governor Mike DeWine, who is leading in like fashion today in Ohio. Calming, direct, decisive. He also is a man of character, experience, with a deep sense of public service. Both men are Republicans. I am an Independent. Character and leadership are not a function of political party. Such traits are the function of the soul. Which brings me to Donald Trump, who is neither a leader, a man with a soul, or a person with a single ounce of concern for public service. This virus has put that fact in stark relief. So why would anyone vote for him simply because he is a Republican?

  271. @Richard Great comments about Gov. Dick Thornburgh, who I believe is alive and well.

  272. Trump never ceases to amaze the Danish people, and he is always good for a great laugh. And this would have been another great laugh if things hadn't been so awful. In "socialist" Denmark, the government have sent public employees home for a period of 14 days, and closed schools, colleges, universities etc. People are compensated financially 100%. Yesterday the government issued a statement saying that it will compensate companies that would otherwise have to lay off people. The government will pay 75% of the salaries, and the companies will then have to pay the remaining 25%. Furthermore, small companies will have their VAT payments postponed, which will generate a financial buffer for these small scale companies. All in all, a lot is done to help ordinary people and companies get through this crisis. If you contract the coronavirus and need to be hospitalised, you are admitted free of charge. You see, in Denmark doctors and hospitals are always free of charge so you don't have to worry about the costs. As I see it, you can vote for Bernie Sanders and things might change for the better, or you can stick with Biden or Trump - it doesn't really matter which one you vote for - and things will never change for the better.

  273. Denmark is not the United States. We are and have always been a nation of immigrants. We have exploited immigrant labor for centuries and have denigrated “the other” for just as long. I haven’t found the humor in it lately, but if you were trying to pitch a movie about a pandemic 10 years ago and had a president Trump wearing a baseball cap that says USA at a serious press conference, I doubt if you’d even get the budget for a straight to video release, because never in a million years would that happen and Idiocracy has already been done. It’s just major disbelief and sadness around here, and it’s quite evident that we’re on our own. I don’t usually go full Godwin’s law, but I can now see how fairly stable democracies get taken down by grifters, opportunists, and populists.

  274. There is talk that Covid-19 is a produced virus. If so, I'm sure that it is not by a long stretch the worst of the weaponized viruses available. As it travelled the world, nation by nation showed their responses, informing the world how they respond to true, dire threats. One would think that the United States, thought of as the most powerful country in the world, would ace this test. But Trump frittered away the precious weeks that were what was needed for an incisive display. Whoever holds the rest of the weaponized biologicals can see at a glance how effectively each nation's leadership responded, valuable information.

  275. A produced virus? Interesting. What do Republicans hate more than Obamacare? Our Social Security program! Who's at most risk of dying from the virus? People over 65. Eligibility for full Social security begins at 66. Is that just a coincidence?

  276. @Lucille Hollander "There is talk that Covid-19 is a produced virus. If so...." Please don't promulgate this fiction of COVID-19 as a man-made biological weapon, even by implication. There is no "if so." It's not. You might as well be using Trump's phrase "a lot of people are saying that...," which is his way of prefacing another lie.

  277. I live in an area which mocks anyone who believes, or even feels, that this is a national crisis. All manner of name calling, and absolute refusal to accept facts is seen daily on social media. It is obvious that these people get their news solely from Fox, and have the same vitriolic attitude toward anything outside of that box as "the enemy." Something has to be done to break this bubble. What will it take to shock people into reality?

  278. The deaths of their loved ones will wake them up. We're nearing the end of Act 1 in a three part play called Coronavirus: The American Edition.

  279. @Lisa Rogers I see it here in Zephyrhills too. The shock will be when they or their friends and family start getting sick. What makes me so angry is that, by their attitude, my health is threatened too.

  280. @Lisa Rogers We also live in a very conservative "tumpian" neighborhood and community. Those around us parrot FOX news reporting as if it is gospel no matter how inaccurate or inflammatory it may be. This virus should not be politicized.

  281. Just like any medical emergency ,you have to intervene during the Golden period to achieve a favourable outcome.

  282. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution cites promotion of the general welfare as a primary goal of government. The Republicans call it socialism. The social democracies of the world provide government that is far more beneficial to the governed than anything envisioned by Trump and his ilk.

  283. Trump supporters, take note: 1. He never stops campaigning , or golfing. When he visited the CDC, he wore his golf clothes and his MAGA hat. I believe this shows his priorities. 2. When he finally acknowledged the coronavirus was a threat, he seemed to work first on protecting Wall Street. Not much attention paid to the loss of revenue from small businesses nor the impact of loss of income to many workers when their employer either closed or cut back due to the virus. Again, his priorities.

  284. Thank you for an extremely well written article! This is the best synopsis of 45 during this crisis that I have read.

  285. I am all out of words when it comes to Trump but, Charles, you have said it like it is for all time. Bravo, and thank you for finding the perfect words.

  286. As an Illinoisian, I’m immensely proud of our Governor Pritzker, who has calmly taken the necessary leadership role during the crisis. Along with Chicago mayor Lightfoot, our local leaders have handled the Coronavirus pandemic with intelligent, fact based news conferences and taken logical actions meant to slow the virus. The contrast with Trump couldn’t be greater. When Trump, I hope, slinks odd the stage in January, 2021, sentient Americans in Illinois, California, and elsewhere will remember the stark contrast.

  287. Fortunately, up until now, we have somehow managed to avoid disaster despite the glaring lack of character and competence emanating from the White House. However, there are still eight long months until the election, and then three more until the inauguration. With an increasingly unstable and erratic president, whose sole goal is reelection and who will therefore do literally anything toward that end, anything is possible. I fear for our country as never before.

  288. The history of leadership, especially in times of crisis, of the human race and what we can expect today and in the future? I think it's entirely a myth that the human race has and works toward optimal leadership of itself. Any dunce can look over human history and see history of apprenticeships, training in this and that field, and how masters are developed,--can see how often it's accidental in even areas of life where we strive to find the best that the best appears--and when we compare all this knowledge with how leaders actually appear today, we see nothing like any coherent, intelligent development of leaders. Rather it's the same old family and/or group connections, raw and ugly power grabs, big con popularity/charisma contests, and always we have a divide whereby we have powerless but intelligent minds trying to solve problems (bulk of artistic, scientific, etc. knowledge) and the powerful who are not only always behind the curve but causing to large degree the many problems which need to be solved. It's the ugly state whereby we can predict as crisis of whatever type increases the less the chance of actually rising up to optimal solution and the greater the likelihood of devolving to sheer nastiness, ugliness of solution. It's rare to have a Lincoln and gradual and honest arrival that a Ulysses Grant is needed to solve the problem. Usually problems are solved by power structures of the day doubling down on themselves and rejection of anything not from themselves.

  289. Trump says he takes no responsibility. . .at all. Very interesting that he added "at all." Nothing problematic has resulted from his behavior, which was in fact perfect! I would [almost, I love them too much] bet my two cats that Trump would take all the credit if things were being managed well. So he takes no blame and no responsibility for anything problematic, but claims all credit for good results. Sure is a long stretch from Harry Truman's "the buck stops here." And sure is a long stretch from anything resembling good leadership.