A Deadly Lack of Leadership

The president congratulates himself.

Comments: 135

  1. Charles Blow, thank you for your explanation of America's deadly lack of leadership in our presidency. We are entering a time none of us have known, a time of global pandemic. We didn't live through the Spanish Flu epidemic of 100 years ago, and the catastrophic World Wars of 80 years ago. Our elected leader is a braggart and a lout today. He tells us to "relax!". We're overwhelmed by the Covid-19 viral plague affecting us in our homes, workplaces, schools, everywhere people gather to learn, to work, to play. We Americans are self-isolating in our homes for the coming 2 months. We're all in this mad existential world together. Jeering at our unfit and ignorant president. We look toward a new leader to deliver us from anxiety and fear this year. In these pessimistic times, we hope for negative, not positive results to our imminent tests for the viral plague in America.

  2. It is hard for me to fathom, given the long litany of Trump’s irresponsible immoral and incompetent behaviors how thinking people can continue to support him. What will it take for us to vote him out, Will this virus finally prove just how dangerous he is to our democracy? Mr. Blow , your words are right on. Thanks

  3. "He finally got tested, and the results were negative" . The Devil looks after his own.

  4. I just discovered an article that provides informative and frightening insight into Trump, Trump's base, and republicanism in the Trump era. It is particularly helpful in understanding the response of the President (and his Administration) to the Coronavirus. I recommend the August 3, 2018 ***yes, 2018*** article in The Guardian entitled "Denialism: What drives people to reject the truth" (https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/03/denialism-what-drives-people-to-reject-the-truth).

  5. All over the country, governors, mayors, business operators, school superintendents, pastors, rabbis and imams have taken the reins and are leading their constituencies to higher ground and a safer place. Meanwhile the president of the United States has taken the stage, grabbed the microphone and beaten his chest. “Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

  6. Charles is absolutely right - to date, Trump’s responses about the Coronavirus pandemic have been woefully inadequate at best. As a vainglorious man, he also falsely boasted of his “extraordinary knowledge of pandemics” right after concluding his meeting with the CDC scientists. Once again, Trump proved that he is basically a bloviating buffoon who is masquerading as the President. Oy Vey!

  7. Charles M. Blow has been warning his readers of the menace that is Donald J Trump for many years now, and he surly deserves much credit for his foresight and his courage. But how many of his readers, who silently nod their heads in full agreement while reading his words, have done anything more than sigh? This evening, thanks to Trump's indifference, laziness, incompetence or all of the above plus evil design, the wealthiest most powerful country in the world is all but totally impotent faced with the greatest threat mankind has seen in generations. Charles M. Blow, thy name might as well be Demosthenes -

  8. This is someone who has left many failures in his wake and retreated ..... well, I think Scott Fitzgerald put it best, “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

  9. Charles, I am a middle aged white man who often, but not always, agrees with your writings... We are on the same page here, Sir. Trump fiddled his liar's harp for more than two months, allowing this virus to take a deadly foothold.. He ignored all evidence and fell back on his modus operandi, blaming democrats and the media for telling the truth. Trump, despite his outright denial of responsibility a couple of days ago, is responsible for everything we Americans now face because of his gross, politically motivated negligence. According to Trump, up until a couple of weeds ago, while this virus was spreading, actually proclaimed that HE was the victim of a Democrat conspiracy. He is the definition of failure. And this time, many people will die because of his alternate reality follies.

  10. Unfortunately, like everything else with this administration, the facts don’t matter. I am in a relatively conservative area of the country, and even today picking up groceries, I overheard derisive comments, dismissive of Covid-19 as “msm panic” and sarcastically calling it “the end of the world” and “stupid”. Make no mistake, this will get worse in no small part due to decades and decades of Republican policies that have done everything from slash social and healthcare programs to convincing people that the federal government is their enemy.

  11. What can anyone expect from a person who called climate change a hoax, and argued that there were fine people on both sides of a deadly white supremacist march? Trump is not playing with a full deck, and needs to be dealt out of politics on November 3rd.

  12. "Before saying he would be tested, he insisted he didn’t really need to — even after coming into contact with people who would test positive for the virus." Personally I do not care whether he gets tested or not, but his answer only amplified that he lies automatically. A journalist who had posed that question was told that trump's physician found him healthy and did not recommend to be tested while in all probability he knew that he would be taking a test next day. Does anyone, with an exception of the members of his cult, care what this pathological liar has to say, and does it matter anymore?

  13. bravo sir. on point as usual.

  14. Dear Mr. Blow, You certainly hit the nail on the head with your article about Trump as a lout. I haven’t heard that word used to describe Trump before, yet it is admirably fitting. Trump is surely just a showman, who talks like a know-it-all, but he is more of a know-nothing (in every sense of the word). His big show in the Rose Garden on Friday was merely an empty spectacle, which temporarily assuaged the markets, but as you note the show was big, but the facts were shallow. I certainly hope that we can have a Democrat as president in 2021, and finally hear sound substance behind thoroughly honest speech.

  15. Although Trump is the most responsible for the terrible response to the current crisis, Fox News and right wing hate radio also bear responsibility for repeating Trump's lies and disseminating dangerous misinformation. It's ironic that the demographic most at risk are the elderly white men who primarily get their "information" from sources such as Fox and Rush.

  16. But even now will the Trumpistas get it? Or will it take the EMTs hauling away dozens of people, gasping for breath, at his rallies?

  17. No one with an ounce of sense is surprised by trump’s complete lack of qualification for the job.

  18. "His lies held no sway with a virus." My brother-in-law talks about his teenage stepsons who would lie, knowing they'd get caught in an hour or a day. But that was an hour or a day without being caught. Who would have believed the POTUS is like that?

  19. "Leading a cult is not the same as leading a country". I will be repeating that statement for the remainder of his term in office!

  20. So much for the myth that Trump is good for economy and the stock market. Trump's criminally inept response to the coronavirus pandemic has shaved 8 trillion dollars in wealth from the Dow in the last two weeks alone. At this point if you vote for Trump in 2020, you merely have a death wish.

  21. We are paying the price for Trump’s ineptness and ego. We are paying the price for the failure of republicans to hold him accountable. The damage caused by the virus to our nation is directly attributable to them putting themselves first and our nation second. We should vote them out of office tomorrow.

  22. Can't Trump just call up South Korea and ask them how they set up their testing? And copy that model? After all he claims to be such good friends with them.

  23. Sunday March 15 at around 5pm hit his deepest low. He rattled on for 10 minutes about how he had beaten back the virus with the stock market and corporate America. Then he plugged corporate America one-by-one by name. Those are his first responder hero’s. He went on to say that the news media owed him an apology and no one could ever criticize him again. We needed to change Donald J Trump’s title from president#45 to prisoner#. “46 in 2020” should be on every bumper sticker. 46 means 45 is no more.

  24. FDR: we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Truman: the buck stops here Kennedy: ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country Nixon: I am no crook GHWB: read my lips, no new taxes GWB: Mission accomplished Obama: My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. Trump: I take no responsibility at all

  25. Trump is like a cross between and among Roman fiddler Nero, Alfred E. Newman's What, Me Worry, and Monty Python's Black Knight, who claimed that he was unhurt even after he lost his arms and legs.

  26. "Trump’s thoroughly inept handling of this crisis will not pass from the American memory easily. Fear and panic will help etch this one into the psyche. This will leave a scar." You write this as we still have Trumpers insisting that the virus is not real, but instead a hoax meant to bring Trump down. I am really not sure this will stick in American memory. Not much ever does. But good luck to us. One can always hope.

  27. Trump's incompetence and irresponsible, self serving attitude are harming American families. Financially, socially, psychologically, and medically. Will it "leave a scar"? No that suggests healing. It will leave an open wound that 70+ million decent and patriotic voters will carry into the voting booths with a vengeance come November.

  28. Republican senators could have voted to convict Trump because the facts proved him guilty. Instead their fear of angering Trump’s base and losing their seats caused them to find him not guilty and left Trump in office. Now these senators are sure to lose their constituents to Coronavirus. If they hadn’t been such cowards, this pandemic might have been more competently managed by President Pence.

  29. Yes, there’s a lack of leadership at the federal level—a great deal of leadership emerging at the local level. But the real question isn’t just Trump’s lack of leadership, nor whether we can handle the crisis as a nation. We’ll do it, with pain. It’s whether he’s what is colloquially called “nuts.” We have the 25th Amendment and it should be used. Get the man some help while insulating the rest of us from his behavior.

  30. The real question is, will Trump pay a price for his utter incompetence and complete disregard for the well-being of the American people? If things get much worse, and people start getting sick in red and purple states (right now NY, CA, WA and MA are the most-infected states and they are all solid blue) then I suspect he will be ousted. But if the virus remains mostly in blue states and the market bounces back somewhat, then he has a decent shot of being forgiven by the American electorate for his ineptitude and utter indifference to the lives of Americans.

  31. Trump is so concerned about coronavirus that he tweeted about Mrs. Clinton's emails all weekend. Does he not realize the election was over three years ago?

  32. It is important that we don't let Trumps inaction fall down the memory hole. He is responsible for telling America that this was nothing more then the flu, that it would Magically "fade away, one would become zero.' He was the one that kept telling America that 'anyone who wants to be tested" can be tested when that was a outright lie. He has wasted two months when wasting one day only increases the number of deaths that could have been avoided. The Sports leagues, the schools, Governors, mayors all took action without one bit of leadership from the man in the White House. He is more concerned with praising himself then attacking the problems we face. He is a disgrace.

  33. About 80% of the Republicans say the president doing a great job irrespective of all the evidence saying a deadly lack of leadership. It seems Republicans bent to take the partisan to the grave.

  34. Yesterday the news broke that Trump administration offered huge amount of money to the vaccine research company in Germany in a move to secure monopoly for the US market and make the vaccine available to the US citizens only. How do you describe such a move in times like these? Immoral, selfish, ruthless? We hope the American voters remember in November.

  35. Trump didn't cause the coronavirus crisis. But his lack of leadership is going to make it that much more difficult and take much more time to extricate ourselves from it. Trump is not a beacon of hope for a solution. He is a beacon of someone groping for a solution.

  36. What is worse is that I am meeting Trump supporters who are poo-pooing the severity of the COVID-19 virus and are very cavalier about taking precautions both to protect themselves and others. It's frightening to think that because Trump is making light of the viral outbreak, leading by BAD example, he has created a population in our country that doesn't care if they exacerbate the problem. Trump does worse than display bad leadership; he has sabotaged the role of the president as both a domestic and international leader.

  37. @me Yeah, my brother repeated to me it's just like the flu and even though he is 71, there's no danger for him because he has no comorbities. They had just been out to eat, and he was still laughing about a meme he'd seen about a guy fully clothed in protective gear with a tool belt loaded with spray disinfectant. Trump has convinced his followers it's just no big deal.

  38. Sadly believers are so entrenched until it becomes personal and they get it or their loved ones do they won’t realize hundreds of people are dying and doctors in these countries are making decisions ours may have to soon.

  39. It will be very interesting to compare the spread of Covid19 in red vs blue states.

  40. It will leave more than a scar Charles. As I sit and watch VP Biden and Senator Sanders debate on CNN, I m floored by the respect that they show each other--no mudslinging, no lying, no grandstanding. They are a breath of fresh air; a welcome change from the fetid stink of this administration. Please, please don't forget or believe that your vote doesn't matter come November. Every vote is critical--and either Democratic candidate will be a huge improvement on this evil, dictator-wannabe that we now have tearing our government and citizenry apart.

  41. This is Great Depression in scale instead of “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself” leading us we have “ I just grab them by the” (you know the rest) leading” us. We’ll be digging out from under this guy and his band of misfits for years to come. By the way did he mention the 33K emails today?

  42. @Willioam That’s right! He still has to cast blame at Hillary, maybe by referencing her emails. He’s tried to blame Obama for some of what’s going on, now it’s time to bring in Hillary and, while he’s at it, Pelosi and Schumer. He takes no responsibility as he casts around for someone to blame.

  43. Could lie his way around and look in control of a self designed situation, but when a real dangerous threat presented itself, it was all to clear, these people are made of paper... there’s absolutely no substance there.

  44. Was the doctor who reported the results the same one who said Trump was 239 lbs? It doesn’t matter anymore, this administration is completely untrustworthy.

  45. Several interviews of Trump supporters show they think he is doing a great job managing this pandemic. That amazes me, but it's likely because they only watch Faux News and Rush. Because of that, we need a big turnout in November to counter all the Trump zealots and get the orange one out of office. VOTE BLUE NO MATTER WHO.

  46. And yet an NBC News/Wall St. Journal poll on March 15 showed 46% who approve of his performance - nearly 80% of Republicans. How do we help them see the painfully obvious fact that his actions will hurt or kill people they know and love maybe even themselves?

  47. Well said, Mr. Blow. Many more people are going to die because of the Trump administration's actions (defunding public health initiatives when they entered office) and inactions and lies (what you so ably describe). I repeat: many more people on going to die -- because Donald Trump not only doesn't get it, he doesn't care. He is only interested in being president to promote his brand, with the permission and apparent approval of many Americans. It is beyond mind boggling!!

  48. Pence is the strange case; he sounds oddly detached, as if none of this is real -- not even real enough to lie about. And the press is not covering itself with glory on this one; reporters asked only the most easily dodged and most softball questions. MIT has posted a project which details how to make a ventilator: https://github.com/RuairiSpain/openVentilator/tree/master/MIT%20Low%20Cost%20Ventilator Given that the federal government is unable to function, and that Massachusetts is in the same shape, I've decided to build as many as I can, with the help of friends. I'm sure that there are other medical supplies we can manufacture ourselves. Trusting my medical future to the firm hands of the administration seems a bit foolish. If we don't need them, all the better!!

  49. I have often wondered with alienating ourselves through Trump’s comments over his term how we would do because we no longer manufacture more and more of our products. The ventilators would be something I would want to keep in the US along with others medical products.

  50. Watch Yamiche Alcindor's question about why the office tasked with pandemic response was disbanded. That was certainly not a "softball" question, and the President's response was to call it "nasty". I'm all in for a majority of "nasty" questioning!

  51. @Jack Walsh: Yes, Pence is plain weird. He’s like an automaton. He hasn’t a flicker of human life in his bones. I don’t trust a word he says. They’re all wacky.

  52. "He finally got tested, and the results were negative." More accurately, the results were reported as negative. Big difference.

  53. Here is the bottom line: Will his base hold him accountable at any point here? If there is no ventilator for their mother. They can blame the hospital, the nurse, the doctor, the democrats....but at the end of the day, it didn't have to be this way. The real question for conservatives....are you willing to sacrifice Trump, to save America's mother?

  54. @Jim Pickett The unfortunate answer is NO. They will stick by him until their last, gasping breath. It's always someone else's fault - usually, the democrats (the perceived enemy).

  55. @Jim Pickett — Just reading a few of the comments here should give you your answer.

  56. @Jim Pickett I think to the book "Soldat," by Siegfried Knappe, a German soldier in WWII. At the end, with the country destroyed, their young ones dead, and the Red Army closing in, many German citizens still believed in their leader and the (imaginary) "wonder weapons" that would save them. No, Trump voters will not blame him when their mothers die. They will blame The Deep State, Obama, and Hillary's emails.

  57. The “stable genius” is finally learning what leadership is all about. And he’s a total failure.

  58. And yet, his supporters think he is doing a fine job. Fox news too.

  59. This is who Trump is. We know that. He has shown us what he is, over and over, from his first cabinet meeting where he made abject grovelers out of every one of them. Daily he displays his bankrupt personality. No, this is on every Republican representative and senator who ignored the obvious and kept him in office. In fact they couldn’t stand to hear the truth presented, under oath, by patriotic Americans. What are they afraid of. There is an infestation of the Republican Party on par with this virus.

  60. Leaders take responsibility. Trump is no leader.

  61. When Trump was still refusing last week to be tested for the coronavirus, despite having been in close contact with several people who later tested positive, Trump crowed that he was fine and his temperature was completely normal. Frankly, my first thought after that pronouncement was that his temperature (for the moment) must be the only thing “normal” about this mentally unstable man.

  62. "Trump’s thoroughly inept handling of this crisis will not pass from the American memory easily" But it probably will. How many people remember that Trump shut down the country for a month to extort money from Congress? When Trump declared an emergency this month , how many people remembered that he declared a fake emergency a year ago, as another money grab? I'm constantly hearing that Trump won the 2016 election. He didn't; Hillary Clinton did; and Trump got into office on a technicality. One woman told a Times interviewer last week that she "loved" Trump. Did either she or the interviewer remember that Trump was caught on tape bragging about his fantasies of assaulting worshipful women? In Orwell's "1984" the "Ministry of Truth" is constantly reprinting records to cover up their blunders, counting on people to forget that they happened differently. Apparently it works.

  63. Given his incessant lying, should we believe that he actually got tested? When he got tested? And most importantly, the results? All that heavy breathing during his speech makes me wonder.

  64. I feel the corona virus is analogous to the battle of Midway in WWII. America’s victory was the end for Japan. Though no one knew it, Japan would never regain the strength it had prior to the battle. Midway broke the back of Japan and corona has broke the back of Trump. He is not down and out and neither was Japan but like Japan, Trump is back on his heels never to have the swagger, the strength or the hubris he had just a month ago. He’s finished. In November he will need to surrender to the landslide vote against him and start packing.

  65. But, as usual, the dissemblers at Fox News and the Russian-assisted right wing purveyors of agitprop continue to tell their viewers that the coronavirus is a hoax perpetrated by the Democratic deep state. It's come to the point that Trump is more or less the pitch man for conspiracy nut cases. It's that group that keeps Trump afloat, funded in large part by Super Pac dark money and global disinformation. Which brings me to ask, how does anyone really know Trump was actually tested for the virus, with a negative diagnosis. Do you believe that? I don't. And that's the real issue, isn't it, about Trump? He lies as he breathes and you can't trust a thing he says.

  66. Devin Nunes, the California Congressman and bungling wingman of Boss Trump, is encouraging people to go to bars and restaurants. I always thought Typhoid Mary, who escaped quarantine and is said to have infected hundreds in her day, was an insuperable example of a sociopath. Apparently I lacked enough imagination. Covid-19 Devin and Typhoid Mary are one and the same.

  67. The real problem isn't that these people voted for Trump. Many felt downtrodden and ignored and wanted to try something new. The true problem is they continue to stand behind him like a cult, either afraid to admit their mistake, or spellbound by his snake oil and the endless beads and rattles of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh (who is now on his way to a far worse place). As a man who voted for this degenerate, all I can say is that I was very wrong and apologize to America.

  68. Enough with the partisanship. If there ever was a time in America for people to band together, it's now. If we don't get our acts together as a country and soon, we are going to see a scenario where our healthcare system is stressed beyond its capacity. This is a disease which could infect a significant percentage of Americans, and we should be focused on what we need to do in this country to help one another, not fight pathetic partisan political fights.

  69. Was that an emergency call to action, or another roundtable of cheerleaders for Trump? The worst speech was by his Veep Pence, who was fawning, and incredibly, praising Trump for his "early" and decisive actions!

  70. This is the price of ignorance, the price of worshipping at the altar of unfettered capitalism, the price of "both siderism" and the price of cowardice in failing to call out what is plainly in front on one's face. It has gutted one political party and infected the other. It has corrupted the Supreme Court and poisoned our national discourse while undermining the rule of law, the bedrock upon which our Constitution, our country and our democracy rests. The only question that remains is will this crisis serve as our wake up call or our epitaph?

  71. Donald showed his true colors on March 6th when he explicitly said he wanted sick American citizens to remain stuck on a cruise ship instead of being brought ashore for treatment. He said it was because they would make "our numbers" go up. They did eventually make it to port, against his wishes. His words were clear and widely publicized. He meant what he said, and those weren't illegal immigrants on that ship: they were citizens. If he wants to be that callous in his personal thoughts, that's one thing. It's still awful, but no President before now would ever be dumb enough to come right out and say something like that publicly. Maybe that's what his supporters consider authenticity. I don't know. I guess they are about as capable of empathy as he is.

  72. Donald Trump could die tomorrow, and a day later, it would be business as usual in this country, whatever that is. No one would miss him, and there would be a sigh of belief heard round the world.

  73. unfit, unwise, unprepared, and yet still supported by his base and his party who are all complicit

  74. There is no doubt that Trump has been incompetent. He has lied, attempted to shift blame, patted himself on the back for his (in his own mind only) successes and found ways to blame everyone from a past president to a fake media to a supposedly non-cooperative house. But, along with this, we have a Republican controlled senate that continues to support this dreadful man, and make excuses for his behavious when they should (finally) be calling him out for endangering the American public. That public will remember this and I expect there is going to be a big backlash.

  75. One can only compare the cowardice and lack of leadership by Donald Trump with the courage and leadership of Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt. Maybe, it's the learning experience of FDR's fight to overcome the effects of his paralysis and TR's fight to overcome ill health. Maybe, it's the Roosevelt family raising their children to be persons of honor, decency, and responsibility. Whatever the reasons, Trump was raised to be totally selfish and irresponsible. Trump has never been anything other than selfish and irresponsible. He never will be unselfish or responsible. As a leader, a President, and as a human being, Trump can only be a failure.

  76. There are a lot of folks who believe Trump did not test negative. We have a man who lies like he breathes so why should we believe him now? Remember the power of Karma. It's always there Mister President, lurking, quiet, and ready to pounce!

  77. Poor America, it got a con man as president in 2016 and now faces the consequences in a pandemic which could affect up to half of all Americans. Can't this great democracy and its famous institutions face up to the danger of having this incompetent man in office? Can't he be made to take a long vacation and not give any speeches or press conferences? He tells the country to relax, says everybody is doing great, when his own HHS secretary can't provide the number of available ventilators and says it is a national security secret. Why should officials be forced to tip-toe around the sensitivities of a ranting self-obsessed scam artist in dealing with a consuming crisis? The truth and Americans' lives matter more than shielding an unfit virtual reality president whose grip on facts and reality is shaky.

  78. Who didn't know that Donald Trump was ignorant, immature, immoral,incompetent, inexperienced, intemperate and insecure? Donald Trump didn't run a covert stealthy subtle campaign for President of the United States. Donald Trump hasn't governed as a covert stealthy subtle President of the United States. Trump takes pride in tweeting and speaking caricature nicknames and slurs while watching Fox News and playing golf and vacationing at his resorts and at campaign rallies. Trump is forever reenacting his role on Celebrity Apprentice from his base at the White House and at Mar-a-Lago Trump's preferred combat uniform is a baseball cap, a black jacket, a white shirt and tan pants. Trump's business uniform is a baseball cap with a blue suit a white shirt and red tie. Trump can't be responsible nor serious nor transparent. The Trump Administration has left numerous executive branch offices unfilled. While filling top executive positions with a rotating team of acting officials.

  79. For the life of me I can't see how support of Trump stays level with his supporters. What is happening now trumps all of he wedge issues that Trump runs with. Self praise used to be a sign of low self esteem but with Trump is embraced by his supporters. The buck never stops with Trump but it always stops with Obama if Trump is talking. When we need a leader Trump is not reporting for duty. This crisis we are having doesn't care if you are Right or Left, Racist or Not.

  80. In the the future, people will try and figure out the four years of the trump presidency. They will shake their heads and wonder “What were they thinking?” How could so many have supported such an immoral liar? In hindsight, all the damage and near failure of this form of self government will show clearly how close we came.

  81. the scariest part of this pandemic is that trump could be reelected. 4 more years of the lies and tweets is going to be unbearable.

  82. I never thought I might actually die of this president but now I fear for myself and my family. This is not about past mistakes. Trump is still doing what he did! For every moment of additional delay, he is responsible for a higher death and misery rate. I’ve read we can still purchase the tests kits from WHO. We need them to know who to isolate. What in the world are we waiting for?! Trump’s cronies to turn a profit?! Or him to try to save face (and his hotels) by suppressing real numbers of the infected and dead? And why aren’t we engaged in a massive effort to build the drive by testing, separate medical units, ventilators and other equipment we need? Other countries have quickly ramped up. And where is the AMA? Why don’t they stand up and protect the country and their members by leading the fight? And where are our billionaires who could just buy the kits and build the facilities? And where is the expertise the public can turn to? My husband and I have self segregated due to age/health. We have 3 grown children who’d be safer with us. We want to bring them here ASAP but need advice on how to not put ourselves at risk. With every moment this lying, failing president continues to fail, more lives are destroyed and the economy is further trashed. Trump could not have done worse if he’d simply declared war on the people he swore to protect. My family believes the cause is simply stupidity, but in my darkest moments I wonder.

  83. Please, please get ready for the worse. Do all you can now. It's not a laughing matter, it is a very serious pandemic. And a shout out to the young. Don't be so egoistic to think you are immune, if you don't feel sick you can still spread the virus. Try to be normal, good and responsible citizens. Stay at home. It will only be a few months of your life or maybe a bit more but, hey, how much do you value life? Not only yours but those of your family and friends who surround you, and please, please don't travel and possibly spread it in areas that might not have it.

  84. I am afraid that when the virus runs its course and dies down, Trump will get credit, in time to benefit his election chances. The bar for him is so low.

  85. Perfectly describes the embarrassment that is our president. I couldn’t agree with you more.

  86. "Trump failed on all counts, because … he is himself." And on a sadder note, if he gets re-elected, he is us.

  87. The president congratulates himself. After-of course-adamantly refused to take responsivity for anything. And in the process blamed Obama for his blatant incompetence. He should be impeached again for willingly putting our lives at risk to save his reelection bid.

  88. Once again Charles you are the voice of reason. Thank you. I was watching the night the nightmare who currently occupies the Oval Office referred to the Coronavirus as "a hoax". He said those words... "a hoax". At the time, many different experts were telling him that the Coronavirus wasn't a hoax and that many American's lives and wellbeing were going to be threatened and seriously jeapordized. Trump is NOT A LEADER. His actions clearly indicate that he doesn't serve the American People. His actions serve is his own ego, his bank account and his dangerous narcissism. He must not be reelected. I pray that he will shut up, step aside and allow/enable the scientists, medical experts and public health professionals who do have the knowledge and tools to deal with the Coronavirus do their jobs. '

  89. Here in Trump we have a person unconcerned that he might have and be spreading the virus to his wife and his children, notwithstanding others in the public. I think that says it all.

  90. Once again the democratic debate last night highlighted the difference between the greed political party and the thinking American party of the rainbow I dread the start of this week because it will bring only more Trump lies. This is a Harvard business school example of complete incompetence , where everyone allows Trump to make decisions that are ignorant. Students are being thrown out of their dorm rooms where they have no options. Seniors cant be visited unless there family members are standing at their windows on the outside. If it is true that Trump is having Jared and his doctor friends work on this virus then we are indeed in serious trouble. At this point we need to ensure that vanity projects are pushed to the side and let the professionals ie Dr. Fauci, the WHO lead us into the world of science not relatives who are looking to make money off of this life and death situation Even trump supporters need to realize that God doesn't like ignorance . Can we get the testing kits this week and can people return to the USA without being sandwiched into corridors where they can not be apart from their fellow citizens due to space limitations. Trump, Pence just sit down quietly and stop " we are so wonderful" speeches, because what we have is a perfect example of complete incompetence on world display day in and day out.

  91. “Trump obfuscated while Americans died” will replace “Nero fiddled while Rome burned” as the prime example of abject incompetence and ineffectiveness. Let everyone that voted this abomination into office search their souls before casting their votes on November 3rd.

  92. It is very disconcerting that his followers still spout his debunked talking points and lies. The President needs to be muzzled now and the medical community allowed to lead.

  93. Please Mr. Blow, Never use the word panic. It is never panic. Please refer to the CERC 2014 manual, particularly chapter 2 -- a mere seven page. It is never panic -- people know why they react. It is fight or flight and it takes multiple forms. On the other hand, the current executive administration is refusing to use that manual...

  94. Like a great many people here in this country, I have limited resources if there is a long quarantine and am worried how I am going to buy food in the future. BUT I will bet every cent I have in the bank that Trump lied on Saturday when he said he had been tested -- it was only after the media started harassing him about he results that he finally was tested. All lies.

  95. The cult of Trump is oblivious (or willingly blind) to his ignorance and utter incompetence. With the help of Fox "News", every stumble and change of direction is made out to be a brilliant strategic move; every failure is the work of a vast global conspiracy against him. There could be a million dead by November, and his cult will still give him 40% of the popular vote. The Democrats need to spend every dime they have on getting out the vote, because only the sane 60% of the electorate will save us.

  96. The photo of the back of Trump’s vanity-monogrammed hat heading toward the exits is a depressing reminder that, thanks to the cowardly Republicans in the Senate, he won’t be leaving the White House until January 20 of next year. Let’s hope that the indictments and the handcuffs will be ready and waiting for him.

  97. Look, The Don is just following the teachings of Norman Vincent Peale. If this goes bad the Don will be on the next plane to Moscow to get in some water sports and play with Russian models. You got to think positive people!!

  98. Listening to the Friday press conference was just awful, Every expert had to infuse their speech with ludicrous praise for a Trump. It’s almost like “Thank you mr president for directing me to do that lab experiment. Couldn’t have figured out which pipette to use without your leadership”. Even Fauci had to do some of this. The problem is, it sounds like these world class scientists have to suspend their critical faculties to keep their jobs. One has the sense that anything scientific is accomplished despite Trump, rather than because of him. And while we worry about survival, Trump works on pardons to subvert the rule of law. Sheesh

  99. "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem." Ronald Reagan, Jan 20, 1981 For 40 years, radical regressive Republicans have repeated that nihilistic ideology and successfully destroyed good government and the common good in America and replaced it with an oligarchic kakistocracy and neo-feudalism that has reached it glorious pinnacle with Donald Trump's award-winning incompetence, ignorance, greed and incuriosity. We have a Confederacy of Republican Dunces running the country into the ground at warp speed, and 45% of the nation is thrilled with the show. Heckuva' job, GOP. Time to deploy our auxiliary parachutes.

  100. At this point, all I can ask is how did it come to pass that this nation could have elected such a beast ?

  101. I'm still amazed how the local GOP in Yorktown, NY refuse to use the words "GOP" or "Trump" in their messaging. No mention of healthcare cuts by GOP, No mention to a tanking stock market, No mention of how son-in law Jarret Kushner is reaching out to Facebook for advise. Trump is so unprofessional, unqualified and incompetent but you won't find his cult followers admitting what a disaster he is. Why is this? People can admit they are wrong but local GOP say nothing. Why?

  102. "The Trump administration finally appears to be taking this crisis seriously, after months of Trump himself trivializing and politicizing it. " Is this for real or have become so inured to what real leadership looks like that we have decided to give this abomination we call a President a pass because finally something appropriate might happen?

  103. It is getting real hard to not speak in derogatory terms about those that support reelection of Trump.

  104. The president is always congratulating himself, usually when he had little or nothing to do with whatever he thinks he did. It's actually one of his most repellent traits, and yet his MAGA fans seem to eat it up. What's more he never gives credit to anyone else--he's just self-centered to the core. And because of that, he's mismanaged this health crisis since he's consistently put his own self interest before that of the American people. People can see right through him. And that will, I believe, be his downfall.

  105. “Trump’s thoroughly inept handling of this crisis will not pass from the American memory easily.“ Certainly not if the DNC and the Biden campaign make an endless looping television ad of these trump appearances and run It through November.

  106. The thing that I find so revolting about Trump is that he *knows* it’s good to have lower numbers. But instead of actually fixing the underlying problem, he just cooks the books. He’s been doing this his entire life — a grand charade of manipulating the metrics instead of creating real value.

  107. China's outbreak was aided and abetted by state controlled media. The Trump channel has been around for several years and boasts the highest audience in cable. The power is in who controls the media. Shut down Fox, Limbaugh, Facebook, Twitter and treat them like the radioactive waste that they are.

  108. Does anybody else have doubts that donald was really tested for the virus? Since the lies just flow from his mouth, I am highly suspicious that it ever happened. And of course 'negative' would have to be the outcome because otherwise he would look like a mensch instead of 'the exalted one'. It would make him appear weak and vulnerable. destroying the image he portrays of himself every single day. If he tested positive, we would still be told negative, in order to protect that very image. His handling of the crisis by withholding test kits from Americans is just plain criminal, bordering on insanity. There has to be accountability for this. There are places for people with this mentality, and it is not in the oval office.

  109. This is so spot on it’s downright scary. Do enough Americans even realize how aberrationally outside the margins of normalcy and acceptability Trump is?

  110. When the nation has a leader who buries his head in the sand what can people expect? Trump lives in a cloud cuckoo land of denial, will never change and those that support his agenda (and I'm not really sure what that is, if any) casting aspersions at those who call him out are as blinded to the reality of today as he is.

  111. To our stable genius, reality is happy talk during the daily briefings. And whatever is jettisoned under his tweeter byline. “ I am very happy about the Fed today “. How about the airports ? Why is the Senate dithering ? Why are our richest corporations allowed to carve out exemptions to the paid leave bill Mitch is slow walking ? Why are all those people panting as if for a selfie behind Trump while he rambles for a few seconds, before he exits left “ to make more phone calls “ ? If he had only made a few phone calls to Asia 6 weeks ago.....

  112. Trumps lies and mis-information about the seriousness and extent of this virus has undoubtedly led to the COVID virus becoming more widespread than it should have been. Trump's incompetence and continued lies have led to a lack of confidence in our leadership. That has shaken the stock markets, and led to sense of fear among people. Trump continues to lie, blame others, deflect responsibility, and spread mis-information. Enough ! Do something meaningful to help people. Pressuring the Fed to lower interest rates at 0% isn't going to do that.

  113. As the history books will state in the first sentences of the articles they will print about Donald Trump: he was Incompetent, Impeached and thoroughly Inadequate. Oh, and he lost in 2016 by over three million votes.

  114. I truly hope you are right about the scar ... unfortunately, after three years of impotent resistance, I have my doubts ...

  115. Now might be a good time to focus on what they are doing to destroy the US Department of Agriculture.

  116. A brief analysis of the infection and death rates in all countries, published this morning in this paper, will reveal the ratio of death to infection rates. For those countries with at least 100 infections and at least 1 death, the worst five countries are: Philippines, Iraq, Italy, San Marina, and Iran. The best five countries are: Sweden, Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Austria. We won't know the true numbers until this is over, but the trend is telling, and not at all surprising.

  117. Well... no. Rather perfect leadership. What liberals see and decry is exactly what the Red States voted for. Run government like a business. In the real world, this means identifying a problem, ignore and talk around it, lie, until it burgeons into a giant problem, then, begin to make plans to combat the problem, then flail and flail in an incompetent way while the public loses confidence. Isn't that the example Boeing has demonstrated? Wells Fargo? The opioid makers. Run Government like a business. GOP Promises Made and Kept. Perfect leadership. Executed like their constituency wanted.

  118. There is a deafening silence within the Republican Congress. Not a single member of the house or for that matter the Senate has the courage to let Trump know that his lies will ultimately cost the lives of uncounted Americans. Their cowardice will become an infamous page in the American history, never to be eradicated. Unfortunately, it is us who will have to pay the price.

  119. I a retired public health specialist. We will regret our inaction on corona virus testing for years to come. Where are the voices of reason? Even Fauci is a lackey. He has no voice or has been silenced.

  120. I actually believed him when he stated on Friday that a test scheduling app and drive-up locations would be up and running by today (Sunday). And this is after they stated on March 2 that they would have a million tests available by March 6. I now believe that testing will continue to be slow-walked until fatalities reach four or five figures. And then, of course, he will attempt to blame the whole thing on democrats and foreigners. “No, I do not take responsibility” will be his epigraph.

  121. I wish there had been one more paragraph—what does “leave a scar mean” in this context. Does our culture permanently change? Does the name Trump get removed from whatever marquees it still adorns...and does science, and by extension, truth, regain their rightful seat at the table?

  122. The utter lack of testing, patient numbers and treatment info. for the Coronavirus in the U.S. has left Americans panicking about toilet paper, and perhaps not practicing strict hygiene. While the U.S. has 303+ million residents, it only reports 3,774 cases of Covid-19, far less the the very much smaller countries of Spain, Germany and France. Source: www.arcgis.com, a real-time update of Coronavirus cases worldwide from Johns Hopkins. This is because Trump rejected buying functional test kits from the W.H.O., weeks ago. There is no news about when test kits, respirators, protective clothing or masks will be arriving in the U.S. Trump instead boosted financial markets, thinking they're his key to victory 2020. Instead of protecting Americans' health, he bailed out the fossil fuel industry. With no testing done, and no clue as to number of Covid-19 victims, Americans' activities have been restricted on a patchwork basis. People still go to bars, restaurants and schools, meet in groups of 50 -- all ideal places to spread the virus.

  123. Charles Blow delivers a compellingly convincing Opinion, meticulously characterizing the conduct of the grossly incompetent, inept, and self absorbed Vietnam War draft dodger to effectively lead America at this time of mortal crisis. Let's cut to chase, though. America is witnessing an individual preoccupied with advancing, promoting, and selling Caucasian male privilege as inexplicably justified authoritarianism. Blaming Obama, distracting, deflecting, and spinning the dialog to benefit him and the Republican Party to benefit their mutually shared interests, he will never, ever be recognized as a president of the caliber of F.D.R. and L.B.J. The hard core belief of white skin privilege is sufficient for the draft dodger and the GOP to justify their collective efforts to divide America along racial and immigrant lines, pure and simple. Believing he knows best, that is all there is to it. Apparently the corona virsus pandemic forced his campaign to cancel the MASWA rallies, though he told the nation the virus would disappear. If hat is the case, why not still hold hte rallies and relish the ardor of his less than college educated supporters attend and take their chances with exposure? They believe everything else he says as the Gospel truth, so they should not care about the risk of exposure. After all, their fearless leader says don't panic. Quoting Malcolm X, circa late November 1963: "The chickens are coming home to roost."

  124. I have been told to keep politics out of my undergrad and graduate classrooms. With the criminally irresponsible lack of leadership in the USA that becomes well nigh impossible. I don’t have to worry though as in class classes are canceled until further notice and presumably won’t resume for the rest of the semester. My role is to provide accurate scientific data based information and to produce open inquisitive minds. “Science fiction”, as posited by Trump Pence et al has no place in my classes or in my life or my family’s lives. “Lock her up” should be changed to “Lock him and them up” for what their negligence, dangerous narcissism and pathology and yes criminality have caused. Thank you NY Times for giving learned opinions.

  125. Who in his/her right mind actually believes the Orange One tested negative for covid-19? Bueller? Anyone? His > 15K lies make anything he says suspect. I'm surprised he hasn't gone on tv and say, "In the history of the world, nobody's had an immune system as robust and strong as mine. Many people are saying my immune system is the best that's ever been. Believe me." It's truly disgusting.

  126. “Trump’s thoroughly inept handling of this crisis will not pass from the American memory easily.” How I wish this will be true, but unless the COVID-19 crisis persists for 6 months (God forbid), the only thing swing state America will remember is how Obama and Biden totally failed to stop the H1N1 flu in 2009-2010. 60 million cases and over 12,000 deaths provide just enough truth for the Republican spin machine to make H1N1 the calamity to panic about, and that spin cycle has already started. That the Obama/Biden response to H1N1 was generally seen as good to excellent while Trump’s response to COVID-19 has been (and continues to be) inept will be immaterial. Republicans will convince swing state America that Biden failed to address the H1N1 pandemic just as they already have already convinced them of Biden’s Burisma corruption.

  127. Charles from the beginning warned the public that Trump was woefully unfit to sit in the Oval Office. That Trump lacked the character the intellect and the leadership skills to hold high office. How prescient. And how tragic for potentially millions of Americans. For Trump all that counts is the Dow Jones. For most Americans what really matters is their health. Wrong president. Wrong time.

  128. The overwhelming majority of Americans will survive the virus, Trump will take credit for saving them, and his supporters will rejoice at his bold action. USA, USA.

  129. The most important thing we have learned lately about President Trump is that he is crazy. It doesn't take a genius to read the Coronavirus infection data from around the world and conclude that it is very dangerous. For years, Trump's default responses to any adversity are to lie in public, in obvious and embarrassing ways. There are always suckers who are born with the ability to be led by people like our President. The scary thing now is that there are more of them, in spite of more education and a TV in every living room. Don is done this time around, since even his followers will have trouble defending his latest fantasies, even to themselves. The response should be to figure out how America reached this point. Suggestion: Take a good long look at our media companies. They are now nothing more than advertising vehicles for toxic and unnecessary products. That means a constant drumbeat of lies, which are digested and believed. Truth is not an easy goal for humans at this stage of our development, but we had better start learning what it means, and soon.

  130. @Mike Roddy Sorry. He has been obviously crazy from Day 1.

  131. Eveni if Trump is ultimately discovered or admits to being a Russian asset, as his egregious behaviors have led many to believe, he is still the disaster that transcends all others for America. Trump is like a biblical harbinger, behaving in abhorrent ways from the get-go so that those who have supported him in their callow, shallow crassness will learn finally that like all diabolical entities, he wins more in the end by not delivering on any of his false promises. Astonishing as it is in a country that pays lip service to fundamental Christianity, especially the Calvinist sort which reinforces the existing wealth inequtiy, that more preachers and their sects haven't inveighed mightily against this obvious evildoer...

  132. I don't believe Trump took the test, I think he's sick and probably in bed, just guessing based on what I've seen the last couple of days. What a stressful time... we went through most of the canned emergency rations, lol, don't know why we had to eat the ranch styled canned beans and crackers for lunch but it seemed fitting. Forget about Trump, we need to all help ourselves at this point. I personally would like the scientists to figure out why young people aren't getting it and older people are.Could the answer be in an immunization the younger people get and older people either haven't had or it's been too long? I didn't get the Swine Flu the second time around because i had the shot in the 1970's. A word to Biden and Bernie tonight... not one of us would like to see either one of you tear each other apart. A presidential candidate faced with a crisis will unite and get together.

  133. It is distressing to note that half the nation does not want an emotionally mature and responsible leader. They do not even want a leader with good leadership qualities. They want a schoolyard bully because of their distaste for government, laws, equality, intelligence and compassion.

  134. Trump being distracted during January and prior to February 5 would be understandable. But after "the total exoneration" on February 5, our Government should have pivoted into action to, among other things, insure a widespread testing capability. It is impossible to understand and address a problem if one has no reliable data. We are blind. By now, we should have had large scale random test result data. The toxic far left mentality is that private enterprise has never done and will never do anything positive for America. That is false. But the toxic right wing mentality that is now dogma in the so called "Republican" party is that Government can never do anything useful or beneficial for our Country. My wife and I are both over 60 and we will soon be needed to watch our grandchildren because their grade school is now closed. We need to know if our grandsons are carrying the new Corona virus. But the testing to know that is impossible in an America that has a corrupt, incompetent perpetual fountain of falsehood and nonsense as President. That would have been much more likely, in my opinion, if a competent "nerd" like Hilary Clinton had been President. The widespread stubborn continuing support for this catastrophically unfit President is beginning to test my resolve to continue regarding many of my fellow Americans with compassion, civility and respect.

  135. Trump isn't worried as long as the man he sees in the mirror is happy. The rest of us don't matter—and he's proving it daily.