No one is better at playing the blame game than Donald Trump. For three years, the president has been blaming the press [“fake news”] and the Democrats [“low IQ” Joe Biden and the wicked Nancy Pelosi] for anything that has gone wrong and taking credit for anything that has gone right [notably, the stock market].
News flash, Trump: Now it’s our turn to blame you.
This is not a China virus. Limiting travel from China to the U.S., which the president claims great credit for, did not stop the pandemic from reaching our shores. And whatever head start it might have given us in terms of preparedness was lost in the official denials and pure Trump evasions.
So now, finally, with no toilet paper on the shelves, tens of millions of Americans afraid to leave their homes and virtually no tests available, even for those who have symptoms, the president has finally declared a national emergency.
But he’s still shaking hands.
How dare you, Trump?
How dare you pretend that stopping Europeans from coming to America [unless they travel through the UK, which they can easily do] will help us, when the virus is already in at least 48 states, and untold numbers of Americans are already infected.
How dare you wear your “Keep America Great” campaign hats when, in fact, we are not the least bit great when it comes to dealing with this virus.
How is it that South Korea can test 10,000 people a day in drive-in test sites while only about 5,000 Americans have been tested?
Your fault, Trump. We had two months’ warning from China. Chinese scientists posted the genome on Jan. 11. The World Health Organization distributed test kits to 60 nations – but you didn’t want them. South Korea developed tests of its own. So, by the way, have many private and academic institutions in the United States, but you are preventing them from being used.
Nothing to worry about, you kept saying, ignoring and contradicting your own top officials. Who needs science when your name is Donald Trump?
You lied to us. You misled us. You wouldn’t listen. All you cared about was the stock market and your re-election. It was all about you, of course: This is a plot to undermine your re-election.
Indeed, it was only when the stock market tanked that Trump finally took the threat seriously enough to speak to the nation. And then, as usual, he blew it. His Wednesday night address was full of lies. Is the claim that “anybody that wants a test can get a test” true, as he said last week? No, according to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of Trump’s coronavirus task force, who told Congress on Thursday: “The idea of anybody getting it easily the way people in other countries are doing it, we’re not set up for that. Do I think we should be? Yes.”
The first step in addressing a pandemic is to know what you are facing. Not Trump. Our numbers are artificially low because of Trump. We have no idea who has been exposed and who we are exposing, because we have no tests. Officials expect the shortage to continue indefinitely. Your fault, Mr. Trump.
And that’s just the beginning. We are running out of masks. We will run out of hospital beds and ventilators. In the United States, we have 2.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people. South Korea has 12.3. China has 4.3. Italy has 3.2. In the Lombardy region of Italy, the richest in that country, doctors are already triaging patients – saving the lives of those most likely to live and sending older men with pneumonia home to die. What will we do?
There is undoubtedly not a single family in America that isn’t worried, except the Trumps. We all have friends and relatives who are immunocompromised, who are older than 70 or who have underlying diseases that make them more likely to die. I could worry about myself [I’ve stopped taking my arthritis medicine], but I am too busy worrying about my Rosie, who has been with me for 30 years, my kids’ second mom. She lives with me and is undergoing chemo for bad cancer. Across the country, my daughter [who recently traveled] and my sister [who has heart disease as a result of cancer treatment 30 years ago] are quarantining themselves in their apartments. I would get on a plane, but that would only increase their risk. The list goes on. We all have them.
How I miss Barack Obama – and George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan. Each of them faced crises and tried to unify the nation.
But at least we have someone to blame. That’s you, Trump, and we will not forget.
Editor’s Note: The Trump administration on Saturday announced it is extending the travel ban to Great Britain and Ireland.