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Trump’s Lack Of Leadership Over Coronavirus

March 11, 2020

It is quite disconcerting to see the level of partisanship which is taking hold of a most serious medical condition inflicting the entire world. While those in the United States who watch Fox News seem to have a disregard for science and for the needed collection of data so to more adequately fight the coronavirus, there is now data to underscore the split between those who believe in science and those who believe in the wild conspiracy theories advanced by conservative media.

The lack of leadership from the Trump White House, to the purposeful dissemination of misleading and outright lies from Trump about the virus, promotes a partisanship that need not, and should not exist in the United States at this time.  It is just one more clear indicator of how far adrift our nation is from the norms that once anchored and unified us.  When facts are vilified, the lowest educated in our land spew rhetoric about “fake news”, and knowing this mindset was created by Trump over the years so to undermine trust in government and our institutions, we then have no need to ask why, in part, the markets are tanking. 

Today I read an Economist/YouGov poll on the coronavirus issue.

Among Republicans: 60% say US is overreacting, 80% say Trump’s policy is appropriate, 66% say they’re not worried, 16% say it’s a definitely or probably a “hoax.”

Among Democrats: The numbers are 32%, 9%, 40%, 4%.

It should be noted, with no surprise, that the medical and scientific community align with the more sobering conclusions about the pandemic than the Trump White House, Fox News, and the undereducated Trump base.

The one exception to the nonsense from the conservative side, which stunned me, came from none-other than Tucker Carlson.  I agree completely with this statement.

While some of his colleagues have downplayed coronavirus fears, Tucker Carlson over the last few weeks has taken a much different approach. And that approach was on full display Monday night when Carlson seemed to call out both President Donald Trump and some of his colleagues on Fox News — without naming them specifically — for dismissing what he told viewers is a “very serious problem.”“People you trust, people you probably voted for, have spent weeks minimizing what is clearly a very serious problem,” Carlson said. “‘It’s just partisan politics,’ they say. ‘Calm down. In the end this was just like the flu and people die from that every year. Coronavirus will pass.”

Carlson said people who make such arguments may have good intentions, but they’re wrong. “They may not know any better,” Carlson said. “Maybe they’re just not paying attention, or maybe they believe they’re serving some higher cause by shading reality. … And there’s an election coming up. Best not to say anything that might help the other side. We get it. But they’re wrong” Carlson called it a “major event,” stressing, “It’s definitely not just the flu.”

We all have seen a lot over the last four years but perhaps nothing is more telling and dangerous than what is playing out now with the health and well-being of the nation’s citizenry.  The Trump White House is allowing for the coronavirus to spread due to their lack of focused messaging, manipulating test kit distribution, and undermining funding for the agencies designed to study and inform the public about national health concerns.    In so doing it is shining a most glaring light on the darker motives and more sinister partisanship that lurks within this White House.

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