SCUMP and the Coronavirus

NYT’S PETER BAKER in Palm Beach, Fla.: “For Trump, Coronavirus Proves to Be an Enemy He Can’t Tweet Away”: “For a president who lives in the moment, rarely planning too far ahead, the coronavirus has proved to be a leadership challenge he was not prepared for either. The outbreak that has rattled the nation does not respond to Mr. Trump’s favorite instruments of power: It cannot be cowed by Twitter posts, it cannot be shot down by drones, it cannot be overcome by party solidarity, it cannot be overpowered by campaign rally chants.

“Mr. Trump, who is at his strongest politically when he has a human enemy to attack, has seemed less certain of how to take on an invisible killer. The role of calming natural leader is not one that has come easily as he struggles to find the balance between public reassurance and Panglossian dismissiveness. He has predicted that the virus will ‘miraculously’ disappear on its own with warmer weather, suggested a vaccine will be available soon and insisted anyone who wants to be tested can be — all overstated or inaccurate.

He has expressed an astonishing lack of knowledge while at the same time claiming to be a medical savant. He has treated the crisis as a partisan battle, wearing his red Keep America Great campaign cap to the C.D.C. and calling the governor presiding over the state with the highest death toll a ‘snake.’ He even admitted that he wanted to leave passengers stranded on a cruise ship rather than see statistics for the number of cases on American soil go up because it would look bad.” NYT

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