Saturday, May 2, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He said that there were at least enough tests for Congress to reopen—but there aren't.

Almost from the moment that Trump began taking the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States seriously—months after he was first warned about it—Trump has insisted that there are plenty of tests. This has never been true, but it's possible that Trump believes that it is, because he exists in a bubble of near-constant testing. For nearly a month now, every person who shares a room with Trump must be tested, using the rapid tests that Trump falsely believes are commonly available.

Trump has swung back and forth between calling himself a "wartime president" who "calls the shots" and insisting that he has no responsibility whatsoever as president because public health is a state-level issue. 

Today, Trump yelled at Nancy Pelosi on Twitter for keeping the House and its thousands of employees shuttered because of a lack of tests that he only today offered to make available.  

But Congress is not the only federal institution that cannot get nearly enough tests to safely perform its duties. There are massive shortages in the military, too, which has seen aircraft carriers taken out of commission and basic operations disrupted. And in spite of federal authorities commandeering state stockpiles of critical medical equipment—even while Trump blames the states for not having enough—the Veterans Administration hospital system is desperately short of protective equipment

So what?

  • The federal coronavirus response needs to be about more than making sure Donald Trump doesn't get it.