Monday, July 13, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He took the side of a game show host against his own administration's public health experts.

Today, Trump retweeted former game show host Chuck Woolery's accusation that "the CDC, Media, Democrats, [and] our Doctors" were "lying" about COVID-19.

Trump often claims that his more ridiculous or offensive retweets are accidents, but this is part of a pattern of attacks on his own government's health experts. He's spent much of the last few days trying to demonize Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert. Fauci, whom Americans overwhelmingly trust more than Trump, has been kept away from the press and has not been allowed to brief Trump directly for two months

On Sunday, the White House leaked an anonymous memo undermining Fauci, summarizing his supposed mistakes—a kind of "oppo dump" that politicians normally use against their opponents.

Trump also tried to pick a fight with the CDC last week, railing against their school reopening guidelines and demanding that they change their findings to suit his stance on the issue.

The underlying reason for all this is that doctors—and the overwhelming majority of Americans—simply don't accept Trump's claim that the pandemic is over and dealt with.

More than 138,000 Americans are known to have died from COVID-19, with death rates rising again in recent weeks. 

Why is this a bad thing?

  • Doctors and public health officials, not former game show hosts, are the experts a president should consult during a disease epidemic.
  • A president this desperate to avoid hearing bad news can't do anything to solve the problem he's afraid of.