Donald Trump has repeatedly likened himself to Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt when discussing his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He told Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward he deliberately “played down” the seriousness of the virus because he didn’t want to panic U.S. citizens, as if that emulated Churchill’s behavior during World War II.
Today someone who ought to know, Churchill’s granddaughter Edwina Sandys, unequivocally told Trump “he’s no Winston Churchill.” In an opinion piece in today’s USA Today, Sandys said she has joined Democrats and independents and voted for former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I was brought up a Conservative in London and today consider myself an Independent,” she wrote. “I have lived in the United States since the 1970s, and I am proud to be an American citizen. It is with my grandfather’s words very much in mind that I have written this. I am often asked, ‘What do you think Winston Churchill would say about the present situation, here in America?’ I seldom speak of my grandfather publicly — I prefer to be known as the artist I have been most of my life — and while I certainly wouldn’t dream of putting words into his mouth, I believe I now must speak out.”
Unlike Trump, she wrote, “my grandfather did not mince words about the Nazi threat — or say something like, ‘Hitler will be gone — disappear — like a miracle!’ He trusted people with the truth, even when difficult.” She noted that Trump’s “lies and inaction” have persisted as COVID-19 has swept and is re-sweeping the country. Today, nine months after Trump said it was “one case” and would quickly go away, almost 230,000 Americans have died.
“Strong leaders are enlightened, not cowed, by knowledge of science. My grandfather was born before automobiles, radio and penicillin. He was fascinated by science,” Sandys wrote. “Trump has become a laughingstock in Europe and Canada. In London, his image on a giant balloon full of gas has floated over the Houses of Parliament. It could be deflated by a single pinprick. This pokes fun at and ridicules not only the president but our whole beloved nation — the United States of America.”
In explaining her vote for Biden, she called him “a decent man” who will “turn the page of history and work with the whole country to make America great again. I rarely wade into the political waters, but this year, at this moment, I am joining Republicans and Independents for Biden, an affiliate of the Lincoln Project.”