Conservative Paper’s Editor Slams Trump For ‘Bluffing’ His Way Through Coronavirus Crisis
Noting that his “bombastic style” has helped him in many ways before, Philip Klein of The Washington Examiner, a right-wing newspaper, said that President Donald Trump cannot “bluff his way through” the situation involving the spread of coronavirus throughout the United States.
“It’s one thing for Trump to insist he had a ‘perfect’ phone call and have all his Republican minions fall in line. It’s another thing to downplay a growing epidemic as more and more Americans get sick,” the executive editor of the paper wrote in a scathing opinion piece.
Klein pointed out how Trump’s braggadocious ways did nothing good for the nation — he “patted himself on the back,” for example, in late February for the “low number of cases” that existed in America. By a week later, he did the same thing — saying that the U.S. “only” had 129 cases identified, suggesting that was a good number. A day later, 240 cases were still considered low to Trump, The Examiner said.
There are now 428 identified cases in the country, with likely more cases to come.
Trump has also made other comments that show his ineptitude about the disease itself, and the administration’s handling of it. “Anybody that wants a test can get a test” for coronavirus, he recently said, a statement that is “not remotely true,” Klein noted.
Conservatives are beginning to get it: Ability to tweet insults has nothing to do with ability to manage a crisis. Read this editorial from the very conservative Washington Examiner https://t.co/GnQK6Yf2ex
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) March 8, 2020
Those sort of statements are particularly dangerous, the paper’s executive editor argued:
“The lack of adequate testing may be keeping the numbers of identified cases artificially low in the U.S., but they are also preventing public health officials from being able to identify areas of outbreak early enough to take steps to mitigate the spread.”
Klein concluded that “the current crisis is revealing what many critics feared in a potential Trump presidency,” that Trump “simply has not shown an ability to break out of his typical antics, and treat the moment with the seriousness with which it deserves.”
Americans overall are starting to agree with this point-of-view. While Trump received high marks for his handling of the disease in early February, by March more and more had started to see that he was not capable of behaving rationally, even during a crisis.
According to an Economist/YouGov poll, only 37 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the crisis involving COVID-19 in the country. Meanwhile, 47 percent say they disapprove of how he’s acted so far.
Featured image credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr