Trump role in pandemic

Strange times, reckless behavior, nightmare scenarios

What a bizarre month this has been.

We’ve had Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) ask if the National Forest Service might change Earth’s orbit around the sun to alter the effects of climate change. An Ohio doctor pushes the idea that the vaccines can magnetize people and make them susceptible to government monitoring — an idea readily accepted by Republican legislators there.

Now comes Rep. Ann Wagner, (R-Missouri) proposing a bill that would hold China accountable for “deliberate, reckless action that allowed the coronavirus to spread, killing millions worldwide.”

She recently warned constituents that the government must pass this legislation, “to make sure China pays for their reckless actions.”

Talk about reckless actions, I bet she can’t wait to read “Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History,” a new book by Washington Post journalists Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta that captures the Trump administration’s dysfunctional response to the unfolding pandemic.

The book details some of the inner workings of Trump world early on in the pandemic. We knew he wanted to block cruise ship passengers from re-entering the country. But did we know he also wanted to bar infected Americans returning from abroad? His solution: send them to Guantanamo. All to keep the COVID numbers down in the U.S.A.

The book is not without its ironic moments…

“Testing is killing me!” Trump reportedly exclaimed in a phone call to then-Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on March 18, yelling so loudly that Azar’s aides overheard every word. “I’m going to lose the election because of testing! What idiot had the federal government do testing?”
“Uh, do you mean Jared?” Azar responded, citing the president’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
– Washington Post

Trump fired key people to stifle sound scientific commentary. And, of course, he espoused ideas like using hydroxychloroquine and bleach injection. He repeatedly claimed the whole pandemic was all a hoax. He downplayed the need for masks and he failed to encourage widespread vaccination.

Crazy, right? We laughed. But Abutaleb and Paletta take a more somber view.

“One of the biggest flaws in the Trump administration’s response is that no one was in charge of the response… Was it Birx, the task force coordinator? Was it Pence, head of the task force? Was it Trump, the boss? Was it Kushner, running the shadow task force until he wasn’t? Was it Marc Short or Mark Meadows, often at odds, rarely in sync?… Ultimately, there was no accountability, and the response was rudderless”

Yeah, Ann Wagner, people need to be held responsible for making the pandemic much worse than it needed to be.