Back in April, Donald Trump was already bored with COVID-19 and desperate to “reopen" the country and “restart" the economy. “Reopen" and “Restart" are both words you might see highlighted in a corporate PowerPoint presentation, along with “synergy." Trump and his team of unrivaled idiots had “convinced themselves that the outbreak was fading." It wasn't, and anyone with working brains -- so not Ivanka and Jared -- realized this. However, Trump wanted to “ease up on the lockdown."

From the New York Times:

In doing so, he was ignoring warnings that the numbers would continue to drop only if social distancing was kept in place, rushing instead to restart the economy and tend to his battered re-election hopes.

Would the president really prioritize his own personal and political interests above the security of the nation and his oath of office? Well, duh, we know he would because the House impeached the motherfucker over just that last year. Rep. Adam Schiff was kind enough to remind us last month that Trump is an existential threat to the nation whose removal couldn't wait until the upcoming election. It's worth watching again if you have a tissue handy.

Trump takes responsibility for nothing so part of his scheme involved pushing accountability onto the states. This was called the “State Authority Handoff," as seen in The Sting, and Trump couldn't even manage the discipline to leave the marks states alone to take the bait. When sensible governors kept shutdown orders in place, Trump freaked out (more than usual) and tweeted nonsense about “liberating" Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia.

Presumably, Trump thought all governors would be dumb enough to believe everything was swell and they could lift restrictions like dummies who don't science. After all, he had Dr. Deborah Birx's board-certified rubber stamp on his mad dream.

Dr. Birx told the coronavirus task force on April 11 that the “nation was in good shape." We were far from "in good shape."

Boston and Chicago are two weeks away from the peak, [Dr. Birx] cautioned, but the numbers in Detroit and other hard-hit cities are heading down.

Because of social distancing, idiots! Unfortunately, future hot spots such as Arizona and Texas opened prematurely and with wanton disregard for science. (Wear a damn mask!) This rolled back most of our progress.

A sharp pivot soon followed, with consequences that continue to plague the country today as the virus surges anew.

That's right. Dr. Birx is now Dr. Fall Guy, but it's hard to remain the unknown White House medical adviser when at least 140,200 Americans have died so far. That was not inevitable. The government released reopening guidelines but just shrugged when states ignored them. Trump also couldn't bother to ramp up testing because he thought more tests would generate more cases, because he's just that stupid.

This Times article is interesting because the White House has spent the past week or so trying (and failing) to blame Dr. Anthony Fauci for our current crapfest. Now it seems like it's Dr. Birx's turn under the bus, and unfortunately for her, people are more inclined to believe she willingly aided and abetted Trump's bungling.

Business Insider published an article this weekend with the headline "Dr Birx Told President Trump In April That The Coronavirus Would Soon Be Gone And Influenced The Administration's Push To Reopen The Economy And Lift Lockdown."


Former senator Claire McCaskill also went for the jugular, which might make Birx's scarves the latest in White House patsy defensive wear.

According to Michael Shear, White House correspondent for the Times, "Dr. Debbie" — why is he calling her “Debbie"? — "Birx was the chief evangelist for the idea that the threat from the virus was fading. She would roam the the White House, passing out diagrams to bolster her case. 'We've hit our peak,' she would say, a message that would find its way to Trump."

Trump is a big, dumb child who brags about his ability to pick a camel out of a lineup. Of course, he'd embrace any half-assed evidence that he could stop pretending to care about sick people and return to his hate rallies and workshopping the perfect mean nickname for Joe Biden. Dr. Birx handed President Bobo a Super Soaker filled with COVID-19 and he promptly sprayed it all over us.

Mob bosses love fall guys and dolls, but while that's good for keeping them out of prison, it won't keep Trump in the White House. He's responsible for this mess. Dr. Birx can resign in disgrace — we won't shed any tears — but unless Trump joins her, our national prognosis remains grim.

[New York Times]

Stephen Robinson on Twitter.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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