Trump Has No Regrets, No Remorse Over His Piss-Poor COVID-19 Response
After fleeing the scene of his "60 Minutes" interview with Lesley Stahl, Donald Trump sat down for a more comforting exchange with Sinclair's Eric Bolling. Fox News fired Bolling in 2017 because he allegedly sent women pictures of his junk, which no one wants to see. This is the kind of guy Trump can relax around.
Not sure what all the fuss was about today with @60Minutes and @realDonaldTrump .. He seemed perfectly fine at my T… https://t.co/umzuvwW5Qh— 🇺🇸 ERIC BOLLING 🇺🇸 (@🇺🇸 ERIC BOLLING 🇺🇸)1603241166.0
Trump was asked about his relationship with Dr. Anthony Fauci, which he insists is “great," but the good doctor has “made mistakes." What are those mistakes and how have they affected the American people during the COVID-19 crisis?
TRUMP: When he said he's stopped from going on television, but you see him do "60 Minutes" — not one of the greatest shows in the world.
Yes, parents explaining to their kids why they can't trick-or-treat this year are really interested in the president's petty complaints about Dr. Fauci's TV appearances. Also, Stahl must've really gotten under his paper-thin skin. He's now dragging America's most watched news program. This isn't how he improves his standing with seniors.
TRUMP: But [Dr. Fauci] said no masks, don't wear masks, and then he says wear masks.
Trump remains befuddled that someone could alter their opinion as a situation changes. He won't stop repeating this line of attack on Dr. Fauci's credibility. Yes, there was initial concern in March that there weren't enough masks for essential workers, but there's plenty to go around now. Also, we know that asymptomatic people can spread the virus, which makes wearing masks an important precaution. Dr. Fauci has been consistent about this since April, when the Centers for Disease Control updated its guidelines, and unlike the big dumb president, he's modeled best practices and worn masks in public, without whining about it.
Trump still hangs his entire COVID-19 response on banning travel from China in January. However, most of New York's cases, for instance, "arose through untracked transmission between the United States and Europe." The failure to contain the virus and effectively flatten the curve for more than eight minutes nationwide is all on Trump and his jacklegged coronavirus task force.
Trump doesn't have the smartest campaign staff, so maybe no one's shown him the abysmal polling numbers on his COVID-19 leadership ... or whatever it is he's been doing. This issue is killing his reelection prospects, because voters are afraid Trump's incompetence will kill them. Bolling tried to throw the president a lifeline.
BOLLING: With COVID, is there anything that you think you could have done differently — if you had a mulligan or a do-over on one aspect of the way you handled it, what would it be?
TRUMP: Not much.
Yeah, the Biden ads just write themselves. Look, moron, the question isn't what you've done to combat COVID-19. The question is what you might have done differently if the deaths of 220,000 Americans weighed on you at all.
TRUMP: Look, it's all over the world. You have a lot of great leaders, a lot of smart people — it's all over the world. It came out of China. China should've stopped it.
China isn't the president of the United States. “China should've stopped the coronavirus so I could've had more fun at my rallies" isn't a compelling closing argument.
TRUMP: No, not much. I did it very early.
During the vice presidential debate, Mike Pence boasted that when Trump “suspended all travel from China" there were just five coronavirus cases in the United States. There are now more than 8.3 million. Yet the president says he'd do nothing differently. Voters don't accept that 220,000 Americans had to die or that somehow, as Trump has baselessly claimed, at least a jillion or so people would've died if Biden were president.
Biden had demonstrated soft support from Latino voters during the primary and early days of the general election. Trump had hoped to improve his performance with this demo. However, COVID-19 has hit the Latino electorate hard, and according to a poll released Tuesday, almost three-quarters of Latino voters disapprove of how Trump has handled the pandemic.
Texas, where the Latino population is significant, is facing another lethal surge in COVID-19 cases. Current polls show Biden with a better chance of flipping Texas (and effectively winning the election right there) than Trump has of holding Pennsylvania. The president should take all the mulligans he can get.
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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."