From Cameron Peters at Vox:
In fact, there are many reasons the US death toll is so high, including a national response plagued by delays at the federal level, wishful thinking by President Trump, the sidelining of experts, a pointed White House campaign to place the blame for the Trump administration’s shortcomings on others, and time wasted chasing down false hopes based on poor science.
Throughout the pandemic, however, much of the Trump administration’s spin — regarding Trump’s own response, China’s role, and more — has been misleading, if not outright untrue. Here’s what Trump and the federal government have — and have not — done to respond to the virus.
A sobering blow-by-blow breakdown of the Trump administration’s failed response to the Covid-19 pandemic. No rational person can blame any leader for allowing the disease to land on their shores – this is a truly global outbreak. However, the absolute lack of action, leadership, planning and coordination once we started to understand what was happening is inexcusable.
On a related note, I think this sort of breakdown is a helpful way to put Trump administration’s incompetence into context. I don’t know about you but at a certain point all of the scandal and drama of the past 3.5 years becomes a bit of a blur at some point.
From Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic:
Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.
In case you don’t remember General Mattis, he was the Marine general who resigned from his role as Secretary of Defense in 2018 due to Trump’s pullout of Northern Syria without any warning. He, like so many of us, are shocked to see our greatest fears about Trump’s antidemocratic tendencies come to fruition.
I’m hopeful that people like Mattis speaking out will give more oxygen to other Republican leaders who are looking for permission to speak out against the president. A statement like this is likely to make a dent in Trump’s support in Washington, the traditional conservative media, and possibly the armed forces. Will it affect normal folks who have seen everything that’s happened since 2017 and thinks “yeah, I’d like 4 more years of this”? Not so sure.
From BBC News:
No country has had more deaths, more infections. Anywhere else, so far, is not even close.
Heartbreaking, embarrassing and infuriating. We deserve better.
From The Guardian:
But the regulation could backfire, at least in terms of creating the internet Trump desires. By barring social media companies from using the nuanced forms of moderation they currently employ, the executive order could force them to resort to heavy-handed actions: deleting posts, or blocking users, rather than simply factchecking or reducing the reach of the worst material.
Similarly, removing section 230 protections entirely from a technology firm would be unlikely to force it to act as a politically neutral “mere conduit”, since any moderation at all – even simply deleting the vast quantities of automated spam that hit platforms such as Facebook and Twitter each day – would then open them up to lawsuits about the content they had left up.
I feel like this kind of sums up Trump’s presidency. He’s been flailing from one self-induced blunder to the next with no real strategy in mind. Rather than, you know, acting presidential and posting ideas that are truthful, he’s getting emotional yet again and will potentially create a situation that compels social media to disallow or fully censor the sort of hate, lies and misinformation he’s so well known for.
To be clear, I don’t think that a more tightly regulated social media landscape is an overall good thing. However the irony of the President issuing an order that makes it more likely to have his posts outright deleted does bring me some joy.
It’s been 3 years and I’m still in absolute shock that we elected this person to lead our country. Political beliefs aside, he’s not someone I’d want running my HOA let alone a country.
From Paul Krugman:
So, here’s the response of the Trump team and its allies to the coronavirus, at least so far: It’s actually good for America. Also, it’s a hoax perpetrated by the news media and the Democrats. Besides, it’s no big deal, and people should buy stocks. Anyway, we’ll get it all under control under the leadership of a man who doesn’t believe in science.
We’ve been lucky to not have had any signifigant crises since Trump has taken office but this will be the first test … and boy, do I lack confidence in this administration. The 80% cut in CDC money a few years back in particular looks especially egregious right about now.