“Trump’s Last Year in Office: Two Impeachments and 400,000 Funerals ” © Tom Ersin 2022. This is the current installment from the serialized publication of this distinctive historical book.

THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES (skip to article)

  • “Elizabeth Warren Drops out of Democratic Presidential Primary, Makes No Endorsement” (3/5/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Congress Approves $8.3B for Efforts After Trump Asked for Only $2.5B” (3/5/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: There Is Major Test Kit Shortage Due to Trump Admin. Mismanagement; Experts Believe Admin. Focus on Early Containment Rather Than Preparation, Public Education Hurt Efforts” (3/6/2020)
  • “Fed. Judge Pans AG Barr’s Handling of Mueller Report, Wants Unredacted Copy to Review” (3/6/2020)
  • “Trump Fires Mick Mulvaney as WH Chief of Staff, Replaces w/ GOP Rep. Mark Meadows” (3/6/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Continues to Publicly Dispute Own Health Experts; President Wants to Keep 21 Infected Passengers on Cruise Ship Offshore, Otherwise ‘our numbers are going to go up,’ but Will Defer to Experts; Trump Lies, Says Anyone Needing Testing Can Be Tested Right Now” (3/6/2020)
  • “Dow Closes Down 2,013 Points (7.79%), Another Record, 1st ‘circuit break’ in 20+ Yrs.” (3/9/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: WH Press Conference: More Trump Lies, Inaccuracies; Obsequious Lovefest” (3/9/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: U.S.: 707 Cases, 26 Deaths, 35 States w/ Confirmed Cases; 100+ Countries” (3/9/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: CDC Wanted to Advise Seniors, Physically Fragile Not to Fly; WH Overruled” (3/9/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: 2 Mos. Ago, Trump Administration Refused Offer of Testing Help From WHO” (3/9/2020)
  • “Dem Pres. Primary: Biden Wins Big in 4 States Including MI, Now Presumptive Nominee” (3/10/2020)
  • “Harvey Weinstein Sentenced in NYC to 23 Yrs.’ Prison for Sexually Assaulting 2 Women” (3/11/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: WHO Officially Designates ‘pandemic,’ Urges Preparation, Not Containment” (3/11/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Govt. Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Anthony Fauci Sounds Alarm to Congress” (3/11/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Congress’ Physician Told It Privately U.S. Infections Could Reach 70-150M” (3/11/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Oval Office Address: Blusterous, Boastful, B.S. Blamefest, Though Finally Taking Virus Seriously; Suspends EU Travel for 30 Days Except U.K.; Orders SBA Loan Loosening; Takes Focus off Botched Test Kit Production; Asks Congress for Worker Relief; Focuses on Economy” (3/11/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: NBA Suspends Season; March Madness, Other Events Will Ban Spectators” (3/11/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: 100+ U.S. Colleges Have Closed Brick-&-Mortar Facilities, Now Online Only” (3/11/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: EU Condemns Trump Travel Ban: ‘taken unilaterally,’ ‘without consultation’” (3/12/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: U.S., World Stock Markets Continue Record Losses Due to Pandemic” (3/12/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: U.S./World: 1,323/127,749 Cases; 38/4,717 Deaths; 8:18 a.m. EST” (3/12/2020)


Donald Trump lies. It is not exaggeration. It’s not “truthful hyperbole,” as he characterizes his rhetoric in a book he “wrote.” If only it were just truthful hyperbole. If only he knew the meaning of hyperbole. If only he knew the meaning of oxymoron — a truthfully hyperbolic oxymoron. Trump is a fabulist whose lies are now costing lives.

The U.S. is experiencing a disastrous shortage of coronavirus testing kits because Trump lies. We had two months to gear up production — as many other countries did — but Donald kept playing down the crisis. He declined testing help offered by the World Health Organization in January. And how convenient that a shortage of test kits keeps the confirmed-cases count artificially low.

Trump consistently has contradicted and muddled his health experts’ analyses, counsel, and public guidance. He blew up privately after the CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier said Feb. 25 that protective measures “will be disruptive to people’s day-to-day lives.” Next thing you know, Dr. Nancy is sidelined and targeted for condemnation by the right-wing press.

The CDC recently wanted to put out a nationwide recommendation that senior citizens and those in fragile health should not travel by airline. The White House, fearing a hit to business, overruled that recommendation, watering it down — again muddling the danger.

As some experts and pundits have pointed out, Trump gives snapshots of the crisis with no context, in effect telling us it’s always worse somewhere else: “We’re fine.” While it’s bad enough he’s ignoring the deadly trend, he wants us to believe the opposite of reality: that people are getting better and the victim number is trending toward zero.

Why is the president suppressing accurate information and disputing his own health experts? Why is he callously playing with American lives? It’s all about the stock market. Coronavirus concerns have rocked the market with two weeks of record-setting losses. Donald views a healthy stock market (unencumbered by bothersome bad news about pandemic infections) as integral to his reelection. If he loses in 2020, thereby losing presidential immunity, he faces multiple indictments. You do the math.

Art of the Downplay

“We think we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five. And those people are all recuperating successfully. … [W]e think it’s going to have a very good ending for us — that I can assure you.”

(Trump, Donald, R-Fla., U.S. president; speech; Dana Inc. [formerly Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant], Warren, Mich.; 1/30/2020.)

“[W]hen you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”

(Trump, Donald, R-Fla., U.S. president; press briefing; White House; 2/26/2020.)

“As they get better, we take them off the list, so that we’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time. … And again, if you look at some countries, they are coming down. It’s starting to go in the other direction.”

(Ibid.; Trump; 2/26/2020.)

“[W]e’re testing everybody that we need to test. And we’re finding very little problem. Very little problem.”

(Ibid.; Trump; 2/26/2020.) (this is a lie; there’s a massive shortage of test kits in the U.S.)

“It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”

(Trump, Donald, R-Fla., U.S. president; African American History Month reception; White House; 2/27/2020.)

“The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. … This is their new hoax.”

(Trump, Donald, R-Fla., U.S. president; campaign rally; North Charleston, S.C.; 2/28/2020.)

“‘And how long would that [vaccine] take?’ Trump asked. The [drug company] CEO said it would take months and then head into phase three. ‘All right. So you’re talking within a year[,’ Trump said.] ‘A year to a year and a half,’ [government infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony] Fauci again clarified. ‘Well, but, Lenny is talking about two months, right?’ Trump said, incorrectly referring to [Regeneron CEO Leonard] Schleifer’s August estimate. ‘A little — a little longer,’ Schleifer again clarified. … ‘A couple of months, right?’ Trump pressed. ‘I mean, I like the sound of a couple of months better, I must be honest with you[,’ Trump said.] …

“What’s remarkable about these exchanges is that Fauci has explained all of this — in front of Trump and publicly: … ‘[The vaccine] would not be applicable to the epidemic unless we really wait about a year to a year and a half.’”

(Blake, Aaron; “Trump’s Baffling Coronavirus Vaccine Event”; The Washington Post; 3/3/2020.)

“I think the [stated WHO mortality rate of] 3.4% is really a false number … Because a lot of people will have this and it’s very mild. They’ll get better very rapidly. They don’t even see a doctor. … So if, you know, we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, by sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better. … I think the number — personally, I would say the number is way under 1%.”

(Trump, Donald, R-Fla., U.S. president; Fox News’ Hannity; 3/5/2020.)

“I would rather [keep those infected and exposed passengers on the cruise ship anchored near San Francisco] because I like the [current U.S.] numbers being where they are. I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault. … I’d rather have them stay on [the ship], personally.”

(Trump, Donald, R-Fla., U.S. president; Q&A with reporters; CDC; 3/6/2020.) (ignoring the advice of all his health experts, after a similar situation exploded with infections)

“The [questionable CDC coronavirus] tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good.”

(Ibid.; Trump; 3/6/2020.) (comparing the CDC’s troubled COVID-19 test development efforts to his impeachment-worthy phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy)

“Mr. Trump started Monday playing down the virus, reminding Americans that tens of thousands of people die of the ordinary flu every year. ‘Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!’ He dismissed the effect of the outbreak in fueling Monday’s market meltdown. ‘Saudi Arabia and Russia are arguing over the price and flow of oil,’ he wrote. ‘That, and the Fake News, is the reason for the market drop!’”

(Baker, Peter & Haberman, Maggie & Karni, Annie; “Trump Floats Economic Stimulus in Response to Coronavirus”; The New York Times; 3/9/2020.)

“We will not delay. I will never hesitate to take any necessary steps to protect the lives, health, and safety of the American people. I will always put the well-being of America first.”

(Trump, Donald, R-Fla., U.S. president; national address; Oval Office; 3/11/2020.)


The problem with these Oval Office Donald-come-lately assurances is this: Who can believe the president now after months of downplaying the crisis for personal, partisan, corrupt reasons. He is not leading. He’s being dragged against his will because the tsunami of factual information is drowning his attempts to spin the problem.

Yesterday the World Health Organization officially designated the novel coronavirus spread as a pandemic. Yesterday Trump’s own director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned that the U.S. could have a problem or it could have a catastrophic nightmare — it’s the government’s choice, depending upon its response.

Finally, yesterday, the Attending Physician of the United States Congress told a congressional committee in private session that the country could experience 70 to 150 million novel coronavirus infections before the crisis is over.

Only after these dire warnings has the president apparently decided to — at least appear to — take the pandemic seriously. But still: 1) he has yet to reassemble fully the U.S. pandemic response team he fired in 2018 because it had Obama’s fingerprints on it; 2) Dr. Fauci has had to warn him — through the media — to stop comparing COVID-19 benignly to the flu; 3) he got several crucial points wrong in his Oval Office address, causing intensified market turmoil (which he was trying to suppress) because investors fear his incompetent leadership; and 4) after two months of wasted lead time, only now has he ordered a push for coronavirus test kit production.

“The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. … This is their new hoax.”

(Ibid.; Trump; 2/28/2020.)

“[T]hat governor is a snake. OK. Inslee [(D-Wash.)] … who is not a good governor, by the way.”

(Ibid.; Trump; 3/6/2020.) (referring to Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state, whose state has suffered the most COVID-19 infections and deaths by far)

“We must put politics aside, stop the partisanship, and unify together as one nation and one family.”

(Ibid.; Trump; 3/11/2020.)

As of this writing, March 12, 2020, 8:18 a.m. EST, the U.S. has 1,323 confirmed coronavirus cases and 38 deaths spread across 45 states. Earth has 127,749 confirmed cases and 4,717 deaths across 116 countries.■

[Tom Ersin has been a full-time professional writer and editor since 2010 and holds degrees in communications and counseling. He’s a long-time political observer and has written a half-dozen nonfiction books on 21st century U.S. politics.] Click here to purchase book. Please leave a rating.