“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)

  • “PANDEMIC: Navy Ship CO (USS Roosevelt) Fired for Speaking out: 100+ Ship Infections” (4/2/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Continues to Blame Governors for Shortage of Ventilators” (4/2/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: No One at WH in Charge of Supply Chain, While Price Gouging, Profiteering Explode; States, FEMA in Fierce Bidding Wars With Each Other; Trump Says Federal Government Will Not Interfere With Private Business Practices, States on Their Own” (4/2/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Baby Steps Toward DPA Implementation, Still No Full, Necessary Push” (4/2/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Refuses to Reopen Obamacare Markets, Millions Remain Uninsured” (4/2/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Experts, Dr. Fauci, Surgeon General, Say Stay-at-Home Should Be National; Trump Won’t Back Them Up; Fauci: ‘I don’t understand why no national stay-at-home order’” (4/2/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Son-in-Law, Adviser Jared Kushner Says ‘national stockpile of medical supplies is ours (U.S. government’s), not states’; Country Outraged; WH Website Text Changed Next Day to Reflect Kushner’s Statement; Trump Says, ‘We’re not an ordering clerk’” (4/2/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: GOP Governors in Fla., Ga., Miss., et al. Still in Denial, Won’t Order Shutdown” (4/2/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: WH Death Projections Questioned by Fauci, VP; WH Won’t Release Base Data” (4/2/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: CDC Recommending Face Covering While Outside; Trump Plays Down Advice” (4/3/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: U.S. #1, Overtakes Italy in Confirmed Cases by More Than 2:1; Massive Test Shortage Persists, but Trump Tests Oil Exec. Buddies” (4/3/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Tells Pro Sports CEOs He’s Pushing to Reopen Stadiums ‘very soon’; Revives ‘cure can’t be worse than the problem’ Push, Giving False Hope; Still Favors Business Over Lives” (4/3/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: NY Begs Other States for Ventilators, Begs Trump to Call Up Military Drs.” (4/3/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Declared Nat’l. Emergency March 13, but Has Refused to Lead on It” (4/3/2020)
  • “Trump Fires Intel. Cmte. Inspector General Michael Atkinson Who Passed Ukraine Whistleblower Complaint to Congress, Says, ‘Somebody should sue his a** off’” 4/3/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump’s Expert, Dr. Birx, Begs U.S. to Take It Seriously, Still Not Bending Curve” (4/3/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: DOD Sends 1,000 Medical Personnel to NYC” (4/4/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: 8 GOP Governors Still Not Shutting Down, Endangering Lives Across Country” (4/4/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Dr. Fauci, Peter Navarro Fight Over Trump Reckless Unproved Drug Promotion” (4/4/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Impromptu Press Conf.: Rambling, 2-Hr. Lie-Fest, Preempted ’60 Minutes,’ Joe Biden, Palm Sunday; Stops Dr. Fauci From Answering Question About Drug Trump’s Pushing” (4/5/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Continues to Tout Only Early Response: 1st to Block People From China; New Reports: 38 Countries Blocked China Travel Before or at Same Time; Trump Order Was Riddled With 40,000 Exceptions; Airlines Had Already Stopped Flights” (4/5/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Dire Shortage of Med. Supplies; Feds Sending States Materials 10 Yrs. Expired” (4/5/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: SCOTUS 5-4 to Force Wis. Election During Pandemic, No Mail Ballot Extension” (4/6/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump: ‘It’s not federal government’s job to do testing’” (4/6/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Wis. GOP Forces In-Person Election During Pandemic, w/ SCOTUS’ Blessing; Only State in America to Do so; Refused to Allow Few More Days for Voters to Obtain Mail Ballots” (4/7/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Press Confs. Average 1.75 Hrs., Many Lies, Campaigning, Little New Info” (4/7/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Fires Pentagon IG Slated to Oversee $2.2T Bailout; Installs Loyalist” (4/7/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Iconic Folk Singer John Prine Dies From Coronavirus at 73” (4/7/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Darling Aide, Peter Navarro, Wrote Jan. 29, Feb. 23 Alarm Memos Warning of 500K U.S. Deaths if U.S. Didn’t Prepare; Trump Claims He Never Saw Memos” (4/7/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: CA Shipping Ventilators to NY, NJ, et al. in Generous Rolling Deployment” (4/7/2020)
  • “Acting Navy Secy. Fired for Dissing USS Roosevelt CO for Speaking out on Ship Infections” (4/7/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: U.S. #1, Has Highest Single Day Death Toll of any Country: 1,850” (4/8/2020)
  • “Bernie Sanders (D-VT) Drops out of Dem Presidential Primary, Leaving Only Joe Biden” (4/8/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Admin. National Medical Stockpile Now Officially Depleted” (4/8/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Blaming Everyone Except Self: WHO, China, Biden, States, Media, Aides” (4/9/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: Trump Still Pushing for Premature Reopening of Country: Business Over Lives” (4/9/2020)
  • “ECONOMY: 6.6M U.S. Workers Filed for Unemployment Ins. Last Week; 17M Over 3 Weeks; Unemployment at 13%, Highest Since Great Recession” (4/9/2020)
  • “PANDEMIC: U.S./World: 432,438/1,496,055 Cases; 14,808/89,435 Deaths; 8:02 a.m. EST” (4/9/2020)


COVID-19 Deaths

2/06/2020 — U.S.: 1   |   World: 2,976
3/05/2020 — U.S.: 12   |   World: 3,293
3/12/2020 — U.S.: 38   |   World: 4,717
3/19/2020 — U.S.: 150   |   World: 9,115
3/26/2020 — U.S.: 1,046   |   World: 22,030
4/02/2020 — U.S.: 5,137   |   World: 48,284
4/09/2020 — U.S.: 14,808   |   World: 89,435

(COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University; approximately 8 a.m. each day)

Every move he makes is about reelection. President Trump’s reprobate leadership is costing many thousands of American lives through corrupt responses and nonresponses to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Let Me Count the Ways

1) He discounted the virus for two months, squandering critical preparation time, and still downplays it when he can. He had January intelligence reports with explicit warnings of an impending pandemic. One of his favorite aides, Peter Navarro, warned in a Jan. 29 White House memo (and again in a Feb. 23 memo) that America could suffer 500,000 deaths if it didn’t prepare properly. President Trump said he missed that memo. His HHS secretary tried in vain to get the president to take the virus seriously, but Donald called him an “alarmist.” Trump balked at taking earnest action for fear of the “numbers” (infections, deaths) going up and the markets being spooked. He did call for an exception-laden ban on China travel — after U.S. airlines and 38 other countries already had acted. He still is selectively silencing aides and government scientists, promoting his “the cure can’t be worse than the problem” theme, and again pushing for a deadly premature reopening of the country.

2) He won’t nationalize the medical policy of his own scientists, specifically their social distancing order recommendations. This puts the entire country at higher risk. He’s allowing about 10 venal GOP governors to use their “best judgment.” He refuses to overrule them because it would hurt his reelection chances: A) he doesn’t want to alienate business; B) he doesn’t want to alienate Republican governors he needs to win; C) he wants to keep the country open and markets up at any cost; D) he doesn’t want to oppose GOP “states’ rights” doctrine; and E) he’s afraid opponents will turn the “socialism” tag back on him in November. The only reason he’s taken the minimal actions he has is because advisers have convinced him that too many deaths will cost too many votes. Rather than saving every American life possible, Mr. Trump callously is calculating a kind of benefit-loss ratio: balancing how much human death is acceptable to maintain stock market performance (read: reelection chances).

3) He won’t nationalize the supply chain, refusing to interfere with private business. (“We’re not a shipping clerk.”) Meanwhile all 50 states and FEMA are forced to bid against each other for scarce PPE and precious ventilators, driving up prices, while opportunist profiteers, domestic and foreign, are exploiting the desperation. The president blames states for not being prepared, essentially saying the shortages are their tough luck.

4) He won’t sufficiently nationalize supply production (by using the Defense Production Act) to produce desperately needed medical supplies and ventilators (even though affected companies would be compensated fairly). Again this refusal is for reelection reasons: to keep markets up, economic fear down, and the “socialism” accusations at bay.

5) He won’t fully compel needed mass test kit production because fewer tests mean lower “numbers.”  His failed leadership and continued corrupt decision-making — by refusing foreign help, putting business concerns over lives, etc. — is killing thousands of people unnecessarily. This is not hyperbole. Virtually all experts point to widespread testing as the way out of this crisis, and medical personnel across the country are screaming about the frightening, demoralizing shortages.

6) He won’t sufficiently deploy military medical personnel to the most desperate large-city hospitals. Yes, Saturday he finally did call up 1,000 military staff to help out in New York hospitals after weeks of Gov. Cuomo begging him. But there are tens of thousands of doctors and nurses in the armed forces. A majority of those could be redeployed temporarily to the worst-hit areas of the country. This is part of the military’s purpose. Civilian medical staffs are pleading, praying for help because they are overwhelmed.

Add to All That These Nuggets:

— He continues to disparage certain Democratic governors. He blames governors who are not loyalists and rewards those who are with favorable supply shipments.

— He’s turned his daily near-two-hour press briefings into low-key campaign rallies, complete with persistent journalist invective and free-for-all mendacity.

The largest elephant in the Trumpian herd of pachyderms in the room (sounds cerebral but I don’t know what it means) is the consistent, colossal obliquity, the willingness to fabricate corruptly at every turn. Now it’s producing unnecessary death and will produce more. Donald lies about the numbers, lies about the testing, the supply chain, the DPA, responsibility, favoritism, journalism, drugs, reopening the country by Easter.

But what really irks me is the prevarication about his hand-size and BMI.

Partisan Pandemic

Historian and presidential biographer Jon Meacham recently characterized the crisis as the first “partisan pandemic” in history. What he meant was that beliefs about the cause of, effects of, and response to the pandemic fall into two camps: the science and reason camp, and the Trump-supporter camp. Because of this president’s corrupt influence, the Trump-supporting camp — cult — refuses to believe science, i.e., truth, because Donald has inculcated in its members the precept that science — truth — is out to hurt its leader. The overriding problem is that the cult comprises 40% or so of America, which has morally paralyzed invertebrate Republican legislators, separating them from all ethical clarity.

Meacham’s simile is this: “It’s like The Enlightenment itself is on trial.”

I’ll sign off on Jon Meacham’s analogy the way many MAGA lemmings love to close their social media entries after posting an article purporting that Nancy Pelosi starves her grandchildren while voting to feed illegal alien children no matter what planet they’re from:

“Let that sink in.”■

[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.