All his life, even before he boorishly occupied the White House, Impeached President Donald J. Trump has entertained the country and the world with thoughtless, self-promotional rants on a wide variety of topics.
Remember this classic Trumpism from the 2016 presidential campaign?
“I’m the most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far. Nobody’s ever been more successful than me. I’m the most successful person ever to run. Ross Perot isn’t successful like me. Romney – I have a Gucci store that’s worth more than Romney.”
–Des Moines Register, 2/6/15
This from a man who dumped hotels and casinos into bankruptcy six times between 1991 and 2009 due to his inability to meet required payments and to renegotiate debt with banks, owners of stock and bonds and various small businesses (unsecured creditors). Also, this great businessman was forced to shutter an airline, a university and countless other businesses that failed to turn a profit.
How about this one from less than two years ago?
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries coming here?”
— Transcript of White House meeting, 11/1/18
Lady Liberty’s image was needlessly and thoughtlessly tarnished by that Trump rant. Standing in New York harbor as America’s beacon to the world — come live in the land of the free, home of the brave and pursue life, liberty and justice for you and your family — the Statute of Liberty is a reminder of what used to be a proud and strong nation.
These types of blatherings from Trump, while entertaining, never contributed to deaths of American citizens. They were worthless, meaningless rants aimed at energizing like-minded voters to earn him access to the most powerful political position in the world.
Today, however, Trump’s nonsensical ravings focus on the country’s battle against COVID-19 and his myopic intent on restoring the nation’s economy, no matter the cost of American lives. They are both deadly and misguided.
More than 72,000 men, women and children have been killed by the deadly disease. Health care officials forecast that number will most likely double before summer ends. The number of COVID-19-related fatalities in the U.S. could wind up exceeding 240,000 before a vaccine to defeat the disease is widely available.
Trump’s reaction to these numbers?
“We’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people,” he said during a recent virtual “town hall” meeting on Fox News. “That’s a horrible thing. We shouldn’t lose one person over this.”
But we have. Tens of thousands of people have died.
During the same televised campaign-style broadcast, he falsely credited himself with preventing the toll from being worse:
“If we didn’t do it (shut down the nation’s economy), the minimum we would have lost was a million two, a million four, a million five, that’s the minimum. We would have lost probably higher, it’s possible higher than 2.2.”
No one, not even the nation’s leading medical officials monitoring the devastation COVID-19 is wreaking on American lives, has put those types of numbers out there. Why not? Because there’s no science to support that type of forecast. It’s just another in a series of “scare” statements from Trump designed to rile up his base of supporters as he desperately tries to secure another four years in the White House.
Even more troubling is what former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, a Republican and longtime Trump enabler, said last week. He likened the possibility of more Americans dying from COVID-19 to U.S. armed forces being shipped off to Europe to do battle with the Germans in past world wars:
“The American people have gone through significant death before. We have gone through it in World War I, we have gone through it in World War II and we survived it. We sacrificed those lives.”
You didn’t sacrifice anything, Mr. Christie. Nor did Trump, who avoided military service in Vietnam due to “bone spurs” in his foot.
Comparing deaths from valiant military service to Americans dying from a virus that, in many cases, infected them during their normal course of living, is mindlessly stupid. To be more concerned about restoring the nation’s economy in order to salvage Trump’s faltering re-election campaign is frighteningly obtuse and deadly.
Trump hasn’t needed any help from Christie in his campaign to transform his inept and potentially deadly mismanagement of COVID-19 into a political selling point as the fall election season nears. He constantly brags about how bravely the country — under his direction — has fought the deadly disease, even as the number of new cases and the death toll continues to climb.
During that recent Fox News “town hall” broadcast, Trump confirmed reports that his intelligence briefings cited the virus even as he argued that it had not been presented in an alarming way that would have demanded immediate action:
“On Jan. 23, I was told that there could be a virus coming in but it was of no real import. In other words, it wasn’t, ‘Oh, we’ve got to do something, we’ve got to do something.’ It was a brief conversation, and it was only on Jan. 23. Shortly thereafter, I closed the country to China. We had 23 people in the room and I was the only one in the room who wanted to close it down.”
Unfortunately, he didn’t “close down” travel from China to the U.S. More than 40,000 people flew from China to America after the “ban” was in place, thus allowing the deadly disease to further invade the country.
It’s important to note, too, that his action came only after major airlines had already canceled flights. Public health advisers agree the travel limits helped slow the spread to the United States, but they also complain that Trump did not use the extra time to adequately prepare the country for the devastation COVID-19 was about to drop on the American public by ramping up testing and medical equipment.
Trump’s rants today are deadly. They confuse and attempt to reshape the reality that COVID-19 will most likely kill tens of thousands more men, women and children in this country before a vaccine can be developed and administered.
It’s time to stop listening to the nonsensical ravings of Trump’s lunatic mind. He is obsessed with his political future, and only his political future. He is willing to sacrifice American lives to stay in office as long as possible.
His rants are no longer just entertainment for a moment or two. They are deadly lies and misleading statements designed to falsely project a safe, secure and healthy nation with a robust economy, all because of an unbalanced man — Donald J. Trump.