Americans are dying. Trump is dithering

First, he didn't test. Now he won't enforce the Defense Production Act.

Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have increased more than tenfold in just one week. Yet for some reason, our self-proclaimed “Wartime President” has been remarkably slow to use the Federal Defense Production Act to combat the nation’s growing—and desperate—lack of medical equipment.

For a President whose whole schtick is “Make America Great Again” and who vowed he would restore U.S. manufacturing, this failure, says constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe, is “inexcusable”:

For days, Governors led by New York’s Andrew Cuomo have been publicly begging Trump to do whatever it takes to nationalize production of ventilators and personal protective equipment. As of today, there have already been 17,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York City alone. And the volume is still climbing.

Trump’s lack of leadership means that “the market for medical supplies has descended into chaos.” Meanwhile, even as the public favors a national lockdown, Trump seems more intent to spew lies and happy talk about reopening everything and having “packed churches” by Easter.

Jennifer Senior summed up the mood in New York in a New York Times op-ed published Tuesday and headlined “Trump to New York: Drop Dead”

As Senior wrote:

President Trump is treating each of our 50 states as individual contestants on “The Apprentice” — pitting them against one another for scarce resources, daring them to duke it out — rather than mobilizing a unified national response to a pandemic.

If that’s the case, this is the episode where New York loses.

Trump’s glaring incompetence may seem like more of the stupidity and narcissism he is famous for.

Stupid or Sinister?

Every day, Trump’s failure to manufacture is looking like more than incompetence. It’s becoming as deadly—and sinister—as his failure to test as COVID-19 spread unchecked to all 50 states. It’s looking more like an act of war against America, than the work of a leader committed to protecting his own people.

Yesterday, Trump even admitted out loud that Governors who wanted federal aid from his Administration “have to treat us well too.”

We know now that Trump was being briefed by intelligence officials about a possible pandemic as early as January—and all through February. In those briefings, it’s hard to imagine that the epidemiologists didn’t present “worst case scenarios” for America’s most international cities.

  • How much was Trump warned about the international spread of the disease that occurred before he famously “shut down” travel from China?

  • Was he briefed on how many travelers from China had landed in L.A. and San Francisco?

  • Was he specifically warned about the possible danger facing New York City, home to the United Nations?

We know that something in the briefings given to Congress spooked GOP Senators Burr and Loeffler enough that they offloaded millions of dollars in shares before the market crashed.

We know that the entire U.N. diplomatic community was warned on March 14 that the virus had spread throughout the city.

Would Trump be responding faster if a GOP-controlled state like Texas, and not New York, was fast becoming the new epicenter of the global pandemic? Or if it were in Florida, where Trump now officially resides? If Republican Governors—and Fox News anchors—were the ones begging for him to act, would he have done so?

These are now legitimate questions, especially given Trump’s sociopathic “they have to treat us well too” comment from just yesterday.

New York has been very mean to Donald Trump in terms of investigating his corrupt business dealings, his morally bankrupt “charity” and in seeking his tax returns.

Is Trump now being mean to NY just because he can?

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