Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Monday, March 30, 2020

Trump: A Malignant Narcissist and Liar in a National Crisis

In a national crisis, when thousands of Americans are in danger of losing their lives, America has the misfortune of having a malignant narcissist and liar as POTUS.

Either Trump is demented and can't remember what he says from one day to the next or he's lying to cover his massive ignorance of what the facts are. I think it's both.

Recently, Trump told America that he'd like to see the quarantine over by Easter so that the churches would be "packed." Then he said well, no, the quarantine will continue at least until April 30.

Recently Trump said he (the feds) would  force state quarantines on New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Then he said well, no, he'll leave that up to the governors.

Recently Trump told America that he "feels" there is no need for 30,000 ventilators. His feelings are as dependable as his statements noted above. They're useless. Like him.

At a recent presser, Trump bragged about how highly rated his daily televised updates on the Covid-19 are. Let that sink in: THE POTUS IS BRAGGING ABOUT HIS DAILY UPDATING RATINGS WHERE HE TALKS ABOUT DYING AMERICANS:

Trump should STFU and leave this to the infectious disease experts and the governors of the states. They're doing a better job of informing Americans and finding ways to get equipment to hospitals and medical personnel.

All Trump is doing is holding "I Love Me!" rallies disguised as pressers to show off his malignant narcissism and incompetence.

Here are some examples of the Malignant Narcissist and Liar-in-Chief:

"On two occasions during Sunday's coronavirus briefing, President Donald Trump falsely denied he had said words he had said publicly last week. When PBS's Yamiche Alcindor noted that the President had said he did not believe that governors actually need all the equipment they claimed they did, Trump said, "I didn't say that" — even though he said precisely that on Fox News on Thursday. 

Later, when CNN White House Correspondent Jeremy Diamond noted that Trump had said he wanted governors to be "appreciative" of him, and that "if they don't treat you right, I don't call," Trump said, "But I didn't say that" — even though he said precisely that at the Friday briefing. 

Trump falsely denied that he claimed governors from certain states are asking for equipment they don't need. At Sunday's briefing, PBS Newshour's White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor asked the President whether he felt his comments and belief "that some of the equipment that governors are requesting they don't actually need" would have an impact on the federal distribution of ventilators and other medical resources. As Alcindor attempted to finish her question, the President interjected, "I didn't say that," before going on to say it wouldn't have an impact. 

 ★What Trump said about governors and equipment★ 

 🥊 Facts First: He did say that. On March 26 during a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity, Trump said, "a lot of equipment's being asked for that I don't think they'll need" specifically in reference to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and following a tirade against Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. 

 Trump later said he felt Cuomo was requesting an unnecessary number of ventilators. "I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they are going to be," Trump said. "I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators." 

 When Alcindor noted that she was quoting from the President's interview with Hannity, Trump said: "Take a look at my interview. What I want to do is if there is something wrong, we have to get to the bottom of it." 

 ★What Trump said about his dealings with governors★ 

 CNN's Jeremy Diamond began a question to Trump as follows: "I'd also like to ask you about some comments you made on Friday. You were talking about governors of different states and you said, 'I want them to be appreciative.' You also said, 'if they don't treat you right, I don't call.'" After Diamond said the words "if they don't treat you right," Trump said, "But I didn't say that." 

When Diamond finished the sentence, Trump said "I didn't say that" once more. 

 🥊 Facts First: 

Trump did say what he claimed he didn't. As Diamond told Trump, Diamond was reading direct quotes from Trump's Friday briefing. Trump went on to argue Sunday that he was being taken out of context, noting that on Friday he had also said of his "I want them to be appreciative" comment, that he was talking about people other than himself. 

 Trump had said Friday: "I'm not talking about me. I'm talking about Mike Pence, the task force; I'm talking about FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers." Trump is within his rights to urge media outlets to play the full clip, but those additional comments do not change the fact that he had said exactly what Diamond said he did. 

 Trump also said Sunday: "I don't call the governor of Washington now, but Mike Pence calls, and the head of FEMA calls; I don't stop them. Did I ever ask you to do anything negative, Mike, to Washington?" 

We don't know for sure what Trump might have told Pence in private, but Trump explicitly said Friday that he had indeed tried to get Pence not to call the governors of Washington and Michigan. 

Trump said Friday: "He calls all the governors. I tell him — I mean, I'm a different type of person — I say, 'Mike, don't call the governor of Washington. You're wasting your time with him. Don't call the woman in Michigan.'" 

When a reporter pressed Trump on Friday about whether he really doesn't want Pence to call the governor of Washington, Trump confirmed — but said that Pence, a "different type of person," will "call quietly anyway." 


Trump also repeated an exaggeration that he's made in the past on a topic unrelated to the pandemic. 

Trump said, "I'll never forget the day when a general came and said, 'Sir' -- my first week in office -- 'we have no ammunition.' " He repeated this claim later in the briefing without citing the general, claiming that the US had "no ammunition" before he had taken action. 

 🥊 Facts First: Trump was exaggerating. 

We don't know what a general might have told him in private, but it's not true that the US had "no ammunition" at the beginning of his presidency. Rather, according to the public comments of military leaders, there was a shortfall in certain kinds of munitions, particularly precision-guided bombs, late in the Obama presidency and early in the Trump presidency."

 By Daniel Dale and Tara Subramaniam

Friday, March 27, 2020

Trump Campaign Threatens TV Stations That Air Ad Critical Of President

He and his storm troopers issue an edict! 

You must praise Dear Leader! 

Anyone doing otherwise will be...Wait! What? Is Trump taking this pandemic as an opportunity to shut down Americans' 1st amendment rights? 

Vote this maniac out of office in November!

Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has sent a cease-and-desist letter to TV stations that air an ad critical of the way the president has handled the coronavirus crisis. 

 The ad, “Exponential Threat,” features audio clips of Trump downplaying the virus at different moments while the onscreen graphic shows the rising number of cases. “This is their new hoax.”

You can see the ad on the right.  

Copy the address and spread it far and wide.


Dear P.E. readers,

I hope none of you will be affected by this monster's ignorant opinions. I'm listening right now on NPR to a doctor from Mass. General who is on the front lines, putting his life in danger, fighting this killer virus, and he is talking about what Trump said last night on FAUX NOOZ (quoted below). In this doctor's informed opinion, what Trump claimed on FAUX NOOZ is one of the most irresponsible things he's ever heard from a leader in the time of a national emergency. He also said many of his fellow doctors are appalled and angry at this reckless statement from the POTUS.

Image may contain: possible text that says 'Trump: "I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You know, you go into major hospitals sometimes and they'll have two ventilators. Now all of a sudden they're saying, 'Can we order 30,000 ventilators?"'


You know who you are.

You are not welcome here, and you will not be published.

Go publish your rants, taunts, and idiocies on Who's Your Daddy. They will not be tolerated here.

Trump administration dickering over the cost of ventilators while Americans die.

Massachusetts Coronavirus Update: 

25 Deaths, Over 2,400 

Trump administration's FEMA is reviewing the cost ($1 billion) to produce thousands of desperately needed ventilators for Americans suffering from Covid-19.

NYTimes: "The shortage of ventilators has emerged as one of the major criticisms of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus. The need to quickly equip hospitals across the country with tens of thousands more of the devices to treat those most seriously ill with the virus was not anticipated despite the Trump administration’s own projection in a simulation last year that millions of people could be hospitalized. And even now, the effort to produce them has been confused and disorganized. 

At the center of the discussion about how to ramp up the production of ventilators is Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a senior White House aide, who has told people that he was called in two weeks ago by Vice President Mike Pence to produce more coronavirus test kits and who has now turned his attention to ventilators.

He has been directing officials at FEMA in the effort. Two officials said the suggestion to wait on the General Motors offer came from Col. Patrick Work, who is working at FEMA. Some government officials expressed concern about the possibility of ordering too many ventilators, leaving them with an expensive surplus. 

 As the agency has sorted through offers, trying to weigh production ability and costs, hospitals in New York and elsewhere are reporting a desperate need for more ventilators, which are critical in treating respiratory problems in a fast-rising tide of severe coronavirus cases."

INSANE! In the time of a world pandemic, the Trump administration is dickering over the price of saving Americans' lives!

This is what happens when you elect a malignant narcissist as POTUS. In a time of desperate need for medical equipment to save American lives, the malignant narcissist needs adulation FIRST, and then MAYBE, the governors of states with thousands of dying Americans will get his attention and have the needed medical equipment sent to those desperately sick Americans. But first you must kiss the malignant narcissist's arse:

“You want Ventilators & Masks from the Federal Government’s Reserves to treat your citizens? Well, Governors have to treat me well, it’s a two-way street.”

President Trump,
March 24, 2020

And here is the malignant narcissist telling governors of states with  thousands of sick and dying Americans that he "feels" that the need for thousands of ventilators is not correct. Trump's "feelings" are to be believed above what the governors and medical experts KNOW.

If there is a worse inhuman monster to ever have been POTUS, I can't come up with his name.

Trump's name leads all the rest.

Trump ‘has a feeling’ NY doesn’t really need 30,000 ventilators and accuses governors of ‘complaining’

I'm An ER Doctor In NYC. Trump's Coronavirus Plan Isn't Just Dangerous, It's Deadly.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


As of today, March 25, Massachusetts has 1,100 cases and 11 deaths.

55,000 cases in the U.S. 

Image may contain: possible text that says 'A Cat In The Lonesome Oct... @catvalente When the President looks the nation in the eye and says some lives lost are acceptable to save the stock market, he means you. Not some abstract percentage. You. He means your mom, your grandad, your kid. He means you personally should die if it makes him lose less money. 8:06 AM 3/24/20 Tweetbot for iOS' ......................................

Trump wants us to get back to interacting with each other by Easter. He's worried about the economy, NOT the lives of Americans. No epidemiologist or infectious disease expert agrees with Trump's foolish expectations. Ignore him.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

From Rick Wilson, Conservative pundit:

Yesterday Massachusetts reported 646 cases of Covid-19. Today that number is 777, with 9 deaths.

On Monday, March 23, Governor Baker issued an emergency order requiring all employers that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers, and the public from Tuesday, March 24, at 12 p.m. (noon) until Tuesday, April 7 at noon. 

Exempt industries include: healthcare, public safety, groceries and take-out restaurants, utilities and infrastructure, and other essential services. The Order also limits gatherings to 10 people during the state of emergency, a reduction from the 25-person limit established in an earlier order. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is issuing a two-week stay-at-home advisory outlining self-isolation and social distancing protocols. Pharmacies, grocery stores, restaurant take-out and delivery, and parks will remain open for passive activities (no groups or sports).

Rick Wilson:

"When tested by the fire of crisis, Trump showed us what he's always been: a weak, spoiled, intellectually vacant conman who has stumbled through a life of betrayal and failure papered over by bullshit and public relations. 

The media image from The Apprentice that hypnotized so many Trump voters was always the product of Mark Burnett's writers' room, not reality. The bold leader was a teleprompter confection, a D-grade celebrity playing a C-grade CEO in a reality show. 

 Sorry, MAGAs, but Trump must face blame for the viral Chernobyl that is rolling over our population now; the one thing you never get back when fighting an epidemic is time. He spent weeks spinning that Coronavirus/COVID-10 was no big deal, and that there was no crisis about to scythe through our nation."


Why did Dems vote no? Senate GOP gave Mnuchin $500b to give companies-with no public disclosure of who & how much for up to 6 months (Trump declined to say he wouldn’t take $ for his companies yesterday). Funding for workers & hospitals was inadequate.

Monday, March 23, 2020


Do NOT listen to Trump's pressers on Covid-19. 
He could get you killed!!

BREAKING NBC NEWS.COM A man died after ingesting a substance he thought would protect him from coronavirus 

The man and his wife thought the ingredient, used to treat sick fish, could prevent the disease.

 A man has died and his wife is under critical care after the couple, both in their 60s, ingested chloroquine phosphate, one of the anti-malaria drugs that Trump has continually mentioned" 

The man's wife told NBC News that she'd watched TV briefings during which President Trump talked about the potential benefits of chloroquine. The couple decided to mix a small amount of the substance with a liquid and drink it.

Last week, Trump falsely stated the Food and Drug Administration had just approved the use of chloroquine to treat patients infected with coronavirus. 

Even after the FDA chief clarified that the drug still needs to be tested, Trump overstaed the drug’s potential upside in containing the virus. Dr. Daniel Brooks, medical director of Banner Poison and Drug Information Center, says the last thing health officials want is for emergency rooms to be swamped by patients who believe they found a vague and risky solution that could potentially jeopardize

Trump in the Time of Covid-19: "I don't take responsibility at all."

To my P.E. readers:  This blog will no longer accept "Anonymous," or "Unknown" comments. 

P.E. has been inundated with nasty anonymous and unknown commenters. I don't have the time to delete them every day, so only people with Google accounts can comment here.  Sorry to do this, but the Trumpers who come here have left some disgusting and even menacing comments. For good mental health, I've eliminated those cowards' ability to comment.


Here in Boston we have not been put on a "shelter in place" order by Governor Baker, but two places have: Provincetown, Mass., and Nantucket, Mass. As of today, Massachusetts has 646 confirmed Covid-19 cases, and 5 deaths.

Here's a timeline for people to see and determine if, as Trump claims every day, he's been diligent and deserving a "10" in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.  



From Democratic Underground:

"...the Senate right now is McConnell and Trump attempting the biggest outright theft of US funds ever attempted. The core issue causing Democrats to vote "no" on the pending bill is the provision that would hand total control of HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS earmarked for corporations to Trump. 

Does ANYONE doubt that he would use this mother of all slush funds to reward his friends, punish his opponents and insure his re-election? 

 Does anyone doubt that this regime will not cite the "staggering debt" they are creating as a justification for gutting Social Security, Medicare and all social programs? 

 Please contact your Senators now and let them know you oppose this bill in it's current form."

Saturday, March 21, 2020


Tired of listening to Trump's statements on the Covid-19 that have to be corrected? To his blaming others for his incompetence?

Joe Biden will be giving shadow briefings on the Covid-19 starting Monday. Watch to see how a real president would handle giving out salient information and comforting the American people.

So far Trump has had to have his statements on vaccines for the Covid-19 corrected right after saying them, and when asked a soft ball question about what he would say to scared Americans, Trump exploded in rage at the reporter who asked the question. Another bit of evidence that shows how emotionally and mentally unstable Trump is, and what a useless leader in a time of crisis he has proved himself to be.


Joe Biden is planning a regular shadow briefing on coronavirus to start as early as Monday to show how he would handle the crisis and address what he calls the lies and failures of President Trump. Biden gave a preview of what’s to come in a conference call with reporters Friday, where he listed a litany of false and misleading statements from Trump, who has been holding regular White House press conferences concerning coronavirus preparedness and response that have been broadcast live on all major networks. 

“President Trump stop saying false things, will ya?” Biden said. “People are worried they are really frightened, when these things don't come through. He just exacerbates their concern. Stop saying false things you think make you sound like a hero and start putting the full weight of the federal government behind finding fast, safe and effective treatments.”

This is how a frightened and cowardly person reacts to an innocent question:

This was a legitimate question, the response is inexcusable. Trump's change in tone didn't last long. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Consevative writer, Mona Charon: "The crisis is here, and we’ve put a serial liar and cheat in the big chair. We must never do anything so reckless again.

From the ultra conservative publication called the National Review:

"Trump did not create the virus, but his solipsism has deepened the crisis. What is his chief talking point? That he halted flights from China. He did this on January 31, AFTER major airlines such as United, Delta, and American had already canceled dozens of flights and waived cancellation fees for their passengers."

After This, Voters Will Take Their Responsibility SeriouslyBy MONA CHAREN 

The crisis is here, and look who’s in charge of handling it. 

‘Let’s blow it all up.” That was the sentiment that animated any number of Republican-primary voters in 2016. The “it” was (take your pick) the Republican Party, the “establishment,” the country. There were many good reasons for voters to be dissatisfied with the state of things in 2016. There were also any number of able candidates who could have instituted reforms. But that wasn’t the mood, at least not for the nihilistic 30 percent. It’s hard to think of a less conservative impulse than “Burn it Down!” But that’s what this minority did, voting for the malignant narcissist who had never served anything other than his bottom line."

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Devin Nunes: Abject idiot.

 Devin Nunes Just Went on Fox News and Told Viewers, “It’s a Great Time to Go Out”


 It...flies in the face of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s leading expert on infectious diseases, telling people on the Sunday morning shows to stop going out—and that he wouldn’t go to a restaurant right now.

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Face The Nation: “Personally, I wouldn't go to a restaurant” 

Trump. “Go shopping.” “Relax. We’re doing great. This will pass.”

Whom do you believe? An expert for over 30 years in infectious diseases or a failed businessman with 11 bankruptcies who thinks windmills cause cancer and is a documented liar?


January 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”
February 2: “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”

February 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA… Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”
February 25: “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus.”
February 25: “I think that's a problem that’s going to go away… They have studied it. They know very much. In fact, we’re very close to a vaccine.”
February 26: “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”
February 26: “We're going very substantially down, not up.”
February 27: “One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
February 28: “We're ordering a lot of supplies. We're ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn't be ordering unless it was something like this. But we're ordering a lot of different elements of medical.”
February 28: Trump said at a rally: Coronavirus is a democratic ”Hoax”.
March 2: “You take a solid flu vaccine, you don't think that could have an impact, or much of an impact, on corona?”
March 2: “A lot of things are happening, a lot of very exciting things are happening and they’re happening very rapidly.”
March 2: Trump says a vaccine is coming "relatively soon” but the CDC had told him earlier that day that a vaccine was "a year to a year and a half" away.
March 4: “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.”
March 5: “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”
March 5: “The United States… has, as of now, only 129 cases… and 11 deaths. We are working very hard to keep these numbers as low as possible!”
March 6: “I think we’re doing a really good job in this country at keeping it down… a tremendous job at keeping it down.”
March 6: As the number of cases and deaths in Italy rises, Trump says "I hear the numbers getting much better in Italy"
March 6: “Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re there. And the tests are beautiful…. the tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good.”
March 6: “I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.”
March 6: “I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault.”
March 8: “We have a perfectly coordinated and fine-tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus.”
March 9: “This blindsided the world."
March 13: When reporter Kristen Welker of NBC asks Trump whether he takes responsibility for the lag in making test kits available.
Trump’s reply:
I don’t take responsibility at all."

Saturday, March 14, 2020

The GOP's president is incompetent, or a liar, or both.

In a time of national emergency, it would be nice if America were led by a competent, trustworthy, truth-teller. 

Unfortunately, the GOP's president is none of those things. He's a liar and incompetent. His address to the nation on Wednesday was riddled with falsehoods and wrong information that his own people had to walk back and clarify. How could trump have gotten so much wrong in such a critical address to the nation?

We have no leadership at a time when it is sorely needed.

Fact checkers have been busy correcting the lies and inaccurate information the incompetent POTUS is giving out at a time when America needs strong, capable leadership. 


 Trump’s False Claims About His Response to the Coronavirus 

The president inaccurately described travel restrictions he had announced, falsely blamed his predecessor for testing shortages and misstated the role Google was playing in mitigating the outbreak.

 Mr. Trump wrongly blamed the Obama administration for coronavirus testing shortages and falsely said it “didn’t do testing” during the swine flu epidemic of 2009. 

WHAT MR. TRUMP SAID “I don’t take responsibility at all because we were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time.” False. 

The Food and Drug Administration issued a “draft guidance” in 2014 in which it sought to extend its authority to regulate laboratory-developed tests. But it’s wrong to blame that effort for the scattered and insufficient delivery of coronavirus tests as the guidance was not particularly relevant to emergency situations and was never finalized or generally enforced. 

A law enacted in 2004 created the process and requirements for the use of unapproved products in public health emergencies. Under the law and guidance set by the Trump administration itself, the Food and Drug Administration requires developers of laboratory-developed tests to submit information and to comply with certain procedures.


 “If you go back to the swine flu, it was nothing like this. They didn’t do testing like this, and actually they lost approximately 14,000 people, and they didn’t do the testing. They started thinking about testing when it was far too late.” False. 

This is blatantly wrong. Diagnostic tests for the swine flu were approved and shipped out less than two weeks after the H1N1 virus was identified and a day before the first death in the United States."

David Remnick, The New Yorker:

"Trump’s misstatements and understatements in recent weeks are consistent with his general attitude toward empiricism. Which is to say, he has never shown much regard for fact. In the past, Trump has said that climate change is a Chinese “hoax” and that “vaccines can be very dangerous.” 

Disinformation and misinformation are rampant in his mental universe. Trump recently gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh, who said, last month, “The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.” 

One of Trump’s ardent supporters in the Senate, Tom Cotton, of Arkansas, is among those who have suggested publicly that “we at least need to ask the question” of whether the virus was a bioweapon deliberately created in a Chinese laboratory outside the city of Wuhan—a theory rehashed in places like the Washington Times."

Friday, March 13, 2020

The Wednesday night fiasco by Trump

Here's Charlie Pierce's take after witnessing Trump fiasco of a speech on Wednesday night:

"If you didn't get a chance to hear the worst, most counter-productive, most addled, confused and confusing presidential* address in history, please take a moment to watch it on YouTube.

 The stock futures market plunged 1100 points in a few minutes after this "reassuring" emission of babble and lies. 

 The White House and separate federal agencies hurried to issue "clarifications" of the misstatements in the PREPARED TEXT of the speech - not ad libs. These included: 

 1. "Trump" said cargo would be included, and all trade. False 

 2. "Trump" said it was a complete travel ban. False - we will continue to admit all red-blooded American virus carriers 

 3. "Trump" said UK was the only excluded nation. False 

 4. "Trump" said he was ordering insurance companies to treat coronavirus patients without charge. False - only testing will be free. 

 It was the worst moment so far for a very bad presidency* which has been a cascading series of worsening moments. 

 In a sane country his own party would gather to ease him out of office right now = THIS WEEK - before he murders millions of Americans. No telling how many who are alive right now will die because of this man. And forty percent of Americans have lost their minds."

I guess trump no longer believes the Covid-19 is a "Democrat Hoax." As the young'uns say: "Shit's getting real."

Today trump declared a national emergency in his latest bid to combat the escalating coronavirus crisis. Trump said the move would free up $50 billion in additional funding. He also said the order would allow Health and Human Services to waive certain regulations and laws to more quickly deliver testing and care for coronavirus patients. 

"No resource will be spared," Trump said. 

Trump's decision comes after his administration has faced weeks of criticism for failing to adequately respond to the spreading disease, which has killed more than 5,000 people worldwide and infected tens of thousands.

Too little too late. Where was this resolve in January?

Hat tip to P.E. reader and commenter, Dave Miller:

"The Trump Presidency Is Over" "He knows nothing will be the same" Peter Wehner, The Atlantic

The Trump Presidency Is Over
It has taken a good deal longer than it should have, but Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain.


It took until the second half of Trump’s first term, but the crisis has arrived in the form of the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s hard to name a president who has been as overwhelmed by a crisis as the coronavirus has overwhelmed Donald Trump.


The president’s misinformation and mendacity about the coronavirus are head-snapping. He claimed that it was contained in America when it was actually spreading. He claimed that we had “shut it down” when we had not. He claimed that testing was available when it wasn’t. He claimed that the coronavirus will one day disappear “like a miracle”; it won’t. He claimed that a vaccine would be available in months; Fauci says it will not be available for a year or more.

Trump falsely blamed the Obama administration for impeding coronavirus testing. He stated that the coronavirus first hit the United States later than it actually did. (He said that it was three weeks prior to the point at which he spoke; the actual figure was twice that.) The president claimed that the number of cases in Italy was getting “much better” when it was getting much worse. And in one of the more stunning statements an American president has ever made, Trump admitted that his preference was to keep a cruise ship off the California coast rather than allowing it to dock, because he wanted to keep the number of reported cases of the coronavirus artificially low.


“I like the numbers,” Trump said. “I would rather have the numbers stay where they are. But if they want to take them off, they’ll take them off. But if that happens, all of a sudden your 240 [cases] is obviously going to be a much higher number, and probably the 11 [deaths] will be a higher number too.” (Cooler heads prevailed, and over the president’s objections, the Grand Princess was allowed to dock at the Port of Oakland.)

On and on it goes.

To make matters worse, the president delivered an Oval Office address that was meant to reassure the nation and the markets but instead shook both. The president’s delivery was awkward and stilted; worse, at several points, the president, who decided to ad-lib the teleprompter speech, misstated his administration’s own policies, which the administration had to correct. Stock futures plunged even as the president was still delivering his speech. In his address, the president called for Americans to “unify together as one nation and one family,” despite having referred to Washington Governor Jay Inslee as a “snake” days before the speech and attacking Democrats the morning after it. As The Washington Post’s Dan Balz put it, “Almost everything that could have gone wrong with the speech did go wrong.”


Taken together, this is a massive failure in leadership that stems from a massive defect in character. Trump is such a habitual liar that he is incapable of being honest, even when being honest would serve his interests. He is so impulsive, shortsighted, and undisciplined that he is unable to plan or even think beyond the moment. He is such a divisive and polarizing figure that he long ago lost the ability to unite the nation under any circumstances and for any cause. And he is so narcissistic and unreflective that he is completely incapable of learning from his mistakes. The president’s disordered personality makes him as ill-equipped to deal with a crisis as any president has ever been. With few exceptions, what Trump has said is not just useless; it is downright injurious.


It has taken a good deal longer than it should have, but Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain. The president, enraged for having been unmasked, will become more desperate, more embittered, more unhinged. He knows nothing will be the same. His administration may stagger on, but it will be only a hollow shell. The Trump presidency is over