The US administration continues its efforts to take the country down from leader of the free world to court jester among the comity of nations, presenting inane theories as national policy. The latest accusation is so outlandish that no US ally or intelligence agency has been able to support it, nor has Secretary Pompeo or President Trump been able to show even a shred of the “enormous evidence” that they claim to have in support of this theory.
The fact of the matter is that three years in, the president still doesn’t know how to govern, because good governance requires being able to acknowledge when you are wrong and to correct mistakes. Trump’s ego makes it impossible for him to admit fault or take responsibility for anything that goes wrong, so he is using the skills he picked up as a D-list celebrity — say something outlandish to change the news cycle. That is why he claimed Barack Obama was foreign-born and later tried to deny ever making the claim. The problem is that now, Trump’s ludicrous remarks automatically become US policy. This is why his nonsense theory supporting anti-malaria drugs as a Covid-19 cure ended up costing billions in wasted time and money, while also costing human lives due to government scientists being forced to try to prove him right. That is why the government had to warn people not to drink bleach.
The fact of the matter is that 72,000 Americans are dead, over 1.2 million infected, and the economy is in tatters due to the incompetence of Trump’s coronavirus response. But since he can’t take responsibility, he has doubled down on the conspiracy theory that the virus originated in a lab in China. There is a fair point to be made about China initially downplaying how dangerous the virus was, but for Trump that legitimate criticism is useless because its source is US intelligence reports in January. If Trump had taken timely action on those reports, the devastation of today would have been preventable.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2020.
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