ChrisWeigant.com

Trump's Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost

[ Posted Thursday, May 14th, 2020 – 16:38 UTC ]

It's been quite a while since we did a "three-dot Thursday" here, but it seemed like the thing to do now that we've got a flood of news coming in that all seems to be variations on a similar theme. The media has woven together all the strands of incompetence from the Trump White House into a cohesive whole, showing how woefully inadequate President Donald Trump has been -- and continues to be -- throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Or, to put it more bluntly, the chickens are coming home to roost...

 

...The British Financial Times just ran a lengthy article rounding up some of those homeward-bound chickens. It is the most brutal overview of Trump's failings I have seen since the crisis began, so I highly recommend reading the full article. Here are just a few choice excerpts:


Again and again, the story that emerged is of a president who ignored increasingly urgent intelligence warnings from January, dismisses anyone who claims to know more than him and trusts no one outside a tiny coterie, led by his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner -- the property developer who Trump has empowered to sideline the best-funded disaster response bureaucracy in the world.

People often observed during Trump's first three years that he had yet to be tested in a true crisis. Covid-19 is way bigger than that. "Trump's handling of the pandemic at home and abroad has exposed more painfully than anything since he took office the meaning of America First," says William Burns, who was the most senior U.S. diplomat, and is now head of the Carnegie Endowment.

"America is first in the world in deaths, first in the world in infections and we stand out as an emblem of global incompetence. The damage to America's influence and reputation will be very hard to undo."

. . .

In a whistleblower complaint, [Rick Bright] said he was pressured to send millions of dollars worth of contracts to a company controlled by a friend of Jared Kushner. When he refused, he was fired. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services denied Bright's allegations.

Other scientists have taken note of Bright's fate. During the Ebola outbreak in 2014, when [President Barack] Obama's administration sent 3,000 US military personnel to Africa to fight the epidemic, the C.D.C. held a daily briefing about the state of progress. It has not held one since early March. Scientists across Washington are terrified of saying anything that contradicts Trump.

"The way to keep your job is to out-loyal everyone else, which means you have to tolerate quackery," says Anthony Scaramucci, an estranged former Trump adviser, who was briefly his White House head of communications. "You have to flatter him in public and flatter him in private. Above all, you must never make him feel ignorant."

An administration official says advising Trump is like "bringing fruits to the volcano" -- Trump being the lava source. "You're trying to appease a great force that's impervious to reason," says the official.

. . .

For the time being, Trump has been persuaded to cease his daily briefings. The White House internal polling shows that his once double-digit lead over Biden among Americans over 65 has been wiped out. It turns out retirees are no fans of herd immunity.

Friends of the president are trying to figure out how to return life to normal without provoking a new death toll. After an initial rally in March, Trump's poll numbers have been steadily dropping over the last month. For the next six months, America's microbial fate will be in the hands of its president's erratic re-election strategy. There is more than a whiff of rising desperation.

"Trump is caught in a box which keeps getting smaller," says George Conway, a Republican lawyer who is married to Kellyanne Conway, Trump's senior counsellor. "In my view he is a sociopath and a malignant narcissist. When a person suffering from these disorders feels the world closing in on them, their tendencies get worse. They lash out and fantasise and lose any ability to think rationally." Conway is known for taunting Trump on Twitter (to great effect, it should be added: Trump often retaliates).

Yet without exception, everyone I interviewed, including the most ardent Trump loyalists, made a similar point to Conway. Trump is deaf to advice, said one. He is his own worst enemy, said another. He only listens to family, said a third. He is mentally imbalanced, said a fourth. America, in other words, should brace itself for a turbulent six months ahead -- with no assurance of a safe landing.

And that's just a tiny fraction of what the article has to say...

 

...In related news, Eddard Stark just stood up before the King's Small Council and proclaimed: "Winter is coming." No, wait, that can't be right. (Ahem.)

What actually happened was whistleblower Rick Bright testified before a House committee today in the first substantial congressional hearing into the mistakes already made by the Trump administration, and he led off with the following (from his opening statement):

Our window of opportunity is closing. If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities. While it is terrifying to acknowledge the extent of the challenge that we currently confront, the undeniable fact is there will be a resurgence of the COVID19 this fall, greatly compounding the challenges of seasonal influenza and putting an unprecedented strain on our health care system. Without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be darkest winter in modern history.

You can see why I got the two mixed up...

 

...In the same hearing, Michael Bowen ("an executive at a surgical mask manufacturer in Texas") testifed that he tried to get the Trump White House to commit to buying his products if he started up four of his mothballed production lines to manufacture N95 masks. He says he could have been producing 7 million more masks per month, if this had happened, but the White House totally ignored his request -- which he made in January.

Bowen also came to the defense of Dr. Bright, stating:

I've watched all of this a little while ago. It seemed like everyone who was beating up on Dr. Bright was a Republican and everyone who was defending him was a Democrat. I'm a Republican, I voted for President Trump and I admire Dr. Bright. I don't know what he did in all of the other activities, but I think what he said made a lot of sense, and I believe him.

Asked later about the White House's response to the pandemic, he replied: "I'm a lifelong Republican, and I'm embarrassed by how that's been handled. Like Rick Bright said, it's the scientists we need to be listening to, and we're not."...

 

...Trump proudly proclaimed today that he had finally decided to beef up the national emergency stockpile:

The White House is laying out new plans to expand the Strategic National Stockpile after it ran out of critical medical supplies in the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic.

Plans unveiled Thursday by President Donald Trump at a visit to a medical supply distribution center in Allentown, Pa., include ensuring there's a 90-day supply of testing supplies and essential drugs, to serve as a backup while the U.S. boosts manufacturing capacity.

. . .

Officials said they are preparing for future events but touched on actions the government is taking to prepare for the fall.

"At the start of this pandemic we had 13 million N95 masks," the official said. "We have an aspiration to eventually have a billion of those. We're not going to have all of those in the next 90 days for the fall, but we do anticipate having 300 million."

Growing stockpiles of gowns, critical care drugs and ventilators is also a short-term priority.

Which, of course, should have started happening in January or, at the latest, February, but didn't. Trump likes to try to shift blame for this onto Obama, but this ignores the fact that Trump had been president for three years before the crisis hit, and had done absolutely nothing about the problem...

 

...In other "We're now where we should have been months ago" news, testing in America has finally reached the levels that Donald Trump and Mike Pence promised we'd all be at by mid-March. But we're only about a third of the way toward achieving what the White House promised -- 27 million tests -- by the end of March. It is now mid-May, for those keeping track...

 

...And finally, New York City now has a handy "Trump Death Clock" which measures how many coronavirus deaths have now happened which could have been prevented if Trump had taken action when he was first informed of the seriousness of the crisis, back in January and February. It's already over 50,000 preventable deaths. And all of those chickens have now permanently come home to roost.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

38 Comments on “Trump's Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thanks for linking to that FT piece, Chris. I think.

    Can somebody please explain to me how Trump gets re-elected … like I'm a six-year-old?

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, don't everyone chime in at once.

    Just in case anyone is wondering why the weather of late may be a bit off - like snow in the middle of May in sunny southern Ontario - I wanted to let you know that the reason may be the fact that the Magnetic North is currently caught in a tug-of-war between Canada and Siberia.

    See, that explains it.

  3. [3] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Trump can get re-elected when the Dems offer another more of the same big money corporate nominee and the same old you have no other choice narrative.

    The chickens are coming home to roost on both parties.

    No matter how badly Trump handles the pandemic the reason he is in position to be handling the pandemic is because the Dems have only offered a false alternative to the Republicans.

    Trump is a symptom of the failure of the Dems to purge the party of the big money interests.

    It's time for citizens to stop acting like six-year olds and demand better like adults.

    Trying to focus the blame on Trump is no different than Trump trying to pin the blame on Obama.

    Time to put on your big boy pants and demand the Dems stop the same old nonsense and purge the party of the big money interests.

    Wake up. Wise up. Rise up.
    GROW up.
    Get Real.

  4. [4] 
    Kick wrote:

    "The way to keep your job is to out-loyal everyone else, which means you have to tolerate quackery," says Anthony Scaramucci, an estranged former Trump adviser, who was briefly his White House head of communications. "You have to flatter him in public and flatter him in private. Above all, you must never make him feel ignorant."

    You must never make him feel ignorant!? *laughs*

    Well, that definitely and without question explains the revolving door of the President Moron Daft Dipshit administration.

  5. [5] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    1

    Can somebody please explain to me how Trump gets re-elected … like I'm a six-year-old?

    Cheats

  6. [6] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    3

    Trying to focus the blame on Trump is no different than Trump trying to pin the blame on Obama.

    Trying to focus the blame on money is an asinine exercise at this point, and you were told to stop with your "monomania," which you've ignored.

    Time to put on your big boy pants and demand the Dems stop the same old nonsense and purge the party of the big money interests.

    Time for you to pull up your big boy pants and stop your same old shitting on this forum, you repetitive shit stain.

    Wake up. Wise up. Rise up.
    GROW up.
    Get Real.

    Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.
    Eff off.
    Get lost.

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, event the 'good' doctors and scientists in the US - and by good I mean 'believe in telling the people nothing but the truth - are saying that Rick Bright is being a tad apocalyptic.

    Do I need to post that song again!?

  8. [8] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Damn.

  9. [9] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    can't read the british financial times article. paywall. :(

  10. [10] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [Voice I'd use when talking to a six year old Elizabeth Miller...]

    We'll, our President is not a good President, but he has a lot of people who love him anyways. The other guys will probably make Trump go away, but only if enough of them show up to do this thing called "voting." Some of the other guys may be mad because they didn't get their way. So we have to see if they show up to vote. Otherwise we'll be stuck with our bad President.

  11. [11] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Hey, that was fun! D'ya want me to explain the birds and the bees, little girl?

  12. [12] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Ahem.

  13. [13] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [3]

    A couple things.

    No matter how badly Trump handles the pandemic the reason he is in position to be handling the pandemic is because the Dems have only offered a false alternative to the Republicans.

    I quite agree with this. But name a Democratic primary candidate who would have botched it like Trump. For that matter most of the 2016 GOP primary candidates would have handled it better. It's just not factually accurate to apportion equal blame to the Democrats.

    Trying to focus the blame on Trump is no different than Trump trying to pin the blame on Obama.

    That's nonsense. Trump has been President for 3+ years and cannot convince anyone beyond his 44% base that it's Obama's fault. Trump's signature alone is all over this preventable disaster.

    Trump has a billion dollars behind him. Not to mention the Rooskies et al. Now is not the time to go small doner, it would be like taking a knife to a gunfight.

  14. [14] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Say, where's Michale?

  15. [15] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    9

    can't read the british financial times article. paywall. :(

    No problem, though:

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/us/his-own-worst-enemy-how-trump-failed-coronavirus-challenge-1.4253533

  16. [16] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Thaks Kick! Full version is much better!

  17. [17] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    You are right when you say I ignored what CW said about me posting my opinion.

    I ignored it because I don't think posting my opinion should be limited to trying to out-loyal everyone else in agreeing with CW's opinion which in my opinion is tolerating quackery.

    And I don't care if CW or anyone else gets upset because my pointing out their ignorance makes them feel ignorant.

    It's not my fault that people acting ignorant take my pointing out their ignorance as an attack instead of a call to stop acting ignorant.

  18. [18] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn Caddy-
    The point is that it doesn't matter whether any Dem would have handled it "better".

    Getting paid 9.50 an hour is better than getting paid 9.00 dollars an hour, but it is still nowhere near getting paid enough to live on.

    When "better" is still not good enough to be adequate then it really isn't better it is just not as bad.

    And settling for not as bad has consistently led to things getting worse. The only difference is how fast it keeps getting worse.

    Even if you are facing in the right direction, taking one step forward and two steps back still leaves you moving in the wrong direction.

  19. [19] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Demanding small donor candidates is not like bringing a knife to a gun fight.

    NOT demanding small donor candidates is like not showing up for the fight at all.

    It is taking a knee when the bell rings to start the round.

  20. [20] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    thank you kick.

    what really clicked for me in the article is the context of donald's statement about anybody who needs a test getting a test. two things actually.

    the second thing that occurred to me is it sounds a lot like obama's statement about anybody who likes their insurance keeping their insurance - a statement politifact rated "lie of the year" (now isn't that quaint?)

    the first thing that occurred to me is how much of a throw-away statement it must have been for donald. he makes grand promises as a matter of routine, never intending to keep any of them - and in the media it's been normalized, desensitized. now nobody even blinks when donald promises to donate a million dollars to one cause or another, and anyone who points out that he didn't follow through comes off as nitpicking. we're almost expected to ignore any statement he makes as "part of the show," rather than hold him to account for any of it.

    JL

  21. [21] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    if anything, donald's mistake in promising that anybody who needs testing could get it was that it was too plausible to easily dismiss.

  22. [22] 
    dsws wrote:

    Can somebody please explain to me how Trump gets re-elected … like I'm a six-year-old?

    There were enough people who voted for him, and they got exactly what they voted for.

    ... saying that Rick Bright is being a tad apocalyptic.

    I hope they're saying he's wrong about it.

    Trump has been President for 3+ years and cannot convince anyone beyond his 44% base that it's Obama's fault.

    To be fair, has Trump really tried to convince anyone that his winning the election was Obama's fault?

    Growing stockpiles of gowns, critical care drugs and ventilators is also a short-term priority.

    Someone doesn't understand the concept. You stockpile stuff when there isn't a crisis, and then you draw down the stockpile when there is.

  23. [23] 
    dsws wrote:

    Rich people's chickens roost at peasants' houses.

  24. [24] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    d [23]

    That should be a good thing, right? That way the peasants get the eggs!!

  25. [25] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    more like egg on their faces.

  26. [26] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    17

    You are right when you say I ignored what CW said about me posting my opinion.

    You are correct that I am "right." Thank you for your confession that you've ignored the author of the blog.

    I ignored it because I don't think posting my opinion should be limited to trying to out-loyal everyone else in agreeing with CW's opinion which in my opinion is tolerating quackery.

    That's a very telling admission you've got there... indeed, on multiple levels. If you believe CW's blog or his readers' opinions posted thereunder are "quackery," then you've got to concede that you're the effing moron who has spent year after year scrounging, bumming, and mooching for a purveyor of dishonesty to shill your "two hundred plus dollars is big money" bullshit to his group of like-minded forum followers, and that makes you just a repetitive troll.

    And I don't care if CW or anyone else gets upset because my pointing out their ignorance makes them feel ignorant.

    As an infinitely observant reader of this forum, allow me to point out some irrefutable facts regarding the unconcerned trolls like yourself on this board: They quite frequently claim to possess knowledge regarding what people "think" and "feel," and they seemingly genuinely believe they're here to perform some kind of service for others. Furthermore, you've made neither the author of the blog nor any of the commenters on the forum look "ignorant," with the obvious exception of this guy:

    I have none of the credentials normally listed in a bio. No degrees, no years of running a successful business and no experience in political campaigns or activism. I am simply an average person that has been working and living at survival mode. But I have the only credentials that I believe really matters. I am a citizen and I have an idea that may improve our political system.

    ~ Don Harris

    It's not my fault that people acting ignorant take my pointing out their ignorance as an attack instead of a call to stop acting ignorant.

    As I said, the trolls on this forum have a propensity to profess to know how people "feel." If you genuinely believe that any of your rote and repetitive trolling bullshit makes anyone "feel" or look "ignorant," then you should definitely read and re-read your bio (conveniently located above) until your self-reported reality sets in.

    So to recap: Don Harris has his finger on the pulse of "quackery" and ignorance that permeates this forum in unceasing and uncaring repetitive fashion; he's just infinitely unaware that it's him.

  27. [27] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    18

    Getting paid 9.50 an hour is better than getting paid 9.00 dollars an hour, but it is still nowhere near getting paid enough to live on.

    The minimum wage in New Jersey is currently $11 an hour for most workers and currently scheduled to increase $1 per hour every January 1 until it reaches $15 an hour in 2024... operative word there being "currently."

    If you're not a waiter or one of those "most workers" but getting paid less than legally required, you might want to:

    * Sue your employer.
    * Improve your skills via education.
    * Stop blaming the politicians of either Party unless you are one of them.

  28. [28] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    19

    Demanding small donor candidates is not like bringing a knife to a gun fight.

    I agree with Don on this one. Demanding Don's definition of "small donor candidates" is more like pissing in the wind and expecting not to get pissed on.

    NOT demanding small donor candidates is like not showing up for the fight at all.

    Wrong. But refusing to vote for anyone who doesn't meet your ridiculous purity definition of "small donor candidates" is definitely like not voting because no one with a pulse meets the definition.

    It is taking a knee when the bell rings to start the round.

    Wrong. But a self-professed "average" person with "no degrees, no years of running a successful business and no experience in political campaigns or activism" who keeps trolling everyone else with his "idea" is the living embodiment of "talking a knee when the bell rings."

  29. [29] 
    Kick wrote:

    ^^^ EDIT ^^^

    "taking a knee when the bell rings."

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Dan,

    ... saying that Rick Bright is being a tad apocalyptic.
    I hope they're saying he's wrong about it.

    Yes, they (political commentators, the ones on CNN, anyway) are saying that he's being a bit apocalyptic when he says that the US is in for the darkest winter in modern history if it doesn't take advantage of a narrowing window to improve its COVID-19 response. The commentators don't seem to like people using that kind of language.

    I happen to think he's quite right to warn about it. And, the narrow window is closing fast. The WHO agrees that the window is closing. He's trying to light a fire under the feet of people who might actually be able to force a change in course. I remain less than optimistic about that.

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua,

    I didn't know there was a pay wall on that FT piece - how the heck did I get to read it?? I'll look into it ...

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kick, thanks for providing that link, I wasn't looking forward to a synopsis. Heh.

  33. [33] 
    John M wrote:

    [28] Kick wrote:

    " ... is more like pissing in the wind and expecting not to get pissed on. "

    LOL! Best thing I have heard in a while! Bravo!

  34. [34] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    20

    thank you kick.

    Easy as pie. ;)

    what really clicked for me in the article is the context of donald's statement about anybody who needs a test getting a test. two things actually.

    the second thing that occurred to me is it sounds a lot like obama's statement about anybody who likes their insurance keeping their insurance - a statement politifact rated "lie of the year" (now isn't that quaint?)

    Noticed that too, did you? That's one of the many reasons we did "call it" already as PolitiFact's "Lie of the Year" for 2020 with three quarters still left to play... and Lord help all of us if there's a bigger lie coming, but we definitely already know the mouth from whence it will spew.

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2020/03/30/why-is-california-doing-so-well/#comment-156790

    the first thing that occurred to me is how much of a throw-away statement it must have been for donald. he makes grand promises as a matter of routine, never intending to keep any of them - and in the media it's been normalized, desensitized.

    Yes, sir. Trump "plays" to simply "win the day." There is no continuity of thought involved just the repetitive bullshit spewing where nothing is not fungible or easily replaced with more meaningless words. He takes every side of every issue... meaning he takes no sides at all because he has no moral compass, just flings meaningless shit daily and tomorrow is another day to spew and fling.

    now nobody even blinks when donald promises to donate a million dollars to one cause or another, and anyone who points out that he didn't follow through comes off as nitpicking.

    Another good point, but it's really only nitpicking to the Trump cultists and right-wing hypocrite types so you have to snap them back to some reality they can relate to. So for those who spent many multiple years whining and fundraising off "Benghazi," "four dead Americans," etc. yet who shrug off Trump's mishandling of the current pandemic, they must be brought back to reality with their own spew. So "do the math" every day and remind the Trump cultists and hypocrite types who blamed Obama, the Obama administration, and/or Hillary Clinton for the "four dead Americans" regarding the day's Pandemic Benghazi Count.

    Example: Donald's mishandling of the pandemic will easily exceed 100,000 dead Americans, and that's 25,000 Benghazis and a whole lot of blood on Trump's tiny little hands.

    we're almost expected to ignore any statement he makes as "part of the show," rather than hold him to account for any of it.

    Like P.T. Barnum, wouldn't you say? Because that's exactly who Trump is and has always been. So do the pandemic Benghazi math and try to reason with the hypocrites and sycophants, and vote on November 3rd like it's the 2018 midterms.

  35. [35] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    21

    if anything, donald's mistake in promising that anybody who needs testing could get it was that it was too plausible to easily dismiss.

    Yes, sir... along with the added nuisance of this being a lie that literally affects life and death... living and dying.

    Without a vaccine, routine testing, tracing, and isolating are the only way to save people's lives and the economy simultaneously. Testing people with and without symptoms, tracing their contacts and testing them and their contacts, and isolating those with or without symptoms who test positive is what it's going to take to contain the pandemic... to the extent a virus can be controlled.

    So to recap: You want control over the economy? Control the virus to the extent you can. What Trump seems to have failed to realize is that the same kind of testing, tracing, and isolating that they're doing daily at the White House is exactly what needs to be done on a nationwide scale. It's not rocket science, but it is definitely science, and it will most assuredly trump Donald's exercises in magical thinking every day of the week.

  36. [36] 
    dsws wrote:

    Is there any way that the reopening currently underway can possibly happen without leading to 1,000,000+ final-total covid-19 deaths in the US?

  37. [37] 
    dsws wrote:

    I also can't see how we're going to find our way to a cultural and political response that doesn't lead to a long and profound recession.

    I still think that, if we could respond coherently, the economic effects could be mild even if we chose a response that involves a very large death toll. It's just that I don't see us being coherent about anything.

  38. [38] 
    dsws wrote:

    One possibility, historians say, is that the coronavirus pandemic could end socially before it ends medically. People may grow so tired of the restrictions that they declare the pandemic over, even as the virus continues to smolder in the population and before a vaccine or effective treatment is found.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/10/health/coronavirus-plague-pandemic-history.html

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