Once again, the NYT Opinion Page has produced an editorial so obviously at odds with reality, that we couldn't help but comment. Longtime columnist Gail Collins, a Democratic centrist and staunch Hillary Clinton supporter, wrote in a column that the coronavirus outbreak is President Trump's fault.
Her latest column, entitled "Let's Call It Trumpvirus" completely ignores the fact that the virus emerged in China, before spreading around the world as Communist Party officials hesitated to try and contain it for fear of sparking a holiday 'panic'.
No; instead, Collins rattles off a list of a list of loosely linked complaints about the Trump Administration: From Azar's seeming inexperience, to obscure personnel choices made by John Bolton, to picking Pence to run the virus task force, to Trump's offhand comment about the flu.
Oddly enough, even Trump's penchant for hand sanitizer (given Trump's reputation for being a "germaphobe") seems to offend Collins.
Our president had to be going crazy over a problem that involves both declining stock prices and germs. This is the guy, after all, who thinks shaking hands is “barbaric,” who is followed around by aides bearing sanitizer. During his press conference he told the story of a fever-ridden supporter who gave him a hug. Do you think it was an apocryphal fantasy? Either way, the idea has been haunting him forever.
She dismissed Trump's blaming the Democrats for the market's pullback (even as more than a few have claimed it played some roll).
Meanwhile, he’s come up with a totally new explanation for the stock market skid. It turns out investors were not frightened so much by the pandemic as the Democratic debate.
"I think the financial markets are very upset when they look at the Democrat candidates standing on that stage making fools out of themselves," Trump told reporters.
And let's not forget Trump's atrocious spelling, one of his greatest political sins, according to the New York Times newsroom.
Earlier in the day Trump argued, via tweet, that despite the expressions of concern by the evil media and “incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades,” the government is perfectly prepared to handle the coronavirus. Which he misspelled “caronavirus.” But nobody’s perfect.
Here's the nonsense about Bolton.
The run-up to the Pence unveiling had not been exactly calming for citizens who wanted to have faith in competent White House oversight. Barack Obama used to have special epidemic-watching groups just in case this kind of crisis developed. One was headed by the highly regarded Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer, who got sent packing by John Bolton. Another infectious disease expert, Tom Bossert, suddenly vanished from the Department of Homeland Security in 2018, presumably also at the hand of John You-know-who.
If Bolton’s memoir ever makes it into print, do you think it’ll have a chapter called “My War on Pandemic Fighters?” OK, probably not.
What are you talking about, Gail?
Moving on, personnel seems to be her main focus. For example, dear reader, did you quiver with apprehension when Chad Wolf, Trump's acting homeland security secretary, appeared to not know basic facts about the outbreak during an obscure Senate subcommittee meeting?
Because Collins did. But somehow, we suspect that most voters missed that one.
Virus Week hasn’t really provided a whole lot of comfort to citizens who wanted to believe the president’s replacements were super high quality.
The nation got its first real look at Chad Wolf, the acting homeland security secretary, who appeared before a Senate subcommittee and admitted he had no idea how the virus was transmitted among humans, exactly how dangerous it was, or … pretty much anything.
When Senator John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican not known for anti-administration bias, asked whether the country had enough respirators to deal with a coronavirus epidemic, Wolf answered in the affirmative.
“We just heard testimony that we don’t,” Kennedy responded.
“OK,” said Wolf.
To be fair, he’s only been on the job since November. He’s the fifth head of Homeland Security Trump’s had in the last three years. Good thing he has a deputy — or at least an acting deputy — to help. That would be Ken Cuccinelli, who made news this week when he went on Twitter to ask for tips on how to find an online map of coronavirus sites posted by Johns Hopkins University. (“Here’s hoping it goes back up soon.”)
Before signing off, Collins takes a shot at former Trump body man Johnny McEntee, the 29-year-old former UConn football quarterback, who was fired from another White House job and now runs the Presidential Personnel Office.
Losing faith in presidential appointees for health protection? Stop being so negative. They’re all vetted by the Presidential Personnel Office, which is now headed by John McEntee, 29, who was previously fired from another White House job because of concerns about a history of gambling problems and tax issues.
McEntee will be getting plenty of help from other stellar appointees, the newest being a 23-year-old college undergraduate. Together they’re going to be cleaning house, getting rid of folks who are insufficiently loyal to the president. Or maybe aren’t qualified or something. Never can tell.
At least when it comes to making hard decisions about quarantining large numbers of people, Trump likely won't hesitate like his Democratic colleagues probably would.
Ben Shapiro put it best:
So China unleashes a highly viral and significantly deadly virus and actively shuts down information about it, the virus hits every populated continent...and you're calling it Trumpvirus? https://t.co/6hFZk88uLm— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 27, 2020