Senator Murphy reframes the debate over Trump’s pandemic response (detwitterized);
Hear me out: If you’re criticizing Trump’s Coronavirus response as ineffective, you’re doing it wrong. The problem is – for all practical purposes – there has been NO RESPONSE. The Administration has effectively declared surrender. And 200,000 might die because of this.
All the school, business, and beach closures have been carried out by states and cities, not Trump. At the very least, Trump could incentivize non-compliant or complacent states to enact emergency measures. But he does nothing, except provide weak, intermittent guidance.
The only way to solve mask, test, and ventilator shortages is for the feds to organize production. Trump has this power, but he chooses not to use it. His minimalist actions have barely made a dent. And day after day, the shortages continue, and Trump does nothing.
The supply chain for these same supplies has completely broken down into chaos. States and hospitals bid against each other, driving prices up. Supplies don’t get to areas of greatest need. Trump could solve this by federalizing the supply chain, but he does nothing.
Every legislative action to fund the public health response and save the economy from total ruin has been driven by Congress. Trump has no legislative agenda. He asks for no new authorities or new funding. In fact, his negotiators mostly argue for less money.
Trump has no actual plan to contain the virus. The virus will grow unless there is a national plan to TEST, ISOLATE, TRACK, AND QUARANTINE. But this takes a massive public health infrastructure that doesn’t exist now. Trump has no plan, and no interest, in building it.
You cannot beat Coronavirus with a state-by-state, city-by-city response, with thousands of conflicting strategies. Only a national plan will work. And the problem isn’t that Trump’s doing the wrong things. The problem is he’s effectively doing nothing.
Murphy is correct. On most issues, Trump’s lack of interest or action would be welcome, but the current situation requires a massive, coordinated response that only the federal government can provide. Christ, Florida Governor DeSantis and who knows how many other red state mouth-breathers are still playing “Mother May I” with the White House as the virus spreads. It’s ridiculous.
I don’t know who can shame the dumb fuck into doing his job (more accurately, appointing someone else to do it). It won’t be any of the unqualified dolts Trump appointed to the agencies, cabinet or adviser corps. Drs. Fauci or Birx maybe? They seem to have awakened Trump to the reality of the situation from the science side of the ledger, but schooling Trump on the complicated logistics of the response isn’t their job. Maybe they’ll take it on anyway since they are at least capable of abstract thought?
Somewhat related: Biden was interviewed by Lawrence O’Donnell last night. Here’s what he (Biden) said about handling the virus (via The Post):
Biden also continued to criticize President Trump for his handling of the global pandemic, saying that he should have done more and sooner. Biden said that if he were in charge, he would appoint one person to lead the administration’s response.
“I would find someone in the administration who was a former general or used to organizing massive efforts,” he said, adding he would also consider his former chief of staff, Ron Klain, who also headed the Obama administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak.
Later he said: “This is a war. You need a general. Put somebody in charge.”
Well, Trump DID put somebody in charge, but unfortunately, it was Mike Pence, an idiot whose only qualification for the role is that he’s a reliable toady. No change in “tone” will address this. Like Murphy said, the problem isn’t that the response is ineffective. It’s that so far, it’s a goddamned postcard.