Donald Trump and his administration did not create the worst biological threat that the world has experienced in more than 100 years, but the American president’s incompetence, ignorance, and dishonesty in handling this crisis has been stunning. One hundred and twenty-seven thousand Americans are dead already, and that number will continue to rise.
Vice President Mike Pence’s status report Friday was so disconnected from reality that it can only be characterized as pandemic gaslighting. “All 50 states and territories across this country are opening up safely and responsibly” as “we flattened the curve,” he said, while insisting that “it’s almost inarguable that more testing is generating more cases.” That would be false, false, and false.
As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across parts of the U.S., it’s clear that, despite the president and vice president’s delusional optimism and because of their monumental failures of policy and execution, the U.S. has absolutely not gotten the virus under control. With 31 states reporting increasing case counts over the past 14 days, last week the U.S. recorded a new record high of 44,703 daily cases—some four-plus months after the virus began spreading in the U.S.
On Dec. 18, 2019, Donald John Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives on two charges based on attempting to have Ukraine interfere with the U.S. presidential elections. The first charge—or article of impeachment—was abuse of power and the second was obstruction of Congress. Ah, the good old days of common presidential corruption…
The Ukraine scandal was Trump’s sad and stupid attempt to steal the 2020 election by trying to blackmail an elected foreign leader by withholding promised defensive weapons needed to defend against a Russian invasion. Pathetic on so many levels—and of course exacerbating an existential threat to Ukraine. Whatever. Trump has an election to win.
Corruption still engulfs the White House, of course, but there’s so much more we learn about the Trump policy failures with each passing day. And these failures, when it comes to total mismanagement of the pandemic are causing unconscionable levels of stress, illness, and death across the U.S.
What if we could get a “do-over” impeachment?
Here are six “Articles of Incompetence, Ignorance, and Dishonesty” that in many ways dwarf the corruption that led to Trump’s original impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives:
Article I: Dismantling of a working group established by President Barack Obama after the Ebola outbreak in 2014 to help prevent or manage future epidemics or pandemics—in spite of Trump’s own experts’ warning that a pandemic was entirely possible.
Article II: Inexplicable failure to create reliable, widespread testing to look for cases of COVID-19 early in the outbreak when we really needed to know where the virus was, understand its prevalence, and track its trajectory.
Article III: Deliberate deception of the American people by reassuring them, against all expert opinion, that the pandemic was totally under control in February, March, and April, and suggesting that the coming of Easter—or perhaps warm weather—would result in a miraculous disappearance of the outbreak.
Article IV: Practicing medicine without a license by (a) repeatedly promoting Hydroxychloroquine as a drug he said would prevent and/or treat SARS-CoV-2, but which can actually result in lethal heart disease, and (b) public musing about injecting bleach or bodily insertion of ultraviolet light as COVID-19 remedies.
Article V: Repeatedly lying to the American people about the severity and extent of the pandemic, the amount of testing being done by the U.S., and the idea that it was safe to open U.S. businesses.
Article VI: The unconscionable politicization of a lethal public health crisis for the purposes of supporting his own re-election.
If only we could actually have another referendum on the president’s dangerous incompetence before the election. Sadly, that’s not possible. But I’d like to think that even his most ardent supporters now understand the threat Donald Trump’s rank ignorance and dishonesty have presented to the American public’s health.
The people who have lost and those who will lose their health and their lives before we get this outbreak under control cross every demographic, every political party and ideology. That he must be replaced in November is a matter of life and death, not which party controls the federal government.