WASHINGTON (Exclusive to the Swamp Report)—As is his wont, the 45th President of the United States decided again last week that his “hunches” were better than the information he had received from those fancy-pants “experts” he regularly gives the back of his hand.
This time, he dismissed the reports he was receiving from the World Health Organization and CDC about the coronavirus pandemic his Administration failed to prepare for. Instead, he said he would rely on a “hunch” of his own, which was that the coronavirus wasn’t going to spread beyond the few initial cases in California and wouldn’t be nearly as deadly as the experts and the media were saying it was likely to be.
When the virus started popping up in Washington state and the first death was reported about 24 hours later, he took to the airwaves again, this time to assure the nation that the Pharma executives he had just met with had told him, not to worry, they were working “very hard” on a vaccine that would be ready “very soon.”
He must have known the very same Pharma bigwigs, when asked how soon was “very soon,” would say at least 18 months—not nearly soon enough to stop the virus from infecting, and probably killing, tens of thousands of Americans.
Unless they listened to Dr. Fauci and the other public health experts, not to Donald Trump.
Fortunately, about half the country concluded long ago that Our Leader says whatever he thinks he can get away with and seems not to be the least bit embarrassed when he misstates a fact or gets caught in an outright lie. What he says about the precautions Americans should take, and what they should do if they think they may have contracted the virus, won’t make one bit of difference to the Non-Believers.
They’ll do what the CDC and public health officials where they live say they should do—and curse Donald Trump’s failure to have enough test kits ready, no matter how many times he pats himself on the back for suspending flights to and from China, a country he’s at war with, anyway.
But 30 to 40 percent of the country seems to believe every word he says—or is willing to excuse even his most self-serving and outrageous lies as “honest mistakes.” The “deplorables,” as Hillary Clinton once called these folks, may actually believe what Trump tells his Fox News enablers about the seriousness of the crisis and why Americans shouldn’t be overly concerned about it.
These are the people The Donald is counting on to vote for him in November even if he shoots someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue before then.
Which makes the Corona Crisis a Very Big Deal for them and for him. One might even say it’s literally a Do or Die crisis that will be a test of their loyalty; his pseudo-scientific hunches; his disdain for real science and expertise of any kind; and whether he can win a free and fair election later this year if thousands, or tens of thousands, of his supporters succumb to the virus and are no longer with us.
Because they likely won’t be with us if they follow his advice and go to work when they’re sick and fail to get the medical attention they can’t afford because the factory jobs he promised haven’t materialized yet.
And he should want them well, not dead.
Because, no matter what the Russians do, he won’t get re-elected without them.
The stock market is in free fall, at least half the country has little or no confidence in his Administration’s ability to handle the coronavirus crisis, and 3,000 people are stranded aboard the Infected Princess off San Francisco.
So, what does Our Leader do as he flies off to Mar-a-Lago for the weekend?
He fires his Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, replacing him with “Warrior” Mark Meadows, whose honorific title denotes a Knight in Shining Armor in the Trump hierarchy. Among other privileges, the title comes with a temporary membership, worthy of a prince, in the Trump National Golf Club on the 900 block of Lamington Road in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Meadows, a founder of the ultra-rightwing Congressional Freedom Caucus and erstwhile Republican member of Congress from North Carolina, is said to be prized for his political smarts. That he’s a Trump sycophant with little administrative experience seems to have added to his appeal as Mulvaney’s replacement.
Meadows becomes Our Leader’s fourth chief-of-staff since an unprecedented number of forgotten Americans and shady Ukrainians, said to be the largest crowd ever to attend an Inaugural ceremony, witnessed his swearing-in 38 long months ago.
Mulvaney’s ouster demonstrates Our Leader’s determination to purge everyone he blames for his impeachment (it was Mulvaney who inadvertently acknowledged the arms-for-dirt quid pro quo the President demanded during his phone call to Ukraine’s president last July, after which Mulvaney famously told reporters to “get over it” because U.S. arms deals almost always come with strings attached).
Mulvaney’s departure was expected. But the timing of the announcement, Friday night, couldn’t have come at a worse time from the standpoint of those, including those on Wall Street, who are looking for a steady hand and stability at the top to get the United States through a health crisis that is already causing panic in many parts of the country and undermining key sectors of the U.S. service economy.
If the President continues to over-promise, his Administration continues to under-deliver and the markets continue to fall next week, one of Meadows’ first assignments will probably be to identify the heads that will roll to cover for the President’s own ineptitude.
As everyone knows by now, we have an Emperor who all too often appears naked, then fires the nearest duke—or has his lawyer bribe the nearest duchess—if he gets caught with his pants down.
The Corona Crisis not only threatens to leave him with no clothes, it could also take him to the cleaners. The travel industry is already reeling, with airlines and hotels among the early casualties of the Administration’s wishful thinking.
If things don’t get better soon, very soon, our Emperor could lose not only his title; he could lose his empire, too.
I wouldn’t want to be Mike Pence right now. Would you!?
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CHARLES KRAUSE/REPORTING FINE ART
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