Trump just keeps making things worse

The US is breaking records each day in the number of positive covid-19 test results, deaths, and hospitalizations. We have also passed another grim milestone of 300,000 deaths.

But as Seth Meyers points out, Trump has nothing to say about any of this, instead focusing on futile challenges to the election.

But perhaps that is just as well. When Trump does shift his attention away from golf and tweeting about a rigged election to talk about anything related to the pandemic, he just makes things worse. Like yesterday, when his chief of staff reportedly threatened the head of the FDA Stephen Hahn that he should resign immediately unless the FDA approved the vaccine by the end of the day. The FDA was likely to have done it anyway or, at the very latest, would have approved it today. So what was the point of this power play that humiliated the head of an extremely important government agency, since it only adds to the fears of those who think the vaccine is being rushed and thus may not be safe?

The answer is that it was precisely because it was just a power play that humiliated the head of an extremely important government agency that Trump did it. For Trump, this act was not a means to an end, it was the end. As his days as president wind down, he clearly wants to throw his weight around while he can, to show that he is still the boss.



  1. John Morales says

    Yes, I read about that. Pushing forward the announcement of the approval did not advance the timeframe for roll-out.

    However, I don’t think it’s merely throwing his weight around. I think it’s supposed to count as a “win” and an “achievement”, and his base will doubtless ostensibly consider it such.

  2. says

    It’s absolutely mind-bending, to me, to realize that most of those deaths were avoidable. Especially since, if Americans had refrained from being imbecilic, the case load would have probably remained below the threshold where the hospitals started to get stressed by the patient-load, which would have resulted in better outcomes, It’s like Americans have decided to smash their faces repeatedly into a brick wall to show they have Free Will (not realizing that they have no choice in the matter) or something. I’m mind-boggled by the futility of it all.

  3. aquietvoice says

    It’s so alien to read about this stuff now that the pandemic is over and done here (anti-spreading measures still in place, but daily cases keeping close to zero). I’m getting ready to fly home and then travel interstate on a long holiday (vacation for USA types).

    Seriously, have a look:

    @Marcus Ranum, #2: Yeah, I’m in Australia where international quarantine and such is easy, but the locally-spreading pandemic in densely populated areas was defeated with really simple, low tech measures that were easy to comply with.
    It’s so mind-bending to me because on the one hand there is nothing, *nothing* stopping people in the USA from cutting fatalities in half or further…. but also the causes that are stopping them are so vast and deep rooted they can barely be described. That’s what is so unprocessable about it to me.

    I seriously worry that we’ll get a large infection of USA style thinking here, and that will allow the pandemic to rear up again even though we are so close to wiping it out.

  4. billseymour says

    The head of the FDA has said that the phone call did not include any threat of firing.

    Trump has done plenty of really awful shit.  There’s no need to make stuff up.

  5. jrkrideau says

    @ 3 aquietvoice
    We are not in as much of a mess as the USA but Canada is in the beginning or middle of a bad 2nd wave, partly due to a mob of Conservative premiers too concerned about “business” to do things properly the first time and a failure mainly by those same idiots to invest in establishing decent staffing levels in operations such as testing and contact tracing over the summer when all the experts were telling them that a second wave was coming.

    You are very lucky to be in Australia at the moment.

  6. Silentbob says

    @ 3 aquietvoice

    In Queensland (Aus) our deaths are 6. That’s not today or this week or this month. Total.

    You can see why the situation in the US -- over 300,000 and accelerating -- freaks me the fuck out. What a horrific price has been paid for that monster as president.

  7. says

    I seriously worry that we’ll get a large infection of USA style thinking here, and that will allow the pandemic to rear up again even though we are so close to wiping it out.

    Just wait ’till US attitudes to climate change manifest themselves. It’ll be “hold my beer” except gasoline and matches.

  8. says

    Back around March I read the results of study that predicted the death toll in the US would be around 60k if appropriate measures were taken. It said if we did them perfectly, we could keep it down to 30k and if we were sloppy, it might be 120k. This was after a study that said if we did absolutely nothing and just went on like normal, we’d be looking at 2 million. I remember being shocked at the number: 60k. I fully expected that we would do the right thing. I had no idea that people could be so craven as to turn this into a political football and that a large segment of the population would see wearing a mask and social distancing as a political statement rather than as an appropriate community response.

    I also remember back in the spring when some people were screaming about how only a few thousand had died yet 50k might die each year due to seasonal flu so there was nothing to worry about. Of course, they soon moved the goal posts to comparing it to annual cancer or heart disease deaths. And now we’re at 300k, ready to overtake cancer for the year. I try to remind them of their errors in thinking whenever I get the chance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *