The coronavirus crisis is soaring to new heights — but Trump isn't even pretending to care

The coronavirus crisis is soaring to new heights — but Trump isn't even pretending to care
President Donald J. Trump gestures to a Covid-19 graphic on a video screen during a press conference Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

The country's leading infectious disease expert confirmed models Sunday showing just less than 200,000 people could die from the coronavirus pandemic by spring, bringing the virus' U.S. death total to about 439,000, CNN reported. But that hasn't stopped President Donald Trump from refusing to share his administration's COVID-19 data and vaccine plans with President-elect Joe Biden's coronavirus team. It hasn't even inspired the president to look in on his own administration's coronavirus task force meetings over the last five months or more, The Washington Post reported.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" "of course it would be better" if government health workers could start meeting with Biden's transition team. "As you know, I've been through multiple transitions now, having served six presidents for 36 years. And it's very clear that the transition process that we go through ... is really important in a smooth handing over of the information as well as it's almost like passing the baton in a race," Fauci said. "You don't want to stop and then give it to somebody, you want to essentially keep going." That is, unless you're so self-involved that you put your job status before the well-being of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

When Tapper asked Fauci if another 200,000 deaths in four months is possible, the expert responded: "It is possible, Jake, and the issue is the models—as I've said so often—are as good as the assumptions you put into the model, and we've got to change those assumptions. We've got to say we're going to turn it around by very very rigorously adhering to the public health measures."

Anyone even loosely following the president's Twitter timeline knows he hasn't rigorously adhered to even the simplest of public health measures like wearing a mask in public or social distancing. Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir confirmed the Post's report on ABC's "This Week" that the president hasn't even attended a coronavirus task force meeting in at least five months. "That's true, but the vice president does chair the coronavirus task force," Giroir said. "(...) We often have several cabinet members there, and the vice president briefs the president every day or nearly every day on coronavirus, so I'm not concerned that the president doesn't attend."

I am, considering Politico reported at the end of October that Vice President Mike Pence hasn't sat in on a standing call with the country's 50 governors for more than a month. "There's not any acknowledgment or appreciation of the severity of the surge," an unnamed official in one governor's office told Politico. "The stark reality that we're facing is the White House – from top to bottom – has stopped governing and is only campaigning."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close