erik lundegaard

Saturday March 28, 2020

'I Want Them to Be Appreciative'

Not enough is being written about yesterday's press conference. The New York Times barely mentioned it in their COVID-19 coverage. Not even a headline. They glossed over it. Any other president says shit like this in the middle of a global pandemic—about which he's given nothing but mixed messages from the get-go—and it would be front-page news. Trump says it and everyone shrugs. Just Trump being Trump. Meaning being such a solipsistic raging asshole that everyone is left without words. We‘re all speechless. Covid renders us breathless and Trump renders us speechless. Maybe that’s why the Times didn't cover it. Because what the fuck do you say? 

Here's the exchange. Early on, he touted the administration response in his usual vague terms:

We‘ve had great success over the last month. We’ve, as you know, the millions and millions of pieces of equipment have been delivered successfully by us, purchased and delivered, and we‘ve made it available to the states and the governors have been very gracious—for the most part, I would say. A couple that aren’t appreciative of the incredible job. They have to do a better job themselves.

It took 20 minutes for a reporter to follow up on that nasty aside by asking if he could be more specific about the governors, and Trump interrupted, and we got this horror-show of a response:

Well, I think we‘ve done a great job for the state of Washington and I think the governor, who is a failed presidential candidate as you know—he leveled out at zero in the polls—he’s constantly chirping, and I guess complaining would be a nice way of saying it. We‘re building hospitals. We’ve done a great job for the state of Washington. Michigan, she has no idea what's going on. And all she does is say, “Oh, it's the federal government's fault.” And we‘ve taken such great care of Michigan. You know the care we’ve taken of New Jersey.

“We‘ve taken such great care of...” How specifically? “We’re building hospitals.” What hospitals? Where? The one I know about in Washington state is the temporary field hospital being built on the Shoreline soccer field, but that seems to be a county effort. In the meantime, we‘re short on masks, respirators, tests. And we were ground zero in the U.S. for a time. For the time when Trump was dismissing all of this, saying it was under control. Just one person. Just 15 and they’re all getting better. And it‘ll all just disappear like a miracle. It’s the Democrats' fault. It's being politicized. It's a hoax. 

The reporter then followed up again—asking specifics about the governors of Washington and Michigan—but Trump interrupted again:

All I want them to do, very simple, I want them to be appreciative. I don't want them to say things that aren't true. I want them to be appreciative. We‘ve done a great job, and I’m not talking about me. I'm talking about Mike Pence, the Task Force, I'm talking about FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers. There's no country in the world could have done what the Army Corps of Engineers has done and is doing. Now they‘re going in and building literal... They’re going into hotels and renovating hotels. That should be for governors to do. That should be for states to do.

Masks, respirators, tests. Again and again. That should be the mantra. “I don't want them to say things that aren't true,” says the man who can't open his mouth without lying. What untrue things are they saying? Apparently that Trump isn't doing a good job. “We‘ve done a great job,” says the man who can’t open his mouth without making it all about him, without trying to pull us into his demented worldview. He says it as if it's a fact. As if he's given evidence of anything he's done to ameliorate matters for states and hospitals and nursing homes and nurses and doctors and first responders. 

There have been more evil people in the world but there has never been a more worthless human being. Never has one man expected so much from so many for doing so little. 

Posted at 10:44 AM on Saturday March 28, 2020 in category Politics  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard