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Jennifer Rubin says…


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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: April 03, 2020, 08:01:29 pm »


from The Washington Post…

Death on this scale cannot be spun

Trump is trying desperately to shift blame for slow coronavirus response.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 7:45AM EDT — Wednesday, April 01, 2020

President Donald J. Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Washington D.C. — Photograph: Alex Brandon.
President Donald J. Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House
on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Washington D.C. — Photograph: Alex Brandon.


WE HAVE now entered the stage when President Trump — always the last to figure out things that involve facts — at Tuesday's coronavirus response briefing announced that covid-19 is not the flu. It is “vicious,” he has discovered. Yeah, only dolts would have thought that you could compare this virus to the ordinary flu, right?

Trump warned that the next two weeks will be “very, very painful.” (Why two weeks? Won't deaths continue as the virus rolls through one metropolitan area after another?) Certainly, only an uninformed fabulist would think everything would be better by Easter.

Trump used to say no one could have predicted the coronavirus. Now, the right-wing talking point is that impeachment, which ended the at beginning of February, kept him too distracted. So it was knowable, but Trump did not know it?

That does not match Trump's earlier statements and numerous media accounts that senior advisers warned of the impending threat. The Washington Post reports that fails to “take into account the president's own words and actions related to the coronavirus.” Recall this:


Quote
Trump repeatedly played down the threat the virus posed toward the United States. When news of the first U.S. case broke in late January, Trump declared, “We have it totally under control…. It's going to be just fine.” At the same time, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (Democrat-New York) was calling on the federal government to declare the crisis a public health emergency.

Democrats also criticized the Trump administration in early February for not taking the crisis seriously enough, with some warning that medical institutions were in urgent need of additional staff and supplies.

Amid the first reports of community transmission in late February, Trump continued to dismiss the risk. “It's going to disappear,” he said. “One day, it's like a miracle, it will disappear.”

Moreover, Trump had plenty of time to tweet, play golf and hold rallies throughout January and February.

But, as he so often does, Trump blew up the spin from his own allies. He declared on Tuesday, "I don't think I would have done any better if I had not been impeached.” He added: “I don't think I would have acted any differently, or I don't think I would have acted any faster.” All that shilling for Trump did not survive the day.

Try as he might to now prepare the country and figure out an excuse for massive casualties potentially on a scale not seen since World War II, Trump's own statements and failure to take action cannot be entirely erased from memory. He would like us to think “some people” just thought we could “ride this out,” but not him! Well, he actually was the one who told us it would all disappear one day. Trump would like us to think that 100,000 to 240,000 (the range of the administration's own projected casualties) would be a stunning achievement for him because doing nothing would have resulted in many more deaths.

This line of reasoning is both misleading (had he acted as he should we might have kept casualties to a much lower level, as South Korea did) and morally obnoxious. It will be of no comfort to the widows and orphans when the president says there could have been more widows and orphans.

One reason the president freaks out whenever a reporter quotes Trump back to Trump is that the record is littered with statements from him (and his right-wing sycophants) downplaying the danger of covid-19 and characterizing the pandemic as a figment of the anti-Trump media's imagination. The gap between Trump's words just a week or so ago and the horrible reality about to confront the country is unspinnable.

His resistance to a nationwide stay-at-home order and unsupportable arguments that as many people would die from suicide in the case of enforced isolation as the coronavirus look like the product of denial and willful ignorance.

The problem for Trump continues even now. With every utterance — denying a shortage of tests, questioning the need for ventilators — he creates a new string of embarrassing quotes that also will clash with reality. The bottom line: Nothing can excuse the incompetence and ignorance that will make the death toll higher than that of other countries whose leaders acted more swiftly.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump warns of ‘very bad’ weeks ahead during grim coronavirus briefing

 • Trump warns of ‘very bad’ weeks ahead during grim coronavirus briefing


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/01/death-this-scale-can-not-be-spun
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2020, 08:35:00 pm »


from The Washington Post…

Joe Biden's latest message is a preview of what is to come

The former vice president looks ready to make this election about leadership.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 9:30AM EDT — Wednesday, April 01, 2020

In an image taken from video, former vice president Joe Biden conducts an online media briefing on March 25. — Photograph: Associated Press.
In an image taken from video, former vice president Joe Biden conducts an online media briefing on March 25. — Photograph: Associated Press.

FORMER vice president Joe Biden has been forced to do what no presidential candidate has ever done: Shift from a live campaign to a virtual one in the middle of an election. Most of the components of a traditional campaign — from public rallies to primary-night election parties to policy speeches before policy groups to appearances at conventions of key supporters (e.g., unions) to door knocking to setting up campaign offices in key states — have for the foreseeable future vanished. Even the primary schedule has been blown up. And, perhaps worst of all, for a presidential campaign, asking for money seems dicey as people are seeing the economy sink, their businesses shuttered and their jobs vanish.

Campaigning in a virtual mode forces a team to translate the modern elements of a campaign into new forms. The Biden team is going to have to learn as it goes, substituting virtual news conferences, virtual fundraisers, virtual roundtables and virtual volunteer events for physical, in-person affairs.

The good news for the Biden team is that millions upon millions of people are at home — and for once may be eager to pick up the phone even for a number on caller-ID that they do not recognize. They have time to watch Biden's events on the computer and time to watch his appearances on Sunday shows.

Biden's latest digital ad gives us a peek at what he will try to convey during an unprecedented time in a unique campaign environment.

Biden seems ready to focus on four aspects of the covid-19 crisis.

First, Biden will not spare President Trump from the charge that he failed as commander in chief, sending troops (health-care workers) into the fray without sufficient protection and equipment. The more Trump protests that governors do not need ventilators or that there are plenty of tests, the more fodder he provides to Biden that Trump is a derelict, incompetent commander in chief.

Second, Biden now can put meat on the bones of his message that the election is a fight for the “soul of the nation.” Originally, this meant a battle to recapture America as a decent, fair and welcoming country. Now, in the covid-19 pandemic, the battle is between two ways of addressing adversity. In Biden's telling, Republicans focus on bailing out corporate interests (e.g., the giant slush fund) and savaging regulations (even clear-air requirements in the middle of a respiratory illness) while Democrats want to focus on more help for nurses and responders, more unemployment pay and more help for small business. (The Senate majority leader is already dragging his feet on a fourth stimulus package). How the two sides react to the pandemic becomes emblematic of their values and priorities.

Third, the Democrats' best argument in 2018 was health care. Now that we are in a health-care epidemic not seen for 100 years, Democrats have an obvious upper hand. Unbelievably, Republicans will not drop their lawsuit seeking to invalidate all of Obamacare. In addition, on Tuesday, Politico reported, “The Trump administration has decided against reopening Obamacare enrollment to uninsured Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, defying calls from health insurers and Democrats to create a special sign-up window amid the health crisis.” This is horrifyingly cruel and politically shortsighted. Republicans however seem determined to be on the side of taking away or denying health-care coverage to millions of Americans. This is a gift to the Biden team.

Finally, Biden plainly wants this to be about a contrast in leadership styles. In place of Trump's bombast, irrationality and vindictiveness, Biden presents a calm and empathetic figure. Who do Americans want to listen to for the next four years, and who do they trust to guide them through the recovery from America's worst domestic disaster in a century? On that, Biden is betting the contest won't be close.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Max Boot: Joe Biden has character. Donald Trump does not. This crisis makes it obvious.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/01/bidens-latest-message-is-preview-what-is-come
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2020, 09:02:02 pm »


from The Washington Post…

We must hold politicians responsible for deaths
they could have prevented


Delinquent politicians such as Florida's Ron DeSantis should be held accountable.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 2:00PM EDT — Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (Republican) in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Monday.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (Republican) in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Monday.

THE WASHINGTON POST reports:

Quote
The daily reports from the Florida Department of Health drive the fact home: The number of people testing positive for covid-19 has accelerated rapidly, nearly doubling in the past four days, with 3,274 new cases, bringing the statewide total to 6,741 as of Tuesday evening. The state reported 857 people hospitalized and 85 deaths as of Tuesday, with the heaviest concentration of infection in Broward and Miami-Dade counties along the southeast coast and pockets in other areas like Tampa and Orange County, home of Walt Disney World. On Tuesday alone, 14 deaths were reported in the state, according to the Miami Herald.

It is not hard to figure out why cases and deaths have skyrocketed. Florida has a large elderly population, the second highest in the country by percentage. And that makes it all the more infuriating that Republican Governor Ron DeSantis left open the Florida beaches during spring break. (A Florida attorney is suing the state, since a statewide beach closure is still not in effect.) It was not until March 20 that DeSantis ordered the beaches, bars and restaurants in Broward and Palm Beach counties closed.

On Wednesday, DeSantis finally issued a statewide stay-at-home order after resisting doing so, even though his state is sixth in the country in the number of infections. He previously said that he was waiting for the federal government to tell him what to do. (“If any of those task force folks tell me that we should do X, Y or Z, of course, we're going to consider it.”)

This was a state that could have benefited from the foresight of other hot spots in the country, such as New York, Illinois, Maryland and California. DeSantis could have observed the news conferences of both Republican and Democratic governors who took the initiative to close schools, shutter businesses and mandate social distancing — all measures we know will save lives by slowing the spread of the virus and preventing the health-care system from being overrun.

DeSantis's delay in taking steps to save lives — steps that are patently obvious — is reckless in the extreme and morally indefensible. No state is immune to the virus nor to fatalities. But the difference between the inescapable, unpreventable deaths and the death count that will result from willfully ignorant and stubbornly counter-productive decisions falls on the heads of political decision-makers. DeSantis will be morally — if not legally — responsible for hundreds if not thousands of preventable deaths.

The same is true at the national level. South Korea moved expeditiously to quash the virus by a massive testing, contact tracing and isolation policy. The New York Times reported last week, “South Korea has tested far more people for the coronavirus than any other country, enabling it to isolate and treat many people soon after they are infected. The country has conducted over 300,000 tests, for a per-capita rate more than 40 times that of the United States.”

The United States, by contrast, dithered for months. President Trump, not unlike DeSantis, denied the severity and extent of the problem. He (still has) refused to issue a national stay-at-home order. We bollixed our testing program. We did not prepare our health-care providers with adequate protective equipment and ventilators. Now we see the results. As The N.Y. Times reported:


Quote
It may be “too late,” [epidemiologist] Dr. Ki said, for countries deep into epidemics to control outbreaks as quickly or efficiently as South Korea has.

Weeks ago, Trump's former director of the Food and Drug Administration Scott Gottlieb tweeted, “In U.S. we face two alternative but hard outlooks with #COVID19: that we follow a path similar to South Korea or one closer to Italy. We probably lost chance to have an outcome like South Korea. We must do everything to avert the tragic suffering being borne by Italy.”

For weeks after that, Trump talked nonsense: suggesting a return to business by Easter; refusing to assume purchasing authority at the national level for critical material (which could then be allocated to states as they needed); minimizing the testing problem; and suggesting untested remedies. The failure to prepare and the foot-dragging that has followed will mean the health-care system will be more stressed, more people will contract and spread the virus, and more people will get sick and die. Yes, those deaths — the losses that could have been prevented by sane, sensible decisions his own advisers were urging — are on Trump's head. No amount of spin will absolve him of that responsibility.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/01/we-must-hold-politicians-responsible-deaths-they-could-have-prevented
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2020, 09:40:14 pm »


from The Washington Post…

Fox News has succeeded — in misinforming millions of Americans

Here is why Fox News is a public health hazard.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 3:00PM EDT — Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Protesters outside the Fox News headquarters on March 13 in New York City. — Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.
Protesters outside the Fox News headquarters on March 13 in New York City. — Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

PEW RESEARCH finds:

Quote
The group who names MSNBC as their main news source is far more likely than the Fox News group to answer correctly that the coronavirus originated in nature rather than a laboratory and that it will take a year or more for a vaccine to become available. On both questions, the portion in the CNN group to answer correctly falls between the MSNBC and Fox News numbers.

(Disclaimer: I am an MSNBC contributor.)

The extent of the partisan information gap is quite striking. “Those who call MSNBC their main political news source (92 percent) are far more likely to say the media covered the [novel coronavirus] outbreak somewhat or very well than the Fox News group (58 percent)," Pew finds. "And they are much less likely than those who name Fox News as their main source to say the media exaggerated the risks posed by the pandemic (35 percent of the MSNBC group versus 79 percent of the Fox News group).”

Let's be blunt: The virus did not originate in a lab, we will not have a vaccine soon and the media did not exaggerate the threat of a pandemic that may claim roughly one-quarter of a million lives. The people who listen to Fox News got not merely biased information but wrong information — information that might have induced them to expose themselves unnecessarily to deadly risks (e.g., ignore social-distancing instructions).

As one would expect, the Fox News pandemic of disinformation afflicts Republicans disproportionately. “About three-quarters (76 percent) of those who name Fox News as their main source are conservative Republicans and Republican leaners, while 57 percent who name MSNBC are liberal Democrats and Democratic leaners.” CNN falls somewhere in between. (“Fully 38 percent of those who name CNN as their main source are liberal Democrats, while another 40 percent are moderate or conservative Democrats.”)

In short, Fox News — its anchors, its contributors, its panelists and its guests (e.g., Republican elected officials) — have spread provably wrong information to its viewers on arguably the most important story in our lifetimes. A large percentage of Americans who form the Trump cult and absorb his misleading information (It's like the flu! Plenty of tests!) get their misinformation reinforced by an outlet that seeks as its main goal to support the president.

While it is highly unlikely (given that they are making money from bamboozling the public) the Murdochs, the Fox Corporation board (which includes former House speaker Paul Ryan), Fox executives and Fox News advertisers might want to reflect on a business model that depends on misinforming millions of Americans about a life-threatening pandemic. (As Ben Smith reported, the Murdochs were protecting themselves by social distancing at a time their network was misinforming the public.)

Fox News has hid behind two canards for years: First, it is a counterweight to “liberal bias." Second, there is a division between straight news during the daytime and evening opinion shows. Neither rationalization holds up.

Facts are neither liberal nor conservative — at least they did not used to be. One does not combat bias (real or exaggerated) by presenting false narratives, ignoring factual material that contradicts one's ideological preferences or attacking outlets that are presenting accurate information (i.e., the mainstream media). The Pew survey demonstrates that Fox News is not merely counteracting supposed bias against Trump but conveying false, and in this case, dangerous, information.

Likewise, the dividing line between straight news and opinion programming on Fox was obliterated long ago. In its choice of story lines (Benghazi! Immigrant caravans! Virus threats exaggerated!) Fox's daytime programming is every bit as misleading and inaccurate as its night-time fare. Its interviews are generally embarrassing softball affairs that allow misinformation to go unrebutted (e.g., its recent White House town hall). Moreover, at least in traditional journalism, slapping “opinion” on your lies is no excuse. The underlying facts, be they in opinion or in daytime shows, for every other outlet must be accurate, must be fact-checked and must be corrected if wrong. At Fox News, the entire schedule has tolerated — even promoted —false accounts in order to reinforce its audience's partisan preferences.

The bottom line is that Fox News is not performing the most basic journalistic function, namely, to inform the public. It blasts out propaganda and misinformation. That is morally obnoxious in normal times. In the era of covid-19, however, it may have deadly consequences.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump Fans believe him over the media on coronavirus. This is dangerous.

 • Erik Wemple: CNN, MSNBC refused to carry full Trump coronavirus briefing. Yay!

 • Max Boot: Trump and Rubio's latest attacks on the media are grotesque

 • Karen Tumulty: How reporters should handle Trump's press briefings


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/01/fox-news-has-succeeded-misinforming-millions-americans
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2020, 10:12:04 pm »


from The Washington Post…

Trump is always the last to figure it out

Ignorance is inexcusable for a president. And the vice president isn't much better.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 9:30AM EDT — Thursday, April 02, 2020

President Donald J. Trump with Vice President Mike Pence at a coronavirus response briefing at the White House on Wednesday. — Photograph: Alex Brandon/Associated Press.
President Donald J. Trump with Vice President Mike Pence at a coronavirus response briefing at the White House on Wednesday.
 — Photograph: Alex Brandon/Associated Press.


IF YOU watch New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, California Governor Gavin Newsom, or most every other governor (except the bumbling Ron DeSantis of Florida) at his or her daily news conference, you will see someone in command of the facts (e.g., number of infected patients, number of beds, number of ventilators, number of discharged patients) and with a clear sense of mission.

On Wednesday, Newsom rattled off lines like this: “Again, the prioritization of our day in date discussion interaction is the issue of hospitalizations and ICU beds. Roughly hospitalizations to ICUs are running about 41, almost 42%. You extrapolate that out based on the graph that was just provided in the model, we'll exceed that phase one surge capacity of 50,000 somewhere in the middle part of May, and if you get up to about 66,000, that's based upon our current modeling, we're looking about 27,000 ICU beds that we'll need to procure in this state.” Just imagine — no, you can't do it — President Trump displaying that mastery of information.

In one way or another, governors are trying to expand the capacities of their health-care systems and use social distancing to slow the progress of infection. Many are begging the feds to be the purchaser of scarce equipment so the 50 states and the Federal Emergency Management Agency aren't bidding against one another.

The contrast between the governors' level of sophistication and Trump's abject ignorance manages to still shock and appall us. On Wednesday, Trump explained how his thinking on covid-19 had changed. “The severity,” Trump said. “I think also in looking at the way that the contagion is so contagious, nobody's ever seen anything like this where large groups of people all of a sudden have it just by being in the presence of somebody who has it. The flu has never been like that…. Also the violence of it if it hits the right person.” The contagion is so contagious. That's the president of the United States.

He was warned by experts for weeks that this was highly contagious and that this was not the ordinary flu. Apparently, he was either not listening or did not understand that “just by being in the presence of somebody who has it” the contagion can, well, be contagious. The mind reels.

Vice President Pence is only marginally better. Asked why the administration would not reopen the Affordable Care Act's exchanges to allow people to get coverage in the midst of an epidemic, he babbled on (please click on the link).

He simply does not know that there are people who do not have insurance and do not qualify for Medicaid. They are being denied the only feasible means of getting insurance so they can receive treatment for a deadly disease.

Compare that gobbledygook with the reaction of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (Democrat) to the administration's refusal to reopen the exchanges. “Frankly, this is leadership malpractice,” Pritzker said. “Now more than ever, we need as many people as possible to have access to health care to seek out testing, if we're ever going to be able to fight covid-19 and eliminate it as a major risk to our people.” He added, “On that same note, the Trump administration's continued pursuit of a legal case to destroy the Affordable Care Act, which has provided health care to tens of millions of Americans is a special insult to the people of this nation at this moment. To seek to kill the ACA at a time like this, not to mention ever, undermines everything that we’re trying to do to keep people safe.”

During normal presidencies, you expect the commander in chief to have the best data, know the most about what is going on and have the most far-sighted vision. Instead, Trump seems to be the least-informed adult in America.

You would think the president and vice president's abject ignorance would be a source of embarrassment. Nope. They are locked in the right-wing media disinformation bubble. They find out details under duress. Only when things go very badly and their experts are forced to confess bad news do they grudgingly move into the real world. The change in “tone” that too many gullible reporters coo about is the point at which Trump's lies, disinformation and self-delusion can no longer be sustained. No wonder he looks deflated.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Dana Milbank: Republicans were warned. Yet they persisted in defending Trump.

 • Danielle Stansky: If you could see my hospital, you would know the horror of covid-19


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/02/trump-is-always-last-figure-it-out
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2020, 10:12:32 pm »


Trump: “The contagion is so contagious.






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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2020, 10:37:02 pm »


from The Washington Post…

Another GOP president, another recession

The Trump economy has melted down.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 1:27PM EDT — Thursday, April 02, 2020

Unionized hospitality workers wait in line in a basement garage to apply for unemployment benefits at the Hospitality Training Academy in Los Angeles on March 13. — Photograph: Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press.
Unionized hospitality workers wait in line in a basement garage to apply for unemployment benefits at the Hospitality
Training Academy in Los Angeles on March 13. — Photograph: Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press.


PRESIDENT TRUMP did not create the coronavirus, but his failure to act swiftly and implement extensive testing and contact tracing left us with one option: extreme social distancing. And naturally, social distancing meant the economy ground to a halt. In that sense, the recession is a product of Trump's mismanagement and willful ignorance. And that recession will be frightfully severe.

The Washington Post reports: “More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — a record — as political and public health leaders put the economy in a deep freeze, keeping people at home and trying to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.” The magnitude of the job losses so far — and there will be more to come — is staggering. (“The past two weeks have erased nearly all the jobs created in the past five years, a sign of how rapid, deep and painful the economic shutdown has been on many American families who are struggling to pay rent and health insurance costs in the midst of a pandemic.”) The number of claims so far, more than 10 million, is likely understated “since a lot of newly unemployed Americans haven’t been able to fill out a claim yet.”

As businesses find they can no longer hold out, declare bankruptcy or shut their doors, more people will lose their jobs. Employees asked to take pay cuts one month will find that their employer in a month or two can no longer keep them on payroll at all.

In looking at the political implications of this horror show, one need only recall the 2008 Great Recession. The causes of that financial collapse — e.g., unregulated financial instruments, negligence from ratings companies, lender deception, the Federal Reserve's failure to act — were complicated. Nevertheless, the politicians who resisted warnings (from then-Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, among other people) and favored a Wild West deregulated financial industry have unique culpability. And the party in charge at the time — the Republicans — bore the brunt of the voters wrath at the polls. Do we imagine this domestic debacle will play out differently?

Trump and his Republicans are vulnerable on three counts: failure to act to head off the pandemic, failure to respond adequately to the crisis and corruption in the response (in an administration already infamous for corruption and self-dealing).

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky), among Trump's most fervent enablers, picked a poor time to declare that the federal government should stop helping. The Washington Post's Robert Costa reports that McConnell delivered a “sweeping dismissal” of the call from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) for a fourth stimulus package:


Quote
“She needs to stand down on the notion that we're going to go along with taking advantage of the crisis to do things that are unrelated to the crisis,” McConnell said in an interview with The Washington Post, calling the speaker's recent comments about a fourth round of virus-related legislation “premature.”

In her initial written response, Pelosi said, “The victims of the coronavirus pandemic cannot wait. It is moving faster than the leader may have suspected, and even he has said that some things should wait for the next bill.”

At her weekly news conference, she was even more emphatic, both on continuing to fund the recovery and on clamping down on corruption. She urged more money for equipment for health-care responders and other “front-line workers,” funds for states to manage unemployment insurance claims and a major effort on infrastructure (including water, broadband and community health-care centers). Reacting to the unemployment claims, she asked, “Does that just not take your breath away?” As for McConnell, she said bluntly, “We'll have our bill.”

Perhaps most important, Pelosi will set up a House select committee to oversee the entire coronavirus effort, much like then-Senator Harry Truman did for World War II funding, to crack down on waste, fraud and abuse.

The economic crisis may continue long after the worst of the health crisis is behind us. Trump will faces three major challenges: Did he do everything to head off a deep recession? Did he do enough to help those hurt? Did he prevent profiteering and corruption that diverted and from the needy? Unless the answer to all three is “yes,” Trump will have a hard time persuading Americans to leave him in charge of mitigation and recovery.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Greg Sargent: Has Trump corrupted the coronavirus supply chain? Schiff wants to know.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/02/another-gop-president-another-recession
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2020, 02:45:43 pm »


from The Washington Post…

Joe Biden understands the devil is in the details

Trump's incompetency will make recovery from the coronavirus pandemic that much harder.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 7:45AM EDT — Friday, April 03, 2020

In an image taken from video, Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden appears in an online press briefing on March 25. — Photograph: Associated Press.
In an image taken from video, Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden appears in an online press briefing on March 25.
 — Photograph: Associated Press.


IN A video news conference from his basement, former vice president Joe Biden on Thursday weighed in on the devastating new of 6.6 million additional first-time unemployment claims last week, bringing the total to nearly 10 million new claims over the last two weeks.

Biden responded to the White House's “invitation” to talk to the president (more a demand that he stop criticizing President Trump) by pointing out that, as far back as March 12, the Democratic front-runner put out a plan for fighting the coronavirus, which he invited Trump to borrow.

The focus of the news conference, however, was on Biden's new economic recovery plan. It is a clever way to lay down a marker to test Trump's competence in getting money into the hands of people and small business.

Biden — as much of an insider as one can get, and the Obama administration's point man for dispensing the $800-billion stimulus plan — was clear that it is one thing to pass a $2 trillion relief bill but quite another to get the money out the door when state unemployment offices are swamped. It is one thing to set up a pool of $350 billion for small business loans, and quite another thing to get banks to offer and promise the government-backed loans.

In this vein, Biden urged expediting the $1,200 direct payment checks by using automatic deposit or prepaid debit cards rather than sending out checks with Trump's name on them as the narcissist in chief wants. “It isn't about him,” Biden declared. What a quaint, nice sentiment.

Biden's plan stresses full implementation of the Defense Production Act (“address the shortage of items like ventilators and personal protective equipment for health care workers, and make sure our workforce on the front lines everyday has the protections to provide the essential services we will continue to need”). He would also deploy strategies to keep people on payroll as long as possible by maximizing work-sharing, among other measures.

Biden, who can boast that he helped keep fraud, waste and abuse to 0.2 percent of the Obama stimulus bill, made clear he is going to keep an eye on the enormous pot of money Congress appropriated. From his campaign website:


Quote
In addition to enforcing strict conditions, Biden would ensure there are no sweetheart deals, no special favors, and no slush fund, and that corporations follow through on their hard commitments. This is a major concern given the track record of the Trump administration. In the CARES Act, Congress established a Special Inspector General to police the $500 billion in funding for large corporations and to make sure it is going to the right places for the right reasons.

Biden also strongly backs the call from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) for a fourth coronavirus relief bill, which he thinks should include additional checks to families should conditions require, $10,000 of forgiveness in student debt, an increase in Social Security checks by $200 per month, an expansion of emergency sick leave, full reimbursement for covid-19 treatment and “all necessary fiscal relief to states so their workers and communities get the help they need, especially those on the front lines like New York.”

There are three key takeaways from Biden's recovery rollout.

First, while many administrations would get credit for putting money in people's pockets and saving business during a crisis, the enormity of pot of money, the endemic incompetence of the Trump administration and Trump's culture of corruption may work against the president. Without an injection of management skill and infusion of concern for good government, implementation of the stimulus package may become a juicy target for Biden.

Second, Biden is making the case every chance he gets that he is better prepared, more knowledgeable and certainly less selfish than Trump. A pandemic and an economic crisis is no time for a presidential blunderbuss with little interest in learning how government actually operates.

Third, Biden clearly intends to capitalize on Republicans hesitancy to “think big,” as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell has urged Pelosi to do. With raging unemployment, business failures and negative growth sure to afflict us through the fall, Biden will be able to make the case that the Republicans repeatedly underestimated the extent of the health and economic crisis.

Voters are overwhelmingly supportive of government recovery efforts. A new CBS News poll finds: “The public overwhelmingly supports the $2 trillion economic relief package passed by Congress: 81% approve overall, a view that crosses partisan lines. However, most (57%) say it won't end up being enough, including most people who approve of the package overall.” That gives Democrats — the party that embraces government and thinks it needs to lead the way on recovery — the edge, especially when the alternative is an ignorant, inept incumbent who will far surpass President Herbert Hoover in the “biggest mess left behind” category.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Michael Beschloss: What Trump can learn from REAL wartime presidents

 • The Washington Post's View: Trump's re-election team is trying to prevent ads that use his speech against him


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/03/biden-understands-devil-is-details
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2020, 03:26:50 pm »


from The Washington Post…

An outbreak of incompetence

There is reason to have zero confidence in the administration.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 9:30AM EDT — Friday, April 04, 2020

Jared Kushner, adviser and son-in-law to President Donald J. Trump, looks on during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on Thursday. — Photograph: Kevin Dietsch/Pool Image/European Pressphoto Agency-Agencia-EFE/REX/Shutterstock.
Jared Kushner, adviser and son-in-law to President Donald J. Trump, looks on during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House
on Thursday. — Photograph: Kevin Dietsch/Pool Image/European Pressphoto Agency-Agencia-EFE/REX/Shutterstock.


WHITE HOUSE adviser Jared Kushner broke the irony meter as he — not someone qualified, such as Anthony S. Fauci — took over the daily coronavirus briefing on Thursday to inform us: “What a lot of the voters are seeing now is that when you elect somebody … think about who will be a competent manager during the time of crisis.”

Yes, President Trump's voters, along with those who elected the similarly ignorant and slothful Republican governors in Florida and Georgia who failed to act promptly to stem the coronavirus, should remember that next time. Better to elect someone like California Governor Gavin Newsom (Democrat) or Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (Republican) rather than someone continually pandering to Trump, resisting readily available scientific advice and attacking the media.

One has the sinking feeling that things are going from bad to worse. Trump and the feds declined to act swiftly, in particular failing to get widespread testing up and running. Now they are failing to remedy the dire medical crisis that their negligence brought on. Kushner said the federal stockpile of medical equipment is for the feds to use, not the states. His father-in-law seems allergic to implementing fully the Defense Production Act, so the bidding war among the states for critical equipment continues.

Republican governors in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama declined to issue prompt stay-at-home orders. Now? Trump refuses to issue one nationally despite Fauci's advice. “I don't understand why that's not happening,” he said in a CNN interview. “As you said, the tension between federally mandated versus states' rights to do what they want is something I don't want to get into. But if you look at what is going on in this country, I do not understand why we are not doing that. We really should be.” The answer: We have a total lack of federal leadership and competence.

Congress set up a $350 billion fund for small-business loans. Beginning on Friday, many banks promptly announced that they could not accept applications in the absence of clear federal guidance. The chaos, confusion and delays surrounding the Small Business Administration loans might make the unemployment insurance process seem like a fine-tuned machine. (Thousands, if not millions, of unemployment claims remain unprocessed due to overwhelming demand.)

The Defense Department is no better. Trump jettisoned a career professional serving as defense secretary (James Mattis) for a meek, subservient aerospace executive. The result is predictable. Politico reports: “Defense Secretary Mark Esper is under fire for the Pentagon's response to the coronavirus pandemic as lawmakers, national security experts and people throughout the Defense Department's ranks fault him for a slow and uneven approach to the outbreak.” His most notable action: Supporting the firing of the Navy commander whose letter pleading to allow his sailors to disembark from a floating petri dish, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, was leaked. The military under Trump can forgive war crimes, just not pleas to save men and women in uniform from incompetent superiors.

This is as exasperating as it is frightening. Governors, if you are lucky enough to live in a state with a competent one, can do only so much when, for example, there are no ventilators to be had. The Democratic-led House can only churn out its version of remedial legislation, but it cannot withstand Senate and White House efforts to scuttle anti-fraud, anti-cronyism measures. (“Most big companies that take advantage of the $500 billion corporate bailout in last week's coronavirus relief bill are unlikely to face restrictions against firing workers or giving bonuses to executives, according to officials familiar with the program.”) And while the House can bird-dog the executive branch as it distributes money, the House cannot do the executive branch's job for it.

The chaos, confusion and incompetence at the federal level magnify our daily anxiety and uncertainty. We have lost control of our lives, and those supposed to lead us through this ordeal are deepening our national trauma. Years of contempt for expertise, for competent government and for truth itself on the right now haunt us all. God help us.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Sean Hannity wants to rewrite history on Fox's coronavirus coverage. He can't.

 • Jonathan Capehart: 240,000 coronavirus deaths: ‘In what circle of hell is that a good outcome?’, asks Susan Rice

 • The Washington Post's View: Keep pandemic legislation focused on the pandemic — not pet projects

 • Michael Gerson: We've officially witnessed the total failure of empathy in presidential leadership

 • Trump and his supporters are already rewriting recent coronavirus history


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/03/pandemic-incompetence
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2020, 04:46:04 pm »


from The Washington Post…

The lessons we can learn for a post-coronavirus world

We can end the politics of stupidity.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 1:52PM EDT — Friday, April 03, 2020

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo with Rear Admiral John B. Mustin after the arrival of the USNS Comfort, a naval hospital ship, on March 30. — Photograph: Kathy Willens/Associated Press.
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo with Rear Admiral John B. Mustin after the arrival of the USNS Comfort, a naval hospital ship, on March 30.
 — Photograph: Kathy Willens/Associated Press.


IN THE midst of a pandemic, the likes of which the United States has not seen since the 1918 infuenza pandemic, evidence of rank stupidity and indifference abounds (firing a Navy captain for complaining about an outbreak on his ship; telling states to fend for themselves; demonizing the media; and making part of the public blind to oncoming dangers). We look for solace where we can find it — in the thousands of volunteers helping in the health-care system; in competent governors; in one of the most accomplished House speakers in history; and in science itself. There will be — and must be — an accounting of this entire, devastating episode after we come out the other end, but as we are going through it, we should make a mental note of how we would like our post-coronavirus world to look.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Democrat), a reassuring beacon of competence and homespun philosophy, remarked recently:


Quote
You will get knocked on your rear end. You will deal with pain. You will deal with death. You will deal with setback. You will deal with suffering. The question is, how do you get up? First, do you get up? And second, if you get up, how do you get up? Do you get up smarter? Do you get up wiser? Or do you get up bitter, and do you get up angry? And do you get up fearful? We are in control of that.

He reeled off a list of things we will need to consider or reconsider: “How do you make the economy more resilient? … What happens when something like this happens again? … How do governments work together? … Well why weren't we ready with a tele-education system? … Why weren't we better with telemedicine?”

All of those are certainly major concerns. And there are others:


  • We cannot rely on in-person voting systems. Everyone, everywhere must be able to vote from home.

  • The states will need a formal collective-aid system in case of emergencies when the federal government is paralyzed. They need to establish a process by which supplies, staff and data can be shared easily in case of a nationwide disaster. They should be prepared the next time a president says, “You're on your own.

  • Revamp our “emergency” laws, which are both too broad (allowing President Trump to raid defense budgets for a useless border wall) and too narrow (e.g., do not automatically open enrollment for Obamacare coverage).

  • Update the Federal Vacancies Reform Act to limit the officials who can move into Cabinet and sub-Cabinet roles (e.g., only deputies can replace secretaries, only undersecretaries replace deputies) and limit the amount of time an acting official can serve. We must minimize the number of unqualified cronies in government.

  • Have a permanent inspector general and congressional oversight body empowered to monitor and report to the public on disaster relief/stimulus bills. (Congress should not have to mandate and hound administrations every time it must dispense large sums of emergency money.)

  • Create an office within the Pentagon with specific jurisdiction over the national stockpile of emergency equipment and material with requirements for frequent audits, quality control and distribution.

  • The directors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Emergency Management Agency should, like the FBI director, serve for 10-year terms that overlap administrations.

At a more fundamental level, the coronavirus pandemic should stanch the urge to elect political leaders who disparage expertise, deny widely accepted scientific findings and do not read. The right's anti-intellectual bent and its hostility toward independent sources of information (e.g., media, universities, scientific associations) is dangerous and, indeed, life-threatening.

We can draw on our current experience to make a wide array of the procedural and technical changes. However, until one party and its base decide that living in the 21st century without respect for 21st-century science is suicidal, we will face one calamity after another and continue to be at the whim of know-nothing leaders.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Max Boot: The only official fired over the virus? A captain who tried to protect his crew.

 • R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Kelly J. Shackelford: Mandatory social distancing is not a threat to religious liberty. It's essential for humanity.

 • Karen Tumulty: Get rid of political conventions. Not just this year, but forever.

 • George F. Will: Crises and the collectivist temptation


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/03/lessons-we-can-learn
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2020, 02:56:57 pm »


from The Washington Post…

Distinguished person of the week: He put human life first

Who stood out last week?

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 7:45AM EDT — Sunday, April 05, 2020

Navy Captain Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, in December 2019. — Photograph: U.S. Navy/via Reuters.
Navy Captain Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, in December 2019. — Photograph: U.S. Navy/via Reuters.

WITH A president willfully indifferent to the needs of states around the country, his callow son-in-law lecturing us that the national stockpile of equipment is not meant for the states, a right-wing website calling for us to sacrifice New York City so the rest of the country can get back to work, and a batch of Trumpian governors reluctant to issuing stay-at-home orders, we needed a reminder last week of a fundamental religious and ethical value: Every human life is precious.

Navy Captain Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt took that seriously, as well as his obligation to protect the sailors under his command. The Washington Post reported on Crozier's efforts to protect his crew, many of whom had been stricken with covid-19:


Quote
In a letter to senior officials on Monday, subsequently leaked by an anonymous source to the San Francisco Chronicle, Crozier asked that 90 percent of the ship's crew be moved into isolation for two weeks on Guam, warning that if the leadership didn't take such extraordinary measures, “we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors.”

The Pentagon has rejected the type of full-scale evacuation Crozier sought, saying the ship must remain ready at any time and about 1,000 service members must be aboard to safeguard the ship and its weapons. The situation aboard the Roosevelt is by far the U.S. military's largest coronavirus outbreak to date….

As of Friday, 41 percent of the Roosevelt crew had been tested for covid-19, with 137 coming back positive, the Navy said.

The Navy relieved him of command, apparently taking umbrage that his complaint went public. Soon, video surfaced showing the crew applauding their commander as he left the ship.

Seventeen Democratic senators sent a letter seeking an inspector general's investigation. (Did Republicans — once thought to be pro-military — not care to find out what happened?)

The episode underscored the twisted priorities in the Trump administration that have corrupted even the military. Celebrate war criminals; punish commanders who fight bureaucracy for their men and women. Reward liars; sanction truth-tellers.

Former vice president Joe Biden tweeted his reaction: “Captain Crozier was faithful to his duty — both to his sailors and his country. Navy leadership sent a chilling message about speaking truth to power. The poor judgment here belongs to the Trump Admin, not a courageous officer trying to protect his sailors.” If Biden wins in November, he might consider a promotion for the captain.

In November, the voters can choose which value system they want for the country. The can indulge Trump's narcissistic, dishonest character or they can elevate decency, kindness, honor, respect, competence and empathy.

For demonstrating courage and elevating the safety of his sailors, we can say, well done, Captain Crozier.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Max Boot: The only official fired over the virus? A captain who tried to protect his crew.


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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2020, 07:20:41 pm »


from The Washington Post…

So much for Trump's polling bump

The president's rotten performance catches up with him.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 10:00AM EDT — Sunday, April 05, 2020

President Donald J. Trump at the White House on April 3. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.
President Donald J. Trump at the White House on April 3. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.

WHATEVER small bump in the polls President Trump received at the onset of the covid-19 calamity was minuscule in comparison with the surges of support for previous crisis presidents, and puny compared with the lift other world leaders were receiving for their efforts. And even by those standards, over the past couple of weeks, much has changed. The national death toll soared past 7,000. More than 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March. And Americans have seen the contrast between Trump and their far more competent governors.

While American manufacturers are trying to help out, whatever materials they produce for health-care workers likely will be too little and too late. In light of all this, it's no surprise that the Trump bump may well have dissipated.

The latest ABC-Ipsos poll shows Americans understand this crisis is not going to be over soon. Rather, “just over nine in 10 Americans now say that the outbreak has disrupted their daily routine…. Among those saying this, 44% said they think they will be able to resume their regular routine by June 1, including 13% who said by May 1, while a combined 84% believe that will happen by the end of the summer.” Moreover, “89% of Americans now saying they are concerned that they or someone they know will be infected with the virus, compared to 79% in a poll conducted from March 18-19 and 66% in a poll in the field from March 11-12.”

The perception of Trump's performance has changed dramatically. “Trump's approval for his management of the coronavirus is now under-water, 47-52%. Approval is down from 55% in the poll released on March 20, and closer to where it was in the March 13 poll, when it was 43%.”

Trump's approval may well decline even further as he weirdly seeks to avoid taking decisive action.

He announces the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation that Americans wear masks in public, but declares he will not wear one.

He insists the national stockpile is a backup, effectively demanding states fight among themselves for scarce supplies and thereby bid up the price.

He shamelessly tries to blame the Obama administration for the testing debacle, though he has been president for over three years; he dissolved the National Security Council position on pandemics; and he disregarded his own experts' warnings, thereby losing weeks to prepare for the virus's onslaught.

The ABC-Ipsos poll might be an outlier. But one other survey, albeit a online poll rather than a more rigorous traditional poll, suggests Trump is increasingly viewed negatively, even by a large segment of Republicans. Global Strategy Group's Navigator poll found that “40% of 2016 Trump voters say the president did not take coronavirus seriously enough early in the crisis, up 17 points since early last week.” Americans overall — and 66 percent of independents specifically — say Trump did not take the threat of covid-19 seriously enough early on, up 10 points from the preceding week.

Noticeably, “the majority of white non-college Americans, a usually supportive group, say they are seriously concerned that Trump downplayed the threat of coronavirus early on.” Trump's personal qualities are shining through — and that is bad news for him. “While 61% say Trump is unprepared, 52% say he is ‘chaotic’ and ‘erratic’, and 51% say he is ‘irresponsible’.”

We are not even at the end of the beginning of the crisis. Trump's actions going forward will matter. However, his slow start and continued erratic presence may very well haunt him, causing all but his core base to throw up their hands in horror and disgust. Facts matter. And right now, the facts are grim.


__________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Test results lagged as the White House touted coronavirus testing availability

 • VIDEO: 33 times Trump downplayed the coronavirus

 • The Ranking Committee: Who has the edge? Trump or Biden?

 • Colbert I. King: Wondering what's behind Trump's improved poll numbers? His attacks on the press.

 • Henry Olsen: The coronavirus polling bump is real. But Trump's is abnormally small.

 • Greg Sargent: A new poll shows that Trump doesn't actually have magical chaos powers


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/05/so-much-trumps-bump
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