President Donald Trump may be just about the worst possible leader for this moment in American history. Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, the United States has been left with a guy at the helm who once said he’s “never understood wind.” This Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) publicly derided Trump for his refusal throughout the pandemic to even wear a mask, a step that has been proven to significantly reduce virus transmission. Trump has refused to wear a mask throughout public appearances at the White House grounds and trips across the country, and he models this behavior for his followers.
This Friday, Pelosi commented:
‘When the President of the United States says he doesn’t want to wear a mask and understands the bad example – well I don’t know if he understands anything… I’m in a mood because this is a matter of life and death and this administration has failed miserably.’
Pelosi: “When the President of the United States says he doesn't want to wear a mask and understands the bad example – well I don't know if he understands anything.” She later said: “I'm in a mood bc this is a matter of life and death and this administration has failed miserably”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 26, 2020
She’s very on point. Trump’s behavior is no small matter — CNN reported this week that if “95% of Americans wore face masks in public, it could prevent 33,000 deaths by October 1, according to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation,” but how can the U.S. ever be expected to get to that level of mask-wearing if the president himself refuses to even wear one? He’s turned basic issues of public health into political footballs.
If 95% of Americans wore face masks in public, it could prevent 33,000 deaths by October 1, according to the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation https://t.co/NCzsD51xbs
— CNN (@CNN) June 26, 2020
As of Friday, the U.S. stands at well over 120,000 deaths, a point that Trump once suggested the country may never reach. He, of course, has consistently failed to take the necessary steps to thwart the public health catastrophe. During the early days of the pandemic, his administration failed to even secure adequate personal protective equipment for medical facilities around the country, which means that the virus could have been spreading even more while patients were getting treated for the virus.
Now, Trump does seem to fail to understand some of the basic points of the pandemic. He claims that Coronavirus case counts are growing at increased rates across the country because of increased testing, but that claim is false. Case counts have been growing faster than testing has been increasing, which Trump could grasp if he even tried to look at the relevant data.