Trump Snaps & Yells At Jared Kushner Like A Maniac

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With new single-day records in COVID-19 hospitalization levels and newly reported COVID-19 deaths set just this past Wednesday, the Trump administration’s failure to effectively manage the pandemic seems clear. In a new report from The New York Times, journalists reveal details of some of Trump’s behind-the-scenes freak-outs as the virus surged again across the United States during this past summer and fall. In short, the publication summarizes, Trump’s “management of the crisis… was in effect reduced to a single question: What would it mean for him?” He obsessed over political implications while Americans suffered and died on his watch.

Throughout the process of confronting the pandemic, Trump seemed largely disconnected from reality. Reportedly, he “[often told] aides that the real number of dead was no more than 10,000 people,” echoing claims like the nonsense from the grossly inept Scott Atlas, who claimed that the most appropriate way to think about the pandemic’s death toll would be to compare the year’s overall number of deaths with overall numbers from past years.

In one example of Trump’s self-obsession, during preparations for one of his debates against then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Trump allegedly ranted to his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner that he was “going to lose, and it’s going to be your fault, because of the testing,” although a White House spokesperson denied that this exchange took place. Throughout the crisis, Trump has repeatedly insisted that high numbers of tests artificially inflate the pandemic in the U.S., but as confirmed COVID-19 cases have risen, so have hospitalizations and deaths connected to the virus. His notion that cases wouldn’t be relevant if not confirmed by tests is completely and unequivocally false. People would still be dying, and asymptomatic carriers would still be spreading the virus.

On another occasion, Trump apparently ranted as follows, addressing Kushner:

‘You’re killing me! This whole thing is! We’ve got all the damn cases. I want to do what Mexico does. They don’t give you a test till you get to the emergency room and you’re vomiting.’

Reportedly, Trump offered this galling vision of a prospective plan for the United States in an Oval Office meeting on August 19, where other top aides were present. Around that same time, Trump reportedly freaked out at the prospect of a short delay for an official approval of convalescent plasma as a COVID-19 treatment, alleging that top officials were “against” him and “want to wait!” There’s no legitimate evidence of any kind of systematic conspiracy among public health officials to unnecessarily drag out the process of approving treatments for COVID-19.

Trump hasn’t exactly ever seemed majorly swayed by the facts at hand. According to the Times, he stuck to his resistance to the basic step of mask-wearing even after Tony Fabrizio, a Trump pollster, showed the president data indicating that an overwhelming majority of the public in certain swing states supported mandatory mask-wearing while in public, at least while indoors. At one point, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar apparently tried to convince the president of the efficacy of mask-wearing, presenting him with the findings of a Japanese study and insisting that “we have the proof” — but Trump petulantly refused to push this basic public health precaution, no matter the significant potential to help save lives.