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Trump: J’accuse!


The economic and mortality consequences of COVID-19 are entirely Trump’s fault.

He didn’t create the virus. But we now know he was repeatedly warned throughout January and February that it was coming and would take a devastating toll on America. Yet he did nothing. Not only that, he actually downplayed the seriousness of the situation by promising us that the case load would soon “fall to zero.”

That was in February, when the U.S. case load was in the hundreds. Today, it has topped 1.3 million, and continues to climb. Had Trump taken action sooner, much of this would have been avoided. We know that by the example of California, and particularly the six Bay Area counties that issued shelter-in-place orders before anyone else in the country. California, by far the nation’s most populous state, has experienced far fewer cases—only 60,000–than even much smaller states, like Massachusetts (74,000 cases). Meanwhile, the Bay Area, with a population about the same as New York City, has had a death rate less than 3% that of the Big Apple (Bay Area fewer than 400, NYC more than 14,000).

This is stark proof that shelter-in-place and face masks work: The Bay Area beat New York for quarantine by a week or so—plenty of time for the virus to spread exponentially. Had Trump listened to his healthcare officials and actually led the nation in response, the pandemic’s American profile would look more like California’s, instead of being the worst in the world.

Trump will, of course, try to wriggle out of this. His usual method, when confronted with his own failures, is, first, to deny the facts and accuse his critics of lying and spreading fake news. When that doesn’t work, he finds someone else to blame. In the case of COVID-19, it has been the Obama administration, or the Chinese government, or U.S. Governors who are Democrats, or local healthcare officials or, by implication, the victims themselves. But the American public isn’t getting fooled. People are swamped with news, but one thing they’ll remember, going into Election Day, is that Trump denied the problem of coronavirus and did his best to undermine efforts to combat it. He is literally guilty of the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. That will not only cost him re-election, but will ensure his place at the top of the list of the Worst Presidents Ever. Quite a shameful legacy for his descendants to deal with.

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