Getty Image. Front cartoon by Ann Telnaes
The fatal blunders, and ugly feints to cover them, keep coming. Saturday's "briefing" devolved into a circus of unhinged boasts and bogus grievances: “It could have been stopped in China before it started and the whole world is suffering because of it,” “We had the greatest economy in the history of the world," "I inherited junk," "Now we're the king of ventilators," "What we've done for AIDS in Africa is unbelievable," "They should all give back their Pulitzer Prizes." (Yeah, it doesn't make any sense to us either.) Meanwhile, feckless anti-stay-at-home protest grow with the toxic help of right-wing groups like the DeVos' and a White House still pathologically incapable of getting it together. New reports confirm that U.S. companies shipped millions of dollars' worth of face masks and other equipment to China in January and February with the support of feds blatantly ignoring pandemic warnings, and even as a new WH press secretary claimed U.S. testing is the yugest in the cosmos, experts say only a tiny fraction of Americans have been tested and at least three times more need to be before talk of safely re-opening things can begin. Still, it's not like Trump isn't busy: Turns out his re-election campaign is secretly paying Eric's wife and little Donnie's girlfriend $180,000 a year - $15,000 a month - to dodge FEC public reporting rules. And he has to slap his slimy name on all those paltry stimulus checks; though "I don't know too much about it," he argues he deserves the credit. “I have been working on this pandemic day in, day out,” he says. “I want my name to be synonymous with the coronavirus.” Even Obama admitted he was “surprised” by Trump’s statement: “I had no idea that he knew what the word ‘synonymous’ meant.”
Despite Trump's "big, beautiful" checks, many Americans are reportedly unimpressed. A new Gallup poll this month shows he's seen the steepest recorded decline in approval ratings - a six-point dip to 43% - with his fave "poorly educated" the only majority who like him. Nancy Pelosi, now out of fucks, is not among them. It could be because Trump, ever the schoolyard bully, keeps attacking her with lies: "Crazy Nancy Pelosi" is "totally incompetent," "a weak and pathetic puppet" (thanks Sean Hannity) who "was trying to have parties in Chinatown," which is right next to China, and (WTF, truly) is "responsible for many deaths." Or it could be because Trump has brought this "unbearably sad time" upon us, and he has blood on his stubby hands. In a scorching letter to House Democrats she also posted online, Pelosi brutally documented his crimes against competence and humanity, and argued that for Americans to move forward, "We must insist on the truth." That truth: Trump dismantled a pandemic infrastructure, ignored warnings about one coming, failed to take action, has refused to provide tests, masks and other equipment, has destroyed a strong economy handed to him and has caused "unnecessary death and disaster." The truth "is a weak person, a poor leader, takes no responsibility. A weak person blames others." Today, there is still no plan - for testing, contact tracing, equipment, adequate economic support. Today, "Americans must ignore the lies" to save ourselves. "If we are not working from the truth, more lives will be lost," she writes. "We must recognize the truth, we must speak the truth, we must insist on the truth, and we must and will act upon it." More truth: The U.S. now has roughly 735,000 coronavirus cases, and at least 39,000 deaths. Here's what 39,000 people look like. Trump owns it.