Hostage to the demands of his insatiable ego

David Remnick on the horror of having Trump in charge during a potential epidemic:

Donald Trump is incapable of truth, heedless of science, and hostage to the demands of his insatiable ego.

Recall, since the start of the coronavirus crisis, the litany of bogus assurances, “hunches,” misinformation, magical thinking, drive-by political shootings, and self-stroking:

“We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”

“By April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”

“The Obama Administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be detrimental to what we’re doing . . . ”

“We’re going very substantially down, not up. . . . We have it so well under control. I mean, we really have done a very good job.”

“As of right now and yesterday, anybody that needs a test [can have one], that’s the thing, and the tests are all perfect, like the letter was perfect—the transcription was perfect.”

“They would like to have the people come off [the Grand Princess cruise ship, off the coast of California]. I would like to have the people stay. . . . Because I like the numbers being where they are.”

Physicians and public-health officials told me, as they have told many other journalists, that they are dispirited by the President’s public pronouncements, saying that he has added to the danger of the crisis by minimizing its scale and the need for rigorous precautions. Has there ever been a less serious President?

Voters in the past didn’t have the advantage of watching The Apprentice.

Public-health officials worry that the consequences of living with a President and a general disinformation universe that undermine facts and science could have increasingly dire consequences. He is serving no one well. When you see a Trump supporter at a rally telling a reporter for CNN that she doesn’t believe that coronavirus exists, that it is an invention of the political opposition, there are reasons for that thinking. And such disbelief in the facts might well lead such a person to inadvertently make bad decisions about her health and her family’s health.

We’re doomed.

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