Worst ever

One doesn’t want to rush into calling Trump the worst president ever, because time has a way of changing our minds, but Max Boot says it’s safe to call it now.

With his catastrophic mishandling of the coronavirus, Trump has established himself as the worst president in U.S. history.

His one major competitor for that dubious distinction remains Buchanan, whose dithering helped lead us into the Civil War — the deadliest conflict in U.S. history. Buchanan may still be the biggest loser. But there is good reason to think that the Civil War would have broken out no matter what. By contrast, there is nothing inevitable about the scale of the disaster we now confront.

The situation is so dire, it is hard to wrap your mind around it. The Atlantic notes: “During the Great Recession of 2007–2009, the economy suffered a net loss of approximately 9 million jobs. The pandemic recession has seen nearly 10 million unemployment claims in just two weeks.” The New York Times estimates that the unemployment rate is now about 13 percent, the highest since the Great Depression ended 80 years ago.

And it’s going to keep going up, not down.

Far worse is the human carnage. We already have more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country. Trump claimed on Feb. 26 that the outbreak would soon be “down to close to zero.” Now he argues that if the death toll is 100,000 to 200,000 — higher than the U.S. fatalities in all of our wars combined since 1945 — it will be proof that he’s done “a very good job.”

If he herded 200,000 of us into concrete bunkers and gassed us to death, would that be proof that he’s done a very good job?

Trump was told, emphatically, what would happen if we didn’t act.

A team of Post reporters wrote on Saturday: “The Trump administration received its first formal notification of the outbreak of the coronavirus in China on Jan. 3. Within days, U.S. spy agencies were signaling the seriousness of the threat to Trump by including a warning about the coronavirus —the first of many—in the President’s Daily Brief.” But Trump wasn’t listening.

He doesn’t read the PDB, and if he did he wouldn’t understand what he was reading, and if he did he wouldn’t remember it, and if he did he wouldn’t do anything about it. It’s not in his wheelhouse. In his wheelhouse is shunting money to his hotels and golf resorts, bragging, extorting flattery, insulting his betters, shouting, and firing people.

Trump was first briefed on the coronavirus by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Jan. 18. But, The Post writes, “Azar told several associates that the president believed he was ‘alarmist’ and Azar struggled to get Trump’s attention to focus on the issue.” When Trump was first asked publicly about the virus, on Jan. 22, he said, “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China.”

In the days and weeks after Azar alerted him about the virus, Trump spoke at eight rallies and golfed six times as if he didn’t have a care in the world.

Which he didn’t, because he paid no attention and wouldn’t have cared if he had. He doesn’t have enough brain left to have a care in the world.

South Korea and the United States discovered their first cases on the same day. South Korea now has 183 dead — or 4 deaths per 1 million people. The U.S. death ratio (25 per 1 million) is six times worse — and rising quickly.

I continue to wish someone would drop a piano on him.

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