Different Takes: Bullying, Bluffing Not Paying Off During Coronavirus; Can Someone Stop Worrying About His Own Image For Once?
Editorial pages focus on the pros and cons of the administration during the outbreak of coronavirus.
The Wall Street Journal:
Trump And The Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest challenge Donald Trump has ever faced. As stock markets fall and patient numbers rise, the epidemic threatens the lives of some Americans and the prosperity of all—and it has already begun to disrupt the political methods that brought Mr. Trump to the White House. As he has done in other crises, the president is stalling for time as he processes the nature of the threat and tests rhetorical and policy responses to it. But unlike human political adversaries, the coronavirus isn’t something he can bluff, threaten or placate. (Walter Russell Mead, 3/9)
The Washington Post:
Trump Is Endangering Lives With His Contempt For Truth
China's failure to respond promptly to the covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan in December revealed a weakness of authoritarian rule. News was stifled, honest doctors were punished, and the Communist Party allowed illness to spread in a vain attempt to protect its image. Now we are seeing that democracy can produce its own version of leadership failure, when the person in charge is more concerned with his own image than the well-being of the nation. President Trump has spent three years demeaning and weakening the U.S. government. Now that the United States desperately needs that government to function well, we are paying a steep price. (3/9)
Bail Out The People First, Before The Companies, In Coronavirus Crisis
No matter how much President Donald Trump and his acolytes persist in trying to minimize the dangers of the coronavirus, the rest of the world -- and the virus -- are not following his lead. As the number of cases kept climbing, the virus continued to drive uncertainty in the stock market, which fell steeply following the start of an oil price war. Trump flailed desperately on Twitter, and his Health and Human Services Secretary, of all people, raved in support of his boss that the economic fundamentals are "unbelievable." (Frida Ghitis, 3/9)
The Washington Post:
America’s Confidence In The Government To Handle Coronavirus Is Shaky — And Partisan
Three times this month, President Trump has used polling from Gallup to try to present views of his handling of the coronavirus outbreak as exceptional. At first, he tweeted the figure suggesting that 77 percent of the country had confidence in the government’s ability to handle the crisis as though it came from the New York Post (which covered the poll). Later that day, he acknowledged that the numbers came from Gallup, characterizing them as “outstanding, the best.” Four days later, he tweeted about them again, suggesting that they indicated he was doing a better job than his predecessor, Barack Obama, who still lives in the White House by virtue of his extended residency inside Trump’s head. (Philip Bump, 3/9)
The New York Times:
President Trump Is Unfit For This Crisis. Period.
The coronavirus is no longer just a slow-moving public health crisis that may soon turn into a rapid-moving one. It’s a crisis of transparency. It’s a crisis of government legitimacy. So it is in this spirit that we all have to say: enough. Whose side is the Trump administration on? Based on every public appearance we’ve seen so far — whether it’s from a cabinet member or the director of the Centers for Disease Control or the president himself — the answer is clear: not the public’s. President Trump, hellbent on re-election, is focused on massaging numbers and silencing bearers of bad news. That’s what autocrats do. And it’s endangering lives. (Jennifer Senior, 3/9)
Trump Tweets About Obama, Coronavirus And Ebola Reveal Hypocrisy Of His Crisis Response
The spread around the globe of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has exposed a vulnerability in President Donald Trump's White House that he is fundamentally ill-equipped to manage. Unlike previous obstacles, this isn't something Trump can bully his way out of. He can't neutralize it with a nickname or intimidate it with a slogan at a rally. (Kurt Bardella, 3/10)
Coronavirus Shows Donald Trump Was Right All This Time About China
Donald Trump has been insisting for years that our country has been too economically dependent on China, so it is sad that it took a global public health crisis to prove he was right all this time. When he began imposing strategic tariffs on China in response to its long history of abusive trade practices, the liberals all of a sudden became free trade fundamentalists, predicting that this new “trade war” would harm the American economy because we have relied so heavily on cheap Chinese imports for so many years. Instead, it was the Chinese economy that took a hard hit, while our economy at home surged to its strongest performance in half a century. (Madison Gesiotto, 3/9)