I wonder if there was a contest at the White House today and Alex Azar drew the short straw. It’s past noon in Washington and Orange Nero has not shown his face, but somebody had to get out there and say something, so Azar went to the podium and gave a pep talk about how great the economy is under Trump — despite the reality that the stock market continues to plunge. “The market has obviously been very active today,” was Azar’s opening line. And then he went into a talking point, complete with superlatives. Maybe Azar moonlights as Trump’s rally speechwriter, ya spose? “President Trump has delivered a historically strong economy,” Azar said. “The fundamentals in this economy are unbelievable.” Well, we can’t argue with him there. Yes, what’s going on in this economy, fundamentally, right now, is unbelievable. Point conceded. “Whether it’s employment or wage growth or productivity or international trade deals, the fundamentals remain what they are.” Yes, they do. The fundamentals of lies about job creation — Ivanka creating fifteen million is the best so far — and insane trade deals have not changed. We concede this point as well. Then Azar gave us one sentence on the coronavirus. This is the head of Health and Human Services, and we’re in a pandemic, and here is all he had to tell us. “President Trump is leading a whole of government response with the vice president helping him on the public health issues that we’re facing with the novel coronavirus. That is his number one concern.” That’s it. Not one word about how many testing kits have gone out, how many new cases have been reported, how the health crisis is being managed — nada. We are told there’s a “whole of government response,” an introductory sentence with no exposition. And then Azar went back to the economy. “In terms of the economy, he and his economic team have the tools to keep this economy going strong.” And he was done. He left with reporters calling after him, “How many cases of coronavirus have been reported.” What, you think Azar knows or cares? What is obvious here is that all the little Trump soldiers have been instructed to not talk about the coronavirus and if they talk about anything at all to reporters, talk about the economy, because that’s Trump signature issue that he’s running on — except that’s a little difficult to do with the stock market in the toilet! The global economy is unraveling, let alone the American, and the geopolitical scene is heating up — and no one in Trump’s administration has a clue — least of all Alex Freaking Azar! Yet on what looks to be shaping up as Black Monday, or Dim and Grim Monday in any event, that’s who they send out there! Here’s the clip. Seeing is believing. And bear in mind that today is the day that Trump puts his reelection campaign into high gear. Hope Hicks goes back to the White House today to help Jared Kushner and all is supposed to be high festivity as Trump world prepares for a great November victory — except the world is collapsing around them and they’re too stupid to even acknowledge it. One wonders if they acknowledge it to themselves?
I suppose that this is one of those good news/bad news scenarios. The good news — if this can possibly be construed as “good” — is that Donald Trump finally admitted that the governmental response to the coronavirus pandemic was botched. This is the first time anything approaching an admission about the failure to adequately test for Covid-19 has been made. The bad news is that he is spinning it to make Barack Obama the fall guy — for a screw up taking place in the Trump administration. Yes, another entry into the You Can’t Make This Shit Up file. Trump on coronavirus testing: "The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we're doing & we undid that decision a few days ago so that testing can take place in a much more accurate & rapid fashion" (what's he talking about?) pic.twitter.com/Z0UBaORIwI — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 4, 2020 And it gets better still. Team Trump just admitted they lied about working on #CoronavirusOutbreak for weeks and weeks. Trump and Pence just blamed Obama for a regulation that slowed down testing. When did Trump change that regulation? Weeks ago? Before his press conference a week ago? Nope, 4 days ago: https://t.co/GJMQk1psku — (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) March 4, 2020 The Obama administration “asserted FDA jurisdiction over testing and the development of tests like this.” Why how unusual. To put the testing of a drug under the Food and Drug Administration? Now who would have ever thought of that? Thank heavens that Donald Trump is here to destroy yet another regulation — dammit, it’s always a regulation preventing the free flow of genius endeavor, isn’t it now — and get us moving again. After Obama had crippled us. Right. Does anybody want some kool-aide while we sit through Gaslighting 101? Yet again? It is a matter of public record that Trump fired key civil service personnel in charge of this very thing, a global pandemic. But no, it’s Obama’s fault. At least Trump stopped short of suggesting that we rename Covid-19 the “Obamavirus” — today at least. Give him a little while. This is one of his trial balloon numbers, that we’ve seen before, and if it gets traction and people actually bee-leave that Obama is responsible, then that’s all you’ll hear from here on out.