Trump is deliberately making things worse, and those who remain at the White House know it

CNBC Television / YouTube Dr Anthony Fauci Coronavirus will rebound 1587679623.jpg...
CNBC Television / YouTube

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been one of the few White House voices trusted by the nation to deliver serious scientific information about the COVID-19 crisis. He has a storied career, during which he has served the United States doggedly. But with the nation now above three million cases, with 133,000 Americans dead, with cases exploding, ICUs filling, and the future more uncertain than ever … the White House is silent. Worse than silent, because what is emerging from the White House is a stream of self-praise, actions certain to make things worse, and a very deliberate message that experts, like Fauci, should not be trusted.

As Fauci has sought to deliver some sense of the danger facing the nation, Donald Trump has repeatedly undercut that message. Worse, it’s clear that Fauci himself has moderated his tone, especially in appearances with the Coronavirus Task Force. Even so, Trump has intentionally limited Fauci’s appearances before the public. With the White House determined to ignore the mounting crisis until people simply become inured to death on a mass scale, it’s time for Fauci to realize that he has accomplished everything he can through trying to stay, even marginally, in the fold. His greatest value is as a public face for pandemic response, telling Americans the truth about what’s coming and what should be done. It’s time for Dr. Anthony Fauci to tell the whole, raw truth, and to do so loudly and frequently. Even if that means defying Trump’s orders.

On Tuesday, it was more clear than ever that Trump is utterly done with listening to Fauci, or to anyone, who is saying anything other than things are great, and we should press full speed ahead. In an interview on Fox, Trump openly stated that he disagreed with Fauci, then he went on to disparage Fauci’s knowledge of how to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Well, I think we are in a good place,” said Trump. “I disagree with him. Dr. Fauci said don’t wear masks, and now he says wear them.” That wasn’t the end of Trump’s efforts to dismiss Fauci’s knowledge. “And he said numerous things. Don’t close off China. Don’t ban China. I did it anyway. I didn’t listen to my experts and I banned China. We would have been in much worse shape.”

This isn’t the first time Trump has blamed his failure to address the pandemic on others. Back in April, Trump claimed that “very good experts” told him that COVID-19 “would never affect the United States.” At that time, Trump wasn’t accusing Fauci by name. Now he is.

If the evidence suggested that, even as Trump continued to use him as a punching bag, Fauci was being given the resources and freedom to direct a government response to the virus, his remaining within the White House might make some sense. However, that is clearly not the case. The handful of federally sponsored testing locations have been closed. No more are coming. The effort to trace cases has overwhelmed the states. Trump is making no effort to assist. The need to wear masks could not be clearer. Trump is almost single-handedly wrecking that effort. The idea of reopening schools in the face of case counts that are raging ever higher is ludicrous. The White House is issuing edict after edict, making it clear that unless students are marched into the fire, funds will be cut off, foreign students will be deported, and statewide education systems could be driven to failure.

It’s obvious that Trump sees the COVID-19 crisis as yet another opportunity to operate through the shock doctrine. He has no intention of making things better because he is not interested in making things better. Instead, the White House is now viewing the crisis as an opportunity. An opportunity to provide even greater power to ICE and to limit all types of immigration. An opportunity to crush public education between impossible demands. An opportunity to push state and local budgets and infrastructure to the brink; to leave every form of public assistance starved for funds and facing overwhelming demand; to deliberately spark a crisis in evictions and foreclosures.

Trump hasn’t just surrendered to the coronavirus, he is eagerly feeding it victims. By staying in his post, by obeying restrictions on his appearances, by moderating his statements, Fauci is, at best, failing to provide the full benefit of his knowledge to the nation.

This is a difficult demand. It’s almost certainly unfair. To ask anyone to step forward from the White House and clearly oppose Trump is asking that they subject themselves to a thousand disparaging tweets, suffer scorn on a network of right-wing radio and threats through social media, and that their name be trampled regularly on Fox. Even those who have spoken out against Trump months after they’ve departed have been subject to withering public assaults.

But Fauci is perhaps the one person whose vocal break with Trump might still be heard. Every day that he remains, the value of his voice is diminished. He can stand up now, call out the failings of the White House response, demand that Congress move to install a strong centralized program of testing and case management, state clearly the need for a national mask mandate, insist that no school be opened unless the area meets strict guidelines, make obvious the need to better protect healthcare workers and essential workers of all types. Or not.

Dr. Fauci can break with the White House and deliberately oppose the effort underway by Donald Trump to not just refuse to act, but to exacerbate the crisis. Or he can remain a prop at Trump’s side; someone to be trotted out for the occasional appearance, but whose knowledge and evidence is brushed off without a thought. He cannot have it both ways.

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9 Comments on "Trump is deliberately making things worse, and those who remain at the White House know it"

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Mary
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Mary
This is far more complicated than “Fer Us” or “Agin Us”… Fauci is honestly trying to keep some semblance of power to move behind the scene to mitigate the damage Donald is doing. Going the high road with Donald is a Kamakaze act. In Dr. Fauci’s case, it would be immediate professional suicide (look at Vindman), but that’s of almost nanoscopic importance in the face of the disaster Donald is brewing. Any warm bodies in the system that can be gathered to thwart Donald and his minions, systemically, operationally, legally, or politically, need to assemble immediately and organize a mutiny… Read more »
Independent
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Independent

Soinds like donnie is talking to his incisivle friends afain.

Independent
Guest
Independent

Sounds like donnie is talking to his invisible friends again

NPS55
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NPS55

Yet still they patronize him. At this stage of
The Game I have begun to question the intellectual acumen of the asskissers. What could he have over them???

John Johnson
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John Johnson

First why does not Fauci tell tRUMP to go fu@k himself. Second tRUMP is doing this on purpose. He is telling everyone that vote by mail is crooked and now the virus is RAGING, we can’t vote in person. Therefore the election should be postponed or Canceled till next year. There you have it his entire plan!

Allan
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Allan

Donny dumb brains has as much respect for the Hippocratic Oath Dr Fauci has to honor, as he does for the Oath of Office he has never honored.

Dick Panico
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Dick Panico
Trump MUST have CHAOS to govern. It’s so much part of his life , as is written in Mary Trump’s book . Most of us knew this already but had only anecdotal evidence. Mary Trump is actual witnessed evidence. Trump was raised by chaos, and abuse and he’s been doing the same thing to every person ( including his children and wives) . When Roy Cohn became his mentor , he learned how to refine the wicked art form . And he been living under the shadow of his father and Roy Cohn , ever sense! Everything he’s touched has… Read more »
Sonja
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Sonja

The people around tRump have their own agendas and tRump’s chaos enables them to pull off their own atrocities.

Dick Panico
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Dick Panico
(Dr Trump ), working out of the White House, giving his medical experience, and advice, because he’s qualified “by the (electoral college )”. Other wise , he could not even prescribed an aspirin. It’s the most arrogant , political stupid thing ever done by a President. He constantly overrides his“ medical expert’s “ countermanding their orders of (safe best practices ), BECAUSE HE KNOWS MORE THAN THE DOCTORS , lawyers, The General’s and military experts ! He knows more about everything and his base believe him ? ALL BECAUSE he WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT.? Being elected , doesn’t make you an… Read more »