Arlene Violet: Trump: deflect, deny, and direct blame to others

By Arlene Violet
Posted 9/4/20

Poli-ticksBy Arlene Violet

Trump: deflect, deny, and direct blame to others

During the Republican National Convention, its speakers (except Melania) either ignored the pandemic, or, if …

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Arlene Violet: Trump: deflect, deny, and direct blame to others


During the Republican National Convention, its speakers (except Melania) either ignored the pandemic, or, if addressing the topic at all, portrayed President Donald Trump as the Jonas Salk of the epidemic. Coronavirus was the actual elephant in the room as they not so skillfully danced around it. Despite all the tap dancing around the pachyderm, the reality is that the President blew and continues to blow the management of the virus.

Mr. Trump invoked his usual repertoire of scapegoating everybody else except himself for the mishandling. The media was the first target as the President unloaded against it for at first hyping the threat of Coronavirus and then for not singing Hosannas to him for his “handling” of it. Then democrat governors were blamed. Federal inspectors general were treacherous in making the White House look bad. No sooner had career food inspectors attempted to shut down a chicken production plant because of dozens of infections, the president overruled them. The Obama administration, out of office for 3 years, was then attacked for not adequately preparing. China, initially praised by the president, became the target-in-chief, for alleged covering up worrisome health data, although they reported the infection on December 31,2019. Then, the World Health Organization (WHO) was subsequently attacked, although it sent out a notification on January 5, 2020, 5 days later. He even attacked his own professional scientists like Doctor Anthony Fauci et al.

Who took no responsibility was the president himself. In March 2020 as the nation was locked down he declared,” I take no responsibility at all” (CNBC) for a lack of testing. He denied even seeing a January memo from a senior advisor about the potential severity of the outbreak but, nonetheless, proclaimed that “I couldn’t have done it any better.”

The record shows a different picture. Despite his claim that he shut down China, there were so many exceptions to the shutdown that it was relatively meaningless. Most importantly, the coronavirus was tracked from Europe into the U.S. On January 22, Mr. Trump told CNBC that his administration had everything under control. His numerous tweets in January and February “confirmed” his management of the epidemic and he began to argue that the Democrats were perpetrating a hoax about its magnitude. By the end of the month he was predicting that the coronavirus would disappear “like a miracle”. (2/27/20)

In March, with states closing down and the job rate dipping, he hailed false treatments like hydroxychloroquine while asserting everybody who needed a test could get a test. He declared that everything would be open by Easter. The saga continued with his suggestions as to the potential efficacy of swallowing bleach, blaming Obama, and asserting that the U.S. is the world leader in fighting the virus, despite now having the highest per capita infections and deaths.

The President’s daily White House briefings have become a substitute for his cancelled rallies where he manhandles the facts. The Republican Convention was long on exaggerations and short on truth. Citing the rising stock market as "proof" of his prowess, the reality is that 10 percent of the adult population owns 92 percent of the stock market. The poor, unemployed stiffs were rudderless as the Senate Republicans headed home for vacation.

Oh, well, let them eat cake.

Arlene Violet is an attorney and former Rhode Island Attorney General.

Arlene Violet

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