Plagued by the President

Mar 14, 2020 · 582 comments
history buff (TX)
Proof of years of cuts to CDC: Fiscal Year 2019 docs: Check out 2-page summary chart, includes cuts from 2017-19. If COV-19 isn't your concern, look at cuts to diabetes, cancer prevention, antibacterial research. Quote follows from p.177 of CDC Congressional Justification. "CDC’s FY 2019 request of $268,000,000 for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Public Health Informatics is $17,050,983 below the FY 2018 Annualized CR level. This request includes a programmatic realignment of $8,000,000 for Laboratory Safety and Quality activities, previously allocated to the Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases account. The FY 2019 request carries forward the proposed reduction in All Other Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Informatics from the FY 2018 President’s Budget request. At the requested level, CDC will: • Support core public health surveillance activities. • Provide limited surge capacity during public health emergencies. Surge capacity allows CDC to gather rapidly surveillance data to monitor disease trends, identify emerging threats, and share new scientific information in response to emerging public health threats like Zika. Also, CDC is able to support the development and implementation of new laboratory testing capabilities to effectively combat infectious disease threats; and train clinical and public health laboratory professionals who serve as our first line of defense during disease outbreaks."
Dan (NY)
Reading all these comments, it's interesting how the real story is not being told. Where did the virus come from? Wuhan China, perhaps. It's also interesting that when the Democratic candidates started to consolidate around Joe Biden that the incidents of the virus started to take over so many countries and with so many unfortunate deaths. Why is the president of the US not taking the advice of his own medical professionals? Why is he still shaking hands and presumably by those who had previous contact with infected individuals? Could it be that he is immune already? Or could it be that he has already been vaccinated long before this started? If the virus destroys our economy and causes everyone to quarantine what happens next. WIll there be an election? WIll there be any Democratic Convention? Who benefits if the election is delayed, or the convention is postponed? Who is facing so many legal and court cases that will put him behind bars if he is not elected? Why are so many tests not being made available? What is the real delay? Why was the pandemic response office that Obama set up dismantled? Wake up, people. There is more to this than meets the eye.
Butterfly (NYC)
@Dan Great questions/conspiracy theories. Simple answer: Trump is not a great leader no matter what he claims and no matter who is uncle was.
A E M (Kentucky)
Kentucky is not always known for being early adapters of much of anything (except race horses and bourbon). but a week after the first diagnosed case in the state, the schools have been closed, the universities have gone online, the governor has held multiple press conferences to let us know what is happening. When I watch him, I feel some sense that an adult is in charge. Kentucky already has a website with advice of when to call a doctor, when to ask to be tested, and how to do so. The state response has been all that is possible under the circumstances (we only have 20 cases spread among 6 counties. The one person who refused to self-quarantine now has a deputy outside his house. If only the president could be half as competent as our new governor.
Louise (Midwest)
@A E M And even in Ohio, Governor DeWine, is taking steps to attempt to keep people safe (schools closed on Thursday and now dine in restaurants).
Clark Landrum (Near the swamp)
Trump and his ilk hate the idea of government. Most of the rest of us recognize that government is a vital institution that separates us from the jungle.
Carolyn (Washington DC)
Trump and the Senators who have defended his every move from start to finish. Defend this.
Steve Gabel (Los Angeles)
3 years ago we had a tax cut for the rich (the majority of the rich being white Americans). Essentially that was throwing money away to people who didn't need it and for that policy we got essentially nothing in return.
Country Girl (Missouri)
Steve Gabel But we did. We got empty coffers, so our rainy day fund for national disasters and emergencies, like a pandemic, is gone. More debt. More hardship. More threats to Social Security and Medicare. No infrastructure. That’s what we got.
bobrt1 (Chicago)
The only, repeat, only way to limit the spread of corona virus is social distancing. The following link is to a fact based and sobering analysis of how the virus spreads on an exponential basis and how underprepared the US is in terms of hospital beds and ventilators I don't expect anyone in the Trump administration (especially Devin Nunes) to know what exponential is, but if they take the time to read this we will shut down everything before it gets to late, like in Italy.
John Roberts (Portland OR)
Who really believes that Trump's (and his doctor's) statements about being tested are true?
Robert (Out west)
Trump, most likely, but that’s about it.
William Shaw (Sun City AZ)
Same medical team that claimed he is not obese when the visual evidence says otherwise
Grace (Bronx)
Given the statics about infection rates around the world, the US looks pretty impressive. The rate in the US is far below many of the other industrialized countries.
Mari (Left Coast)
FYI: Sure, it’s because we haven’t been testing at the same rate as other countries! We really do not know how many Americans are infected. Thanks to 45!
angel98 (nyc)
@Grace It does help keep the numbers down when you don't test people. The US has the lowest testing rate of industrialized countries.
Gardener (PNW)
Too bad MS Dowd wasn't more supportive of Clinton when she was running in 2016. Too come along now and complain about Trump? Kinda late now.
M. M. L. (Netherlands)
Great photo heading this piece. Too bad it is blighted by that smug face. The contrast between those delicate magnolia blooms and the person in the frame could not be greater.
Upper Left Coast (Whidbey Island)
CNN has reported that Chinese billionaire Jack Ma has offered and provided supplies to the hardest hit countries. He has offered 1,000,000 face masks ad 500,000 test kits, ready to ship on Friday. Does anyone know if anyone in the US is taking him up n this?
Gary Ward (Durham)
If you don’t learn from the mistakes of the past, you are bound to repeat them. When Trump learned of a pandemic response team, he should have asked himself why was this established instead of thinking of it as some type of boondoggle. This happens constantly in accounting where controls are put in place that are overruled by new management because they don’t understand them and don’t take the time to understand why they are necessary. The controls are usually seen as roadblocks to efficient operations. Instead of reaching back during his own crisis for a comparison how Obama had handled a similar crisis to say how better he is handling something, he should have reached back before his crisis to determine what can be put in place to minimize a future crisis under his watch. We definitely know how we think Presidents should respond to hurricanes after Katrina. Trump should have known how to respond to coronavirus after H1N1 and Ebola. He definitely shouldn’t have eliminated the structures that Obama had put in place.
Worse than you think... (Minneapolis, MN)
On 3/14/20 NY Times reports: "Trump Administration Is Relaxing Oversight of Nursing Homes. A proposal would loosen federal rules meant to control infections, just as the coronavirus rips through nursing homes." ... to "protect the [senior care facility] industry.
Ms Dowd, This is some fabulous writing! Thanks.
Robert (Out west)
I adore two arguments I keep seeing: that Trump moved fast to ban traffic from China; that Obama never did anything about swine flu. Italy completely banned China flights on January 31. Trump’s PARTIAL ban came four days later. As for the H1N1 routine (and it is a routine among the dingbats), it’s easily factchecked. The typical variants are that Obama waited six months to do anything, or never declared a state of emergency. The first Obama actions came in April, about three or four days after first reports, not October. The National emergency came on Oct. 26. Stop it, okay? It’s not nearly as hilarious as the newsmaxeyjazz about Government Labs, the secret They don’t want you to know. It’s just tiresome and counterproductive.
Eddie B. (Toronto)
".... his attempt at maturity was crystallized in one sound bite. 'No, I don’t take responsibility at all,' Trump said, when asked about the egregious lag in testing." I am actually disappointed in the NYT for not giving this ghastly statement of Mr. Trump the attention it deserves. Like many other News papers in the country and across the world, this contemptible statement should have been the title of a major article on how Trump and his administration have handled the Coronavirus epidemic since its appearance in China.
Tucson Yaqui (Tucson, AZ)
"No, I don't take responsibility at all", once again, his majesty mistakes a national crisis with releasing his tax returns. Arithmetic, his lifelong intellectual plague.
Patricia di Roberti (Redwood Valley CA)
Why is anyone still questioning T's sense of responsibility? He is NOT going to develop one. Trump is a charismatic in the Jungian sense: He has no self-structure and must constantly find a reflection of himself in others to feel even a transient sense of integration and solidity. He isn't childishly calling attention to himself out of spite, hatred, evil, or ideology ---these simply energize his relentless quest for the spotlight. He is driven by desperation: The attention of the crowd is his oxygen. He cannot exist without it even for a moment. Disruption, turmoil, chaos are his total platform, an end in itself. Hence he turns today back to attacks on Clinton, a safe, turmoil -stoking villain, unlike the virus, a narrative he hasn't manufactured and can't control.
Tony Davis (Manakin Sabot VA)
Reading over subscriber commentaries, if the responses from NYT readers in NYC, LA, SF and Boston are excluded, one gets a "reasonably" objective and balanced view of the steps the Trump administration has taken in response to Covid-19. If conservatives expect that the opinions of Upper East and West Siders, Hollywood, Beacon Hill and Telegraph Hill will EVER acknowledge that this president has taken responsible actions to protect America from this virus they are sorely mistaken. It is not unreasonable to ask the main stream media to at least TRY to be objective in their assessments. Otherwise, just be honest and label TDS snippets as OPINION.
Earth Citizen (Earth)
I've seen how horrific this U.S. "healthcare" system is my entire life, 70 years. The lack of healthcare and sick leave in low-paying jobs, the resistance of employers to allow one to call in sick, even extremely dependable employees. Finally, maybe as a nation we are going to see the glaring inhumanity and incompetence of U.S. healthcare in real time during a national emergency, highlighting the lack of inclusiveness, care and inexcusable expense to those with low incomes and who are socially marginalized.
Bill (Midwest US)
Plagued by the community of Mr Trump. A few hours before I typed this, Mr Trump was tweeting names and baseless and false accusations at his former political opponents. At almost the same moment, Mr Nune of California, and HUGE trump supporter was on a fox television show telling people to ignore the medical experts and venture out into bars, restaurants, grills, and eat, drink and be merry. Mr trump can wash compulsively, while his congressional supporters infect the rest of us
Charles Wilson (Columbus, Ohio)
“...throwing into harsh relief just how tattered our social safety net has become for so many Americans, who are now panicked about how to pay bills, keep businesses open and safeguard the lives of parents and grandparents.” Has become? Really. Anyone going to take responsibility for that? I doubt Ms. Dowd and the smart set she writes to soothe would. If there is any gift this miserable man and administration has given us, it is the daily revelation of how shattered, shredded, and stunted this society is in caring for the vulnerable. And how we treat each other. The choice and opportunity to fix these things have been squandered. That’s too bad. But not surprising I guess when we have in charge a generation that has run up trillions of dollars in debt, cars more about legalizing pot, and has not been able or wanted to end twenty years of war and militarism. Back to Trump bashing I guess. That’s fixed things but good.
Magic Flute (Brooklyn)
It does seem odd that with so much lead time, we're only discussing drastic measures to contain it now.
Phil Hurwitz (Rochester NY)
Within the past day or so it was reported that trump tested (-) for the CoronaVirus. Given trump's proclivity to lie (or have others do it for him), I wouldn't just accept what the WH says unless it's subject to verification. There can be no benefit of the doubt where this man is concerned.
Eddie B. (Toronto)
“ 'No, I don’t take responsibility at all,' Trump said, when asked about the egregious lag in testing." Yes, of course he does not take any responsibility for something that has gone awfully wrong. That is why, when it comes to the virus, Mr. Pence is in charge. But, please keep this in mind. When the epidemic is finally gone, Mr. Trump will take all the responsibility and credit for its ending. At that time, there will be no "group of people" doing things behind his back and he would not say "I don't know anything about it.” On the contrary, he will be the hero who has managed to "fix it".
Paul in NJ (Sandy Hook, NJ)
When Ms. Clinton spoke at the Democratic National Convention about how misguided Trump's declaration that, "I, alone, can fix it," I knew that her extraordinary competence was far more important than her use of emails. Unfortunately, all the media could harp on was her emails. Now, people are -- literally -- dying. More than would have been the case than had we focused in 2016 on all of Donald Trump's failings instead of Ms. Clinton's emails. And now we are paying the price for it, with our lives.
Boomer (Maryland)
Spring is beautiful in DC and everywhere. But we aren't being "herded inside," just asked to keep our distance from other humans so as to slow the spread of the virus. A long walk -- solitary, with the dog or the people we live with -- is still available and highly recommended.
Ivehadit (Massachusetts)
China offered a lifeline by delaying worldwide transmission of the virus with extreme measures on its population. A lot of time was spent watching but not doing anything. The administration closed its eyes to this and now we are left with no tests, no masks, no sanitizer, a people in panic, and economy and stock market in a tailspin, the most vulnerable people with no safety net. It's a global world, like it or not. We live and die together. This was probably the fundamental idealogical challenge the administration was not able to overcome. And we are now paying for it.
Henry Rawlinson (uk)
As a Brit living through this crisis is a worry, not least because my wife and I both have health issues that would probably mean that if either of us get Covid-19, we are probably toast. However, although Boris is probably bonkers, if we do get infected I am sure that the NHS will do their best to prevent a visit from the grim reaper (at no cost). Most of the information that we get is based on science, not political spin and Boris does not claim to be the world’s expert on everything, so can probably be believed. These are scary times, but most of us will probably be still standing when it goes away. I am just glad that we don’t have a consummate braggart as our leader
James Seldner (Davie, FL)
Trump is a follower: Congress, and State, and local officials have stepped up. Congress has provided Free Coronavirus testing, family sick leave, States and local municipalities have closed schools, they've arranged for kids to get meals and lesson plans; they've limited crowd size. Retail businesses have imposed rationing critical supplies so customers get a fair shot on scarce goods; restaurants space tables; every major sport has suspended group gathering. Trump can barely acknowledge there is a crisis. He shakes hands, and finally got tested. Dowd's assessment as a "snake-oil" salesman is spot on.
zula (Brooklyn)
Is it not Nero's responsibility to know what programs his "administration" is cutting?
Edward (Vermont)
Do not EVER forget the GOP Senators who had the chance to get rid of him, and did not. See you in November.. IF we have elections.
B Sharp (Cincinnati)
President trump the liar in chief has been in close contact with some others who tested positive , yet after much delay he supposedly took Coronavirus test and his doctor says trump tested negative. trump never distanced himself after his close contact with others. I appreciate Mr. Ted Cruiz ( never a fan) , for behaving like a responsible citizen. Also just today one friend said she flew back from another City and self qurantined for 15 days. Where is trump`s ethics and worry about the well being of others ? Is this guy who never has any regrets ever a monster I wonder.
Chris Wolfe (Aptos, CA)
Trump has been laser focused on over turning every accomplishment of the Obama Administration. How on earth can he now claim to be the victim of anything his administration was “handed”. What complete nonsense.
Jim (Carmel NY)
I am completely baffled as to why I still read comments praising Trump's handling of the CV crisis, especially given the fact that, in approximately mid January, we had the same information on the virus as did South Korea. With the early information in hand, South Korea quickly mobilized to test as many people as possible, whereas our administration sat on their hands, denying there was a problem and calling the media coverage of the CV a "Democratic Hoax." I am unaware of the extent of travel restrictions or public closings in place in South Korea, except for the supposed fact that the government, through their extensive testing, was able to micro-manage extensive quarantine measures to identified " CV clusters," whereas as here in the US we are taking a shotgun approach, because we have no idea of the extent of the spread of CV. Dr. Fauci, who is now the face of the federal government for the CV response has stressed the need for containment, but how do you contain an invisible disease without shutting down the entire US economy? Bottom line is we had the same opportunity to handle the crisis as did S. Korea, and we botched it.
Viv (.)
@Jim As a Canadian, I can tell you that the American approach is no different than the Canadian government's approach. You do not get a test if you don't meet the symptom threshold. You are told to stay home and treat it as you would a cold. Nobody is screened at the airport beyond a series of verbal questionnaires. The high number of cases is not an indication that anything was "botched". If Trump would have closed the borders and postponed the election, there would be likewise hysterics claiming he's a dictator who doesn't want to leave office. Your crisis is a result of over 500,000 people who are homeless, lack of paid sick leave for a huge chunk of the workforce (also existent in Canada) and the general habits of people who refuse to wash their hands with soap and water.
Jim (Carmel NY)
@Viv Where exactly in South Korea is Canada located? I only ask because I did not compare the US handling with the CV crisis as the handling of the crisis in Canada or any other western nation. I am simply stating the plain fact that with the exact information in hand South Korea mobilized their resources to create a test and then test as many people as possible. We did not, and that is what we botched. BTW: I agree with your assessment about the differences in access to medical care here in the US as compared to Canada, which happens to be a similar difference between the US and South Korea.
James Byerly (Cincinnati)
And, of course, "I didn't know anything about it" was a total lie. See Sherrod Brown's post which includes a letter sent months ago to Trump excoriating him for the elimination of the group and urging him to immediately restaff it.
Tony Frank (Chicage)
This clown needs a psych exam as he has endangered millions of Americans due to his cluelessness and focus on getting re-elected. The American people don't trust him.
frank (philadelphia)
My 11 y/o daughter asked me. "Dad. How did Trump become president? My teacher knows more than him." The history books will have the same questions. GOP where have you gone????
Jason (MA)
President Johnson was impeached for his mishandling of the Civil War. President Trump should be impeached (again) and removed from office for the way he has handled the COVID-19 outbreak.
Elena Marcusi (NY)
Oh, Maureen, such a fine column. Couldn’t agree with you more on all counts. However, perhaps this column would not have had to be written had you been less scathing and caustic about Hillary during the last Presidential election. She, despite some of the faults you continually highlighted about her in your columns, would have been handling this crisis in a rational and professional way. Even you, now that our nation has been subjected to this present administration’s incompetence and criminality, will have to admit that Hillary was much more fit to be leading us during this time of international crisis. So, I look forward to you admitting to your “responsibility” as an influential journalist in a future column. But I am not holding my breath, just as I don’t ever expect our present President to admit to his being responsible for his failings.
steve (Texas)
Incredibly enough, from reading several other Times articles today, apparently all it takes to reassure his base that he's doing the best job ever is a photo of Trump at a podium surrounded by people. No speech, plans or action necessary.
Robert L. (RI)
@steve and shaking hands with each other, you left out shaking hands.... so sad.
Bookman_Ofek01 (Planet Earth)
Great title!
Superid101 (Ashland, Oregon)
The only thing more absurd from a public health point of view than requiring travelers coming back from Europe to stand shoulder to shoulder for hours in lines (tired, angry, agitated) would be to require that they all repatriate on cruise ships. This was all totally for show to begin with, travel restrictions having no significant influence on the spread of the virus in the US, which is now THE PROBLEM - but incubating the virus with people who are then going to take secondary flights throughout the US - Unconscionably stupid - just for show and to reinforce core xenophobia. Regardless of the origins of this virus, Covid-19 in the US is now Trumps virus.
Country Girl (Missouri)
Superid101 I used to work in public health. We did mass flu vaccine clinics during H1N1 in 2009. Public Health 101 The airport screenings should have utilized the national guard, helping to screen passengers on the tarmac as they got off planes, controlling the flow of people off the planes, with or without tents for shelter if needed, on the tarmac. Getting more screeners out there asking questions and taking temperatures, low tech, and not difficult. This is a National Emergency, for God’s sake. Now, in those airport hallways, packed together for hours, all of those people have been exposed and they are going blithely out into our communities. Who is in charge of this mess? Who indeed.
Butterfly (NYC)
@Superid101 That's EXCELLENT! Now we have the stock market Trump Slump and the Trump Virus. Well done!
Leading Edge Boomer (Ever More Arid and Warmer Southwest)
Mo, please write a column about how differently a Hillary Clinton administration would have handled this pandemic.
Mary Ann Donahue (NYS)
@Leading Edge Boomer ~ She'll never write that column! But, I wish someone in the punditry class would. We all know Hillary Clinton would have taken charge and the agencies to attend to this problem would be fully staffed with experts.
Eddie B. (Toronto)
@Leading Edge Boomer One thing for sure: Hillary Clinton would have not disbanded the White House pandemic office, as Trump did in 2018. The main reason behind Trump's decision to dissolve that office was that it was an Obama initiative - after the Ebola epidemic in West Africa - and Trump could not - and still cannot - see anything that indicate how a thoughtful, competent, president Obama was.
SonomaEastSide (Sonoma, California)
Trump has acted quickly with the most important actions, like banning flights from China-and yesterday from Europe and today from UK/Ireland-while seeking to put it in perspective and lead the Country to not panic and observe that we will overcome, etc. And true to form, MD and the MSM have contriubted NOTHING to the national effort except for snide remarks like those in this column, which ignore the facts. For a responsible perspective, see Heather MacDonald's column today, illustrating that the panic induced by the press is doing great and unnecessary damage to millions of individuals and small businesses. Yes, cruises should be suspended, seniors should be self-quarantining and nursing and assisted-living facilities should be quarantined. But, schools need not be closed except in hotspots. The closings of events and businesses listed by MD need not have occurred. Despite the lie promulgated by MD and MSM, Trump is not responsible for any issue, with the CDC test regime he inherited from Obama. Contrary to Media lies, Trump did not refuse any tests offered by the WHO. The CDC budget WAS NOT CUT. The elimination of one "pandemic" slot on the NSC focused on global threats not within the U.S., has no bearing on the current situation. Trump took faster action to address the global aspect, banning flights from China DESPITE CRITICISM FROM BIDEN AND THE PRESS THAT HIS ACTION WAS RACIST. Can the media just, for once, get the facts right?
Andy (Salt Lake City, Utah)
@SonomaEastSide The first community infection in Utah was caused by someone who traveled to a hot spot, returned, and attended a sporting event. A BYU basketball game to be specific. Officials are now absolutely clueless about who they should even test. May I remind you, Utah is a very Republican state and BYU is a very conservative institution. Public events should have been shutdown long ago. We still need domestic travel bans as well. Welcome back to objective reality.
Retired and 70 (Connecticut)
@SonomaEastSide So no action except in hotspots. That could be rationale if we had the testing infrastructure to determine where the hotspots are located.
Tom W (Illinois)
@SonomaEastSide Like Trump his supporters point out the fact that he stopped people from China coming, which was a good thing but he has failed in lots of other ways, especially getting rid of the people in the White House who were in charge of planning for some thing like this. The budgets were not cut because Congress did not cut the funds but Trump has proposed cutting them in his budget requests.
Silence Dogood (Texas)
Watching the Trump team in action reminds me of the cast of characters in "Dr. Strangelove" except that group was competent by comparison.
Karl Farmer (New Hampshire)
Because Donald Trump is such an egotistical maniac and so self centered there is no way he can disengage himself from himself so he can’t respond to a crisis in a fashion that is for and benefits anyone but him... If he remains in office and another crisis arises America is going to be in trouble again! Trump is a danger to America...
G. Sears (Johnson City, Tenn.)
In the face of a Covin 19 epidemic of biblical scale the extraordinary liability of Trump and his stable of administration incompetents becomes light years more apparent than it already was after three years plus of his disastrous presidency. Leadership, competency, and integrity always matter greatly. In times of great threat and travail they matter existentially. Most certainly stumbling forward in serial fits and spirts of this epidemic rank incompetency from the highest office will most certainly cost many thousands of lives that could otherwise be protected.
baba (Ganoush)
Don't think for a minute that Donald Trump is traumatized by the chaos around him. He loves conflict and stress and seeing people struggle. It makes him feel powerful. Of course he wants the stock market to rebound, but on another level he gets a lot of juice....a high....from chaos. Calm and steady are not in his DNA.
Butterfly (NYC)
@baba We'll see. Did Ivanka test positive? She has disappeared from the scene. Let's see if she appears 2 weeks from now.
ThatGuyFromEarth (Suffolk county N.Y.)
And yet despite his narcissistic bumbling and refusal to take any responsibility, despite his deer-in-the-headlights speech filled with hubris and inaccuracies, his insistence on confounding all initial efforts to slow the spread of the virus in deference to his self interests and re-election concerns, despite the fact he obviously has no clue what he is doing... despite all that and an endless of other reasons to finally say “enough!”... We still have to look far to discover countless imbeciles who find “comfort” in his words and “leadership”... Again and again we see another marker passed in the saga of “what will it take to wake these people up?” Hopefully his worthlessness and absolute inability to comprehend the simplest concepts of leadership will finally be evident to enough people to make a difference.
Murad (Boston)
Maureen Dowd is a good writer. The first four paragraphs are masterful.
Christopher Slevin (Michigan USA)
He may be washing his hands of the problem but he certainly is not making the country safe.He is using his cronies to fill positions while ignoring experienced experts who know what they are doing,. Mike Pence has a reputation for increasing the spread of HIV in his state in the spurious interest of religion. The front line fighters of the virus are being Deprived of vital safety supplies while hoarders are cleaning store shelves of these products with limited need for them. Hospital staff, EMS, Home Care nurses are being mandated to attend to the sick, injured and their families while not being able to obtain vital protective equipment like hand sanitizer, gloves and masks. Surely it would not take too much intelligence to require manufacturers to give priority to these services rather than to focus on stores to sell to those with limited need for then. It would be similar during a war to provide priority to luxury yacht builders when the need is for battleships and submarines, Let this so-called president focus on his golf and appoint experts who know what they are doing the care of the life-threatening crisis which he contributed to starting.
J.Sutton (San Francisco)
At least Pence make sense (and it rhymes too!). Joe Biden looks to me like the type of leader we need in a crisis. trump is worse than worthless as he lies about everything. We can't find even a kernel of truth in anything he says; he's a pretend person, a pretend president in a silly alternate reality.
Steve Ell (Burlington, VT)
trump tested negative for coronavirus- and he says he is washing his hands. The only thing trump washed his hands of is the responsibility to protect all Americans. Wasn’t there a guy named pontius pilate who used that hand washing phrase? How did that work out?
Butterfly (NYC)
@Steve Ell Trump SAYS he tested negative. Since he lies about everything is he lying about this too? I bet he is.
Deborah Duerr (Trenton)
It would appear in a latest poll (seen on this morning's Meet The Press), that the Democrats take this coronavirus very seriously and are taking appropriate steps. The same poll indicates that the Republicans do not take this virus as seriously and therefore are not following as diligently the appropriate steps. Does this mean more Republicans will die than Democrats?
AnitaSmith (New Jersey)
We are in deep, serious trouble. We are completely defenseless and unprepared. So far the evidence seen hasn't convinced many of us that we are about to be overwhelmed. That will change. Please check out "60 Minutes Australia" on YouTube, in particular Professor Gabriel Leung, the scientist who led the fight against the SARS virus. The You Tube video title: "Journalist goes undercover at "wet markets."
Sweetbetsy (Norfolk)
I keep wondering why I still can love my trump-supporting relatives and friends. I guess it's because I've been practicing social distancing from them for almost four years.
faivel1 (NY)
For God sake not only we don't have kits, we also have only 65 ventilators. ICU beds can't function without ventilators. I'm sure whatever deficit is, what they have is probably already reserved for rich among us. They can buy the whole hospital.
Jason Schripsema (Truckee, CA)
if you really want to get Trump out of office, start calling him THE boomer remover. or TBR for short. the kids gave that name to the virus, but if you can make it stick to trump i guarantee he won't win the next election. and yes, that might be fighting fire with fire, but sometimes the ends do justify the means. think about everything we're going to have to do to fight this virus in the next couple of years...
Johnny Comelately (San Diego)
Thank you for putting this into the NYTimes. It's been on Twitter, and in other places, but it needs to be in the record here that Trump tweeted out that a leader is responsible when the president is a Democrat, but not when it's a Republican. Am I interpreting too much? Under Obama Trump tweets: “Leadership: Whatever happens, you’re responsible. If it doesn’t happen, you’re responsible.” Under Trump it's: "No, I don’t take responsibility at all,” when asked about the egregious lag in testing. If this isn't a full throated call for Democratic leadership at all levels, I don't know what is. If you want to have a government where the leadership IS responsible, vote for a Democrat. If you want to be robbed of your money and your very lives, well, you can believe the R's are fiscally and socially responsible until they, again, prove you very wrong.
Carl (KS)
Nice job, Ms. Dowd! You nailed it today!
Tina (Huntington Beach)
Wasn't this foreseeable to anyone with critical thinking skills? Now here we are...
Mark (La Canada, CA)
We need a new country. This one has jumped the shark in every imaginable way. It's ok for us to admit it. Face it. Move on. We're polarized, compromised, ignorant, corrupt and out of balance. We're extremist, racist, bigoted, undereducated, over medicated, armed, angry, isolated and not at all calm. We will forever be meeting in the middle somewhere, benefitting few but the top 1%. Time to move on.
Butterfly (NYC)
@Mark Canada?
"Plagued by the President" "Trump washes his hands of responsibility." He is still very capable of doing great damage to this country………. WHY?, Because everything the man does is either too late, wrong headed or in some way designed to help the wrong people…….. Look who his top advisor is, son-in-law Jared Kushner…. Could someone, anyone please tell me what Mr Kushner's qualifications are for this situation? Trump doesn't want to hear or listen to the truth………. He is simply too enamored with his own "stable genius" opinions………
Angus Cunningham (Toronto)
"The stock market, our swaggering symbol of financial health and Trump’s best asset, has become a neurasthenic Victorian lady prone to taking to her fainting couch." If a country is governed with tolerance, the people are comfortable and honest. If a country is governed with repression, the people are depressed and crafty. -- Tao te Ching, English Translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1988 Well, I'd like to see a coronavirus update on that. Wouldn't you, Maureen?
Joseph Sprowls (Tampa Bay)
I do not believe that the President’s speeches regarding the Corona virus were stellar moments; but considering how with every action he takes, comment he makes or breath that he takes he is beleaguered, criticized and found wanting. Surely there must be something the man has done that can he found to be in the best interest of the commentator’s life. I’ve no doubt that somewhere amongst your Celtic ancestral heritage a grave bound corpse rolls over, again and again. These opinions from you are no surprise but are vitriolic nonetheless. I would have hoped that during these times of panic and fear your words might have found mercy towards what has been an a man whose level of vigor seems slowed. He, and I for that matter, are tired. Tired of rancorous and tedious attacks spewing from the left, you included. My words may not flourish with the symmetry, design and style you use to impress us with your Pulitzer-esque use of the English language, but are as vitriolic as I can or will muster in a public condemnation.
Mary Ann Donahue (NYS)
@Joseph Sprowls ~ "Tired of rancorous and tedious attacks spewing from the left, you [Dowd] included." Ms. Dowd is an equal opportunity spewer of vitriol. She wrote puff pieces about trump in 2016 and saved her venom for Hillary. Too little, too late in my opinion but she is spot-on with the facts in this op-ed.
Dan (Harrisburg PA.)
For those who think Fox News as the gospel, they have been told that the corvid 19 is a hoax and is only another plot to attack the presidency of our great helmsman, Donald Trump. Also that President Trump has done a tremendous job. Even my doctor, who is a libertarian, thinks covid 19 is nothing and is telling his patients to disregard the warnings because there is nothing to worry about. Meanwhile, Jeff Bazos, the richest man in the world who now owns Whole Foods will let sick workers to stay home only if they find of fellow employee who is willing to give them their vacation days. This is where America is at the present time.
Hugh Briss (Climax, VA)
Our Revolutionary War airports weren't designed for the crowds subjected to Trump’s health screenings for travelers returning from Europe.
Country Girl (Missouri)
I used to work in public health. We did mass flu vaccine clinics during H1N1 in 2009. State Level Public Health 201 The airport screenings should have utilized the national guard, helping to screen passengers on the tarmac as they got off planes, controlling the flow of people off the planes, with or without tents for shelter if needed on the tarmac. Getting more screeners out there asking questions and taking temperatures, low tech, and not difficult. This is a National Emergency. Now, in those airport hallways, packed together for hours, all of those people have been exposed and they are going blithely out into our communities.
Timothy (Toronto)
It’s not yet clear what the outcome of this crisis will be. One thing that is clear is the casual indifference and carelessness of this administration toward this crisis. We have government agencies to address myriad problems but the only one that routinely gets everything it needs is the military industrial complex. A fraction of their budget spent wisely would have put in place an infrastructure to deal with this current crisis. In America and other countries, money trumps public interest every single time. As for Donald,”Make America Sick Again“, Trump, HIS casual indifference and carelessness should disqualify him from any public position. He’s never had the right stuff and now it should cost him, personally.
Raul Campos (Michigan)
The Coronavirus started in China on December 1, 2019 and today has infected 80,000 people (.008% of the population). The number of new cases in China has dropped to 380 from 1,200 as the spread of the virus seems to have plateaued. The first case of Coronavirus in the United States was reported on January 25. There are 1,600 cases today. This compares favorably with many European countries like Germany, Italy, Spain and France which have over 35,000 combine cases and whose combined population is less than the that of United States. Like any wide spread viral infection, this pandemic should be taken very seriously and we should diligently follow the basic preventive measures that the CDC has recommended, but the kind of panic that has mindlessly emptied grocery shelves of bread and toilet paper is not helpful. Overreacting to this crisis can create collateral damage to our communities, economy and the health of our neighbors. Even more irresponsible is to politicize this heath crisis and point fingers at either political party. Our country’s motto is “ E pluribus unum”— out of many, one, and we must have the courage to unite together, despite our differences, in order to best serve our country in this time of crisis.
Country Girl (Missouri)
Raul Campos Re: the last part: tell trump that.
Sajwert (NH)
look, Ms. Dowd. The fact that Trump has washed his hands is important. Like a Bibical character who washed his hands and declared he was not responsible for whatever happened, our president washes his hands and declares he is not responsible for anything. And his lack of attention to this outbreak until his nose has been rubbed in it proves he isn't responsible, period.
Peter Garrard Beck (MINNEAPOLIS)
Maureen you've hit the nail directly on the head on many levels. Especially the last sentence. I realized that there was now after many years at least that one sentence from the president's mouth with which I could wholeheartedly agree.
Trump has tried to buy a German firm working on a vaccin against the coronavirus. Until the German government had to intervene . The despicable has no limits. Trump has provided 50 billion $ to fight the health crisis . For a population of 327 million US citizens . The ridicule amount of 150 $ per US citizen . Germany has unlocked 100 billion $ for 82 million Germans. That represents 1230 $ per person .
judy (In the Sunshine)
There is never an end to the lies and mushy-mouthing from Trump and those who have sold their soles to support him. Today, in spite of the fact that it is supposed to take 14 days for the results of testing for the "corora" (Trump's word!) virus to be known, we hear that the Orange One was tested on Saturday and the negative results were known on Saturday night. I guess he's so very good, beautiful, fantastic and smart that he can make biology work at warp speed.
Ken (St. Louis)
Collusion with Putin to rig the 2016 election didn't bring Trump down. The broadly incriminating Mueller Report didn't bring Trump down. House impeachment and the Senate trial didn't bring Trump down. Lies, incompetence, and ethics violations didn't bring Trump down. But a microscopic bug will bring Trump down. Funny how things usually "work out for the best" in the world.
Ben Meyerhoff (Seattle, WA)
Well stated Maureen! Holding Obama responsible for all his irresponsible actions is ludicrous and unconscionable. This is the man who suggested two weeks ago that people with the virus go to work. His deep understanding of science, which is paper thin, continues to impress. The worst person in the worst place in time of crisis.
beachboy (San Francisco)
Trump administration's crises management is a true reflection of the entire GOP, extremely competent in servicing their plutocratic owners while extremely incompetent when servicing the rest of us. To stay in power they prey on the weak minded among us by intoxicating them with bigotry, misogyny, christian fascism, xenophobia, etc in voting against their own economic well being. Currently, while the vast majority of us disapprove of their idiocy, over 84% of thier voters do. For the past half century, they have spent billions if not trillions micro-targeting their deplorable voters to stay in their cult of ignorance. They groom their leadership with useful idiots and carnival barkers, slightly smarter than their deplorable voters to keep them in the fold. They have successfully convinced their voters to self censor because all news is fake news except those from thier ministry of misinformation, Murdoch faux news as well as other right-winged tabloids. We are doomed, unless we do what we have done in California, relegate them to a minority status and expect better governance.
Michael Tyndall (San Francisco)
Responsibility and Trump are two words that don’t belong within miles of each other. Consequences is another word that also remains mystifyingly remote. Removal-from-office remains our best hope for the future.
Michael (Boston, MA)
I'll bet a thousand dollars that in the same circumstances, if it was Obama, Ms Alcindor would not have asked him that question. Ms Dowd interestingly describes the event as "asked him about valuable time lost", omitting the part in which she asked him if he took responsibility. It had no constructive purpose; its purpose was to fix blame, and as such was indeed a nasty question. To cite another example, when Fauci was testifying under harsh questioning, and he said the testing problem was a failing, no one asked if he took responsibility. That, too, would have been a gratuitously nasty, politically motivated, inappropriate question.
petey tonei (Ma)
@Michael oh did Obama shut down pandemic unit? I didn’t know that..if he had I am sure some reporter would have asked him. His teams were always quick thinking efficient effective very hard working and everything Trump’s team is not.
Sandra (CA)
@Michael Dear Michael, if President Obama were holding that news conference, Ms Alcindor would not have HAD to ask that question. Obama is bright and listens to the scientists and Fauci would not even need to testify! The big difference here is that president trump is not smart and does not have smart people around him, save for Dr Fauci..who also went up against the Reagan administration during the HIV outbreak!
AnnaT (Los Angeles)
@Michael It's pathetic to insist that questioning the president--with whom the ultimate responsibility lies--about his administration's shut-down of a pandemic unit is "nasty." Well, he was absolutely right about one thing: he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Ave, and people like you would complain that "the media" was "nasty" and "fixing blame," "politically motivated," etc. Truly astonishing, even after years of this.
Frank O (texas)
Meanwhile, the die-hard Trumpistas are telling reporters how safe they feel, now that Trump has taken charge. Unbelievable!
Linda (OK)
Remember when the Republicans said Obama was not presidential because he wore a tan suit to the White House? How I long for the days when the most inappropriate thing a president did was choose a tan suit.
Alan R Brock (Richmond VA)
@Linda I forgot all about that. Good point.
pauliev (Soviet Canuckistan)
As Homer Simpson once said, "This is everybody's fault but mine." Truly a cartoon president.
JAM (Florida)
Well, what did we (America) expect when we elected him in 2016? He is simply a spoiled child in an adult body. As always, it's ALWAYS about him. His ego; his reelection; his family; his group of sycophants soothing his fragile ego in a crisis; his inaction until almost everyone, even his toadies, tell him he must do something to reassure the American public that his administration is taking appropriate action against this malign virus. Is this leadership or petulance? Maybe the electorate will tell us in November.
Ludwig (New York)
The epidemic started in Wuhan and the Chinese government is responsible for letting 5 million people leave Wuhan before the quarantine. Korea, Iran, Italy all have more cases than the US. And what do I see here? No attacks on China. No worry about Korea, Iran and Italy. Instead, umpteen vicious attacks on Trump. I do not understand the New York Times or its readers.
Mary Ann Donahue (NYS)
@Ludwig ~ A suggestion: Read: "A coronavirus cautionary tale from Italy: Don’t do what we did" in the Boston Globe. An excerpt: "Italy has now been in lockdown since March 9; it took weeks after the virus first appeared here to realize that severe measures were absolutely necessary. According to several data scientists, Italy is about 10 days ahead of Spain, Germany, and France in the epidemic progression, and 13 to 16 days ahead of the United Kingdom and the United States. That means those countries have the opportunity to take measures that today may look excessive and disproportionate, yet from the future, where I am now, are perfectly rational in order to avoid a health care system collapse....
Country Girl (Missouri)
Ludwig But China, Korea, Iran and Italy, et al, are not responsible for our RESPONSE to this outbreak.
Carl (KS)
Now that Trump has announced he tested clear on the Coronavirus, anyone who believes him should feel free to get in line to shake his hand.
Cemal Ekin (Warwick, RI)
He said of the Feds chairman that he was "following” and “we should be leading.” The exact words he should be telling himself. We have a bigger virus than the Corona, we have a "Preso" virus and that will eat the heart of the society until someone close by when he utters another string of lies will say "wait a minute, that is not right!" Still waiting for a few good men and women to rise to the occasion and shut him up, spray him with the equivalent of antibiotic: Truth. And, I don't mean the journalists who challenge him but are quickly silenced. Yet, all his cabinet members and those in the Congress are still flattering him with fake information. Now is the time to fight the worst virus we have ever faced: Preso-45
deepharbor (nh)
Midnight last night W.H. issued a statement saying Trump had not been tested. Today Trump says he was tested last night. Trump says he doesn't know the results. Dr. on MSNBC says he would have received an RTCPR test which normally takes about 2 hours to get results. Why do I get the feeling Trump is lying.
T Norris (Florida)
"Under the pink blossoming trees Friday, he trumpeted, “We’ve learned a lot, tremendous amount has been learned.” Learned a lot we have!!
bobbybow (mendham, nj)
Trump has managed to make a deadly virus seem the victim of his incompetency. Is there any possibility that an actual test was performed on the racist talk show host? Leadership infers that you take responsibility. This is THE most irresponsible man on earth. We are on our own folks - Truth is a quaint thing of the past. We are all now frontiersmen and women. We need to defend ourselves because there is no longer a head on the republican snake.
HJ Mattes (West Chester)
Donald Trump might be able to shoot one person on 5th Avenue and get reelected, but letting a couple hundred thousand people needlessly suffer or die, should put a dent in those chances. He is responsible even if he turned that “The buck stops here”. Sign into toothpicks.
Jean (Holland, Ohio)
“I just think it’s a nasty question,” he snapped back. Well, Mr. President: I think it is unsanitary and “ nasty” not to have jumped immediately when this epidemic went into swing in China. Did you really think West Coast cities, cruise ships and other sites would not get hit by the virus? We don’t have to be geniuses to have anticipated that. And how nasty is it for you to keep touching a mic you share with other people, not to mention pat their coat backs, or shake their hands? We have a nasty pandemic. All questions about it are fair.
Brian W. (LA, CA.)
When I hear Trump say things that are meant to convey that he cares about anyone but himself, I see a cat barking away at a squirrel on a fence. Or a guy who's attempting to squeeze his foot into a glove. If it doesn't fit, you must...well...throw "the" flag. It is antithetical to who, and what, he is. Sad.
Chris Wildman (Alaska)
“I just think it’s a nasty question,” he snapped back. “When you say me, I didn’t do it. We have a group of people. I could ask perhaps my administration” because “I don’t know anything about it.” So completely Trumpian. Reading comments here, and on other websites by Trump fans, one wonders how what we see and hear for ourselves translates so differently to them. It's as if somehow we hear "incompetence", "lies", and "lack of responsibility", and they hear "great leadership", "truth", and … I don't know, let's say "blaming Obama"?
Michael (Dallas, Texas)
I thoroughly enjoy your articles, especially how you weave in stories of your family and past memories. They add so much to the content. I can only hope the gas supply in the gaslighting by the White House dies soon. Continue to keep us informed and take the necessary precautions. Thank you
Barb Crook (MA)
Donald Trump can't abide social distance. When he is alone, at night, without even his crack staff around, he compulsively tweets while picturing hordes of MAGAs cheering, and imagining his enemies crumbling under the force of his wit. Narcissists crave admiration, if anyone is still unaware of that fact. What is a narcissist worth on a desert island?
GRL (Brookline, MA)
The King has no clothes, cried the teeny virus.
Glenn Thomas (Earth)
This crisis will uncover the true incompetence of this president and it will be to our nation's detriment. Watch Republicans scramble.
H. Clark (Long Island, NY)
This is what you get when you install the least-qualified person in America to rule all the people. It’s like we’re living a bizarre Peter Sellers film, where the most ignorant man in town rises to a position of unfathomable power. Trump’s immature reaction to the “hoax” of coronavirus is chilling — and now it’s deadly. Hope the GOP is happy; he’s their baby, literally and figuratively.
Todd (nyc)
I cannot fathom how Trump's minions still support him. Perhaps if I watched more Fox News I'd understand.
Ben (Florida)
I literally can’t find toilet paper anywhere, either online or in real life. That is the first time that has happened to me. It is troublesome. Really troublesome, as I think I might have to take a shower every time I use the toilet. That is not supposed to happen in the USA. Welcome to Trump America.
Kb (Ca)
Remember Truman’s “The buck stops here”? Oh, but to have a responsible and competent president!
Mixilplix (Alabama)
His job as a con man is to keep the con going. His base will continue to buy the snake oil
John Kellum (Richmond VA)
Your bosses must be delighted with your continued assaults on the President in the time of coronavirus. No one at the Times has given Trump any credit for his early banning travel to and from China and now to Europe, including the UK and Ireland. Such partisanship is inappropriate at a time when we are all fighting a common external threat. Better to criticize the CDC's inability to produce testing kits than to make a political weapon out of this crisis.
Country Girl (Missouri)
Hohn First of all, I have read and heard people report and state that the China ban was good, was smart. It should have bought us time to prepare. Apparently we, by that I mean our giverment, did not use that time. Instead we have people coming back from Europe, packed shoulder to shoulder in airports, trying to get home. No planning what so ever. I used to work in public health. We did mass flu vaccine clinics during H1N1 in 2009. The airport screenings should have utilized the national guard, helping to screen passengers on the tarmac as they got off planes, controlling the flow of people off the planes, with or without tents for shelter if needed on the tarmac. Getting more screeners out there asking questions and taking temperatures, low tech, and not difficult. This is a National Emergency. Now, in those airport hallways, packed together for hours, all of those people have been exposed and they are going blithely out into our communities. Who is in charge of this mess?
orionoir (connecticut)
is there a stage of grief beyond rage? i am not there yet.
Cak (Hudson Valley, NY)
What happened to "The Buck Stops Here?" How we long for someone who could speak a complete sentence and take some responsibility.
EC Speke (Denver)
In light of all this including the big player stock profit taking at the expense of the working classes 401 Ks the past week, can’t we agree wealthy arrogant white guys are doing both America and the larger world a disservice? Isn’t it time for a change on how things are run as the market is not free but rigged for these guys to the detriment of everyone else who shares the planet with them.
Larry (CT)
Harry S. Truman: “The buck stops here.” Meaning: I take full responsibility for decisions. Donald J. Trump: “The buck stops in my pocket.” Meaning: Who cares about anyone else - what’s in it for me?
Grant (Some_Latitude)
Despite a companion piece in today's NYT about how hard it would be to (use the virus to) suspend the 2020 elections, Trump and his GOP stooges will find a way (they now control SCOTUS and the courts also). Permanently.
Dorothy (Albany NY)
With primaries being cancelled and postponed, so far LA and GA, how many more states will follow? Is it possible that the election will be postponed? Scariest thought ever, not getting rid of DJT!!!
Country Girl (Missouri)
Mail in ballots for everyone on the voting rolls. Not hard to do. States should be working on this right now. PSAs should be telling every voter in this country to make sure they are registered and make sure they having a correct mailing address to receive ballots
poslug (Cambridge)
Covid-19 just got here before climate change began its full fledged onslaught. Donnie the Dumbfounded will continue to label it a hoax.
general public (USA)
My descriptor for him since the election has been that he is “a plague on humanity.” Things feel surreal now.
sophia (bangor, maine)
I truly wish that the press could just ignore him. He is causing more trouble than he's worth. The lies, the illogic, the constant need for flattery. It's exhausting. We need leadership. Let Fauci take over completely and Pence and Trump and Azar and the CDC guy who is awful and even Birx....none of them are helping. Fauci's the only one I listen to now - and even he can be on the edge, the very edge, of having to be positive to Dear Leader. Joe Biden should just start acting like the president. Forget Bernie. Forget Trump. Just behave as a good and decent president would behave. And does anyone think we'll get the truth about his 'test'? What a joke. People will die, have died, because of Donald J. Trump, Very Stable Genius.
Nic (Upper Westside)
This is what we get when we put a failed businessman/con-man, in the most important job perhaps in the world and think that things will go well. The election should be tomorrow. The sooner the better, to get him out.
Dennis (Missouri)
Any society, whether it be capitalist, communist, totalitarian, or freely democratic, is doomed to failure and extinction if based on deceit, lies, and secrecy of its leader(s) and a complicit society that is unwilling to accept facts from scientists and reporting from the free press. I wrote this in 2017. This article exemplifies the notion of ineptness in leadership by Trump based on the statement above. I would like to add delusions of grandeur. "Delusional disorder is a serious mental illness where you can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s not. Delusions, or false beliefs, comes in several types. Delusions of grandeur are one of the more common ones. It’s when you believe that you have more power, wealth, smarts, or other grand traits than is true. Some people mistakenly call it “illusions” of grandeur," according to WebMD. When leadership fails during a time of a pandemic, denying, deflecting, and belief that "the leader alone" has all the answers is dangerous to the health and well-being of society.
Mrs. America (USA)
Someone at New York Times should expose the hoarding of IGIV by order of Trump early last year under the guise for the Military. An expensive treatment given every 30 days until patient is stabilized, this expensive miraculous lifesaving infusion is made from 1000 blood donors per patient a year. By spinning out the Auto Immune plasma of 1000 blood donors it saves all like a miracle, so he must've hoarded through Pharmaceuticals who produce it, raised the price, removed it from City of Hope to treat Vasculitis, Cancer and other life threatening diseases. Trump had to have known this Covid19 was coming to America, if he was not already given an antidote by his friend who live for poison, Putin.
carl (st.paul)
Hopefully, Nancy Pelosi will use sound judgement in her physical interactions with others in case the line of succession is invoked. We should be OK then.
S.R. Simon (Bala Cynwyd)
And yet, it was the writer of this spot-on column who led the charge against Hillary ("But what about the emails?") Clinton.
Mary Ann Donahue (NYS)
@S.R. Simon ~ And she led that charge relentlessly with great relish.
CA John (Grass Valley, CA)
Dowd has captured the quintessential infantile Trump who takes credit when things are good, but blames someone else when things go bad. How telling. How do people stand next to him? Hillary had it right. Despicable.
Cadburry (Nevada)
Once more I would like to thank the people who voted for and still support this despicable and loathsome cretin. Sadly, I can do nothing to save you from a possibly horrid virus experience and a possible departure from this earth but remain distant. I don't sincerely wish all of you to suffer but, merely point out that the obvious situation you have created is coming home. But, feel comfort in the knowledge that liberals, democrats, and thoughtful people are working hard to save your health and life. Some are a different race, from different cultures, and are Americans. BTW, Trump sends his thoughts and prayers but, he is lying.
bill (Madison)
Elect a clown, expect a circus. An infected circus, perhaps.
Riverwoman (Hamilton, Mi)
Love Ms Alcindor. That was the second time he used the "nasty" word in reaction to one of her questions. May have to repurpose my "Nasty Woman" tee in her honor.
alwaysvote (Raleigh)
Donald is just donald and can't change is personality disorders and inability to comprehend realities...unfortunately he is our POTUS....until he's NOT...'May God forgive America'
PB (Northern Utah)
“No, I don’t take responsibility at all!” And that is what should be embroidered on black baseball hats for Trump's 2020 coronation as King. Remember, Trump just declared a national emergency. How long do we think that national emergency is going to last?
The Dog (Toronto)
Biden's campaign slogan should be: I take responsibility.
"I take no responsibility for that." He has just won the Worst President Ever award.
Hugh Briss (Climax, VA)
Planning has begun for the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library and Mortuary.
Opinioned! (NYC)
“Anyone who needs a test, gets a test. Anyone.” This is the hoax.
Reality as hit Trump as he realizes his re-election is now questionable and his precious stock market is down and no longer his major asset. Trump the con artist who cannot control his impulse to spin facts as only a high powered snake oil carnival barker can. Trump is terrified as Citizen Trump will face the criminal justice system no longer controlled by his toady Roy Cohn clone Barr. Civil lawsuits also await and his brand tarnished by LOSER marked on his brand and the Trump income may drop as his legion of lawyers battle the results of his finances exposed to the light of day and teams of forensic accountants.
Cousin Greg (Waystar Royco)
"I alone can fix it.” Donald Trump, 2016 “I don’t take responsibility at all.” Donald Trump, 2020
John (NYC)
Why all the complaining? What else would you expect since we have a major clown leading the circus? Enjoy the entertainment and remember to vote your pleasure next November. John~ American Net'Zen
Country Girl (Missouri)
John If we live.
Pb of DC (Wash DC)
Having Trump get the virus would not be the worst thing in the world.
PoliticalGenius (Houston)
My best advice is that the entire country washes it's hands of Donand Trump and his band of sycophants in November 2020. Trump gives new meaning to the word "leadership."
Washington Reader (Washington, DC)
As fine a column you have ever written, Ms. Dowd. Factual, and to the point.
John (DC)
This to shall pass, but not before liberals try to destroy the entire country.
Harry Rag (Florida)
Boring .. another editorial farce telling us how bad trump is. this has become a weekly theme for Mo and after 3 1/2 years its gotten old and tired. It is also all fake angst .. the stock market was up 2000 points on Friday which means that real people bet their money on trump winning as compared to maureen dowd's weekly whining. and i understand liberals hate trump and want him out but the course they have taken to get there has done more damage to the country than any virus could. Try winning at the polls.
Malinoismom (Spirit)
Even as the virus is closing in, I'm still hearing from persons in my area that it's a sham. (No local cases yet, probably because of limited ability to test) My area has already been hit hard by trump's policies; agriculture and Harley-Davidson are big employers; as is tourism. From what I'm seeing and hearing in my town, I think that no matter how bad this gets and no matter what trump does to further make things worse, his supporters will blindly keep following him, right into our understaffed hospital and right to (for some) their deaths.
whipsnade (campbell, ca)
Why does the US government not simply take test kits from the WHO which has them available? No one has answered that question other than to say that is not how it is done. In other words, it is hubris on the part of this administration. The number of tests does not equal the number of people. Many of these tests require two specimens for one person. So one million tests relates to half a million people. 200,000 to 300,000 Americans could die due to corona. This is not just a story of a virus. This is also the story of 27 million uninsured and 44 million under-insured, of lousy sick leave policies. That is bad at the best of time but during a pandemic it is disastrous. The unequal access to healthcare is ultimately what kills people. This pandemic will ultimately show how much we care or how much we don't care about each other.
Lucien Dhooge (Atlanta, Georgia)
@whipsnade The number of deaths may prove far higher than 200,000-300,000. Add another zero to your number assuming a 50% infection rate. I hope not, but it is possible especially if people continue to act irresponsibly. One example - young people packing bars and restaurants oblivious to social distancing and then going out and infecting older adults who are at greater risk. Heaven forbid there should be any interruption to their self-centered lives.
David (Pacific Northwest)
@whipsnade Trump met with leaders in Big Pharma to try to help "privatize" the creation of test kits. This means trying to help Big Pharma get their own patents in place in the US, and to be able to profit "bigly" off of this virus. Trump failed to view this situation then as an emergency, but as an opportunity to gain a piece of the pie by catering to corporate donors. The response was so slow, because he wanted this fed into the healthcare system privately, so that insurance companies and Big Pharma still maintained control of the flow of money and treatments. The federal government only later reluctantly stated that they would work to make it so that people tested did not have to cover the co-pay on the tests. Which gave away the game - co-pays relate only to those with insurance and the testing only done through "normal channels". No separate government run and operated mass testing was even considered (or considered seriously) as an option, and is only just now being considered in some states - but still not being implemented by the federal agencies. Trump still seems to believe this is only a PR issue, an opportunity for free press, and an emergency that will simply "go away" (as his other self-created emergencies have when he moves on to create yet another).
R.G. Frano (NY, NY)
Re: "...The unequal access to healthcare is ultimately what kills people..." {@whipsnade} So...where are the pro_life_jihadists?
Sara C (California)
Bias is a scary thing. I refer to the Trump supporters in another Times article today who see Trump's handling of the situation as yet another calming display of great leadership. To them, the emperor is still dressed in grand attire. It is excruciatingly frustrating to the point of despair.
teach (NC)
Can we pause and recognize that Nancy Pelosi and Katie Porter managed to shake some actual government out of this unbelievably, irredeemably, hollow sham of an administration? What a miracle of competence and compassion. Hats off and huzzah to these two leaders!
Jane Bond (Eastern CT)
@teach Yes, but now it's time for all those members of Congress and their staff to start practicing social distancing.
ChristineMcM (Massachusetts)
@teach: Katie Porter is the absolute best! She's a favorite of Lawrence O'Donnell, which is understandable, because her dedication to public service, in-depth knowledge of the issues she fights for, and her relentless questioning of evasive administration officials who don't want to answer her pointed questions. Anyone looking to hone their investigative and/or reporting skills would do well to study her distinct and professional questioning style. Start with her questioning of Dr. Redfield on Thursday. It's a master class in and of itself.
cheryl (yorktown)
@teach Referring over to Brett Stephens' column, Pelosi has become Trump's Nemesis, simply in being able to advance a plan while the Trump Administration continues to exercise disinformation as its signature tool to save human lives.
Laura Charelian (Central PA)
Wow Maureen, you nailed it - for once you totally nailed it. And as a Democrat I take NO pleasure in any of this, contrary to what Fox News is portraying. My mother in a restricted nursing home is at risk. My daughter in a study abroad program is at risk. I am over 60 and at risk. I am afraid at some point we all will personally touched by loss from this disease. Nero tweets and bloviates while Rome burns. Is this what it took to make people finally understand?? I hope someone makes a commercial soon of all the unbelievable footage from these last few days that we witnessed of him firsthand lying and failing and failing the citizens of this country. No he didn't cook the dish. But he is serving it to us on a silver platter.
Reality (WA)
@Laura Charelian I fear that none of this will matter in November.There are recent polls that indicate that even individual response to NCV is politicized, with a 30% spread between the parties as to belief in its threat to the US. In effect, it's not Pres. Plump, it's this immovable segment of the electorate.
arp (East Lansing)
@Laura Charelian "Make people finally understand? " Don't bet on it. We are dealing with people who respond to uncertainty by backing someone who turns uncertainy into chaos. If they respond to facts, they will have to admit that they can be wrong. And, as with their leader, this is not acceptable.
Beth (Colorado)
@Reality Those polls were last week or earlier.
RD (Manhattan)
One can only imagine how fast Ms. Dowd, and the other Op-Ed NYT jounalists are writing their criticisms of President Trump before things turn around. How much ink have the writers of the Times wasted writing about the Russian collusion, the effort to have him removed from office have it come to naught. So as long as you do not look at the facts ( the number of cases and deaths for a country our size) you can keep up the criticism. But you better hurry lest this episode goes the way of the others you tried to hype.
gratis (Colorado)
@RD : The restaurants are empty. Hotels empty. Book a trip to Vegas, as rooms at famous hotels can be had at UNDER $40 (forty dollars) a night. No famous buffets, though. People with no savings losing jobs. Small businesses collapsing. But, hey, focus only on deaths and the world is bright and sunny. Love Conservative optimism.
RD (Manhattan)
@gratis Care to comment on the Russian collusion?
angel98 (nyc)
On May 18th, 2018 Sherrod Brown wrote to the White House questioning the shut down of the global pandemic team among other deep cuts made in national security. No one in the White House admin reads? No one listens to scientists? $$$ rules all? Scientists have been warning of more cases of viruses jumping from animals/insects to humans, myriad factors, but two are global warming and human encroachment on wildlife habitats. The Republicans say they are against big government, but looks like they are going for no government, no oversight, no foresight. How many departments have been gutted? The State department is definitely high on that list. Where (to whom?) is the 'saved' tax-payer money going?
petey tonei (Ma)
@angel98 some individuals like sherrod brown do care about humanity. Others like Lindsay graham only care about what trump thinks of his loyalists.
Robertx (Out west)
I’m a bit curious: all the people yelling at Maureen about her bias, her unfairness, her this and her that—you got anything SPECIFIC? Oh, I know you don’t like her contempt for Trump. Got that. And I know some of you think the news is there to cheerlead for your guy, whether it’s Trump or St. Bernie or Hillary Clinton. What I want to know is: what, exactly, did she get wrong? Which of her facts isn’t a fact? Is it the disappearance of the notes for the meeting with Putin? The disbanding of the Pandemic office a couple years ago? Trump’s stunning lack of empathy? The bit about taking no responsibility? What is it, exactly, that she got wrong?
Mixilplix (Alabama)
This con man and his dwindling, aging base are irrelevant at this juncture.
NYer in the EU (Germany)
“I don't take responsibility at all!" DJT, stated at hastily formed WH-Rose Garden News Conference, 13. Mar. 2020
maureen Mc2 (El Monte, CA)
When asked about the disbanding of the White House pandemic office, Trump turned to Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and asked 'Tony, you know anything about this?'. Tony's eyes widened, he fluttered his hands, shook his head, no and muttered something that sounded like 'I don't know nothin bout that!'. Tony the Toady.
Mocamandan (Erie PA)
"Meanwhile, the specter of death speeds across the globe, “Appointment in Samarra”-style, ever faster, culling the most vulnerable." ---Maureen Dowd This is just awesome journalism! I appreciate the way you orchestrate the strands of life, poetry, history, current events and more, Ms. Dowd. I wish you had added the need of our president to still take the Part 2 of his medical exam. Maybe that was Yamiche's follow up question, eh? And keep including, all year long, the traitorous moments in Helsinki. Trump knows he is short term, while Putin can reciprocate him...for decades to come. Ditto with Chairman Xi. We have been in pandemic of idiocy for 3 years now. Usually, new life comes in Spring. But in 2020, as we hunker down life will come in the November of our days.
angel98 (nyc)
State governors and mayors had decided weeks ago to organize themselves, and put their plans into action despite no having to testing, which they could do nothing about. Can't wait for the vacuum at the top to be filled when so much is at stake.
Mark (Miami, FL)
This article by Ms. Dowd is just as selective in presenting facts as Trumps´s. Sad state of affairs when we can´t trust the president nor the press!
Buster (Pomona. CA)
He should break out his Sharpie and alter Harry Truman's old desk sign, making it "the buck NEVER stops here".
Ignatz (Upper Ruralia)
My favorite line from yesterday's gibberish : "“Dr. Fauci said earlier this week that the lag in testing was, in fact, a failing,” a reporter said to Trump. “Do you take responsibility for that?” “Yeah, no, I don’t take responsibility at all,” Trump replied, “because WE were given a set of circumstances and WE were given rules, regulations and specifications from a different time. It wasn’t meant for this kind of an event with the kind of numbers that we’re talking about. " Who is he talking about when he says "WE" were given..... Someone came into the White House with some rules and handed them to Trump and Pence and t.old them they had to follow them? I don't get it. Maybe Pence can explain who gave Trump rules to follow? Hashtag DUMBER THAN DIRT. TRUMP IS DONE. Given by who? Isn't he in charge?
if the European thinking - an article by a well known and respected French philosopher - is not publisehd and the comments are supposed to be moderated for civilities, is it then by obvious conclusion that the European way of thinking is considered "uncivil " to Americans ?
Marpac26 (Brooklyn)
Dear Maureen, thanks for casting a spotlight on the incompetence, selfishness and dishonesty of this President and his spineless lackeys. We're just reading now that he has been tested for Covid-19 at a time when ALL other Americans are not permitted access to testing, not to mention free testing. My question to you and to all readers is: "Why?".
Sophiew7530 (Maine)
I bet he has not been tested. His enablers are making this up to assuage the Maga hat crowd. Now they will believe even more that their dear leader is so strong even the Covid-19 cannot affect him. Pathetic!
Charles (Long Island)
Re: It was far from his tweet in 2013, when he loved trolling Obama: “Leadership: Whatever happens, you’re responsible. If it doesn’t happen, you’re responsible.” Someone could start a site or write a book (if it hasn't already been done) using the Donalds' very own tweets (about leadership, golfing, signing executive orders being a power grab, etc.) to show that our current ImPOTUS is, according to Donald, a reprehensible, delusional, dishonest, not-very-bright incompetent.
Gregory West (Brandenburg, Ky.)
The Walter Cronkite Republican finds it interesting that the Chinese now allege the COVID-19 was weaponized by the US, we have not heard of any reports of the illness from Russia.
UponAMI (Florida)
Maureen Dowd should do a piece on the VP. Should we admire him for never taking credit for anything and always giving full credit to his boss? Every one of my bosses would have fired me if I had done that in a meeting full of people. The scene is so unreal it almost feels like a movie.
David Tempest (Mercer Island, WA)
"It wasn't me. I didn't do it....I don't know anything about it." Really? Conversations with Bill Gates on this exact topic dating to 2016. Protests and pleading from the global health care community at the cutting of resources allotted to prevent/manage global health care crises. See these 2018 stories in the Washington Post: 1. 2. 3. Here's one excerpt from this last article from Feb 2018: "On Monday, a coalition of global health organizations representing more than 200 groups and companies sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asking the administration to reconsider the planned reductions to programs they described as essential to health and national security." Didn't know?
Richard (Madison)
“The buck stops here.” Harry S. Truman “No, I don’t take responsibility at all.” Donald J Trump It took three years, but he has finally told the truth.
Lee Eils (California)
In a word, “poor.” How else do I describe this poser and the fools who support him? Incompetence kills. He is poor. They are poor. Their performance is poor. Your words, however, enrich. Please keep stringing them together because “words rule the world."
Iceowl (Flagstaff,AZ)
I wonder what good it does - all this logic, using our God given intellect, our eyes, our ears, our sensibilities - all to confirm this man in office is an incompetent boob. Day after day, week after week - this truth is confirmed. The only thing his supporters can do is to try to convince the world that he's actually the smartest man on the planet, and it is simply our low IQs that prevent us from seeing it. But I didn't get this far in life by failing to recognize that the guy behind the wheel in the car in front of me is hammered, weaving lane to lane - and my best move is to get away. Yet - what good does it do to keep pointing it out? Day after day. Week after week. I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted by disgust and horror. I feel we will all have PTSD when this administration is done. We have endured the continuous hammering of truth like bombs and bullets on a battlefield. And soon, we will have come to believe that honor and decency are completely and utterly wiped from the face of this continent.
Iced Tea-party (NY)
Were the Corona Virus Denier In Chief to come down with it would be both a great irony and richly deserved.
jk (NYC)
Can't we vote tomorrow?
Rickie Khosla (New Delhi)
Your brother will still vote for this guy come November.
Frank (Columbia, MO)
"The buck stops "...anywhere else.
Bruce Pippin (Carmel Valley, Ca.)
On Feb 28 Trump dismissed the affects of the virus and said it would “just disappear in the next couple of days” and two weeks later he has declared a full blown national emergency to combat the overwhelming affects of the virus. Those of us who know Trump are not surprised by his astonishing ignorant incompetence. What is more amazing, are those who continue to follow him and praise his brilliance. If ignorance were a virus they would name it Trump45.
Michael (Lawrence, MA)
We now are confronting two viruses in America. The “Trump Virus” and the Covid 19 Virus. In the long run I’m betting the Trump Virus will be more destructive. M
Here in Jersey (NJ)
Maureen, Id be curious to find out how your trump loving brother feels about his leadership in the wake of this pandemic. I recall you wrote during the impeachment that your brother and his wife were totally on board with him. I did find your columns about your brother fascinating.
Rax (formerly NYC)
I do not know if the NYTimes allows us to post links, but this public service video from Australia is perfect. It is both informative and funny: Stay safe folks, and flatten the curve. Ignore Trump's terrible advice and terrible example. Stay home, particularly if you are older and/or have underlying health issues. Help flatten the curve and save lives!
Zareen (Earth 🌍)
We need Medicare-for-All now! Bernie 2020
True Believer (Capitola, CA)
A big shout out to all those who could not bear to hold their nose and endorse and vote for HRC. Or do you also "take no responsibility" ?
Allan (Hudson Valley)
All true, all true, all good. Yet millions remain in thrall to Trump, as many did to Hitler even as Russian troops closed in on Berlin from the East and American troops came from the West. Many in Germany remained devoted and convinced that Hitler would perform a miracle to save them. Having been in higher education for 40 years, the impetus to retire is not age nor infirmity. It's the ignorance, the absence of historical perspective, and I say this as a scientist, not a historian. An ignorant, fearful, defensively angry population is the single biggest danger to a nation. And we have one of the most ignorant, angry and frightened populations in the world.
David (Brooklyn)
It’s pretty clear that unless and until some of the MAGAnians start their move to the other side of the lawn, cotton candy-haired El Carotene will, somehow, manage to make it through this elimination round unscathed. I feel so bad for Dr. Fauci and other career professionals who’ve been made to temper their advice so as not to offend delicate 45. By contrast, having to endure the bootlicking VP and his ilk thanking and praising this pox on all our houses is punishment none of us earned. For all the damage he’s wrought since taking office, now with his deficiencies on heightened, focused display, and lives irrefutably at stake, he’s come up against a force that doesn’t bend or wilt in the face of a tweet-storm.
Robert (Seattle)
"Despite the fact that he has come in contact with people who have tested positive for the virus, he was procrastinating on getting a test, refusing to self-isolate, and still shaking hands ..." What's his name now claims he has been tested. I won't believe it until I hear it myself from an unbiased un-sycophantic doctor and see it for myself on the relevant paperwork. Lord knows we don't want him to die though the nation would be infinitely better off if Putin's barking clown poodle and his puppy dog Pence and were to recuse themselves posthaste from the pandemic response, including just shutting the heck up. His dishonesty, incompetence and selfishness have already almost surely made the pandemic much worse. Many people--the numbers are frightening--could needlessly die because of the harm he has already done. Out here folks have been diagnosed with the virus in pretty much every community with which we are associated. And almost nobody has been tested yet, due to the criminal bungling of Trump and his gang. This thing is getting ready to explode here.
Mary Hudak (Hilo, HI)
Although this does not sound compassionate, I wonder if there is a ventilator big enough for our president's ego, should he come down with Covid-19. just wondering
Sabine Delorme (SoHo, NYC)
Movin' and a groovin'. Let's all get together and get whatever it is we got that we don't know what we got. Bring your jukebox money!
Jackson Goldie (PNW)
Trumps “Doctor” says he is not infected. As if any thinking person would believe ANYTHING coming from this administration. Bah!
KJ (Tennessee)
"Even surrounded by the experts ……." There's the problem in a nutshell. Trump thinks he's the only bona fide expert on this planet — on absolutely everything from atomic bombs to internet technology to drones to corona viruses — so real experts will be ignored unless they at least pretend whatever spews out of his mouth is correct. We all saw "Tony", AKA Dr. Anthony Fauci, sputtering away with a nervous grin on his face while scrambling to find ways around his boss's statements. They're like rats following the Pied Piper.
GCAustin (Texas)
Trump washes his hands of it. How “Pontius Pilate” of him, while he sends us to our death. Thank you Mr. President!
John Virgone (Pennsylvania)
Trump may wash his hands of pandemic responsibility, but he will not be able to clean the dirt off his face come November.
sdw (Cleveland)
Not having read Maureen Dowd columns regularly for a very long time, still angry over her early promotion of man-about-town Donald Trump and her bias against Hillary Clinton, presumably out of loyalty to the former Dowd mentor, Bill Safire, I avoided her columns. I decided to give Ms. Dowd another look out of curiosity as to her take on the notion that the common enemy threatening America – besides the coronavirus pandemic – is the same impeached Donald Trump whom the Republican senate refused to convict for compromising our national security. The second look at Maureen Dowd was worth it. She is still a gifted writer, and her depiction of Donald Trump’s Rose Garden antics in his desperate attempt to avoid blame for the missteps which delayed our national response to the pandemic is terrific. It is tragic that Donald Trump’s incompetence and fear of disturbing the Dow Jones Industrial Average will result in far more Americans dying from Covid-19 than necessary. That reality is all the more reason to make Trump squirm from standing naked before an angry nation, and Maureen Dowd’s column accomplishes that. Donald Trump is incapable of feeling empathy, so we’ll have to settle for embarrassment.
Judy (New York)
Yamiche Alcindor, of PBS, thank you for your "nasty" question about Trump dismantling the pandemic office Obama put in place. I hope the media will investigate the when, how, why, who of the demise of this office and what happened will become common knowledge nationwide.
JT (Boston)
“I just think it’s a nasty question,” he snapped back. “When you say me, I didn’t do it. We have a group of people. I could ask perhaps my administration” because “I don’t know anything about it.” That’s it right there...when asked why he disbanded the pandemic preparation team that’s his answer...and a clear example of incompetence and why he’s unfit to be president. Oh, and the true answer? Because it was an Obama program...
Kathleen (El Centro Ca)
14 days. Will we see the pretender every day?
Greg (New Jersey)
Thank you Maureen, it’s a sad job to lay bare incompetence at the top.
Scott (California)
Yes, Maureen, your analysis is spot-on. We have a combination of alibi-Ike, the emperor who wore no clothes, and a deadbeat-in-chief for President.
Jacquie (Iowa)
Trump, Jared, Ivanka and the rest of the criminal enterprise could gaslight their way through their lives but they can't hide from this virus.
Richard (California)
David Brooks dialed it all in last night on PBS NewsHour.
Big Text (Dallas)
When I saw that the stock market was collapsing, I bought some shares to honor Donald J. Trump!
Babel (new Jersey)
Trump has purchased the Silver Solution from Televangelist Jim Bakker. He has nothing to fear. Just when we are in our deepest depression that old beloved American standby the legendary traveling salesman with his rickety wagon selling his elixirs arrives on the scene. Trump's roots for his kind go deep into American history. We will rue the day we elected this world class con man to office. After all what harm could he do.
Erich Richter (San Francisco CA)
For the people here doing backflips trying to conjure some complimntary view of Trump's latest act think on this as you look out your window at your own town. The Grand Princess cruise ship, which I can see from my window right now, docked in Oakland CA 7 days ago with 3533 on board. All but 40 of them were still on the ship and untested as of yesterday. 400 still remain on board today. Your President.
Cathykent78 (Oregon)
Jwgibbs: this is why he late to every press conference
David J. (Massachusetts)
Trump is truly the poster child of incompetent leadership. Emphasis on "child," given his obvious struggles to convey that he is capable, knowledgeable, and concerned—a serious man for serious times. Instead, Trump comes across as a lazy, egotistical, irresponsible school student who never does his homework and, when called upon for answers, can only offer a stammering word salad of fabrications, boasts, excuses, and complete nonsense. And he can't even be bothered to heed the most common sense of precautions, such as avoiding handshakes. Raise your hand if you have faith in this man-child's ability to lead us effectively through a pandemic. Now, give yourself a hard, bracing slap across the face and then wash that hand thoroughly. We will get through this crisis not because of Trump but in spite of him. And we will hold him (and his enablers) accountable for his incompetence and irresponsibility on Election Day. Count on it!
Country Girl (Missouri)
David We should wash our hands BEFORE we slap our face.
Mamma's Child (New Jersey)
Trump looks like a fish out of water, gasping for air. His theme song should be "It Wasn't Me".. by Shaggy. His ignorance and pettiness is scary and astounding.. especially at a critical and dangerous time when our country needs effective, honest, informed leadership. He wants to cede his respossibility and be held accountable for nothing. We can never recover the previous time lost during this administration's deadly inaction. We can remember it in November.
J. (Midwest)
Perhaps the most telling moment of this incompetent administration was Jared Kushner’s “crowdsourcing” request through his physician brother-in-law’s Facebook group for coronavirus-fighting ideas. Kushner got into Harvard only because his father donated millions that overcame Jared’s mediocre high school transcript; Kushner has never achieved anything on his own and parlayed his family’s billions into a “career” for himself; Kushner even failed to obtain a security clearance, which Trump personally ordered to be given to Kushner. It is amateur hour in the White House and we are all paying dearly for it. Vote Blue in 2020.
Ira Allen (New York)
Why don’t I see Russia on the list of countries with any infections? I’m just sayin’.
angel98 (nyc)
@Ira Allen Try foreign newspapers and Reuters, Associated Press, they may have more up to date information. Reuters reported that Russia has closed its borders to more countries, and has reported a few cases. They closed their borders with China in January.
amabobama (Minneapolis)
Trumpty Dumpty (nursery rhyme updated) As Trumpty Dumpty sat on his wall He with his poll numbers took a great fall. All good Republicans rushed to the scene To have Trumpty tested for COVFEFE-19.
RK (Long Island, NY)
Three years into his presidency, Trump is still trolling Obama and spreading false information. One sure sign that Trump is lying is that there is usually a "Fact Check" by news organizations soon after he speaks. It befell on Linda Qiu of The Times to do the fact check yesterday after Trump's news conference. Her article is titled "Trump’s False Claims About His Response to the Coronavirus" ( It included 6 false claims by Trump. Whatever Obama did or didn't do, his news conferences and speeches weren't followed by "fact checks" by news organizations. Also, I don't recall Obama ever saying, “No, I don’t take responsibility at all.” Quite the contrary. After the attack on U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, President Obama said, "I'm the president. And I'm always responsible."
TrumpsGOPsucks (Washington State)
Trump has always failed at leadership. He failed when he was a cadet officer at military school; no Donald that office job they gave you after they took your unit away from you was not a promotion. He was not a leader of his private real estate company, he was a tyrant, and an incompetent one. And now, as President, he continues to fail as a leader. Blaming the people under you, or the people who held your position before you, for the issues that are happening while you are in charge is the sign of a weak and spineless individual who is obviously in way over his head.
Mary Ann Donahue (NYS)
"As always, such forums offer a fantastic floor to show just how low Mike Pence will limbo." One of your all time best sentences Miss Dowd. Thanks for the smile it evoked.
Ken Solin (Berkeley, California)
Trump's failure to gain America's confidence will be his undoing. When America needed character, integrity and strength from its president it got mush mouth, it isn't my fault blather and bloviating instead. The con man, snake oil salesman became more obvious as Trump denied the crisis and blamed the Democrats and the media for a hoax, and then when he couldn't flog that dead horse anymore he failed to live up to his responsibility to protect Americans.
Robert (Seattle)
Lordy. Let's hope the virus doesn't let what's-his-name and his accomplices escape justice. Their dishonesty, incompetence, and self-dealing vis-a-vis the pandemic have been criminal. Who knows how many Americans will die because of their ill-will and negligence?
heyomania (pa)
Shopping Jumbo Time to shop giant, size up your game; Size up to Jumbo, small sizes are lame; Bumping on empty, neglecting to hoard ? Neighbors come calling to jump, hop aboard; No life raft for you like on the Titanic Go elsewhere for foodstuffs – elsewhere to panic; Shop Jumbo at Costco or go without - Best case you’ll slim down from fat uber-stout.
Dadof2 (NJ)
Whenever REALLY challenged by a difficult but fair question, a woman is "nasty" and man is "a little wiseguy" (or worse). Kristen Welker and Yamiche Alcindor are both utterly brilliant, dedicated reporters, capable of hanging on a weasel answer by politician like a paratrooper's Malinois! Both are women, which sets off Trump, but "worse" (for him) both are Women of Color. I hope the Democrats take "I take no responsibility at all!" and run with it, hammer it into the nation all summer as this gets unavoidably worse and worse. When nailed about destroying the pandemic safety nets SOLELY because they were Obama-created, Trump's only answer was "That's a nasty question!" What's nasty about it, is that there is not GOOD answer. Trump is a short-sighted, immature, vindictive incompetent who destroyed critical safety tools because he can't see beyond his own "popularity" and bank account. He pretends that the UK and Ireland are excluded from the travel ban because they aren't badly infected (they are). But the truth is: He has 3 resorts, one in the Republic and 2 in Scotland and they are all doing badly. Banning those two nations will clearly kill all 3 resorts COSTING TRUMP MONEY! You'd think that the GOP-controlled Senate would now have enough members realizing that the nation would be far better served by Pence (who, while anti-science, isn't insane) than Trump and rewind Impeachment to get rid of this dangerous fool.
JANET MICHAEL (Silver Springs)
Trump’s life has been all about making mistakes and questionable behavior disappear-what bankruptcies, what NDA, what affairs, what charity which was his own piggy bank and what Impeachment???He lives in an alternate reality where he can disappear his transgressions.Trump-meet COVID 19-you cannot tweet it away- no amount of happy talk will change the course of its fearsome trajectory.You cannot make COVID 19 disappear- do you have a planB?
vsr (salt lake city)
The evangelicals will likely incorporate this corona virus into a reinforced view of Trump as a biblical figure, present in a time of plague. The mostly humanist that I am thinks he could fairly be cast in this drama as any or all of the Four Horsemen. As your headline points out, we are plagued by the president. Set aside any highfalutin notion of religion or humanism, put yourself inside Trump's head, and you must conclude that the evidence points to his worst fear: He is a loser.
karen (Florida)
Unfortunately for all Americans our President is a constant source of embarressment.
Country Girl (Missouri)
karen That is the least of our worries.
Federalist (California)
Trump deserves to catch the virus for his dereliction of duty.
Agent 99 (SC)
Today trump boasted that his emergency declaration caused the record breaking stock market rebound yesterday. He was so pleased that the announcement got out before the closing Bell, Then he said “maybe I should declare more emergencies.” He is a bottomless pit of depravity.
Dennis Quick (Charleston, South Carolina)
During his Wednesday night speech Trump sounded like a recalcitrant schoolboy whose teacher forced him to recite a speech before the class. And he botched it. His response to Yamiche Alcindor's superb question during Friday's press conference was infuriating; indeed, the buck does not stop at Donald Trump. In those two occasions alone - not to mention his initial idiotic reaction to the coronavirus - he demonstrated before the world that he simply has no business being in the Oval Office. None. And our adversaries no this.
Country Girl (Missouri)
Dennis Wuick And let us all remember that on February 29th trump held a rally in NC where he said it out loud, for all to hear: The coronavirus is “a Democratic hoax.”
John H (Cape Coral, FL)
Watching Trump yesterday you could not help but come to the conclusion that he was simply the dumbest person there, and the most ill prepared. Even Pence who believes the world was created 6,000 years ago is smarter. If Pence would stop the never ending brown nosing he would gain more respect, but that might be too much to ask as that is now a requirement for anyone who might be a Republican. We can only hope and pray this task force along with corporate America will get the job done. I and many others would feel a lot better if Trump was quarantined for 14 days.
Any president in this situation says like something Trump said “No, I don’t take responsibility at all,” It means only one thing, I really don't care. Trump is an unemphatic, spoiled , rich , cold hearted person. Times like this which is extraordinarily rare requires something this man entirely devoid off.
AJ (California)
Why is it that not a single major US news source has reported the story that Chinese philanthropist Jack Ma (AliBaba) will be donating half a million COVID 19 test kits and a million face masks to the US - this is five times more than the US currently has on hand. The story was reported by Reuters yesterday morning but has not appeared in any major US News outlet - Why is that?
Jazzie (Canada)
Are Republicans blind? Do they not hear and see the same things we do? I am not talking about post-press conference analyses, but the actual events themselves, which I am certain, are broadcast on Fox in real time as they are on CNN and the other networks. Has there ever been a more cowardly, mealy-mouthed American President? It really is the ‘Perfect Storm’ – let us hope that it is not too late to mitigate the effects of this plague which he has personally exacerbated. And boy, am I sick of all the bowing and scraping – have they no shame?
Marc (Mount Vernon Texas)
He is annoyed by a woman of color with a"foreign" name questioning him. He called her questioning racist the first time that she ever asked him one.
Elliott (Midwest)
Watching our Incompetent-in-Chief conduct a press conference is like witnessing an angry, inebriated uncle as he ruins a Sunday family dinner gathering: horrifying and humiliating for everyone.
SP (Stephentown)
Profiles in... not courage, not leadership, not empathy, not wisdom. Profiles in vacuous thinking.
Bruce Sutka (Palm Beach Florida)
Is Mar A Lago also building a fence to keep the virus inside.
Kristine (Illinois)
Trump is not surrounded by experts. He called Jared, who in turn called his father-in-law, a doctor, who in turn went on Facebook to ask for advice. Trump is a simpleton with an unending narcissistic mean streak. And his followers are the same.
Steve Kennedy (Deer Park, Texas)
" ... explosive tirade ... mounting fury ... Trump fumed ... how furious he had become ... Dow Jones industrial average ... is down more than 5,000 points since Feb. 12 ... Monday’s outburst was an 'eruption' ... the president’s fury with Powell could lead to upheaval and economic woes ... " (Washington Post, 11Mar2020) Mr. Trump is not capable of dealing with this crisis. It is becoming his version of the movie "Downfall" (2004).
Robert Bryan (Florida)
We need a real president not a wimpy used car salesman. Compare: Harry S. Truman - “The Buck Stops Here”. Versus donald trump - “I’m not responsible at all”. Dump Trump and his congressional followers. Ms. Dowd: Thanks for a well written cogent article. The English language lives.
Glen (Texas)
If Trump were to miraculously grow one new axon, he would double his current intellectual capacity.
Dean Browning Webb, Attorney at Law (Vancouver, WA)
The erudite, compellingly convincing Opinion authored by Maureen Dowd is brilliantly presented, aptly characterizing the state the Vietnam War draft dodger finds himself through his imbecilic, incompetent, and inept bungling ability to confront the corona virus pandemic. Inept is the appropriately filling term for the truculent, paranoiac, bullying crude pedestrian who unfortunately is ill equipped to lead America. Other constructive analogies are likely applicable. Martha Reeves and The Vandellas' 1965 hit "Nowhere To Run, Nowhere To Hide" comes to mind. Ben Johnson's ominously foretelling line from the 1971 film "The Last Picture Show," "It couldn't have happened to a nicer fella" deserves equal recognition here. And, of course, the ubiquitous "what goes around, comes around" fills the bill. No matter how the draft dodger spins it by deflection, distraction, self denial, blame others, or just out and out lie, he owns this pandemic through his abysmal failure to inspire and lead America through this lethal crisis. Whether you call it being on the horns of dilemma or a "Catch 22," Joseph Heller's sterling work, the ineptitude exhibited by the president is woefully inadequate, placing our nation in danger. He is a continuing threat to national security, and his command will be terminated with prejudice by the electorate this November 3rd. Caught between the Scylla of peril and the Charybdis of doom, his lame efforts to assure America fall short.
richard wiesner (oregon)
"I really don't know anything about him and I take no responsibility for him." An off the cuff remark made by Mitch McConnell after an interview about Congress passing a bill for emergency funds to deal with 19 captured on a hot mic about the President. Just another round of hot potato in the times of Trump. This is fake news reporting.
Marshal Phillips (Curitiba, Brazil)
Trump knows nothing. US is doomed. Sad.
michael (sarasota)
trump has no dog,(we know what he thinks of them...) but if he did, the dog would get the blame for eating or mangling these latest teleprompter "speeches" trump has been trying to read and mumble through.
Roswell DeLorean (Da Moyne)
Here’s a TP tip should we reach this point. When I lived in Uzbekistan some years back old school composition books “ummiyy zafzar” sat next to the toilet. Tear a page out, crinkle and uncrinkle three time to soften, and good to go. Many of us have it so good for a long time.
George (Toronto,Ontario)
Trump must bothered by fact that this pandemic is getting more attention than himself.
k richards (kent ct.)
I'm presently watching our "great" president do yet another press conference. Each one becomes more laughable than the last! How can his "team" stand there stone-faced while he spews his lies and puts his ignorance on full display?
c harris (Candler, NC)
Trump was indeed riding high after the failure of the Democratic impeachment. Trump was unleashed. Smug and arrogant he was a colossus. In his own mind. As the corona virus made its presence known in China. The US dithered and this beast of virus leapt the ocean and now has the world in pandemic panic. Trump is a brand name not a leader. He has withered under the bright lights of an actual crisis.
Sarasota Blues (Sarasota, FL)
"American Carnage" Trump stated the complete summary of his Presidency on his very first day in office. Prescient, huh?
Elliott (Sylvania, GA)
Since Trump was elected I have tried so hard to understand why folks would vote for him, read all of the articles trying to explain it and I think I am done. Trump's pathetic response to this is literally going to lead to lots of people dying who did not have to. So if you voted for Trump and are planning to again I'm done trying to understand. You are responsible for your vote and this President. You knew he wasn't qualified when you voted for him and you own this. Hope you're happy you got to own the libs.
Trump releases 150 $ per US citizen to fight the upcoming health crisis while Merkel just provided 1230 $ per German citizen.
Innocent Bystander (Highland Park, IL)
The real mystery here is how 40 percent of the country manages to deny seeing the man for what he so obviously is: A shameless, clueless gasbag who's never taken responsibility for anything his entire life. Regularly, often while passing the buck and demonstrating his ignorance, Trump likes to talk about "disasters." He oughta know, although it's unclear he realizes there's one starring him in the face right now.
Bill P. (Naperville, IL)
As a friend of my wife's put it, "if he can't insult it, sue it, slander it, molest it, steal it... he really doesn't know what to do.
JF (San Diego)
I thought Trump’s response to Yamiche Alcindor’s question was particularly ugly and personal. His animus came through loud and clear, his racism and sexism barely concealed.
Huge Grizzly (Seattle)
You may be right that “Trump is surely jealous of Pence’s good reviews”, but what is mind-boggling is that Pence actually gets some good reviews. His pandering to Trump at every presser is pathetic, his sole purpose in life seeming to be the glorification of Donald Trump no matter what that fool says or does. Pence is the reigning poster-boy for sycophancy.
David (Major)
I wouldn’t say he washed his hands. I’d say he flagrantly lies and also attempted to wash his hands. His hands are dirty. His actions amount to manslaughter. This is impeachable. But given the election is soon let’s just replace him.
Sharon Conway (North Syracuse, NY)
Trump said he does not take personal responsibility. He takes responsibility for nothing. He is the president. This IS his responsibility. How many more will die? Does Trump care? I really doubt it. He doesn't care about his own family. Why would he care about strangers? Do not reelect this man. He is truly evil.
nzierler (New Hartford NY)
The question is which is the greater threat: Covid 19 or the president who has failed miserably in addressing it?
American Akita Team (St Louis)
POTUS may have been exposed to Covid-19? He may have been infected? He may have been tested? I would offer thoughts and prayers but since most positive-sense RNA viruses are agnostic, I won't and will instead assume that social Darwinism will deselect for a racist game show host who can't stop shaking hands or tell the truth.
TR Connolly (Old Greenwich)
What a pitiful excuse for a man Trump is. Why did he ever run for office in the first place if he has no interest in leading, in diving into the challenges of our times and in caring about the people of our United States. Oh yes, I remember. His ego, because he wanted it. Ugh!
dcl (ct)
Love or hate Hillary, America would have been 100% better prepared and far more capable of handling this challenge under her leadership. Trump has been an unmitigated disaster in his handling of every aspect of this pandemic. Criminally negligent.
David Baldwin (Petaluma CA)
Trump doesn't realize that Yamiche Alcindor is more popular than he is.
Guido Malsh (Cincinnati)
We all know and agree with you, Maureen. But tell it to the base, those who dwell in a dreamland of denial and will stubbornly resist until they themselves are victims of their leader's high crimes and misdemeanors. Fool them once, shame on him. Fool them umpteen times, shame on them. The real virus lies in the lies. The real truth lies in itself.
Dave Hartley (Ocala, Fl)
No shock. Has this spoiled little rich kid EVER taken responsibility for ANYTHING?
Jay Terry (Fulton NY)
President Donald Trump: Love him, hate him, beseech him, impeach him, but you will never beat him.
sharon5101 (Rockaway Park)
Donald Trump just tested negative for the coronavirus. Yet Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for the coronavirus. Is it me or is there something wrong with this picture???
There for the grace of A.I. goes I (san diego)
If one is looking to Politically twist this Look no further than LIBERAL Spain....Very Slow to react and paying the look at conservative New Zealand....and you see how the political divides mindset is on Top of Things such as this Plague!
Country Girl (Missouri)
There for the grace... I don’t get your point. “Stupid” claims no allegiance to any political party. We need to assess each situation. In this situation, in the USA, right now, the criminal stupidity, the narcissistic delusions, the lies and fatal missteps are being mainly exhibited by trump and his administration. BTW Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, a Republican, is showing capable, intelligent leadership. There are others, I hope and pray.
fotoave (Boston)
Corona Don. The next time he’s put on TV it should be in a strait jacket with a banner below that says “do not believe anything this man says, he’s insane”.
Ellen Shire (NYC)
"He can’t cover up his lack of empathy, his instinct to mislead, his refusal to do his homework and his blame-shifting. And the idea that Trump could soothe a nation went out the window a long time ago." So sayeth (correctly) Maureen Dowd. But in an another article today: "Trump Supporters Know Where to Turn in a Crisis: To Him", Elaine Plott and Dione Searcey show us the incredibly blind mindset of the loyal Trump supporters. Talk about a Wall.... of Ignorance!
Bob (Minn.)
When Trump was asked by reporter Yamiche Alcindor a question about Trump not taking responsibility for the lack of preparedness when he himself had disbanded the entire WH pandemic response team in 2018, here was Trump’s response: “I just think it’s a nasty question because what we’ve done is — and Tony [Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases] has said numerous times that we’ve saved thousands of lives because of the quick closing. And when you say me — I didn’t do it, we have a group of people I could, I could ask perhaps in this administration that... I could perhaps ask Tony about that because I don’t know anything about it. I mean, you say you say we did that, we’re spending — I don’t know anything about it. It’s the administration, perhaps they do that, people let people go. You used to be with a different newspaper than you are now. You know, things like that happen." Then Senator Brown tweeted out a letter he sent to Trump 600 days ago demanding answers to why he fired the WH pandemic team. This is why Americans do not trust Trump. He is either lying or so incompetent he doesn’t remember firing the pandemic team and the pushback about the actions he took almost 2 years ago.
Westcoast Texan (Bogota Colombia)
Down here in Bogota, a city of 8 million, we have 9 identified coronavirus cases. Our wonderful mayor, a lesbian woman married to her partner, already has the city rationing food, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, gallons of antiseptic alcohol, etc. My best friend in Austin just told me you can't buy toilet paper, hand sanitizer, or much food in Austin. She got the last bag of frozen vegetables at her supermarket, okra. Canned goods are all gone, no dry goods like beans or rice, etc. We are three weeks behind the U.S. in this epidemic, but weeks ahead in preparation. Fortunately for my friend in Austin, she lives alone in the country and is very happy with self quarenteeing.
Passion for Peaches (Left Coast)
Compliments to photographer Chip Somodevilla for that pic at the top of this piece. Trump looks like a malevolent beetle.
Warriorsaint (Jersey City)
How ironic that our leader king will be dethroned by a virus named Corona?
Stan Carlisle (Nightmare Alley)
Harry Truman - "The buck stops here" Donald Trump - “No, I don’t take responsibility at all”
Paul Ashton (CT)
Trump tests negative after a weeks of displaying irresponsible pandemic behavior. Now the republicans are emboldened to become the disease vector party.
pkbormes (Brookline, MA)
Not a good time to lack a real, actual president. (Understatement of the year.)
Lawrence H (Brisbane)
Pandemic aside, a pox on Donald Trump and his enablers.
Bill Bloggins (Long Beach, CA)
A new Trump hat is being printed now: MAGA No, I don't take responsibility at all.
nzierler (New Hartford NY)
How many ways must we see that Trump is a threat to our national security before it's too late? He shared top secret information with Russian officials. He attempted to bribe and extort Zelensky for dirt on the Bidens. Just two weeks ago he called Covid 19 a democrat hoax. Do we have to wait until November to get him out of there?
DBR (Los Angeles)
And now another press conference with the Wooden Clown Pence thanking "The President" for everything in front of a scared looking committee, he may as well have thanked him for the coronavirus, too.
jpw (new york)
"No, I don't take responsibility at all" Explaining in one sentence how a "stable genuis" has gone through life ripping off thousands of working stiffs on his construction projects, thousands of students at his fraud university and looted numerous "charites" including one for veterans. Not to mention his 900 million dollar hosing of the US taxpayers. Looks like a little more golf at Mar-a-Largo is in order.
JKN (Florida)
Thank God Friday's press conference ended before the Q&A.
Brown (Southeast)
Witty and pithy as always, Ms. Dowd. I loved this line. "As always, such forums offer a fantastic floor to show just how low Mike Pence will limbo." Can't you just see a Youtube video of VP Pence set to "Limbo Rock?"?
Joe (St.Louis)
Is there anyone saying, "Gee I am so glad President Trump and Jared are in charge of this coronavirus pandemic."? It has become painfully obvious that this puny self absorbed reality tv star was never and will never be prepared to lead or comfort the people of the United States . He has been a stooge for corporate greed and white supremacy.
Karen (Seattle)
I was so struck by Dr. Fauci's body language during that press conference today. He often had his arms tightly crossed and several times he was "touching his face and scratching his head!" The poor guy. He tries to keep his facial expression neutral. Wow, he is a national treasure. The new Democratic President (?Joe) need to give him the Medal of Freedom or something like that. He unlike the others did not preclude his remarks with praise for our "Dear Leader" and all he has done!!!!!
Bruno (Italy)
@Karen I noted it too, but one should consider that / - as Zelensky, the Ukraine President - Dr. Fauci had to bow for the superior interest of the Nation. Zelensky needed the lethal weapons, Dr. Fauci needs to stay there to mitigate the erratic and whimsical moves ot the Disruptor in Chief in this difficult moment: Today's toll in Italy 250 dead! Also, If you watch again the press conference, Trump was checking, all the ones speaking, with acute eyes. Any strange sign by him would mean being sacked, no matter what. Dr. Fauci earlier on had corrected the Potus in a press Conference, while Trump was talking nonsense on Coronavirus. At least Dr. Fauci, did not nod 335 times (pls. count them) as Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, as well as the other background attendees. The Golden Oscar for nodding, anyway, goes to the holographic presence of Vice-President Pence. Vote blue no matter who!
Karen (Seattle)
@Bruno I totally agree with you and did not mean to leave the impression that the revered doctor was a yes man. He has had years of experience with many difference administrations and knows how to handle himself. I hope he doesn't get tromped on is on occasion he is wrong about something. He was on all the shows this morning and did a wonderful, clear, diplomatic job of explaining reality. He comes across as confident and someone we can trust. I heartily agree with him and many others that we need to move forward and stop harping on the past mistakes. I hope journalists will take that in mind and stop with all the "gotcha" questions. We can deal with those after this horrible episode is over.
Spiro Kypreos (Pensacola, FL)
Harry Truman's desk: The Buck Stops Here Donald Trump's desk: The Buck Never Stops Here (with an arrow pointed to Obama's desk)
Doug Tarnopol (Cranston, RI)
This possibility needs to be thought through right now: "Be careful. Trump may exploit the coronavirus crisis for authoritarian ends" | Andrew Gawthorpe And I mean, by everyone, from the least to the most powerful.
The NYT does not want to know about the article by a French philosopher economist analyzing the relationship between the US banking system and the US health industry . We go back to the same situation for which I had cut my subscription to the NYT several month ago. Frustrated by writing comments about or from the European intellectuals and never seeing them published by the NYT. When are Americans going to realize that they don't live by themselves in the world and with their ideology fulfilling everything ?
lfkl (los ángeles)
66 million of us knew the guy was a charlatan well before the election and did not vote for him. 63 million rubes were fooled. Because of the electoral college system the rubes won and the country was turned over to a parasite who lives quite well on the host. If not eradicated, the parasite will eventually weaken and kill the host. Ironically on top of the figurative parasite - Trump - we now have a literal parasite. I wonder how this horror story will end.
james jordan (Falls church, Va)
As always a great column. My feelings are: this pandemic is the result of a failure of the international health community. When an infectious disease is created by the ongoing evolution of life and affects humans and or our food supply, there should be a well staffed and well equipped global organization to spring into action and begin a vigorous routine. Think of how many people have been sickened or who have died in a very short time from the start of the novel infectious virus. All nation states should cooperate and fund this kind of effort. The major lesson from this is all nations must give greater emphasis to cooperate effectively in health, food supply, water, energy, and the environment. Our species should be mature and rational enough to figure this out. I am old enough to realize that the agreements reached at Bretton Woods near the end of WWII were rational acts and the America First motto should give way to a Humankind First motto. My hope is this Administration and the incoming Biden/Sanders and Democratic Congress will turn toward strengthening the international community response to threats to our species and their commons support systems . It is fundamental to our national security and well being of our species.
Richard Head (Mill Valley Ca)
"I don't know anything about it".probably one of the truthful things Trump has said public. However, as usual, it does not stop him from thinking he does.
tom (pittsburgh)
Pence was an unlikely head of an effort that requires a belief in science, but is the best the Trump administration had to offer, so he looks good in comparison. So as we skip Mass for the sake of helping each other, Let's remember to skip the Sunday brunch and the TGIF stop.
KMW (New York City)
Health care workers and personnel are putting their own lives and the lives of their loved ones on the line to assist those with the coronavirus. We owe them a great deal of gratitude for their caring and concern at these very uncertain times. They are our heroes.
Alan Crawford (Lisbon, Florida)
Unfortunately many healthcare facilities cut staffing for the sake of the bottom line after building fancy buildings to attract more patients. Then rewriting job requirements making necessary, advance degrees BS or higher to apply for positions formerly held by LPN/LVNs and other technical workers. Many healthcare workers with decades of work experience were let go in efforts to make the healthcare facility look more attractive to perspective patients. Many experienced workers who may have been recalled to help in the current emergency have let their licenses lapse or are no longer interested in returning to the field.
Canuckistani (Toronto)
Trump is a useless turnip. People returning from trips to USA are self-isolating in Canada. Your profiteering medical system and an incompetent turnip as your leader are killing people.
KMW (New York City)
We must stop relying on China for our medical supplies to fight the coronavirus. We are very capable of making gowns, masks, testing kits and any other materials that are needed for this virus. We must start this immediately. This is a matter of life or death.
angel98 (nyc)
@KMW It means setting up factories, buying equipment, training people, sourcing raw supplies (from where?), making sure people who work there are have protective gear they will all be in the same room, setting standards (outputting faulty product would be hazardous)... That is not an overnight process. Could be months before such a venture is operational. I had read the reason many factory jobs would never come back here is that setting it up would take years, the costs astronomical. Since outsourcing no one has kept up with factory development, organization, supply chains etc. Outsourcing started decades ago when digital and automation was the stuff of fiction.
Al Cafaro (NYC)
People are dying, many more will. If only karma played a role......
Amos (CA)
I hope those who still support Trump take some time to THINK or CONTEMPLATE who he is and what his administration is about. They had over 3 years to get some reality sneak in. Trump is EMPTY - there is no nothing in there. He is the lowest of the low, a shameless empty nothing who, by his incompetence, megalomania and refusal to take responsibility for anything is destroying the country and killing us faster and faster. I could go on, but I have to control my blood pressure.
Joanna Kurpershoek (Belgium)
I could not have said it better!
Chris (San Diego)
The president tested negative for the virus. Also for basic humanity, competence and decency this job requires. If there was a god, he and Pence would resign and let Ms. Pelosi save the ship before it hits the looming rocks.
Rich (California)
Many have stopped listening to trump's pathetic speeches, usually full of lies and attacks. Many do not want to look at the bloated orange thing that can resemble a bad LSD flash-back from the 1960's. So what do we have left? Nothing but a huge mistake that should have never happened. "An error is not a mistake until you refuse to correct it" JFK said that. Vote Blue restore decency.
will duff (Tijeras, NM)
Read the new opinion research among DJTrump's base. They believe fervently that 1. The seriousness of the pandemic is WAY overstated by the scurrilous "mainstream" press - strictly to damage the President - and they trust Trump as much as ever. When he says he is doing a "tremendous" job of controlling the disease, they pump fists and and say, Yeah maga! It's hard to understand, but we can't dismiss the fact that a third of our fellow citizens are in this hypnotic trance.
Country Girl (Missouri)
Will duff I am of two minds about the self-destroying ignirance and delusions if the MAGA people. 1) They and their families ate mire at risk because of their ignorance and may pay the ultimate price 2) They put the rest of us at greater risk as well.
Don (Wisconsin)
People across the United States are self distancing; sports events, entertainment events, conferences are closing down to halt the spread of the disease. It might be through these efforts that we slow the disease. Trump has led in none of this. Our "leader" has followed, he has been dragged along against his will. Obama gave us Obamacare. Trump gave us Covid-19.
Country Girl (Missouri)
Don And the NBA gave us the red flag that our goverment would not. Their cancellations started organizations doing the correct thing. What pathetic government leaders we have right now.
Mixilplix (Alabama)
I see his aging base crowding local diners and refusing to adhere to recommendations by experts. They were eating pancakes and coughing all over each other. Goodbye, Trump Country.
T. Schultz (Washington, DC)
Unfortunately, the lies and misinformation from Trump and the Fox Propaganda channel are succeeding in convincing many people this virus is not a big deal. Just yesterday, two relatively normal people told me that more people have died of the flu than the Covid-19 virus. Their message was essentially "why worry?" This seems consistent with recent polling that suggests that Republicans are simply less worried about spreading the virus. Dr. Fauci must be pulling out his hair. One might think that the administration/Fox strategy is to kill off their voters/viewers but that would suggest they look forward more than a few days and think things through. Still when people talk about the demographics making the Republican party extinct, they perhaps did not anticipate such lemming like, suicidal behavior in computing the timeline.
rich (hutchinson isl. fl)
The opinion that Donald Trump is a political genius has been trashed. His early denial of the severity of the ongoing pandemic, lack of effective preventive action and his false projection of "zero" cases, and comparison to the flu, have proven his incompetence. Trump could have assured his re-election and his place in history, by leading a World War against a common enemy; Instead he delayed the federal response, missed the window of opportunity presented by the original travel ban and aided the spread of the pandemic by denying the need for social distancing. He could have been a War President without an actual war; (A politician's dream). Instead he reverted to what he is, a proven con artist, spouting misinformation, dangerous nonsense and outright lies. The usual swath of America overlooked his obvious lack of expertise and constant propensity for the falsehoods that service his brand, until now. That's over. Now it is about life and death, and we see that Trump is not up to the job.
Steve Singer (Chicago)
He has no idea what’s about to happen, while the country is laid low.
Hrao (NY)
Trump's Rose Garden speech was worse than any 1 year old's attempt to make a speech. While he did not bring in the virus, the buck stops with him for not dealing with it earlier. With so much trade with China any one with a brain would have seen that it was just a matter of time before it would move to the US. He is a failure and does not know how to manage anything including this problem. When some one (other than Miller) does some useful work he fires them. All you have to do see how he is treating Sessions who showed some level of honesty by recusing himself. It is naive to think that he is not a part of the problem faced by us.
Bill (NJ)
I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I think Trump should just shut up and stay out of the way. On the other hand, I am delighted he can't. "No, I don't take any responsibility at all." will make a WONDERFUL campaign ad for the Democrats.
michael cullen (berlin germany)
There you go again, Ms. D., giving snake-oil salesmen (and even snakes) a bad rap. On the scale of purveyors of useless remedies, snake-oil salesmen's reputations are much higher than Trump's. When he came on Friday I noted down that he would boast and brag, and: bingo, he boasted and bragged. Narcissistic Personality Disorder, textbook version: if it's good, Trump did it. If it's bad, somebody (even a deceased somebody like McCain) did it. Take the credit for things you don't own, and deny responsibility for the snafus.
Larry (Lexington, MA)
It was just announced that Trump took the test and it was negative for Covid-19. All who believe this, raise your hand. Anyone?
angel98 (nyc)
@Larry I had read that the testing process turnaround, just to see the results, takes at least 24 hours for a positive and can take days longer for a clear negative. Facts anyone? Please, from a scientist who actually knows the process and performs the tests.
LibertyLover (California)
Have you noticed a recurrent theme regarding Trump and his seemingly endless and torturous reign? We have the best people in the business reporting and analyzing Trump and his what seems like a sick joke he is playing on the nation. The recurring theme is that no mater how severe the criticism and condemnation, the train rolls on toward more disasters and more idiocy. Of course, Trump has a few more tricks up his sleeve. Depending on how the polls are going, we just might find that the national elections have been delayed due to the mass level of chaos and dysfunction Trump has infected and inflicted upon the nation. Trump will think it is his pièce de résistance, but of course he'll use his limited vocabulary of real estate puffery to say it.
br (san antonio)
We can only hope he's branded the Republicans for a generation as Hoover did. God help us if they ever take power again. God help Democrats not to blow this election...
Tom Carney (Manhattan Beach California)
These are the energies that motivate and drive Trump. envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth, and wrath. Recognize them? It would be easy to give an example of Trumps frequent use of each.
Fromjersey (NJ)
When Trump got into office I said to friends, he's not closing borders to keep immigrants out, he eventually wants to keep us bordered in. Well the moment is here, not exactly how I envisioned it. But we are essentially under national lockdown.
sjm (sandy, utah)
The presidential plague described by Dowd goes far deeper than just one single buffoon who is at least honest enough to admit he is "not responsible". He nailed that. Unfortunately, Trump is the personification of Republican science denial and paleolithic behavior worn as a badge of honor by millions. The larger American plague is hollow American Exceptionalism validated by 60 million voters who elected as their roll model a man who brags about assaulting women and how he can kill people on the street w/o consequences. So my biggest fear is that half of America shares his narcissistic ignorance as a strategy for serious challenges while rejecting expert advice and science. America will either wake up to the need to support logic and knowledge or we will be relegated to the ash heap of failed nations. Convinced by a casual serial liar that CoV2 would be gone by now and suckered into a 20 year x trillion dollar war by a fool, it doesn't look good.
Telos (Earth)
Are the Trump goose steppers still in lock step with him? I mean, are they ever going to wake up? Admitting you were wrong takes real courage.
Jim Brokaw (California)
“No, I don’t take responsibility at all,” Trump said. “Leadership: Whatever happens, you’re responsible. If it doesn’t happen, you’re responsible.” Hard to believe (OK, not) both said by the same person... Trump embodies and exemplifies Republican's hypocrisy. Republicans = Hypocrisy Vote Them All Out.
Ken (St. Louis)
When Trump contracts the coronavirus, his supporters will blame it on a covert operation devised around a renewed effort to impeach him.
Susan Winters (Chapel hill)
I want to give a shout out to our governors, especially Inslee and Cuomo and Cooper. Hard decisions. Anticipating needs. Realistic. Thank goodness we are are the united STATES of America. Pelosi? You go girl. And all those republicans waiting for a tweet? Just go away.
Country Girl (Missouri)
Susan Winters And governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine, a Republican, seems to have a grasp on reality.
Patricia G (Florida)
And don't forget how Trump wanted the virus-ridden cruise ship to stay offshore so that "his numbers" wouldn't go up. Don't think a president could get more sociopathic than that.
Barry Lane (Quebec)
Trump is really unwell and so are the 42% of Americans who support him. The virus only makes this even clearer. What a paradox! Do you believe in divine retribution? A lot of Trump's supporters do. At least they may be right on this one!
John LeBaron (MA)
President Trump is the antithesis of effective leadership. He is kerosene to a raging wildfire. Reading Doriis Kearns Goodwin's superb study of presidential leadership, the president is the monochrome negative of her brilliant Kodachrome portrayal steady courage under fire. The cases in point are too legion to enumerate, but here's one current example. Shifting blame as is his wont, the president is now sputtering about firing or demoting his own hand-picked Fed chair, Jerome Powell, incredibly throwing shade on him for the crime of doing his job, effectively as it turns out. Nobody -- including many of his craven, muzzled enablers -- believes a word that emerges from his mouth. Nobody believes that he has a sense of anything outside the boundary of his own self-aggrandizement. To him, nothing exists beyond "ME!" In his warped viewframe of unreality, if he should turn into Herbert Hoover redux, it will have been Jerome Powell's fault. The president's abject unfitness to lead is manifest, but it is merely symptomatic of the deeper moral wasteland of the GOP. We already know that the US Senate is controlled by lemmings and sycophants. It remains to be seen if a voting American majority has fallen prey to the same political virus. President Hoover, you never looked as good as you do now!
Dog girl (Tucson)
Another reason why I will eagerly vote for Joe Biden if he is the nominee even though Joe Biden was not my first, second, third, fourth or fifth choice. Vote blue no mater who 11.3.20
Bruno (Italy)
In all this “plague” – reportedly helped in USA by what someone had previously called on a NYT page, the “Trumpvirus – there is a good news. A Wuhan Hospital has shared with an Italian Hospital, Istituto Pascale di Napoli, a medical protocol which includes the Tocilizumab, a drug used for rheumatoid arthritis. Some severe patients treated with a cocktail of already known antiviruses, plus the above mentioned anti-rheumatoid, showed an improved clinical picture after only 24 hours: the same positive reaction as in Chinese patients. The Shanghai Chinese Red Cross also sent on March 12, an Airbus A-350 cargo to Italy with 200,000 masks, medical equipments, beds, ventilators, special suits and nine Chinese doctors to set-up a 50 beds area. Also Germany sent one much needed million masks, as this product is not manufactured in Italy. After the shock, the World begins to move forward, reacting empathetically to this planetary virus attack.
Charles Willson (Southampton Ontario Canada)
President Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs failure." I am the reponsible government officer." Trump, in the midst of the coronavirous crisis, " I don't take any responsibility at all." Of course, one guy was a war hero, the other guy had bone spurs.
Woollfy1a (Florida)
If Trump runs his day job (the Trump Organization) as well as he runs his part time job (POTUS), he’d be out of business.
JenD (NJ)
Thank you for reproducing the "nasty question" quote. This is the first place I have seen it acknowledged. When he said that to the female reporter, I was screaming at my laptop that oh, yes, another "nasty woman" asked you a "nasty question", Donnie. (I watched the news conference live on my computer.) He really cannot tolerate women who challenge him, can he? And all he can do is respond with venom.
Sal (Sacramento, ca.)
Out of the millions of words that have been written about Donald Trump, it all boils down to this column by Maureen. It's ironic that it's taking a global virus to expose the most dangerous person in the history of the United States.
Robert (Out west)
Well, of course he washes his hands of any and all responsibility. Question is, does he ever wash them for any other reason?
Edgar (NM)
" It's almost like the United States has no President - we are a rudderless ship heading for a major disaster. Good luck everyone!" Donald J. Trump. March 19, 2014. Prophetic.
EM (Tempe,AZ)
Oh Ms.Dowd, this column is tremendous. Yay Yamiche Alcindor for asking the spot-on question. Of course DT made excuses. The buck doesn't stop with DT--he pivots to find an alibi. We lost a good six weeks due to his lack of leadership. Six weeks is six decades in a public health crisis. So strange that the cherry blossoms looked so regal and we have such a parody of a president in that majestic setting.
Nunov D’Abov (Anywhere Else)
Well, it is good to know that Trump washes his hands- of responsibility. Some thoughts come to mind: Who is the one person in the administration that Trump can’t fire? Pence, the fall guy. If Trump and Pence get sick from their mindless exchange of germs with their cronies, who is next in line of presidential succession? Nancy Pelosi! This means Trump will ride around on his golf cart making believe he is fine with an intubation tube in his throat to give the impression he is breathing. Kushner will be handling the remote control as Trump drives across the green.
As Trump whimpered in his managed style of never taking responsibility for anything after flailing through the worst presidential address ever from the Oval Office. Nancy Pelosi and Steve Mnuchin were over on Capitol Hill taking real responsibility for taking action to improve the situation for the American people. As poor Dr. Tony Fauchi stood by looking down at his watch with Trump calling him to the podium to bail the Dear Leader out of another misstatement/outright lie, Pelosi was crafting legislation that must have made her think that she has Trump in a vice grip like Trump used to see at his World Wrestling. He’s terrified of Speaker Pelosi and didn’t want her to be the leader in this crisis. But after he continued to fail on Coronavirus 19, he tacitly approved family medical leave, free testing and other things that are contrary to GOP politics. In the continuing saga between Trump and Pelosi, the Speaker can now say, “ Checkmate, Donald”.
Ed Latimer (Montclair)
On Inauguration Day, Republicans stopped listening to Democrat’s. On Coronavirus day, they stopped listening to the President.
Maureen A Donnelly (Miami, FL)
Pelosi was correct--with Trump all roads lead to Putin. The ONLY person who has won anything besides Trump and his spawn is Putin. Putin and Russia . . . Sad to see the GOP working for Russia each and every day.
Joe wolfe (Madison wi)
watching this president conduct his Rose garden event yesterday brought back the memory of "Ted Baxter reading the news!' Mary Tyler Moore's was a. lovely humorous show but this guy is anything but.
Nick (St Louis)
We can be sure that when the infection has run its course naturally, Trump will take full credit for it.
RLiss (Fleming Island, Florida)
"Until now, Trump has mostly succeeded in covering up things that could damage him — from taxes to payoffs to paramours during the campaign to blocking evidence and witnesses in his impeachment to his conversation with Vladimir Putin where the interpreter’s notes disappeared." It seems to me Trump BRAGS about his "conquests" of women. Anyone else recall Truman's "the Buck Stops Here" motto? Ah, well, the olden days.....
Ash. (Burgundy)
Throughout history, Nature has taught lessons to major despots. When you behave as if you're God, always correct and always in charge and never wrong, and sorry is not a part of your vernacular, making arrogant, ill-informed decisions which hurt and impact thousands of human lives-- and still no remorse, then one can only ask for Divine intercession. And I have prayed daily (if you believe in the power of prayers as I do), to rid us of this pestilence in the WH. It is unfortunate but only a natural disaster and especially a nasty virus at that, could have and probably would cut Trump down to his knees-- but, the irony of the matter is, he has continued to behave completely tone-deaf, and with that same narcissistic idiocy like that Pharoah screeching at the Almighty as the Red Sea engulfed him.
Peabody (CA)
To put things in perspective, the SARS-CoV pandemic is thousands of times worse than 9/11. Your chances of being killed by a terrorist after 9/11 were no greater than one in a million. Your chances of dying from Covid-19 within the next year are perhaps one in five hundred. Do the math.
William Geller (Vermont)
capitalism at it's best from the NYT In Manchester, Vt., the Wilburton, a 30-acre estate with an inn and private rental villas, was making itself available to those without second homes, announcing on its website: “As the Von Trapp Family singers fled Austria to the healing mountains of Vermont, please know you always have a safe space here too. Pack up your family and escape the panic, crowds and empty market shelves. (We have plenty of toilet paper here!)”
NNI (Peekskill)
The million dollar or is it a billion question? Why did'nt Trump get himself tested after he came in contact with two people who tested positive. For a serial selfish, germophobe is it a lie? I see him getting tested as soon as he came in contact with the infected gentlemen.
Kevin C. (Oregon)
"Buttery males!"
klm (Atlanta)
"No, I don’t take responsibility at all” says Trump. For anything, his whole life.
Susan (San Diego, Ca)
I hope that the Trump administration's indifferent and incompetent response to the pandemic is a wake-up call to enough Americans that it tips the election against Trump. If he wins again in November, this country is toast.
Maxi (Johnstown NY)
Why must Trump always have a line of people behind him. And must every statement from an Administration person start with how wonderful Trump is? I know the answer - just wonder how those folks can stand Trump. What a waste of time and space.
Michael (Brooklyn)
In response to another column, someone posted that 12,000 Americans died of H1N1 under Obama. I later checked the CDC’s site to find the death toll wasn’t anywhere near that number. So the disinformation campaign of “but Obama...” seems to be the main focus on the right.
Jackson Aramis (Seattle)
Tens of thousands of Americans will die because of Trump’s inept response to the Covid-19 epidemic, a tragic and opprobrious stain on his legacy depicting the deadly effect of unconstrained power egotistically rendered.
Quincy Mass (NEPA) what. Whatever he says or does, his supporters don’t care, and still love him. When the world finally gets a handle on covid-19, who do you think will jump up to take credit? Any bets?
Marianneremark (Madison, WI)
Brilliant writing at least is emerging in this time. I will enjoy forever the image of the stock market as "a neurasthenic Victorian lady prone to taking to her fainting couch."
Somebody (USA)
Democrats!!! Listen up and start creating ads that play Trump denying responsibility, the head of the CDC saying he doesn't know who is responsible for testing, or Trump saying that this is a media hoax,etc etc. That should be easy. Time for the Dems to stop playing NICE and go for the jugular in the fall, if we all are around by then. This whole two month delay IS TRUMPS FAULT. No harm can be done by blasting this fact to the rooftops because the GOP would be doing the same thing on steroids right about now wouldn't they? Seriously. Trashing Trump cannot be harmful because he actually has NO role in his own government....
Ama Nesciri (Camden Maine)
I can hear singing from the White House Residence -- "O Sole Mio!" And the echoing refrain from Number One Observatory Circle 2.5 miles away -- "Tutti quanti bello!" Oh, the evening seranade cascading the empty streets and equally empty promise between these two!
Ted (NY)
A pedestrian mind filled with malice for all, but himself. A clever coward who, like a magnet, attracts others much like himself. Yamiche Alcindor‘s question again underscored his ineptitude. Yet, Ronald Lauder, the cosmetics merchant, along with Sheldon Adelson continue to raise money to fund Trump’s re-election. Michael Bloomberg insanely expensive, low-voltage presidential pretensions were meant to crash the Democratic Party, not strengthen it. Imagine how many Coronavirus tests that money could have bought. The corruption began decades ago; In the days when, the now pardoned, Michael Milken was the biggest convicted crook in the land The Clintons cinched the economic and social destruction with the elimination of the Glass-Steigall Act that allowed Sandy Weill to furnish his plane, as you Maureen Dowd reported years ago, with Hermès fabric. Yet greed continues to ravish the country like the virus.
View from the street (Chicago)
Back in 2009, on April 25, the first community-spread case of swine flu was reported, bring the total number of reported cases to -- wait for it -- four. The very next day Obama declared a national emergency. How long did it take Trump?
Jo (Maryland)
Bar-hoppers and party-goers right now are like anti-vaxxers: they happily depend on others to protect them from a powerful disease. They have no understanding, or selfishly reject the concept of flattening the curve. They may even justify their activities by saying “I’m helping a local business.” Sure, tell that to the Italians.
Betsy S (Upstate NY)
Those pictures of Americans crowded into lines waiting to be cleared for entry into the USA say it all. This administration seems to have a talent for not thinking things through. Those people are coming from countries where the corona virus is already more common than it is here. Otherwise, there would be no rationale for trying to screen them. Does it make any sense to put them into such close proximity that anyone who is infectious is almost guaranteed to spread the virus? But it sounds like the "tough" thing to do. I am almost as upset by the people here in Florida who seem to think nothing is wrong. I understand that, if you don't see thousands sick and dying, you might have a tough time processing how disease spreads exponentially. What I don't understand is how people think that it's just hype to point out that we have not yet experienced the worst of this crisis. We are trying to figure out what to do next. Will hospitals here be overwhelmed by the millions of vulnerable elderly? As the number of cases increase, will the doubters cooperate to "flatten the curve," or will they stubbornly rely on misinformation and their gut reactions? Should we go to our home in the north, where there are a lot of cases and a significant population of old people? New York State seems to be taking more draconian actions in response to the disease. Is that good or bad?
allen roberts (99171)
Now might be the time to put my home, located in a rural area on a dead end road. Social distancing for me is not only a choice but a reality due to geographics. I can't even convince the postal service to deliver mail. The same for the area newspaper. No neighbors, no kids, no traffic, only solitude, silence, and peace. No, I am not in Heaven, just home.
magicisnotreal (earth)
Cherry Blossoms are much more abundant in Essex County NJ parks. Branch Brook park in Newark/Belleville is one place to drive or walk through. .
JDL (Malvern PA)
Trump has proven that whenever someone from the Trump administration shows up and says “Hi, I’m from the government and I’m here to help” for your life.....literally. This administration has made the act of bungling any task a core competency.
magicisnotreal (earth)
@JDL You describe the republican party SOP since reagan invented that lie.
Alex (West Palm Beach)
Common sense says that bans at this late stage won’t be enough. We need leadership to curb the lightening-fast spread. SOME local governments are closing SOME things, but this is so patchwork that it will only help a fraction of what it could if the federal government actually took charge, using true expert advice. As to Trump’s negative test, who the heck knows if that is true or not. Zero credibility has been earned by him and his people.
Erich Richter (San Francisco CA)
It's too soon to speculate whether he'll be able to spin this into his usual victim story, how his innocent presidency was challenged by something no one could have predicted, etc. But what is clear is that he was just handed $50 billion, the equivalent to handing a herion addict a year's supply of Fentanyl. Mexico wall here we come. And it is also clear that this State of Emergency will insulate his seat in the Oval Office and our ethically challenged GOP Senate from any upcoming elections.
Huge Grizzly (Seattle)
There’s one thing we can always count on with Donald Trump: We can never count on him.
Paul Raffeld (Austin Texas)
Trump is a crisis and he is in constant crisis mode. He always deals with life through hate, denial, lies and blame. His first choice for blame is Obama. Of course he will deny responsibly for any and all of his actions because he cannot afford to let anyone think he is not a "Stable Genus". When an outside crisis such as Coronavirus comes his way, he tries bluster, attacks and lies again but this does not seem to be working, with the exception of the GOP Senators who believe every word he utters.
jeansch (Spokane,Washington)
When he took the oath of office with the world watching, the rain came down. Getting to say you are President of the United States of America makes you responsible.
John (LINY)
I really like when he said “50 is a good number” because it could be a much worse number, his lies become mind numbing.
ras88442001 (PA Mtns)
How could have anybody expected Donald Trump do anything but exactly what he has done, and continues to do, since day one of this pandemic now embracing America? His lies - one after the other - his misinterpretation of statements by physicians, epidemiologists, and anyone who has the knowledge and skills to describe with accuracy what has happened, what is happening now, and what will happen before this trial of our fortitude is over. And yet, there he stands with his MAGA cap on his head, arms waving, mouth once again speaking words, words, and still more words, and more thoughts garbled beyond our comprehension. Who on this earth, except his brainwashed followers and those who fallen under his spell of incomprehensible speeches and moronic responses, it is they who have found their most malevolent voice in his. We absolutely must continue to speak up against he and his hateful rhetoric and we must continue to shine a bright light on this buffoon who is destroying America. And just because, he, who on the rarest of occasions, manages to show just the slightest hint of intelligence or understanding, we cannot stop being vigilant and speaking up - in our loudest voices - against his continuing subversion of our freedoms.
Steve (Seattle)
I am thankful that our state governor is Jay Inslee the man trump called a "snake" bcuse Inslee insisted that trump stick to the science of the virus and not make things up. We have witnessed state government here acting wisely and with purpose. The concern has been about the well being of Washingtonians and taking whatever steps are possible to stop the spread of the virus. Back in DC it is the trump-pence show or a version of what could be called "Dumb and Dumber take on a Pandemic".
say what (NY,NY)
trump's shameful performances have put the country in peril. His cavalier attitude about several people he schmoozed with at his club in FL who have tested positive is bizarre. It would be fitting if Mar a Lago became the east coast viral swamp because its owner ignored the basic principles of disease spread.
Wheel Watcher (USA)
Let's get people out of jail.
Zareen (Earth 🌍)
Shame on Speaker Pelosi for caving to Trump and the rotten Republican’s paid sick leave exemptions for companies that employ more than 500 employees as well as businesses that employ less than 50 employees. That’s a enormous loophole. Once again, profits for corporations/businesses take precedence over people’s health, even during a nationwide pandemic. For shame, Congress!
Jena (NC)
“I just think it’s a nasty question,”.... said the President to a women reporter. This summarizes succinctly the Trump/Republican stance toward women. This should be a wake up call for all voting women. This is how the President responds to women asking a question - as a demented bully who demeans you if you dare to ask a question.
Angstrom Unit (Brussels)
There is no such thing as PUBLIC health in the US. It's all private. The price of life itself will be paid by the poor and the not rich enough. America is the harshest, most selfish and, given its opportunities, the most ignorant country on earth. People are already commenting that 'only the poor and old will be affected'. What have you got to say about it?
petey tonei (Ma)
Unlike your wonderful parents, Trump’s parents never taught him: honesty decency respect responsibility accountability empathy compassion forgiveness and honor. The Trumps were epic failures in parenting, their son is exhibit A. Sent to military school because they couldn’t discipline him, Playboy who loved being on tabloid covers, going bankrupt multiple times, each time papa Trump bailing him’s astounding this guy is the President and his blind followers admire him! Even the so called conservatives have forgotten what they learned in Sunday school and synagogues and wherever they learn morality and human values.
lisa (michigan)
Australia Prime Minister Dutton has tested positive for the virus and last week he was posing in a picture with Ivanka. And don’t forget Ivanka was at that Mar Largo meeting with the Brazilian leader. this crime family is very dangerous to this country none of them doing volunteer isolation so they can spread to everyone else
Schimsa (The Southeast)
In viewing all the chaos that spreads like a darned pandemic I’m left wondering why we are all worried about finances. After all, finance, money, trading are all human artifices. We control them or at least Koch, Adelman, Buffett, Gates, Bezos, inter Alia, control them. We can absolutely change the rules, we made the up in the first place. I’m sure I’m not the one to put a financial time out in place but the geniuses who can do that hat trick must. A hiatus on all financial transactions outside of simple cash retail trades for groceries and medical needs. And groceries and medical commodities need central management controls to make sure of geographic and demographic demands are balanced. Consideration should be given to planning for cost free food and medical distribution. It will likely be needed if the pandemic Curve does not come down to sustainable levels. It promises to be a long, long haul to all clear. And, Mr Trump, you most certainly are responsible for everything this federal government does, doesn’t do, succeeds or fails in executing, plans, provides, and yes, Mr. Trump, even what you say or twiddle.
jimfaye (Ellijay, GA)
Thank you, Maureen. Please keep telling us the truth. There are so many people out there who do not believe the press at all and who believe what the Liar in Chief tells them, and also, what FOX News tells them, which is a bunch of lies, too. If we cannot vote this cretin out of office in November because of all the lying then we will be doomed to lose so much of what makes America great, and we will lose so many of our cherished rights along with it. I find it astonishing that people actually think this guy is a genius and that he is religious. Don't they know his history? He is no Christian, does not give a hoot about Jesus nor about the people of America. Please keep telling us all the truth, as awful as it is. It may save us in November.
Underdog (Heaven)
I live in the current epicenter (Seattle) and the impact of the virus is already obvious and apparent. At first, you start noticing it in small ways. A Fred Meyers with no toilet paper. Bars that are deserted, even though this is St. Paddy's weekend. Every major venue is closed, except for casinos. Restaurants are completely empty, yet temporarily grateful for Uber Eats and DoorDash. You can actually drive on I-5 during rush hour. These are the small things, but then you realize that this is just the beginning. Schools are closed for six weeks. Malls were already struggling. The cruise industry is crucial to Seattle's tourist season. I have no doubt that our governor, Jay Inslee, did not take the impact of these closures lightly. He did not make these decisions in a vacuum and completely understood both the health and economic implications. When he spoke of sacrifice, it was in very human terms. Now, compare this response to Trump's, who goes from calling this a hoax to a national emergency in a heartbeat, yet bears no responsibility. Of course he bears no responsibility. When did he ever bear responsibility in his Dorian Gray's life? It is not about travel bans, though by the time they were instituted, it was already too late from the standpoint of containment. For those who can still support this monstrosity, well, what can one say? Perhaps you as well have your own Dorian Gray complex.
J Harrod (Fredericksburg)
@Underdog Inslee waited to close all state schools until last Friday. His public health department is responsible for lax nursing home infectious disease policies that have allowed this virus to run rampant through Washington State nursing homes- something that is not happening anywhere else in the country.
Schimsa (The Southeast)
Stay strong and keep the NYT informed of what it’s like for you. Seattle is, unfortunately our canary in the viral mine.
Bill (Maryland)
Not the coronation he's been hoping for.
M (CA)
Trump will turn this into a win by November.
DD (Paris France)
Trump tests negative in every way.
Here in Jersey (NJ)
Thank goodness for Nancy Pelosi's amazing leadership in the House. She's the only person right now that can get anything done, mainly because trump fears her. It would be wonderful if we could call her Madam President right now instead of the nefarious clown masquerading as the president.
JohnH (Rural Iowa)
Imagine four more years of this.
Concerned Citizen (New jersey)
Did anyone expect Trump to handle this crisis differently than he has handled issues in the past ? This a man who has never accepted responsibility for anything that he has done in his life. Now a virus may be be his Katrina. While Trump deceives and deflects along comes Covid---19 doing what viruses always do. Trump has meet his match. It was both painful and horrifying to watch his "speech" from the Oval office. Painful because he sounded like a person who is being held hostage & forced to read a statement. Horrifying because this man is our president & is more clueless than a piece of lint . I bet that he wishes he could say to Covid19, " your fired" thinking that the virus is perhaps some sort of demented muppet on the loose . It has been stated that a nation gets the government it deserves. What did our nation do to deserve this? Some have visions of Trump being lead away in handcuffs. I think though that it is possible that he may be lead away in a straight jacket instead.
Eric Cosh (Phoenix, Arizona)
Want to know why Reality is a Fool’s Paradise? My brother, and a few other close Republican friends of mine think that Donald Trumps press conference was GREAT! Yes, GREAT. I was shocked, until I finally found out why. Republican Sycophants wear special glasses and hearing aids that totally block out reality! It’s not their fault!
gailweis (new jersey)
I keep hearing Rod Sterling's voice: You have just stepped into the Twilight Zone.
Dearson (NC)
Watching the daily news conference held by Trump and his Pandemic Response Task Force is little more than a waste of time. The conferences provide no assurance to the public that this administration has the competency to lead the nation through the genuine crisis it is now facing. This incompetence was made abundantly clear, with the appearance of Ben Carson, simply as a talking head, to open his mouth, but to say nothing. Trump, with an increasingly unbalanced appearance, continues to provide disinformation and take credit for new legislation developed and forced through the House of Representatives by Speaker Pelosi. The administration has no shame and does not have a problem taking credit for programs already implemented by the States. It should not be lose on anyone, that any national success in combating the coronavirus is because of leadership by State Governors and Mayors, not Trump. At this juncture, the Trump Administration could be of more value to the nation by working with the Congress to provide funds needed by the States. Trump and his toe kissing sycophants should then simply, shut-up, stop appearing on national television, and stop lying to the American People!
NNI (Peekskill)
There is a national emergency. We need to stop the coronavirus pandemic from getting it worse. Quarantine the President for 14 days. It would help the CDC and the professionals getting control over the pandemic.
Raindog63 (Greenville, SC)
Worst president ever. And we'll all pay a price for it. But hey, if Trump supporters get to "own the libs," I suppose it was all worth it, right?
jim-stacey (Olympia, WA)
Since impeachment, I have wondered why Republicans didn't jump at the chance to get rid of the embarrassment in the White House and install Pence, their simpatico compadre. But after watching Wormtongue attempt to cajole and manage a befuddled Theoden during the recent press disasters I despair of them both, again. Neither man is fit to lead America, just exploit us to further their own crude dreams. Deep water rushes over both men and they can't grasp that the firm land they wish to stand on is now many fathoms below the stormy waves. We will all suffer for their many bad choices. Their small state is in deep trouble, as are we.
Samuel Curtis (Milpitas, CA)
Once again, the emperor is found to not be wearing any clothes. But don't worry, Sean Hannity and his ilk will explain away the emperor's nudity -- just another photoshopped picture, a left-wing conspiracy, etc. Emperor Trump only makes "perfect" calls, so of course he would take no responsibility for this pandemic. His supporters will continue to ignore the emperor's nudity. At the end of the Fox nooze day, it won't matter to them. Not even if they started coughing up a lung due to the virus.
David Parsons (San Francisco)
First Emperor Caligula should wash his hands and self-isolate, as he is spreading COVID-19 like Typhoid Mary. Then he should resign. His suggestion of demoting the Fed Chairman will again cause global markets to plummet on Monday. Trump is way over his head, or out of his head. Either way he should for once think of the nation and voluntarily resign, take some Bloomberg cash to make a run for Russia, or the Cabinet should step up to 25th Amendment him.
David H (Washington DC)
@David Parsons The only thing your rage is going to do is get Trump re-elected.
gene (fl)
How's about The Airlines, big oil,Wall Street and every other Corporation that if needed or not will have their hand out expecting a bailout go start a Go Fund Me acc. Washington DC is starting to talk about giving each person a thousand dollar check to help them get through these tuff times. The Republicans will fight it as Socialism and it will end up at 500 bucks. Meanwhile The Fed dumped a 1.5 trillion dollar gift on Wall Street to try to calm them down. That comes out to $4500 dollars per person . 500-4500 Time to start a new government. They are our to corrupt to save.
Wheel Watcher (USA)
I want to absolve myself. My friends want the same. I know people that have hit the jackpot in our current times. Rich people, those that won, those that sit on the side that condems others... I know them. They're good. Yet their position requires condemnation of a certin folk. Did John Lennon imagine a world with millions in jail? No, that's not what he imagined. Let's get them out. If we can get our worst people out of jail, we can deal with the worst in each other.
Rmayer (Cincinnati)
And now we have the "news" that Trump has tested negative for Covid19. After a raft of lies and misinformation, can we be believe that's true? All that's been demonstrated thus far, is loyalty to Trump, not to truth, by those around him - including those who practice medicine. His sycophantic supporters should compare the underlying meaning of the words "medical practice" to their misconception of the words "scientific theory". Up till now, "science" including the practice of medicine in the form of epidemiology, have been over ruled by a belief that Trump's ignorance is the strength that makes America great.
Margot LeRoy (Seattle Washington)
Good people have died alone because their families might spread the disease. I simply wish him gone from our lives. PERIOD.
Hector (Bellflower)
It's ironic that flag waving corporate businessman DJT is helping destroy American capitalism faster than any socialist ever could.
Socrates (Downtown Verona. NJ)
"The buck stops somewhere else !" Trump-Pence-GOP 2020 Register and vote.
Cynthia Collins (New Hampshire)
That is no country for old men.
Anam Cara (Beyond the Pale)
A good friend of mine who is a Trump supporter called me this morning. The first thing he said was: "Did you hear that idiot Trump on the coronavirus yesterday?" He was of the mind over the last two weeks that the President was doing a good job with regard to the epidemic. Then he went to the barber yesterday and there were no magazines to read that you usually see on tables for waiting customers to peruse. The barber told him that a cascade of clients were cancelling their appointments. Then he went to a food club to pick up supplies for his restaurant and couldn't find a single parking space in the vast lot adjoining the warehouse. He's seething at Trump. I told him Trump will be the least of our worries over the next few months. He was speechless. I ended the call saying truth matters and good luck.
allen roberts (99171)
@Anam Cara Reminds me of my former golfing partner who exclaimed Trump was the best President in his lifetime. Now that the coronavirus is here and he is past 80 years of age with type 2 diabetes, I wonder if his view of Trump has taken a turn.
Jason Matzner (Los Angeles)
This guy is beyond useless. At least Nero could play the fiddle.
observer (Ca)
trump has come into contact with coronavirus carriers. quarantine him and all the people around him.
William L. Valenti (Bend, Oregon)
TrumPlague will be the Donald’s Waterloo
PE (Seattle)
Trump is like a caricature of a villainous president during a pandemic movie, but this is a real pandemic, not a movie. I can't think of an actor that could pull off Trump's bumbling, pathetic, inept, myopic, selfish and dangerous ways. I can't imagine the script. Everytime I wake up, I take a startled breath and blink and sort ask if this is real. We are all like the everyday heroes in our own movie. Good luck everyone. Together, hopefully, we can make this end well. No thanks to the villain.
Mixilplix (Alabama)
This con man never cared about us ever. Now we no longer care about him. He and his presidency and possibly life, is now on a fast clock. - A Trump voter.
Portola (Bethesda)
Trump dissembles, fabricates and outright lies about everything, why should his administration's actions on the coronavirus be any different? He calls everything he and his band of losers does "incredible," apparently not realizing that the word's definition is "impossible to believe."
David H (Washington DC)
More of the same vitriol I've been hearing now for the last two weeks, gussied up in Maureen Dowd's personal prose. Like impeachment and the "imminent war with Iran" over which the pundits foamed at the mouth, this too will pass and become a distant memory.
Louise (Midwest)
@David H It won’t be a distant memory for all of the people who have had family members DIE from what Trump basically said was no big deal. Not for people whose businesses are crashing and many other people who are scared and have no resources. Where’s your empathy? Can’t you for one second think how it must be to have a loved one in a nursing home, quarantined? And then, that loved one dies without you being there? Or maybe you have no clue about how that might be or, I guess you might be saying the media made it all up. Too bad for you.
Robertx (Out west)
Considering the pandemic, I suppose your, “Dish it out but can’t take it,” logic makes a certain sort of ugly sense.
Ebenezer Scrooge (Ohio)
"Purell soaked hands"? Well, if you can find any. See the article elsewhere about the greed merchant with 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer he can't sell on Amazon anymore.
Johnny D (Jacksonville, OR)
“No, I don’t take responsibility at all,”! That sums up trumps entire life. The GOP and trump devotees have the same philosophy. Vote this bully misogynistic sycophant out of office!
Daniel (Florida)
Remember this moment Maureen. And remember how you doggedly wrote about Hilary’s flaws with never a word about her overwhelming positives. You and so many of your colleagues with your blind attempts to be two sided and unbiased led to this man being President. Yes, since the election you have called him out at every turn. Wonderful stuff that has expanded the subscriptions to the NYT. However, you and many of your colleagues, like Donald Trump, do not take any responsibility for your role in his election. Walk the talk.
John in WI (Wisconsin)
I would just like to point out that a app/ website that asks a few questions about symptoms then directs (or not) to the nearest testing place is exponentially easier to create and implement than the national healthcare exchange website was. But, even that relatively simple app is very unlikely to be ready for nationwide use any time soon. Nor are drive-thru tests in Walmart parking lots. We will soon see promising these things while declaring a national emergency was yet another mistake.
Joel (Canada)
I am surprise to still see many Trump apologists in the comment section. Some the arguments are: see Europe isn't doing that well in their response, Trump closing the border with China was great leadership, the press is out to get him... Ok, we can't blame Trump for how transmissible this virus is. But we sure should blame him for saying it is business as usual until last week (after the stock market crashed by the way) while the virus has been propagating for weeks in several states. I flew to Mexico last week, the airports were still pretty packed in Vancouver, Houston, Denver, Cancun... Almost no one was wearing a mask and clearly there is no way to keep 6 feet of distance between people a number of them coughing. Not sure anyone was watching to deny sick people boarding the planes (though non-symptomatic people can also be infectious for days - at least some sorting would help). Or pictures of people lining up to go to the bar this week... Mixed message about social distancing and the fact that the virus is not all too deadly to younger people, let people be complaisent with behavior that put others at risk. I am self quarantining myself now since I don't want to be part of the problem, I'd rather part of the solution.
Avatar (NYS)
Why do we keep reporting his press conferences? He’s useless, says something more stupid every day than the stupid thing he said the day before. He lies or inflates his “genius” whenever he opens his mouth. Of course he takes no responsibility. He’s a sociopathic narcissist. Do we not get that yet? He can’t form an intelligent nor truthful sentence... “We have tests for anybody who wants one, and the tests are beautiful.” What?!?
Independent (the South)
Ms. Dowd, and what does your brother Kevin think of all this? While readers of the New York Times are getting this information, Fox News listeners are getting a very different story.
Tish O'Dowd (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
Dear Maureen, You're a brain sanitizer. Thanks, as always, for your acute observations about our addle-pated and malevolent president who's so demonstrably incapable of leading our country through this crisis. Take good care and wash your hands a lot.
markd (michigan)
C'mon Maureen, Trump dropped the ball because the sun was in his eyes. He ran out of gas. He wasn't in the room. He was stuck in traffic. He got lost. He forgot his homework. Or he's just a narcissistic idiot. Wash your hands and never listen to this moron.
Doug Smith (Bozeman, MT)
The president is an ignorant, incompetent, pathological liar and seriously disturbed. The clown act of masquerading as the president is over.
Kate Barker Swindell (Portland, Oregon)
I am actually glad that he doesn't take responsibility because when he does, all hell breaks loose. Let the governors and state agencies coordinate with the CDC since they seem to actually care about their citizens. Trump has the megaphone but he's just cloying white noise at this point.
David Paris (Ann Arbor)
Maureen, Can someone take your photo of the blossoms, along with the caption below, and turn it into a billboard on the Pennsylvania Turnpike? It's such a work of art, I'd hate to see it go to waste!
Bittersweet (baltimore)
We are told to wash our hands, avoid crowds, maintain social distance, self-quarantine if exposed. Yet we see a picture of our so-called infectious disease czar Anthony Fauci standing in a close packed crowd while our so-called president, who has more than one known exposure to the virus, shake hands with other leaders. Either they are gods who cannot get sick or it is all total bull. Why should I do anything they tell me when the head of infectious disease, a 79 year old, high risk individual stands next to a twice exposed 73 year old extremely high risk individual amongst a group of other high risk individuals casually shaking hands in front of a large closely packed group of reporters. Madness. Dr. Fauci has lost all legitimacy in my opinion. The medical establishment, particular doctors, are not leading here, but meekly following. We need someone who knows what the hell is going on, not a political chameleon in the guise of a physician, to tell us what the hell is going on. Instead we have this helter skelter approach driven by media frenzy (who are secretly loving this-everyone home, nothing to do then watch CNN). The death of expertise in government was killing us figuratively, but now it is killing us literally.
Robertx (Out west)
Beyond suggesting that you look up Dr. Faucci’s credentials—I’ll help with the big words—did it ever occur to you that he might feel it’s important for him to take the risk of being there, since there’s no chance at all trump will pay any attention if he isn’t?
J Harrod (Fredericksburg)
@Bittersweet so know you more more than Dr. Fauci? By the way he is actually a rheumatologist. He used to give lectures at my Medical School. Hoya Saxa!
Rich F. (Chicago)
Thank you conservative Christians for helping put a liar — and not just a little liar, but probably the best of all time — in the White House to run, er, I mean ruin our country. My hat is off to you.
thomas salazar (new mexico)
Maureen. You also wash yourself free of all responsibility of your writings. You perhaps swayed enough folks to not vote for Hillary just so you could appear smart but it brought us the orange menace. Own up.
erwan (berkeley)
in the meantime: not by this administration (which concocted this), but by a Judge. Hopefully more citizens are doing the right thing , just like the Mayor of Oakland here.
Readers R Leaders (CA)
Infected or not we are dealing with a very sick president.
Mikxe6 (San Diego)
Are we great again yet?
Sha (Redwood City)
We are used to incompetency, narcissism, and pathological lack of emphaty, so I thought it would be impossible to be shocked again. But when I read about his press event of last week, March 6th, I was sunned by the severity of his mental and personality disorders. This is a report of that event:
tim k (nj)
"the specter of death speeds across the globe, “Appointment in Samarra”-style, ever faster, culling the most vulnerable". I suggest Maureen spend more time outside gazing upon the emerging spring blossoms and inhaling their sweet fragrances and less time imagining the "specter of death" from a micro-organism we still don't understand. In doing so she would find it exponentially more useful to her psyche and physical well being by choosing to experience the special things nature offers us rather than obsess on what it MIGHT take away.
Drusilla Hawke (Kennesaw, Georgia)
When asked whether he took responsibility for the lack of coronavirus test kits, trump replied, “No, I don’t take responsibility at all.” Yet last week on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” it was reported that trump didn’t want more test kits made available because they would increase the number of cases and thus decrease his chances for re-election. This information needs to be declared in every public forum because a man who would do such a thing is a clear and present danger to everyone except himself. He, of course, allegedly got the test that he would deny everyone else. And now that he’s tested negative after being in a virus hotspot last weekend, he’s had his belief confirmed that the virus is no big deal. We are in more trouble than we ever thought possible with this wretchedly irresponsible president.
Liesa C. (Birmingham,AL)
Great article Maureen. It is so evident that Trump is in way over his narcissistic head. Between his failure to prepare for the unforeseeable, but, inevitable, by slashing key and knowledgeable CDC staff and his blithe spin to protect the stock market gains he gloats ad nauseam about, he has outrageously failed in his most important responsibility. What is scarier to me, however, than this pandemic, is the epidemic of blindness to his failings and delusions of grandeur suffered by a third of our population.
Aubrey (NYC)
Perfect example of trump's incompetence: Jared does a decent but naive thing by talking to Google subsidiary about possible public help website. Beast in chief runs away with it and announces things that aren't true. Google "distances itself" from Trump's announcement. At this moment in time don't we need someone who isn't trying to schmooze over what's at stake?
DJ (Tempe, AZ)
The only bucks that stops at Trumps desk are those that he owes to people he has hired.
Robert Perez (San Jose ca.)
After three years of lies and falsehoods its, at his point, pretty darn difficult to believe anything trump and his administration says. His words and conduct add a huge layer of uncertainty and fear to the situation we are now confronting today. At a certain point his trail of dishonesty and incompetence needs to be called out and he and his administration need to be held accountable for the dangers they have placed us in....the elections are coming!
Quilly Gal (Sector Three)
Thank you, Maureen. I look forward to your voice each week. You do no disappoint. Yet, here we are, nearly four years into an experience that I can only equate to watching a toddler with a temper run around the room with a loaded gun. God help us, yet again.
cjg (60148)
Can we trust the President's doctor that he is negative for corona virus? I'm probably the only one who wonders.
PB (Northern Utah)
I am so sick of Donald Trump and his constant lying, misinformation, refusal to listen to experts, nasty insults, and intentional cruelty. In democracies, the press is built on seeking the truth and reporting it accurately (okay not Fox and right-wing media), yet Trump appears to be long past the point in his life where he can even discern the truth--or worse, even want to discern it. Ironically, reducing stress is one of the things people can do to keep their immune system better able to fend off disease. But given a choice, Trump consistently confuses us with his misinformation and lies, and thereby heightens our stress. We can't trust a word that man says. Trump tested negative? Or perhaps he is lying about that too. So here is my suggestion. We know all that Trump wants is attention from the media, which sets up this spiral of lies, distrust, and stress. Maybe the media should only report what Trump says when he tells the truth. Think how less stressing and calming that would be for the rest of us trying to get through daily life these days!
William Whitaker (Ft. Lauderdale)
One of the hallmarks of the Trump Presidency is when anyone in the administration gets in front of a mike, they have to pay homage to the Sun God. Pence takes it to a new level. If Pence spent as much time on his assignment as he does praising the leadership of the Sun God in every other sentence we would be a lot farther along. Maureen, you described many of Trump's pathologies perfectly.
Anne (WA)
Truman: The buck stops here Trump: I have no responsibility for the buck; I didn't even know the buck.
Mike (Cincinnati)
Folks, let’s get used to the fact that In the mind of Donald Trump vis-a-vis how to respond to the threats posed by the Covid-19 virus he puts more stock in the advice he receives from Sean Hannity than the advice he receives from Anthony Fauci. Think on that for awhile as you ponder how safe this nation will be in the weeks ahead.
Bill Sr (MA)
If prevdeaths is a measure of an adequate response, then Trumps failed response defines him as a very dangerous person.
Jeffrey (Westchester County, NY)
Re Obama: "The President is responsible". Re Trump "I am not responsible". Split personality = schizophrenia = incapacitated = 25th amendment.
crystal (Wisconsin)
Of course he shook hands with people immediately upon talking about why you shouldn't do it. Don't forget this is still the same man who looked directly into the eclipse without the appropriate glasses. I have higher expectations that my cats will behave appropriately than that this man will do anything above moron level.
Sam (Buffalo)
Our next President will have to bleach down and disinfect the Whitehouse. Just the same, historians will be writing about the indelible stains left by the current occupant in the WH for years to come.
steve rodriguez (San Diego)
His response to Yamiche Alcindor shows that when faced with a crisis, Trump acts like a cornered rodent, baring his teeth. In that sense, he is not so much Churchillian in his leadership...but more Chinchillian.
A half dozen bankruptcies, hush money to hookers, obstructing Congress, 16,000 lies and counting and on and on. Yes! Let's elect him president! What could go wrong?
Paolo (Marin County)
I think the country finally sees what a complete fraud Trump is on the leadership stage. If it took a global pandemic to clear our national blinders, then so be it. Bub-bye Donny boy.
Harris silver (NYC)
Brilliant column.
That's What She Said (The West)
Sure Blame Trump. But add America to that equation also. America was allowed to vote for a man with 6 bankruptcies. He was a known walking catastrophe and yet--sure-you're welcome to Role of Bull in America's China Shop. So let's get the vaccine for coronavirus and add one for America's protection as well--
Patrick (Fairfax VA)
Such beautiful yet cutting writing. Maureen Dowd at her best.
richcarrollnyc (NY)
Maureen, you should have called him Donald Duck! He ducks everything! “Donald is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. Donald is known for his semi-intelligible speech and his mischievous and temperamental personality.” I think it’s time that Trump got a nickname for himself!
Ken (Tillson, New York)
I think David Brooks said it best, "When you elect a sociopath for president you get a sociopath as president". He needs to be removed.
JD (Portland, Me)
Trump's not so soothing lies: the virus? “very much under control” and infections? “going very substantially down, not up”. Not so long ago he claimed total cases will be “close to zero” and "anyone who wants a test, can get a test." All ignorant blathering, carnival barker bloviating. And now the usual suspects, check out Sinclair corp propaganda, are angry that 'the media' and the Democrats with their 'new hoax' are lying about our fearless leader's glorious response to the pandemic. God help us, Trump truly is an idiot. Excellent article Maureen.
charles doody (AZ)
Hey! Where did all those Republicans braying about people taking personal responsibility go? Nothing but crickets chirping when dear leader proclaims, out loud and shamelessly, I take no responsibility at all!" Just what America needs in it's "Commander in Chief" in a moment of extreme crisis. "I didn't do it". "We're a group. Must've been someone in the administration. (Oh, whose administration would that be, Trumpety Dumpty?, Only the best people?, selected by...who?) Take a good look at what you've put in charge of our fate Trumpublicans and 2016 Bernie Bros who wouldn't vote for Hillary. Enjoy the quivering, orange haired tub of gelatinous irresponsibility, incompetence, and self absorption that's at the helm as he sails the ship of state onto the rocks.
left coast finch (L.A.)
“But think of the tremendous amount he could have learned much sooner had he not disbanded the White House pandemic office in 2018.” Or better yet, think of a White House pandemic office not only up and running but leading the world in response to the virus if media personalities like you didn’t spend the entirety of “Barry’s” administration mocking him and excoriating Hillary Clinton in essays so dripping with snarky venom and utterly blind to this coming moment that I had to quit reading your mean-girl columns. I don’t even know why I’m here except to remind you that you are in part responsible for the destruction of this country’s ability to navigate crises. Had you treated Clinton in a more balanced manner that, in addition to highlighting her real faults, compared and contrasted her superior intelligence and decades of experience with that of the utterly incompetent reality-TV sociopath, we would have been much further along in managing this crisis. Actual lives may have even been saved. When are you going to accept your responsibility for piling on the candidate who wouldn’t have closed the pandemic office? I suggest starting with the recent “Hillary” documentary to discover how much you were shilling for 25 years of anti-Hillary Fox News propaganda and then get back to us. Even Joe Scarborough has more integrity than you in admitting earlier this week that the documentary made him realize his own culpability in creating this disastrous administration.
John (Minneapolis)
In Trump's view, there's really only one important person in the world. Everyone else exists either to serve him and his demented logic or is an enemy impeding his "progress." He's a defective human being utterly devoid of the ability to be compassionate and consider the greater good of others. Is this pandemic, finally, the enormous pile of viral facts that will undo him because it simply cannot be faked away with a smirk, a short-fingered wave and a bunch of stupid-speak?
Tony Davis (Manakin Sabot VA)
The incessant criticism of the Trump administration is really beginning to get old! It doesn't matter what Trump does, it is never enough or it's inappropriate or it's ill-advised. Enough already! Give it a break, NYT, CNN, WaPo, MSNBC! Go back and re-read your notes from journalism school and try to find your reporting objectivity. You've come to the point where you start out with an idealistic, political conclusion and spend your day trying to document it via revisionist editing and selecting quotes out of context. Sadly, you've become a shell of your former self.
Question Everything (Highland NY)
America knew Donald J. Trump will never accept responsibility for a failure. This is the same person who has bankrupted countless businesses and whose third marriage is ignoring a pay off to a porn star while the wife was pregnant. The Buck Stops Here isn't a tabletop saying for Trump. He throws numerous associates under buses in hopes that he sees no blame. His narcissistic personality disorder is on display daily for the world to see Someone take Grandpa's phone to stop his stupid tweets and please take him home for his nap. And if anyone missed the reference, Trump is the doddering grandpa who embarrasses America hourly.
Jim (Placitas)
I kept waiting for one of the "experts" surrounding Trump, during that Rose Garden audition for Who Can Kiss My Rear End The Best reality show, to step to the microphone and say "Everything he just said [points at Trump] is either an outright lie or a distortion of the facts. Let me take a moment to tell you what's really going on." Instead, we get the depressing spectacle of the formerly renowned and professionally admired Dr Deborah Birx standing behind Trump like a bobblehead doll, nodding in agreement with everything he and the rest of the sycophant parade said, no matter how wrong, and then proudly holding up Jared Kushner's 3rd grad science project poster board showing how a website that does not exist is going to work, conveniently obscuring the only person who managed to maintain a bare measure of professional dignity, Dr Anthony Fauci. And even he was forced to the podium to quickly genuflect toward God's Chosen One. At some point, despite their need to attract eyeballs and clicks, the media is going to have stop covering these dog and pony shows because they are doing NOTHING to inform or ease the concerns of the public. They are campaign rallies as Trump positions himself to deflect responsibility for everything that goes wrong while preparing to take full credit when the pandemic finally runs its course.
Oracle at Delphi (Seattle)
It would have been extraordinary and unexpected if Ms. Dowd's column had been used for something helpful and positive for Times readers. We are all concerned about this virus, Republican, Democrat and all others. Instead this column its just another vile, mean-spirited gaggle of words spewing out more venom on Mr. Trump. That the Times and its columnists don't like Trump has not been in question since the day he took office. But you would think in this time of deep concern the Times and Dowd would try to bring Americans together. Trump is the President, like him or not. The Times disappoints me because the newspaper has a chance to be the "adult" in the media as opposied to the overly partisan cheerleader cable networks.
Oliver (Grass Valley)
I absolutely loathe this administration and especially the useless fool that heads it. How the magahats can still blindly follow everything they say, along with all the fake news and lies the right spins daily is beyond me. The right puts lives at risk and yet their followers still gobble up the crumbs they offer the average person. Shameful.
David (Iowa)
Opinion Article Title: The Mexican Invasion National Emergency is Real, But The Coronavirus National Emergency is a Hoax! Opinion Article Text: Yea, right.
Richard (Ohio)
In 1936, after being dressed down by an indignant and angry Winston Churchill during a parliamentary session, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin admitted publicly that he refused to address the growing Nazi menace in Europe for fear that by doing so would lose votes for him and his Tory Party in upcoming elections. His actions were the definition of poor leadership. England paid an exorbitant price for Baldwin’s weakness. Fast forward to 2020 and the same motivations being exhibited by one Donald Trump. How many Americans may die as a result of Trump’s monumental lack of leadership and incompetence given this growing biological threat? His actions on this crisis alone should compel anyone with a brain and a heart to vote him out of office.
Alan R Brock (Richmond VA)
Donald Trump, the preening Great Pretender on TV, was always pathetic. Now, he is as dangerous as he is pathetic. That should send a jolt of fear through every last one of us.
Mark F. Haslem (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
The famous “germophobe” potus who once brought a hotel WC size bottle of hand sanitiser to an interview meet with (I think) a Times journalist years before this pandemic who says he’s not been tested yet and won’t say when he will be? Lol. Nope. I bet he screamed for testing after he found out his buddy Bolsonaro’s buddy was hot, and no one told him. Folks — he’s lying: he’s been positive for days. We’ll all see the proof soon.
Mary Melcher (Arizona)
Does he have a "manly badge" he won at Y Indian Guides when he was 8 and which he fears will be ripped from his "manly" chest if he doesn't act like an uncaring jerk?
PDD (Virginia)
I hope that everyone who voted for this incompetent leader has just a twinge of remorse.
Bs (Seattle, WA)
No news yet on results of Trump’s test. Hmmmmm. You can just imagine - “You tell him” “ No, YOU tell him”...
heyomania (pa)
Loafers United Calling in sick with abandon they do, Untested outside a doctor’s purview; A bank holiday, it’s Christmas and Easter As they all kick back and sit on their keister; “I have a fever, a smidgen too high - Time for the pink slip; a claim I don’t buy;” Quick change of status to ex-employee, Loafers united – the virus, you see; Best game in town, to cut to the bone Like nobody’s business – except for your own.
William Thomas (California)
Trump is one truly miserable human being.
Jim Christoph (Boulder, Colorado)
This is one of the best commentaries Maureen Dowd has written!
bill b (new york)
I always wondered what would happen if no one was President. now I know the man is a liar and worse he is incompetent
W in the Middle (NY State)
One of the secondary tragedies here is the biased alarmism which you and your paper are heaping on what is already an authentic health care – and yes, leadership – crisis… This simple, Mo… You folks like to traffic in anecdotes and selective fact-reporting, to juice your narrative… Do just one thing, starting now… “…New York reported its first death linked to coronavirus on Saturday, when an 82-year-old woman died in Manhattan, according to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo… “…The woman, who was not identified, had emphysema, an underlying medical condition… Simply cumulatively list this and all future NYS fatalities somewhere in your paper, daily… Age, gender, date of death, and any underlying health conditions… If – by this time next week, or a month from now – we have more than a hundred fatalities under 40 years old, that will tell us all something unambiguous… If there are fewer than ten, that will also tell us something… NYS has 20 million residents – if we were to really count everybody… If people live 80 years, about 250,000 die each year – or about 700 per day… Let’s see how different things really are… PS Fauci has been like a god to me since his work on HIV – akin to Jobs, since his work on the Apple II… For clarity, didn’t have a dog in the former hunt… But something – or somebody – seems badly awry, over at the CDC…
Richard Schumacher (The Benighted States of America)
Guess what? His worshipers don't care. If stupid dilettante Democrats and "independents" sit on their hands in November like they did in 2016 he'll be re-elected.
Doremus Jessup (Moving On)
@Socrates. Well put. The country, and the entire world would be very honored, if you, Donald Trump would resign, today. We need a leader, not a delusional buffoon and a mentally challenged lying fool.
Frank Fortunato (Palo Alto, CA)
I wonder what Ms. Dowd's brother Kevin thinks of President Trump now?
Bret Primack (Tucson)
Trump will go down as one of the most hated men in the history of this planet. And he deserves it.
Spot on, Maureen.
Eli (RI)
Plagued by the President - it was about time that you saw the obvious Maureen.
genegnome (Port Townsend)
Long ago, there was Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody. Trump and Pence seem to have a similar act, except I can't figure out which one is the dummy.
Metrowest Mom (Massachusetts)
Nancy Pelosi for president. Katie Porter for Vice President. And let's put all the liars - every last one of them - in a room with one of the certified coronavirus-positive hot shots we've been reading about this week. Wouldn't karma be grand ?
chris (louisiana)
I don't take responsibility at all = I'm completely irresponsible
Chaz (Austin)
Unfortunately, NYT, CNN, Biden, Sanders, Warren, etc can't move the needle in convincing the Trump/GOP sheep that Trump's total lack of leadership is a major cause of the spread of the virus to date and will be in the future. Whether they're racist, xenophobes, have zero trust in Dems, or just plain stupid, it doesn't matter. If certain sources say the world is round they won't believe it. Not that NYT or anyone else should let up. However, here is where Bloomberg and his fortune/organization can be put to good use. Blast the word via all pipelines from prime-time broadcasts down to community newsletters. Especially in WI, MI, PA, etc. And I'll help Mike. Setup a gofundme page and I'm there.
kirk (kentucky)
This morning's TV news had a brief and disturbing piece on Boris Johnson's British response to the virus. It appeared to be 'Let the devil take the hind man. Those of us that are left will have established some immunity' If that is the unfortunate case Britain should be at the top of the US travel ban, not the only cross Atlantic country not on it. Hope this is not the case.
J Harrod (Fredericksburg)
@kirk Trump banned flights from Britain and Ireland for 30 days yesterday. Unfortunately your lack of information or knowledge concerning our current COVID-19 policies seems to be the rule for almost all commentators here.
Every person who has played a role in the current administration will eventually find the wheels of a bus. Bad enough but most if not all of them will deserve it. More's the pity to watch the health professionals standing behind Trump, nodding in agreement to every idiotic thing he says. They all know better but are paying the price of fealty for the good of us all. The parade of CEOs - all making tons of money right now - was pure Trump; a master manipulation an hour before the markets closed after a beast of a week.
Dee (Mac)
“When you say me, I didn’t do it. We have a group of people. I could ask perhaps my administration” because “I don’t know anything about it.” The incumbent's dissembling response. He does know. Here's another thing: At age 16 I worked after school at a fast food restaurant. Burgers and fries, so you drop the fry basket and lift it out when the buzzer goes off, hopefully without burning your hand off. There is also this thing called integrity, where you show up to work your shift and take responsibility. (Side note: the grill cook was a handsome prom date!) It's inconceivable that the leader of the party of personal responsibility has less integrity than (at the time, a very troubled) 16 year old fry girl with issues. I later got a Chemistry degree and worked in public health for a time. Now people are going to die - FYI they will suffocate to death. Their brain won't have enough Oxygen, and they won't even know what is happening. Which is another thing Trump has robbed them of. He didn't drop the fries. Now there are no fries, and he tried to blame it on Obama. Which no self-respecting fry girl would do.
J Harrod (Fredericksburg)
@Dee people intubated particularly those being aggressively ventilated rarely know what is happening. They are sedated. They aren’t “ suffocated to death”. These are the kind of emotional statements by the uninformed that are driving the needless panic gripping this country.
Ray Chatham (Chapel Hill)
@J Harrod If Dee's observation centres someone's mind on the necessity of keeping away from gatherings and washing hands--for fear of otherwise suffocating--I'm going to give her some slack. Her path was a rockier one than mine and her post is off topic, but I bet you'd like her a lot if you met her in hugging, of course.
Dee (Mac)
@Ray Chatham Thanks Ray! The incumbent didn't do his number one job: protect the American people. "No I don't take responsibility at all." Doesn't cut the mustard ; ) for any fast food worker with no benefits. Shame on the incumbent and his hypocritical party of personal responsibility.
M Martínez (Miami)
Thank you for the memories. The first paragraph made us remember "The cherry pink and apple blossom white" a song that Damaso Perez Prado played in 1955, and made many Latinos learn about the show produced by nature in Washington. Great! And we hope that you and all the beautiful people, and families, of The Times remain in good health during this incredible hard time. We include the boomers and non-boomers there.
Jean (Holland, Ohio)
I was shocked to see speaker after speaker touch the mic without a disinfectant tissue. Those backslaps surely transfer anything on the hands. Not to mention Trump’s handshakes.
Javaforce (California)
Why is Trump still in office?
wlm (nc) well as every single GOP senator who refused to place Trump in permanent quarantine.
dave (Brooklyn)
The president takes no responsibility. The president is not responsible. Donald Trump, blowhard supreme, accidentally states a truth. Yes Mr. whiny complainer, you are not responsible.
Of course President Obama is too mannered to respond to Trump's accusations. His silence means that Trump's supporters, and those that are persuadable, can believe what he says. Trump needs to be out of office. His handling of this crisis shows us why. The voters just need to be reminded, but Obama just doesn't get it. Netflix development deals are more fun.
Robertx (Out west)
What conceivable good could it do for Obama to demand that Trump get lost?
angel98 (nyc)
@JB It amazes me that people swerve between blaming Obama for everything to expecting him to act as de facto president. Do you really think Trump supporters would listen to Obama anyway? Any response would just be used as a weapon to beat up on Obama and Democrats, even if they secretly believed Obama. Tit for tat fights are entertainment for puerile idiots. People who know, know, and people who don't know, don't care to know, if they did they could look it up. It's just a click away.
Dr. Sam (Dallas Texas)
Based on these comments, borders now are a good thing??? The rest of the world certainly is relying on defined borders to save lives - minus liberals of course..
KMW (New York City)
We should be concerned for those who have the coronavirus and are at risk instead of playing politics. I would also like to give a shout out to the doctors, nurses, and medical care staff and all others who are putting their lives on the line to treat those who have the coronavirus. They are putting their own lives at risk to treat these victims of this very contagious virus. They are my heroes and I want to thank them for their selflessness and hard work. It is not easy when there is so much we do not know about this dreaded virus.
Robertx (Out west)
Would this include the scientists, docs and nurses that Trump’s been screaming at for more than a month?
Grove (California)
This is what happens when grifters run the government. Grifters like Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and our Republican Senate and Supreme Court will enable the grifter in chief and destroy the country.
rich (hutchinson isl. fl)
The Trump administration fired the U.S. pandemic response team in 2018 to cut costs. Yesterdauy, when asked why our government shut down, Trump said that that was " A nasty question", and that he had no knowledge of an action that has already cost lives and billions, and will certainly cost much more, It then became clear to all, except die hard Fox fans, that Trump is lying, incompetent and ignorant, and that he must be replaced.
chambolle (Bainbridge Island)
I’m pushing 70 years old. Dwight David Eisenhower was the President of my childhood. I never thought I would live to see the day when the willful ignorance, irresponsibility and epic incompetence of the President of the United States, in response to a life-threatening crisis, would directly result in the spread of a deadly disease, the needless loss of lives and the meltdown of global financial markets and economies. And his explanation? “I don’t know anything about that” and “I didn’t do it, he did it.” Like a three year old caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Not just the worst President in American history, but an utterly failed human being, humiliating himself with the whole world watching. And a sad and sorry reflection of the American electorate. How in heaven’s name did this childish, self-absorbed, vulgar, vindictive, repugnant human being ever occupy the Oval Office?
J Harrod (Fredericksburg)
@chambolle Didn’t Ike lie about Gary Powers?
Amanda (Nashville)
Two days ago the City of Murfreesboro, TN issued an official statement to its 130,000 residents that the pandemic was only the product of media hype and not to worry because it would “quickly pass.” The President’s lies spread more rapidly than the virus and are just as dangerous. His downline minions are using those lies to make irresponsible decisions that will compromise everyone’s health and safety. The GOP is a doomsday cult on the eve of self-destruction.
Snowball (Manor Farm)
People must step up to help each other. Rich families in Santa Monica should each adopt 3 poor families in South Central and safely drop off weekly cash and food.
Doug Terry (Maryland, Washington DC metro)
We need to build a wall around the colossal, rattling ignorance that occupies most of the space in Trump's cranium. From the start, he's bragged that he knows more about just about everything that anyone, when, in fact, he doesn't know much at all. From Axios: Campaign finance: "I think nobody knows more about campaign finance than I do, because I'm the biggest contributor." (1999.) TV ratings: "I know more about people who get ratings than anyone." (10/ 2012.) ISIS: "I know more about ISIS than the generals do." (11/2015.) Social media: I understand the power of Facebook maybe better than almost anybody..." (11/2015.) Courts: "I know more about courts than any human being on Earth." (11/2015.) Lawsuits: "[W]ho knows more about lawsuits than I do? I'm the king." (1/'16.) Politicians: "I understand politicians better than anybody." The visa system: "[N]obody knows the system better than me. I know the H1B. I know the H2B. Trade: "Nobody knows more about trade than me." (3/2016.) Renewable energy: "I know more about renewables than any human being on Earth." (4/2016.) Taxes: "I think nobody knows more about taxes than I do, maybe in the history of the world." (5/2016.) Debt: Nobody knows debt better than me." (6/2016.) Money: "I understand money better than anybody." (6/2016.) The list goes on...
Homer (Utah)
@Doug Terry May I add: “ Only I can fix it”
Bella (The City Different)
The blowhard will whimper and wilt if he becomes infected. We've seen this human trait time and time again when an ego is fully exposed by truth. Will half of Americans be able to understand what they see happening? The jury is still out on that one so watch Fox News at your own peril.
Jack Noon (Halifax)
Why aren’t more media (including Fox) blasting Trump for his non-response to the fair - not nasty - question from the PBS journalist?
Mauricio (Houston)
Bernie and Biden both have said they would not have stopped flights from China. Tell your family and friends. Vote red like your life depends on it. Because it just may.
Homer (Utah)
@Mauricio I need a reference. Where and when did these two men say this? I would like to hear their explanation myself and understand what context they were speaking.
W.A. Spitzer (Faywood, NM)
@Homer..... Where and when did these two men say this?....Same place that told them Obama was responsible for not having enough test kits ready, 60 days after it was evident there was an epidemic underway in China.
Upwising (Empire of Debt and Illusions)
Lest we forget in Mr Trump and the GOPs haste to "pin" the virus on China, that the 1918 "Spanish Flu" originated in KANSAS. A local doctor was so concerned with the local outbreak of a horrific, fast-spreading and fast-killing virus among local farm workers, that he wrote to the US Public Helth
Earl (Cary, NC)
Trump has a sign on his dust desk which reads, "The Buck Stops Somewhere Else."
John McLaughlin (Bernardsville, NJ)
Look, Donald Trump is afraid that if he is not re-elected come Nov. then he will have to face the music. Without protection from people like AG Barr he might have to go to prison like his lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen for campaign finance fraud. AND....that is the likely the least of it when additional information comes out about shady deals with foreign governments and tax fraud right here in the USA.
Bill Brasky (USA)
oh all you of little faith. trump will declare bankruptcy and that will reset. so much winning.
lechrist (Southern California)
25th Amendment, now, on both Trump and Pence. Nancy should take over immediately.
One thing is clear. The president’s narcissism and leadership style, which scares normally competent people from giving him bad news, is responsible for serious testing delays. In other words, Trump’s fragile ego will be directly responsible for Coronavirus deaths that could have been avoided if a mentally stable individual was president.
rpirrie (Storrs CT)
Hopefully enough people will begin to understand what this president is all about. And yet, there will still be people who support him. Trump could bring a cute fluffy bunny on stage during a rally, say "This is the deep state," and his followers would run around saying "Fluffy bunnies are the deep state!" and then start shooting rabbits. Trump could wander onto the White House lawn wearing his underpants over his trousers, patting his head and rubbing his tummy while blowing raspberries, and his followers would laugh and starting greeting each other with raspberries. Trump could say the equivalent of "Keep those losers on that cruise ship, let them die, so the numbers stay the way I want them,"...oh, wait, he did say that.
Kathy Lollock (Santa Rosa, CA)
Maureen, there is not much to add to your column this week. You have just spoken for thousands upon thousands of us Americans who now fear for our lives, our loved ones, and our communities. We could ask ourselves, Who would ever think that the wealthiest nation in the world would regress several centuries backward to a time when leeches sucking blood from its human hosts would be the go-to treatment of the day? But here we are with an egomaniac who denies and rejects science from medicine to the environment. We have compared Trump with the most notorious of people in history, from as early as Roman times, from Nero and Caligula onward. But I have to say this not-so-holy “empire” of ours will not fall. We need to look around at our neighborhoods, our state and local governments, our health care professionals on the front lines. We are in this together, and we will fight this barely human entity in the White House and send him packing this November. And finally, let us give a shout-out to a true leader, Speaker Pelosi. She is a miracle to behold.
Xena (USA)
Oh, I wish I could forget you ripping Hillary to shreds with your Pulitzer-Praised pen before the disaster of 2016 election that lead us to this cosmic cluster of embarrassment with now some assured fatal outcomes. Can you imagine what would you be scrambling to write if it was president Clinton handling these crisis? What would you use to fuel your writing juices then? I am sure your opportunistic word-smithing would not let you down and your column would equally drip with scorn and outrage...
speaktruth topower (new york)
Trump himself and his crooked entourage are more dangerous to life than covid19.
InMn (Minneapolis)
Beyond words.
Tateez (La Jolla, CA)
The entire administration is a disaster. Someone sent me a link to a you tube video of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore’s address to his nation about the Covid-19 situation. This is what a leader looks like to me. What we have here is a con man, a reality TV actor with no qualifications and no character. A true catastrophe for our country and for the world. The fact that his supporters are still cheering him on is a reality that I cannot fathom.
michel (brussels)
At the end of the day only the americans are responsible for this because you voted him in the white house
Homer (Utah)
@michel Please understand a minority of American voters voted for the disaster in the Oval Office. Unfortunately an outdated Electoral College gave us the conman.
larry (new york)
trump: "It is sad that we've allowed this democrat hoax... oh, wait, it's not a hoax? Then, it must be Obama's fault!" pence: "This president, this great leader, this chosen one, has never faltered in his love of his country and its wonderful people!" trump: "You're doing a great job, Brownie (noser)!
Trump approved addressing this crisis after he was forced to, brought to the table kicking and screaming…….. "Its a hoax", "False News", "Not a problem" - yeah, sure it is Mr President………... Trump is our most dangerous President ever, WHY? He doesn't care about the American people - only about himself “Leadership: Whatever happens, you’re responsible. If it doesn’t happen, you’re responsible.” — Obama Critic Trump, November 2013 “I don’t take responsibility at all.” — President Trump, March 2020
Truthiness (New York)
It does the people know good to have a president who is a sociopath.
We'll always have Paris (Sydney, Australia)
Trump's snake oil sales pitch about the virus brings to mind Mark Twain's aphorism: "It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt."
J Harrod (Fredericksburg)
@We'll always have Paris And yet the most famous American to get infected with COVID-19 was infected in: Australia.
Mixilplix (Alabama)
The Masters and NBA cancelled? It just got real for old, white Trump base.
Bob Washick (Conyngham)
And to think you would not support Hillary Clinton. Ha ha Ha ha ha
See also