A Toney Atmosphere
So, the "big news" from his press conference yesterday is that Trump changed his "tone."
Lest we forget, it was just a week ago that he repeatedly said the coronavirus pandemic was "Fake News," a Democratic-Media "hoax."
He's PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. And only now he changed his "tone."
What he didn't change are his knowledge, competence, understanding, caring, awareness, honesty and leadership.
This is not a "pivot." He didn't just become presidential. Trump is who he is. We still aren't testing. He doesn't take responsibility. Yesterday, the same day he changed his "tone," he told governors to find ventilators on their own. He shut down the Pandemic Response unit -- and denies knowledge of that. He didn't renew the $8.5 billion cut from CDC infectious disease prevention -- and it's not his fault. He still referred to it as the racist "Chinese Virus" in a tweet yesterday. He still has done nothing to get test kits blanketed across the country -- perhaps out of fear how high the numbers will go. He lauds the stock market going up 2,000 points in one day...while ignoring that it had dropped 8,000 points, and is silent when it drops 3,000 more points the very next day. He doesn't get bonus marks for a month after a worldwide health crisis broke out finally changing his "TONE."
I'm glad he changed his "tone." Finally. After 181,750 cases of people being infected around the world, after 7,131 people have died, after the nation of Italy quarantined itself, after Spain and France locked themselves down, Trump at last changed his "tone." And said something nice about the media. And said he gets that the situation was "bad." Finally. Most of the country figured that out long, long ago. Now, let's see if he actually DOES anything, if he tells the truth, if he has a clue what's going on, if he cares.
And at this same press conference where he changed his "tone," Trump was asked what it was like to take the test for coronavirus the White House reported he had, Trump'd reply was, "Not, not uh - something I want to do everyday...you know, it's a little bit of a -- it's a little bit of -- good doctors in the White House, but it's a test. It's a test. It's a medical test. Nothing pleasant about it."
This does not sound like someone who ever took the test.
Fun fact: this is how having the coronavirus test works -- a swab is taken from deep in the back of the patient's nose or throat. That's it. Fast, and it's over. Not terribly difficult to describe, assuming you've actually had it. Or even if you haven't. And as far as the worst long, needle-poking, finger-probing, machine-connected "medical tests" go, there are probably a whole lot far more unpleasant.
Moreover, at this same press conference yesterday, Trump said "We have a problem that, a month ago, nobody thought about." Finally! I've been waiting for the Trump "No one knew" defense. At last I can relax. "No one knew" is of course always Trumpese for "I didn't know." Which has been obvious since the beginning. By the way, Joe Biden wrote a scathing op-ed in USA Today back in January about Trump's poor handling of the coronavirus -- that was two months ago.
This is the man who less than three weeks ago said there were only 15 cases (there were 40, at least known) and it would down to zero soon -- and yesterday rated his response to the crisis as a "10."
But Trump changed his "tone."
And just hours later, this morning, Trump put out a tweet about the "Failing Michigan governor who must work harder and be more proactive." But yesterday, Trump changed his "tone." Yesterday, Trump showed he finally, at last, thank God knows the situation is bad.
O hosannah! Let the angels sing!
But then, this isn't about Trump, we know who he is. This is about the elected members of the Republican Party who enable him and are complicit. While they know a worldwide pandemic is going on. And the GOP-led Senate hasn't even voted on the House emergency bill passed last week.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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