If Trump is a war-time POTUS where are all weapons? Meaning Coronavirus test kits and protective gear?
Even though Donald Trump named himself a “war-time president”, that is a fair job description. Indeed, our nation is faced with an existential threat that has already killed tens of thousands of Americans.
Only two of President Trump’s predecessors, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, faced greater and more deadly threats to our nation’s very existence. Both successfully marshalled our vast productive resources and our bedrock patriotism. Understandably, many historians consider them our two greatest presidents.
But President Trump has gotten off to an exceedingly bad start dealing with the gathering crisis of the coronavirus. Indeed, at nearly every step – from initially recognizing the public health threat of the virus to using our world-class medical know-how and industrial might to produce Coronavirus test kits, face masks, protective medical gear, and ventilators — President Trump has been missing in action.
Our “Vietnam War”
But he has been front and center in issuing vastly misleading rosy forecasts of the imminent demise of the virus, while casting blame upon the state governors and public health workers on the front lines of this deadly struggle.
And now, our “war-time president”, like our generals during the Vietnam War, “can see the light at the end of the tunnel.” So, our commander-in-chief issued an order to our fifty state governors to stand down while we gradually reopen our economy. In fairness, after being subject to a storm of criticism from Republican and Democratic politicians, Trump implicitly conceded that he had no Constitutional authority to issue this command. So, to save face, he reluctantly recast his order as a recommendation.
Epidemiologists emphasize the two keys to overcoming the coronavirus are social distancing and testing. Sending tens of millions of Americans back to work will undo most of the gains made from a month of social distancing. Ideally, all of these returning workers should be tested, thereby ensuring that only those who are virus-free are permitted to work near other people.
One statistic provides the clearest evidence of why the president’s call to begin lowering social barriers as we restart our economy will lead to disastrous results: Less than one percent of all Americans have been tested for the coronavirus.
Coronavirus test kits and other gear in short supply
But even now, months after the gathering threat of the coronavirus was recognized by virtually all public health officials, our “war-time president” has somehow managed to coax the greatest economy the world has ever known to produce only a tiny fraction of the test kits needed for a successful rebooting of our economy.
Even now, our president continues attempting to paint a ludicrously cheery picture, repeatedly claiming that we have a sufficient supply of Coronavirus test kits. Meanwhile, even some of the business leaders he recently asked to facilitate the reopening of our economy have raised alarms about shortages of our testing capacity.
Compare our current crisis with the existential threats faced by Presidents Lincoln and Roosevelt. Lincoln had to lead a war against eleven rebellious states that were determined to withdraw from the Union. And he needed to rally the citizens in the remaining states to go to war with people they still considered their fellow Americans.
Coronavirus test kits and “war”
Roosevelt not only had to lead an effort to rearm our nation against the vociferous opposition of millions of American-Firsters, who opposed even being prepared to go to war against Germany and Japan. Then, while fighting full-scale wars in the Atlantic and Pacific, Roosevelt spurred the completion of the Manhattan Project, thereby beating Germany at building an atomic bomb. Just imagine, if you would, a President Trump leading our nation during those perilous times.
The coronavirus, while a gathering existential threat, will eventually be brought under control. But how many more Americans will die, while our president continues to fail to provide effective leadership?
Mr. Trump rightly suggests that the person leading this fight is indeed a “war-time president.” The only problem is that he is utterly unfit for duty.