Well, here we are, eight months into the global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, and this is where we stand as of 6:33 AM (Eastern Time Zone):
- Number of Cases (Global): 35,849,421
- Number of Deaths (Global): 1,050,507
- Number of Cases (U.S.): 7,501,847
- Number of Deaths (U.S,): 210,918
According to the data shown in the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), this means that the United States not only leads the rest of the world in confirmed COVID-19 cases, but also in confirmed COVID-19 deaths.
During President Donald J. Trump’s watch, the U.S. has surpassed the total combined number of American military deaths of several wars in which this nation has been a belligerent, including World War I, Vietnam, and the Korean War.
Think about that a moment. In eight months, we have lost more lives than the total battle-related fatalities of three wars, one of which lasted for over eight years.
And now, adding insult to injury, the President of the United States who bungled the nation’s response to the public health crisis caused by the arrival of COVID-19 to these shores said on Monday that he had to get sick with the virus in order to lead.
Per an ABC News story, ‘I had to do it’: Trump suggests he got virus as act of political courage:
In a video Trump tweeted soon after returning to the White House Monday evening, he spoke directly to the camera — without the mask he had just dramatically taken off — and seemed to argue his getting sick was a necessary risk to show he was a strong leader.
“As your leader, I had to do that,” said Trump, flanked by American flags atop the South Portico with the Washington Monument in the distance behind him.
“I knew there’s danger to it — but I had to do it. I stood out front. I led. Nobody that’s a leader would not do what I did. And I know there’s a risk, there’s a danger — but that’s okay,” he said.
I don’t know where Trump gets these crazy notions about good leadership, especially when many of the 210,918 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. could have been avoided if the President had not decided to turn the pandemic into a political issue and used it to bash China, the Democratic Party, medical experts, the media, and state governors such as Andrew Cuomo of New York.
But in Trump’s “I create my own reality” mindset, becoming the COVID-19 Patient-in-Chief is, in short, good leadership.
Ah, no. It is not good leadership to make bad decisions that lead to the deaths of 210,918 men, women, and children. On the contrary, it’s a failure of leadership on a grand scale.
Trump didn’t mention any COVID-19 public health guidance in the video.
Instead, seeking to project a triumphant image, he repeatedly told American instead not to let COVID-19 “dominate” them. He sent a tweet with the same message — “Don’t be afraid of Covid — announcing his departure from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday.
A good leader does not minimize the dangers from a public health crisis, especially one in which the government’s response was mishandled from the start.
Trump is not a good leader. He never rose to the occasion to lead by example and get Americans to unite in a common cause against the spread of the virus. Instead, he focused on what the pandemic meant to his chances of reelection and how “his” economy would be hobbled by the precautionary steps needed to prevent the pandemic from affecting millions of his fellow citizens.
On the contrary, Donald Trump failed the acid test of Presidential leadership by branding the pandemic as a “Democratic hoax” and encouraging his supporters to ignore the precautions issued by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, virologists, and other medical experts.
And if you don’t believe it, check out the figures in the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
The numbers speak for themselves.