More on this creature

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 31: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the daily coronavirus task force briefing in the Brady Briefing room at the White House on March 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. The top government scientists battling the coronavirus estimated on Tuesday that the virus could kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans. Trump warned that there will be a “Very, very painful two weeks” ahead as the nation continues to grapple with the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

There will lots of deaths every day, for the next several months, courtesy of Trump.

Donald Trump is an absolute disaster of a president. Anyone who makes George W. Bush look good in comparison is beyond redemption. Everything we thought he was—a narcissistic incompetent asshole who surrounds himself with a motley crew of felonious characters—hasn’t just come true, it’s been even worse.

And now, we are seeing in real time what happens when someone who doesn’t give two shits about any other human not-named Ivanka (and only then because he thinks she’s hot) is faced with a mass-death event. Not only did he dismantle the very institutions that could’ve helped prevent or, at the very least, mitigate this disaster, but he’s consistently exacerbated the situation. That is, until someone mentioned to him that hundreds of thousands of dead people won’t think he made America great.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mark Sumner went through the too-large, and still-growing list of ways that Trump has f’d this thing up. The central theme, from start to finish, was an obsession with protecting the stock market gains made during his tenure in the White House.

Trump failed to act, much less overreact. Instead, he continued to downplay the threat of the virus, to declare that closing the “borders” with China solved the issue, and to tell his rally crowds that the virus was a Democratic “hoax.” After Messonnier’s warning on Feb. 25 that Americans should expect that “disruption to everyday life may be severe” and that hundreds of thousands could die, she was sidelined from further appearances.

Trump was reported to be furious … because Messonnier’s claims “spooked the stock market.” In fact, Messonnier’s dire warnings came just a day after Trump had tweeted that “the coronavirus is very much under control in the USA” and said “Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

And underpinning that obsession with the stock market is one very simple thing, the one thing that Trump cares about: money. And the people who kiss his ass at Mar-a-Lago only care about money (it’s not as if he’s hanging out with any deplorables). So he was going to do everything in his considerable power to protect that money.

If there’s one thing the impeached president can do it’s manipulate a media cycle. He’s downright masterful. Everything is a show, everything is a ratings gambit. What happened before and what will happen in the future are utterly irrelevant to the moment. He says what needs to be said to win the moment. That’s why he can say the coronavirus is a hoax one day, and then the next claim, with all the sincerity in the world, that he always knew the pandemic was serious. It’s why we joke “there’s always a tweet.”

He stands for nothing except for whatever suits him best the exact second in time. And when it was seemingly advantageous to keep the stock market happy, Trump said exactly what he needed to say to pretend that everything was fine. It didn’t matter that the market finally stopped paying attention to Trump and erased all the gains it made over the last three years. He had his alternate reality, and it didn’t matter that his inaction was going to get people killed (as his own advisers were frantically telling him), and that’s what mattered.

Which is why a few days ago, he kept insisting that he would reopen the country on Easter (which was never a thing he had power to do), because “the cure was worse than the problem” (a phrase he heard on Fox News, of course). And then yesterday, he was all “somber” as he admitted that well maybe a couple hundred thousand people will die. Which, of course, would mean he did a “good job.” Trump never fails.

You see, if no one did anything, upward of 2 million people would die. But governors have done stuff. Not Trump. Governors.

Yet that ridiculous notion, that killing a quarter million people was “a good job” didn’t get Trump laughed out of the newsroom. Instead, journalists couldn’t stop tripping over themselves lauding this new, serious, somber Trump.

CNN’s Acosta After Coronavirus Briefing: ‘This Was a Different Donald Trump Tonight, I Think He Gets It’ http://mediaite.com/a/rvpew 

CNN’s Acosta After Briefing On Trump’s Coronavirus Message:

CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta joined Anderson Cooper 360 after the coronavirus press conference Tuesday evening to outline the “chilling” nature of the presser – while also statin

mediaite.com

You see why Trump does this? Why he doesn’t pretend to have a strategy, or exhibit long-term thinking? Because the media rewards him every time he has a moment. Not a day’s worth of rational, critical thinking, mind you. Yesterday’s press conference was a two-hour masterclass in Trump insanity. He literally claimed that he hadn’t heard anything in weeks about shortages of testing kits. Instead, they reward him if he strings together two sentences. So he can say what he wants knowing that the press will cherry pick the stuff that makes him look sanest and most competent.

Kelly O’Donnell

The tone and seriousness was different today. https://twitter.com/peterbakernyt/status/1245114362966224898 

Started covering the White House in 1996 and it’s hard to remember many briefings as grim or sober as this one. The best case scenarios outlined today envision about twice as many dead Americans as the entire Vietnam War or more.

These journalists pretend that Trump is a serious person, when, in the same news conference, he said “I’m sure people are enjoying it … It’s an incredibly dark topic, an incredibly horrible topic, and it’s incredibly interesting. That’s why everybody is … going crazy, they can’t get enough of it, and they want to be careful.” Figures, right? I mean, just a couple of days ago he compared the ratings of his coronavirus misinformation briefings to the finale of the Bachelor.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Because the “Ratings” of my News Conferences etc. are so high, “Bachelor finale, Monday Night Football type numbers” according to the @nytimes, the Lamestream Media is going CRAZY. “Trump is reaching too many people, we must stop him.” said one lunatic. See you at 5:00 P.M.!

And remember, this is the same media that obsessed over Hillary Clinton’s emails—all perfectly legal, as if they had any bearing to anything important. All the people who die of COVID-19, they also have blood on their hands.

But hey, Trump knows how to play them, and he plays them good. And as dumb as he might be on things that matter, manipulating gullible people is his super power—from his rabid and unflappable supporters, to the press covering his blatherings.

Still, the goalposts did move significantly yesterday. A few short weeks ago, he claimed there were only 15 cases in the country, and that it would soon be at zero. A few short days ago, he insisted everything was fine and it was time for everyone to get back to work and church. And then BAM, 240,000 dead? Something changed, and it wasn’t concern over human life. He’d already shown repeatedly that the stock market was more important to him than anyone’s grandma.

Of course, anyone who watches Trump knows the answer. Someone finally convinced him that no one thought that an America with mass graves was an America anyone wanted to keep. It turns out, they thought that America wasn’t so great.

“One former White House official said Trump’s reelection campaign advisors are terrified that the coronavirus outbreak, which so far has hit largely Democratic coastal cities hardest, will soon scythe across the rural areas that remain deeply loyal to Trump,” reported the LA Times.” The advisors have warned Trump that the political consequences at the ballot box in November will be even worse if he is seen as too lax. ‘Pay attention. You’re going to lose the election,’ the former official said, summarizing the intervention.”

That six-point 49-43 Democratic lead in Trump’s reelection numbers aren’t the stuff reelections are made of. Our polling at Civiqs also shows Trump losing six of the seven core presidential battleground states—Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin (I’m hoping to release numbers at some point soon). The only state he leads, and narrowly, is Georgia. Now, the margins are tight in all those states, but this is not a good place to be, before we even see the full brunt of the coronavirus apocalypse.

Let’s also remember what Trump couldn’t avoid seeing, just a few days ago, on his favorite network:

ae97d125-5.png

Losing to Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris 50-42 was likely rough enough. Losing by an even larger double-digit 52-42 margin against Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren must’ve been downright brutal. Time to pretend to be “somber”!

The new hope is clear—he claims that without him, over two million people would’ve died. But his actions (which literally still seems to be limited to, “I closed the border with China after the virus got in”) kept the carnage down to “only” 100,000-240,000.

If we miraculously, through the work of heroic governors, keep the death toll to five-digits, then he can take a victory lap, helping save us from even 100,000. Gotta say, Florida and Texas ain’t helping him on that score. If the death toll stays in that 100-240,000 range, then he did a good job. Or at least, that’s what he’ll sell the gullible Beltway media.

And if more than that die? With their inadequate actions, Texas alone could see over 400,000 dead, while Florida is tracking for over 300,000. (Not too late to head off the worst of it, but … they’re not shutting down!)A quarter million dead isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

So how does Trump spin that can of carnage, particularly as it ravages his very own base, so primed to disbelieve science and the media that they’re ignoring pleas to stay home?

Well, anything short of 2 million dead will be a “good job” publicly, but even he won’t believe it. And he’ll mourn their deaths not out of a deep sense of sorry and loss, because that would require the kind of humanity we’ve never seen him express.

Remember this? It’s Trump posing with a baby whose parents had just been murdered by a mass shooter:

Greg Pinelo

@gregpinelo

This is a photo of Trump grinning while Melania holds a baby orphaned by the shooting. A baby who was taken from home and forced to serve as a prop at a photo-op for the very monster whose hate killed her/his parents.

I would need 280,000 characters to say how furious I am.

View image on Twitter
Trump doesn’t do humanity. If he weeps at the deaths of hundreds of thousands, it will be tears of rage at the selfish assholes who cost him his reelection.

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