It’s hard to take President Trump seriously.
Not too long ago he was calling the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic a “democratic hoax” or a “Chinese hoax.” Last week he foolishly hosted a party at Mar-a-Lago for son Donald Jr.’s girlfriend at which numerous foreign and local politicians were infecting each other and maybe himself. Now, in the face of hard to deny the evidence of disaster in country after country, and a new epidemiological modeling report saying under present efforts 2-3 million Americans could die of the pandemic within the year, he’s pivoting to saying the US and world are facing a very crisis.
But check out the picture above of the Monday press conference at the White House where Trump announced his volta face. There he is, with experts and White House officials standing shoulder to shoulder with him. No separation there! And watching is the White House press core, packed into the seating in the room. Granted there are seats separating at least some of the reporters — though not by the recommended three feet — and there is no separation of rows, so people are often placed right in front of each other. It’s not clear from the picture how many reporters and videographers are in that room, but I know it seats more than 50.
So is Trump serious?
We have to hope so I guess, but his continued insistence in the press conference that he’s doing a great job and that America will “win,” along with this event’s management, lends an air of absurdity to his actions and statements.
The big need is for more testing, as South Korea has been doing (20,000 tests there today, more than have been done in total in the US since the pandemic began). Trump has not explained how this is going to be done, and has yet to accept an offer from the World Health Office (WHO) to sell a huge stock of test kids that the UN organization has available — an offer Trump earlier ignored or turned down.