Photo of Trump conducting a White House press briefing. Trump is pointing towards a group of reporters with their arms raised.
Photo Courtesy of Flickr.

This article was featured in the April 15 digital-only edition of Street Sense. Until it is safe to resume person-to-person sales, you’ll always be able to find the current digital-only edition at streetsensemedia.org/Digital Thank you for reading! Please continue to support our vendors through our mobile app (streetsensemedia.org/App).


W

hat an unimaginable monster Trump has turned out to be!

Ripping immigrant babies from their parents’ arms and storing them in cages wasn’t enough.

Attempting to take food out of the mouths of poor people via draconian food benefit cuts wasn’t enough.

Rolling back environmental standards across the board, hurling us all even faster to the worst of an unfortunate albeit not unavoidable future of untold environmental devastation wasn’t enough.

No, Trump’s cruelty and flagrant disregard for the less fortunate, for anyone and everyone who fails to show him proper adulation, has reached new lows.

Trump has said he will only offer help to states whose governors are “appreciative.” Which means any governor who dares to call Trump out for his criminally slow response to the pandemic is slow-tracked for help and ultimately granted less help for their communities.

This is Trump’s mess and his alone. The Obama administration had set up dozens of early pandemic detection units around the globe, including one in China. But a lot of good those efforts did when two years into his administration Trump fired the team charged with overseeing the program!

The Obama administration’s Department of Homeland Security had a playbook to follow for just such a crisis. Team Trump wasn’t interested in reviewing that playbook during the transition period and all the work that went into preparing for just such a crisis was tossed in the trash.

Imagine how this all would have played out with a competent, compassionate administration. Early and wide testing would have been conducted, social distancing measures would have been taken and the overall impact of this world-changing event would have been much more minimized.

But we got what we got: a guy who was raised by his father to be a self-centered asshole. Not exactly the kind of guy you want or need in charge of things during times such as these! At least somewhat comforting is that fortunately, in the U.S., governors have sovereign authority in their own states to act (or not to act) with the resources and policy decisions within their states’ borders.

Unfortunately, some Republican governors — either out of loyalty to Trump or their own stupidity — overruled Democratic mayors in their own states who have attempted to take social distancing measures.

Now Trump, regardless of health officials’ advice and the better judgement of both Democratic and Republican governors alike, is ready to “re-open the country.” Trump thinks it’s his decision to make. The governors disagree. It’ll be interesting to see how President Coronaviris handles it when he sees who the decision is really up to.

Jeff Taylor is a Street Sense vendor.