Has America ever had a period or a president who floods the airways with a tidal wave of mixed messages and lies. Whether because of ambivalence, uncertainty, forgetfulness, change of mind, stupidity, or differing advice, the nation has never had so many contradictory messages emanating from the leader of the free world and broadcast out daily. (His press conferences appear to have taken the place of his rallies.)
Not only must these ever changing comments be flummoxing the public, but his own staff members probably do not know whether they are coming or going and what messages they themselves should be sending out. In January and February, he was ‘reassuring Donald,’ telling the nation that there was nothing to worry about. He had everything under control. The pandemic of Covid 19 was just like the flu and would disappear with warmer weather. Very few people would get infected and few would die.
Then as the numbers of those infected and those who died started to rise, he said that he knew what this pandemic would do all along and people should start social distancing, as his medical staff had told him, avoiding crowds, staying at home and washing their hands many times a day. But he himself and the figures on the podium were all jammed together as he gave out this message. At the same time, he said that the social distancing and staying at home would probably be lifted in a few weeks and that Americans would probably be able to attend Easter services.
He also assured Americans two months ago that anyone who wanted testing for the Covid 19 virus could get it and the US had done more tests than any other country in the world. But on a per capita basis we were way behind a number of other nations and the lack of testing capabilities had undoubtedly caused more deaths and extended the duration of the pandemic in America. And we still remain behind in testing.
He has also said a month ago that there was plenty of protective equipment for medical personnel, yet nurses and doctors at a number of hospitals are still complaining about their lack of decent protective equipment- proper masks and gowns. Trump also extended the Covid 19 orders at least until the end of April, but it could last longer depending on how the pandemic and Americans were behaving. Trump advised people as well to wear masks whenever they went out but said that he himself would not wear one. How’s that for a mixed message?
The country is not going to be fully opened for business until there are enough tests for everyone to know where the disease has been and who is still infectious. And God knows when that will be. There also has to be a vaccine or a curative treatment for the disease before America can get back to semi-normal. And even God doesn’t know when that will be. What a time to have a leader who has no idea what he is doing during a major crisis and is constantly sending mixed messages to the public.
Political junkie, Vietnam vet, neurologist- three books on aging and dementia. Book on health care reform in 2009- Shock Therapy for the American Health Care System. Book on the need for a centrist third party- Resurrecting Democracy- A Citizen’s Call for a Centrist Third Party published in 2011. Most recent book, Aging Wisely, published in August 2014 by Rowman and Littlefield.