People are dying. Businesses are failing. Workers are losing jobs.
But above all we as a nation must keep in mind the terrible cost borne by President Trump.
“It cost me billions of dollars to become president,” he said at a White House briefing Sunday evening that was, ostensibly, about the coronavirus response. He felt so proud of the sacrifice he’d gladly and selflessly made that he repeated the sentiment four more times. “I will saythat it cost me billions of dollars to be president and especially with all the money I could have made for the last three, four years.”
Trump had been asked whether he sold investments before the market crash, as several senators did. He responded with self-pity. “Look at my legal costs!” he went on. Calling it “very hard for rich people to run for office,” he noted that George Washington was “supposedly” rich but didn’t suffer as Trump has for his wealth. “I got elected as a rich person, but nobody complained until I came along.”
This soliloquy of self, at a briefing to the nation about desperate hospitals and scarce medical supplies, displayed the utter absence of empathy in the man. In a perverse twist on Bill Clinton’s famous phrase, the nation reels, and Trump cries out: I feel my pain.
Previously, Trump’s narcissistic tendencies caused eye rolls, as when he told Gold Star parents about his own sacrifices, said avoiding STDs was his “personal Vietnam,” and claimed no president “has been treated worse or more unfairly.”
But it’s different now. As basic humanity demands that he minimize death and destitution, he seems more set on protecting his political standing and rewarding cronies. This isn’t America First — it’s Trump First.
Who cares if the leaders of Canada, Britain and Germany on Monday took severe steps to restrict movement in their countries to slow the spread of the coronavirus to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe? Who cares if studies show more than 2 million would die if the spread isn’t slowed?