The Washington Post editorial board issued a harsh rebuke of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus response, particularly as he has attempted to downplay the severity of the pandemic as case numbers reach record highs.
“The reality is that the virus is not under control; it is in control,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote. “Record-shattering numbers of new cases were reported Wednesday in six states: California, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona and Alaska. New daily cases are increasing in 41 states compared to two weeks ago. Outbreaks and superspreader events are erupting, such as clusters from Myrtle Beach, S.C. In five months, the pandemic has killed nearly 19 times as many Americans as have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
The editorial board accused the president of engaging in “magical thinking,” saying he “failed to muster the logistical support to confront it” and “then decided to walk away by leaving the response largely to the states.” The board goes on to note that “states that opened up prematurely in May are paying the price now, and Mr. Trump bears responsibility for encouraging governors to loosen the restrictions too early. It was a bad miscalculation.”
Along the way, the board includes some of the president’s own quotes. For example, on Wednesday, he said, “I think at some point that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope.” And yesterday, he told reporters: “We have some areas where we are putting out the flames, or the fires, and that’s working out well.”
“This is historic delusion, and it has consequences in human lives,” the board concludes.