In an interview with Salon, President Donald Trump’s niece Mary Trump, the author of Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, observed that her uncle’s botched response to the coronavirus pandemic shows that he is incapable of admitting when he makes mistakes.
“There’s something you write about in your book, and I don’t know why others in the media don’t talk about it,” asked Salon’s Dean Obeidallah. “With COVID-19, Trump could have been a hero. It’s not like Andrew Cuomo stopped the virus. In fact, New York has the most deaths of any state, yet his approval rating is in the 60s. Trump could have done the right thing. What was it deep down that stopped Donald Trump from being the hero to America?”
“First of all, I would suggest that it’s just not in his DNA. That’s never a goal, really. And I’m sure he was worried about alienating his base somehow, but even more fundamental than that, admitting the virus existed would have been admitting that there was something wrong, and that’s not something that you can do in my family,” Mary Trump said.
“Secondly, when it became unavoidable, when this became something we had to talk about and we had to deal with, he couldn’t handle it,” she continued. “To be honest and straightforward about it would have been admitting he’d made a mistake. Here we are, many months of death and illness later, where he continues not to wear a mask, he continues not to tell other people they should, and he continues to pretend that it’s not a big deal. It’s going to go away, and it’s the ‘China virus,’ because he just can’t help the racism.”
Asked for her insights as to why President Trump continues to attack Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the public health figures leading the coronavirus response, Mary Trump was firm.
“I can think of a couple of reasons,” she replied. “One is they’re undermining his message that everything’s just right, and he cannot stand that. Also, and maybe more saliently for him, he knows on a very deep level, probably not consciously, he knows they’re better than he is. I’m not entirely sure about Dr. Birx, quite honestly, but he knows Dr. Fauci is better. He’s smarter, and the fact that we even have to talk about them in the same sentence is an insult to Dr. Fauci, and he’s jealous.”
She also says her uncle is jealous of the respect Dr. Fauci commands, adding that “One of the most confusing things for people outside of this situation is that Donald, at this point, could think that he’s doing a good job. But he probably does. He’s got a lot of people around him lying to him about that on a daily basis as well.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.