Talking Points

Trump's coronavirus disaster is the big lie of the RNC

Several segments during the Republican National Convention Monday night made the case that President Trump basically fixed the coronavirus pandemic. "From the very beginning Democrats, the media, and the World Health Organization got coronavirus wrong," the narrator of one video said. "One leader took decisive action to save lives: President Donald Trump."

It is true that a lot of Democrats badly bungled the response to the pandemic. But as writer Luke O'Neil outlines in great detail, nobody did worse than Trump. For months as the pandemic gathered steam, he dithered and made ridiculous promises that it would vanish on its own. To this day he has not coordinated any kind of federal test-trace-isolate program, as almost every other country has done, and therefore most U.S. states do not have one. As a result, America continues to suffer huge numbers of new cases and deaths every day — a months-long disaster unparalleled among rich countries.

The gall of boasting about such a stupendous failure is breathtaking. Over 180,000 people are dead, and many more permanently disabled. It's like Franklin Roosevelt bragging in 1942 that he was "the man who kept Pearl Harbor, specifically the USS Arizona, safe from a Japanese sneak attack." But with Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, going for a full-blown Big Lie is apparently about the only strategy to hand.