Trump’s Response to COVID-19 Has Been a Disaster

In his recent interview with the Daily FT (“Up to the people to give us a two-thirds majority: Basil”), I was extremely surprised to learn that Basil Rajapaksa believes “[t]he US President has used his Executive powers to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak in that country and some outcomes have been positive.”

What is he talking about and what outcomes have been positive? America’s coronavirus failures could fill an entire edition of this newspaper. In the US, more than 150,000 people have died from the virus and about 4.5 million people have been infected. To put this in perspective, just over 17 million people have been infected worldwide and over 650,000 have died.

President Trump’s approach to COVID-19 has been an unmitigated disaster. He failed to take the virus seriously and responded far too late. He’s denigrated expertise at every step of the way and abdicated responsibility too. The president also encouraged a premature (and completely misguided) reopening because he thought it would benefit him politically. What’s more, Trump has repeatedly blamed mayors and governors. And he has regularly lied to the American people and the world.

In short, Trump’s coronavirus response can be viewed as a microcosm of his presidency — an appalling medley of incompetence, authoritarianism, dishonesty, arrogance, and solipsism. It certainly isn’t something that’s worth emulating.

*This letter runs in tomorrow’s Daily FT.

Taylor Dibbert is a writer and journalist. He’s the author of the Peace Corps memoir “Fiesta of Sunset,” and is seeking representation for his first novel.