- The Washington Times
Monday, April 6, 2020

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

It was hard not to think of President Trump as the Queen of England delivered one of the most moving speeches imaginable in this difficult coronavirus-plagued time.

The 93-year-old Elizabeth II did it to perfection.


“I hope in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge and those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.”

Whatever you think of monarchies and even limited, powerless ones in the 21st century, the fact is that millions of Brits hang on their queen’s every word for inspiration and spiritual sustenance.

The Brit grit the queen showed on Sunday reminds us that, to his great and enduring credit, Mr. Trump, for all his endless factual errors and sloppy misstatements, has for many weeks been trying to set a positive tone and give hope to America.

He is obviously desperate to get us back to work before there is no work to get back to.

Conflicting goals?

You bet.

Dead Americans versus legitimate fear of a dead American economy — that is his question.

It is our inescapable question.

It’s not rocket science; it’s harder.

It mixes the moral and the practical into a Gordian knot that only an Alexander the Great could cut — and only with his legendary sword.

Only this is a real knot that no one in real life can honestly claim to untangle without drawing arbitrary lines.

Except for Taiwan, every country on earth made avoidable mistakes in handling this worst pandemic in modern history — the only one to threaten a global economic depression.

In explaining how it has been unfolding and what to do to protect yourself from it, the Trump daily virus task force briefings are immensely helpful and informative and just as immensely facts-challenged.

In the briefings, the president does overstate the population of China and at the same time wrongly makes India more populous than China.

He gets wrong by two months the time the first Wuhan virus affliction was confirmed in, yes, Wuhan, China.

Unforced errors aside, it’s the president’s uplifting words that matter.

What also matters is that a true friend of the president’s agenda has to be willing to criticize constructively.

That not one official standing with him in his virus strike-force briefings ever offers a whispered correction is discomfiting.

I perhaps wrongly assume that each fears hearing the president slam the White House door in permanent goodbye to the corrector for daring to correct him.

This doesn’t mean he can’t be a great president.

It does mean he owes it to the public and his own legacy to take time to digest facts and recite them with fewer errors, read his speeches beforehand and gracefully accept corrections.

Before the CDC turned a thumbs-up on masks for the general population, Mr. Trump had told people scarves are helpful for covering their noses and mouths.

Finally, when the Centers for Disease Control did recommend wearing makeshift masks, the president flipped.

He called it a mere recommendation. Not his cup of tea — not appropriate for meeting with heads of state and besides, he just tested negative for the virus, he said.

He should simply say he doesn’t need a mask to protect others from his droplets because tests show he doesn’t have virus-laden droplets because he doesn’t have the the Wuhan virus.

It’s also true that no matter what this president says about anything, there’s the often idiotic-sounding White House corps of noosemen out to hang him from the nearest faux pas.

Those vacuum-brains passing themselves off as reporters relentlessly ask him why he’s playing doctor by promoting hydroxychloroquine.

The answer is that the wide-spread use of the drug may be the only thing that will make it possible for America to reopen for business before June — while there are still businesses to open, to employ people and to keep the United States great.


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