- The Washington Times
Saturday, May 23, 2020


Donald Trump won the presidency by riding a wave of common sense politicking that wasn’t so much politicking as it was speaking truth to patriot power — by condemning the senseless killings of American citizens at the hands of previously deported illegals, for instance, or by calling out the Democrats in the Republican Party who were working with elitist globalists to undercut U.S. sovereignty.

And since then, on Make America Great Again ideals, on America First principles, Trump hasn’t disappointed. He’s been great for the economy, great for the little business guy, great for the voices of those mocked and derided and dismissed by the previous administration. He’s been nothing short of stupendous on fighting the D.C. cabal. He’s been bold, brash and oft-braggadocio — and bluntly put, a breath of fresh air in a field of snobbish elitism.

But then came the coronavirus. And the mighty Trump has stumbled, taking with him, an entire nation of suffering Americans — minus the hand-rubbing gleeful Democrats using COVID-19 to best political advantage, of course.

Call this is a tough love moment.

But Trump is leader of the free world, and is ultimately to blame for the ravaging of the Constitution and the dire economic condition of this nation due to COVID-19. As Harry S. Truman might say — as Harry S. Truman did say — “The buck stops here.” The buck stops at the desk of the one in charge.

Trump never should have practically ceded the White House stage to medical bureaucrats and scientists like Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a practical proxy for billionaire Bill “Vaccine the World” Gates, a fawning supporter of World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, or to even global health expert Deborah Birx —amicably inclined to this administration as she seems. Trump, unknowingly, diluted his own authority.

The fact is doctors are fallible.

Doctors are also, well, doctors.

They’re not economists. They’re not small business owners. They’re not farmers. They’re not teachers. They’re not politicians. They’re not even supposed to be political, right? (Yet they are.)

They’re doctors, trained in the art of giving the best doctorly advice about whatever medical issue is presented and, in this sue-happy world we call modern America, to do so in a way that relieves them of any sort of legal liability. Give a doctor a headache patient and there’s a patient headed for a battery of expensive medical tests and prescription pills, yes?

Enter the coronavirus.

Give a doctor a COVID-19 patient and there’s a patient headed for worst-case scenario preventive treatments. Facts and science and truths be danged.

So went the advisements of Fauci and Birx and all the other medical experts who emerged from offices and dark corners to speak, with whatever authorities they could muster from their higher-university lineages of learning.

Their advisements were all based on best-guessed, worst-case cautions. They ratcheted up fears to the point their advisements and cautions trickled into the states and localities as mandates and orders. They admitted what they didn’t know; they acknowledged what they couldn’t predict with accuracy. But that didn’t stop the train of executive orders and unconstitutional crackdowns on civil, individual rights from steamrolling across America.

This is where Trump stumbled.

Trump could’ve balanced out the White House medical fear-mongering messaging with truths about the unreliable computer modeling; with truths about the conflicted interests of cash-strapped hospitals to inflate COVID-19 cases; with truths about the comparison of this virus with others — with comparison of the political response to this virus with others.

Trump could’ve brought forward entrepreneurs to the White House podium to speak of their sad stories of forced government shutdowns of their businesses; or farmers, to show the devastations of dumped dairy and destroyed crops; or fitness club owners, to tell of dashed dreams and shuttered businesses. He could’ve cited statistics on suicides and rising alcoholism. He could’ve pointed to the outrage of keeping open marijuana shops, while shutting churches — the absurdities of sending police to chase down beach-goers and arrest mask-less subway riders.

He could’ve invited social services’ experts to the Rose Garden to speak on the horrible increases in child sex abuse, or domestic violence, due to forced shut-downs, due to stay-at-home mandates.

He could’ve balanced out the dire doctor predictions with somber statements from economists, entrepreneurs, from civil rights attorneys and constitutional experts, from church leaders, from psychologists and mental health professionals — all who could’ve given the sort of contextual analysis that went missing from this whole fear-fueled COVID-19 political response.

Trump, in short, could’ve changed the messaging. Trump could have given a national tutorial on the uses and abuses of power.

He could’ve better controlled the message.

He could’ve condemned the knee-jerk messaging.

He could’ve been the cooler head in the room, the one giving balance and context and calm-amid-the-storm leadership.

He could’ve kept the doctors on a tighter leash, behind closed doors, so the media — the Trump-hating media — couldn’t take their statements and politicize them, use them to pack the biggest political punch. He could’ve kept the medical wonks as simply voices on a team of many — on a team that provided a more balanced, nuanced look at COVID-19 and its outcomes. And he could’ve been the guy who considered all those voices, all those recommendations, all those concerns and advisements and warnings, and who took the White House stage to make clear: This is the way it will be. This is the way it will not be. He could’ve reminded, daily, the out-of-control pols that in America, rights come from God, and cannot be trampled by government at whim.

And then he could’ve harped daily on the emerging failures of science to bring forth the predicted gloom and doom of COVID-19 — as proof of the logic, say, of keeping America open for business. As underscore of the need, say, of keeping intact the Constitution.

“Lockdowns failed to alter course of pandemic and are now destroying millions of livelihoods worldwide, JP Morgan study claims,” The Daily Mail wrote, in a head-shakingly regretful headline, just published this week.

Trump had a chance to take a headline like that and say — see? America will not cower in fear. See? America has no need to cower in fear.

But he stumbled. He misstepped.

He now stands as mistaken as the fear mongers on this.

And yet, still, Trump deserves another chance.

Trump, for the good of the country, for the fate of our nation, needs to win a second White House term — he needs to stay around a while longer and beat back the elitists and globalists and socialists and worse who are hungering for our nation’s soul. He needs to fight off the leftists who have used COVID-19 to political advantage, and who are at this very point in time plotting to use another COVID-19-like crisis for even more political advantage.

But he can’t make another mistake like this. America can’t afford another COVID-19. This country won’t survive another round. He needs to use his bully pit — his Twitter feed — his White House platform and the rest to take control of the COVID-19 dialogue and force a return to more MAGA times.

America needs Trump to be Trump.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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