Among the latest incredibly stupid developments by right-wing media pundits has been to present Donald Trump as a “wartime president.” After all, it’s not too different from how they portrayed President George W. Bush in an effort to protect him from an increasing number of critics – hoping they could somehow erase the fact that he brought America into a rather pointless and costly war under false pretenses that severely harmed our reputations abroad, while painting his detractors as anti-American, even if they had reason to be concerned with the erosion of civil liberties happening across the country.
Now, we’re seeing cries from the same pundits who claimed coronavirus was a hoax just a few short weeks ago to “support the president” as he guides us through the crisis – even though if anything, he’s making the crisis a whole lot worse than it has to be. It’s not just right-wing media that’s helping this along either, as cable news outlets routinely air Trump’s press conferences, giving him license to lie outrageously and ridicule the same democratic institutions meant to keep him in check.
Joe Biden decided to call him out on this today during his own coronavirus briefing – stating that if Trump wants to be a wartime president, he needs to act like one. Clearly, Trump was worried about Biden giving this briefing, so he jumped the gun on Monday, accusing Biden of failing to blame China for the pandemic, but it backfired as Biden reminded his viewers that he had warned Trump against taking Chinese President Xi Jinping at his word earlier in the year when he said the virus was contained.
“My point is not simply that the president was wrong. My point is that the mindset, that was slow to recognize the problem in the first place to treat it with the seriousness it deserved, is still too much a part of how the president is addressing the problem,” said Biden. This is the approach that responsible journalists and networks need to take – if the coronavirus pandemic truly is a war, we need a leader who can guide us through one, and show how Donald Trump is clearly not up to it.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making