It was the presidential address of Donald Trump’s life. The United States is at risk in a pandemic that’s completely shut down other countries. Millions of American lives are on the line. The U.S. economy is in freefall. And all Trump had to do was give prepared remarks for ten minutes without making it worse.
So naturally, he made it worse. Trump sounded, in all seriousness, like he was half dead. He seemed to be struggling to breathe. He looked ghastly. Maybe he just hasn’t been sleeping lately. But it’s not exactly reassuring when the President of the United States spends several days being directly and indirectly exposed to the virus himself, and then goes on TV and sounds like he’s sick. Still, his condition and appearance weren’t the worst of it.
Trump specifically stated during his address that his ban on travel from Europe to the U.S. would include cargo ships. Then afterward his White House had to correct this, saying it didn’t apply to cargo goods. Trump gave the strong impression that even U.S. citizens wouldn’t be allowed to return home if they’re currently in Europe, but apparently that was incorrect too.
The baffling part is that Donald Trump was reading all of this from a screen. It’s clear that he has no idea what he’s even saying at this point; he’s just a puppet up there stumbling through lines. But his handlers couldn’t even write the correct lines for him. If we’re going to have a senile president, we can’t have such idiots trying to prop him up. We just can’t.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report