Trump: Greed, Incompetence, and Desperation

In yesterday’s post about the elusive Covid-19 tests, I described Trump as a guy who has never held a real job and who has no experience working with complex organizations. His knowledge of work flow is limited to two steps: He gives orders, and then somebody carries out the orders. Such things as planning, procedures, protocols, and coordination are not part of his world.

So, brilliantly, he ordered travel restrictions from Europe on short notice, apparently without notifying allies or airlines and without consulting with federal agencies that would need to manage the restrictions. A stampede of Americans flew back before the deadline. They were then jammed together in huge bottlenecks in U.S. airline terminals waiting to get screened for coronavirus to get through customs. So if they weren’t already infected when they left Europe, they probably got infected at the airport waiting to get screened. Here was the scene at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport yesterday.

And here is O’Hare:

Brilliant, yes? See Landing at Dulles Airport, I encountered a case study in how to spread a pandemic.

The pictures you may have seen only begin to capture the chaos. There was no attempt to enable social distancing; we were packed closely together. Two giant queues of people — one for U.S. citizens and green-card holders and one for foreign nationals — wound their way through the cavernous hall. I counted and came up with approximately 450 people in each section, for a total of just under a thousand. Many were coughing, sneezing and looking unwell.

When I inched closer to the front, I could see that a scant six immigration desks were in service. Two additional desks to the left had less traffic. These are ordinarily for people in wheelchairs; now, the wheelchairs were mixed in with the rest. When I asked a security guard about the other lines, he told me they were for people with a confirmed corona diagnosis. There was no separation for this group — no plastic sheets, not even a bit of distance. When your line snaked to the left, you were inches away from the infected. …

… Some of the agents were asking people to use the fingerprint screen — all fingers, then the thumbs. Mine didn’t, but I watched the adjoining one and was astounded to see that the screen was not wiped, sprayed or in any way sanitized between individuals, or indeed at all during the hour I had it in my line of sight. My agent asked me how I felt (the true answer would have been upset by your colossal ineptitude) and if I had been to China or Italy. (I had not.)

The writer, Cheryl Benard, goes on to describe much more organized and sensible procedures in other countries.

In Other News: Is Trump Trying to Corner the Coronavirus Vaccine Market?

Welt am Sonntag, which is the Sunday edition of the German newspaper Die Welt, reported that Trump has been trying to persuade a German company working on a Covid-19 vaccine to move operations to the U.S. Reuters:

Welt am Sonntag quoted an unidentified German government source as saying Trump was trying to secure the scientists’ work exclusively, and would do anything to get a vaccine for the United States, “but only for the United States.”

The Guardian elaborates a bit, saying that Trump allegedly offered large sums of money to get exclusive access to the firm’s vaccine work.  The company, CureVac, has denied “rumors of acquisition.” However,

When approached about the report by the Guardian, the German health ministry would only confirm the accuracy of the quotes attributed to one of its spokespersons in the article.

“The federal government is very interested in vaccines and antiviral agents against the novel coronavirus being developed in Germany and Europe,” the spokesperson quoted in the original article had said. “In this regard the government is in an intensive exchange with the company CureVac.”

The German health ministry spokesperson declined the opportunity to correct any inaccuracies in Die Welt’s account.

So maybe this report is true, and maybe it isn’t, but it sounds like something Trump would try to pull.

Recommended Reading

Infighting, missteps and a son-in-law hungry for results: Inside the Trump administration’s troubled coronavirus response in WaPo. Mr. Ivanka tried to take charge and bring some semblance of order to the administration’s response to the pandemic, but Trump blew it anyway because he appears to not understand anything that’s happening around him. Or, perhaps he just fell back on his long habit of overhyping and overpromising to make a deal.

Anne Applebaum, The Coronavirus Called America’s Bluff in The Atlantic. Applebaum argues that the coronavirus might finally explode our myth of American exceptionalism.

Update: Tonight is the last Democratic debate. I may or may not watch. At this point I’m resigned to Biden being the nominee, and I’m kind of exhausted with it all. But feel free to comment on it here, if you’re watching.

12 thoughts on “Trump: Greed, Incompetence, and Desperation

  1. So, tRUMP wanted a German company to come here and exclusively manufacture the vaccine for "The tRUMP Plague" (maybe that will spread better and faster – like the virus itself – than my "tRUMP Flu" suggestion – though I have read that term elsewhere.  Probably just a meeting of the minds?)

    If that's true, he'll ask for the right to name it "The tRUMP Vaccine!"

    After all, that's what he did with his other scams: tRUMP vodka, beef, cologne, etc…  He had other companies make that shit, then slapped his "Trump" brand on it – which advertised to me that whatever this crap is, it ain't real; and possibly poisonous or even potentially lethal!

    Even if this vaccine were made honestly, and made well, by that German company, the second that "Trump" label was glued on, you know it'll be some lethal shit that'll kill your ass!  Why?  'Cause like that book says, "Everything tRUMP Touches Dies!!!"  And that would be whatever poor soul was unlucky enough to have his doctor/hospital/clinic administerer it to them!

    Aside to our GREAT Swami:  Kinda ironic, ain't it?  That it wasn't even a shit-borne virus that's killing that Bag of Shit's presiDUNCY!

  2. A US-only vaccine? That is as immoral as it gets. Exposure of this should result in his removal from office.

  3. Trump has turned our airports into a mosh pit of contagions while he revels in the fact that businesses are reporting record sales,"greater than Christmas", as a result of panic buying.

    There's a void in his spirit. He's jocular in tone in situations where sober reflection in empathy is called for. It the same void of spirit that he displayed when he mocked the handicapped reporter.. he lacks a filter to discern when to use and where to use a proper emotional response to people's heartfelt concerns.

     To Trump it's all a game!

  4. I made it half way through the debate. The best thing about it was the lack of an audience. A live audience should never be part of a presidential debate again. Other than that, the CNN questioners were miserable again, favoring conflict over substance and not paying enough attention to the current crises. Biden and Sanders didn't help either and just couldn't stop bringing up now unpopular votes and statements. Several times they resorted to "I did not", "Yes you did" types of exchanges that were just depressing. Biden committed to picking a woman for VP. Sanders did too, but waffled a bit.


    • I decided not to watch. I've cast my primary vote, and I already know I'll vote for the nominee, and the chances are overwhelming that's going to be Biden. I feel burned out from campaigns already. 

      • I don't blame you at all. For me politics has the same kind of irresistible fascination as a high speed freeway pileup. Policy is another matter, though.


  5. Trump is saying take it easy and just relax in regard to handling the Corona virus. It's the same advice he offers to his sexual assault accusers.

  6. I didn't watch the debate.  Honestly, I'm tired of old white men running our government.  However, I would vote for our local garbage man before Trump.  I watched Gov. Cuomo this AM telling how NY is responding to this crisis.  What he said made sense to me and I just wish we could have a leader like him in the White House.  Anyway, in the meantime, I am staying in, going out only when necessary for groceries, also avoiding other tenants in this complex.  I am very comfortable being alone (except for Mr. Spock, my soulmate).  I have TV, hundreds of books and a year's worth of NatGeo and Smithsonian magazines to catch up on.  For those who are interested, I read that Sylvia Browne, a psychic, predicted in 1980 that a widespread respiratory illness would affect the country in 2020, would disappear suddenly and reappear in 10 years. Sounds like the behavior of a virus to me.  Anyway, I think we can all agree that we have no control, can just do the best we can to take care of ourselves, our beloved families and animals and get through this.  Oh yes, one more thing, Edgar Cayce recommends eating lots of carrots, lettuce and celery.  These increase the alkalinity in the system and improve the immune system.  I'm a rabbit in Chinese astrology so this should be easy for me.  Stay relaxed and healthy.

  7. I'm seeing more stories about Trump trying to secure exclusivity rights for a Corona virus vaccine. Initially I thought the story must be nonsense because why would someone want exclusivity rights for a vaccine that would benefit the entire human race if they didn't intend to financially capitalize on it?

    Reports are that the Trump administration admits it sought the exclusivity rights, but had every intention to share the vaccine should they acquire it. Something just doesn't add up…but knowing Trump's propensity to extract a financial benefit from any source he can find it would seem that even if he couldn't turn it into his own personal profit he would extract a public relations success in marketing his pseudo-prowess as a master negotiator. He's such a slime ball. And fortunately the German's have got his number and know full well that he's a big vile bag of shit.

    • Trump probably dreamed of taking credit for any vaccine or cure. He may have imagined those efficient Germans could come up with a vaccine faster.

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