Another day, another proclamation of success by the president. In the meantime 1,000 people a day are dying from Covid-19. On March 18th, Mr. Trump declared himself a wartime president. He has since proven himself to be a colossal failure in that capacity. Yes, his ban on Chinese nationals flying here surely had some effect in reducing the amount of cases and collateral deaths. How many were prevented is the province of statisticians, not politicians. But Mr. Trump’s ban was far too little, far too late. A wartime leader’s first responsibility is to prevent casualties and this so-called leader did nothing here in the homeland to prevent those casualties. He loves to remind us of how his administration has done a great job by upping the production of ventilators and masks, while totally surrendering the nation to the enemy’s attack. Imagine the virus as an invasion of people, rather than a microscopic entity. If such were the case, would a wartime president downplay home defense? Trump may have stopped a division of troops from invading us, yet multiple divisions were already here, wounding and killing us in our homes. Trump waffled so much on individual self-defense that he left us confused and defenseless. “Hey, you might be wounded or killed, but we’re ready to treat or bury you, so carry on” is beyond depraved. He turned masks and social distancing, the equivalents of body armor and gas masks, into a political argument that has divided us like no other president in recent history. It was his preference that we don’t wear protection to defend ourselves, as advised by his health “generals,” as it would make him look weak. And looks to Mr. Trump are far more important than the reality of the ravages of a pandemic. He would have us believe that he’s a strong leader, but being a blustering loudmouth doesn’t make you look strong. It makes you look like a blustering loudmouth. The pandemic called for a firm hand taking charge, but the best America got was stubby fingers pointing blame.
Will Huston is a Santa Cruz-based writer and filmmaker. A graduate of USC School of Cinematic Arts, Will’s career has taken him around the world giving him a balanced view of how our similarities far outweigh our differences, regardless of our unique cultural differences.