Trump supporters, I feel your pain, I truly do. Four years ago, this Clinton supporter was in shock, too. It stings, it really does. Losing sucks.
So, what went wrong this time? COVID-19 went wrong.
The Woodward-Trump audio interviews revealed a president who knew in January/February how deadly the virus was; knew the science behind its airborne contagious spread; understood that it was far more lethal than any flu; and chose instead to mislead and misinform the American public in a White House public relations debacle.
Science, scientists and COVID-19 be damned, President Trump gambled that his false narrative would outlast the virus.
Reinforcing this deadly anti-science thread, the right-wing echo chamber supported President Trump when he said COVID-19 was a Democrat “hoax,” a blue state infection, that soon it would magically disappear, and excused him when he insisted that virus management was each state’s problem, not his or the federal government’s responsibility.
Truth is the only vaccine Americans ever needed. Instead, our self-proclaimed COVID-19 “wartime” president chose to “play it down” and in doing so, lost the moment, lost his narrative, lost public confidence, lost 240,000 lives, lost the election and sealed his legacy.
As chief executive, a president’s solemn oath to the Constitution promises to protect and defend the United States of America. It doesn’t matter where the virus originated or when it arrived here, our president’s responsibility to the American people was to beat the virus decisively and employ all of us in that sacred cause.
In the end, he couldn’t even protect himself, his family or those who work for him. Hubris has consequence. President Trump had the necessary lifesaving information in advance, withheld it and consciously made his choices.
President Trump’s willful mishandling of the pandemic, fueled by his right-wing, science-denying enablers, is what almost 80 million Biden voters, including many Republicans, repudiated.