How Trump's COVID-19 failure betrayed our military and veterans

Rieckhoff also notes another problem. In New York City, 29 police officers have died of the coronavirus and 25 percent of the NYPD is offline. What happens if 25 percent of America’s Navy Seals were suddenly to go offline, too? “Our national security is endangered when people we hold up as American heroes are getting decimated and our wartime president doesn’t seem to care or even know,” Rieckhoff says.

One former Pentagon official told me that the pandemic has underscored just how much the military depends on competence, discipline, and good order and that Trump hit the worst challenge of his leadership at a deficit.

“There was already discomfort in the military and throughout the active corps about whether we have a competent commander-in-chief,” the official said. “And that was the opening frame through which we entered into this crisis.”…

Ohio Representative Tim Ryan, who sits on the Appropriations sub-committee for Veterans Affairs told me:

“There are a lot of Veterans I meet with who voted for Donald Trump that will never vote for him again. His complete disregard for the chain of command, cutting out local Veteran Service officers from decision making and insulting noble, long serving soldiers and sailors. This is a group that Trump and failed and insulted in the process. They won’t stand for his bullshit anymore.”