Related to Trump’s first failing is his second: He always believes he knows more than the experts about any given subject. During his presidential campaign, for instance, Trump said he knew more about fighting ISIS than the generals leading the fight, an absurd claim since Trump had avoided military service in Vietnam and his knowledge of ISIS and the Middle East was no deeper than the average newspaper reader.

Third, Trump trusts his own gut. This might work in a Manhattan real estate deal where Trump knows the players and the market, but going with your gut in a complex crisis when you don’t do homework or listen to experts is not likely to produce relevant knowledge or coherent policy.

On Wednesday at a White House press conference Trump claimed that the coronavirus was less lethal than influenza. CNN’s Sanjay Gupta corrected him. In fact, the coronavirus appears to be far deadlier than influenza.