Trump's self-congratulatory presence marks stark contrast with death toll

The President’s administration faces many crucial decisions in the coming days that will determine how grave the eventual death toll will be, and how quickly the economic shutdown that has pitched millions out of work can be lifted. He must put in place intricate plans to stem the full fury of Covid-19 and to eventually ease the nation out of its defensive crouch.

It’s no exaggeration to say Trump faces the most critical month of his presidency yet — and how he conducts himself will be crucial for the country and his own hopes of reelection. But there are signs that he does not fully understand the stakes nor is willing to relegate his own interests in favor of the common good.

Trump still appears to be marveling at the spread of the virus, which he says no one could have predicted. Health experts had anticipated its arrival in the US for months as he predicted a miracle would occur and it would just go away.

And on a day when so many Americans died, he boasted at one point that his hair blowing in the breeze in the White House Rose Garden was his own, marking an inappropriate tone for a harrowing national moment.