Trump’s worst issue is the pandemic. Instead of avoiding it, which would be hard enough, he tries to lie his way through it. And the lies he chooses are the most foolish. Every day, as infections, test positivity, and hospitalizations rise, he insists that we’re “rounding the turn” and that the pandemic is “ending without the vaccine.” He looks impervious, because he is. And when Trump blames the media for hyping “COVID, COVID, COVID,” he underscores his disinterest in the suffering of Americans.
A sensible candidate would try to unite his party. Instead, Trump attacks fellow Republicans. He derides “Little Ben Sasse,” the senator from Nebraska, and Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who, according to Trump, has “half a brain” and “couldn’t get elected dog catcher.” Trump calls former Sens. Bob Corker and Jeff Flake “stupid people.” He describes his former defense secretary, James Mattis, as “the most highly overrated general I’ve ever met.” He stews about the Lincoln Project and other “sicko RINOs.” He bashes Fox News for publishing polls he doesn’t like. He even brags that his crowds are bigger than former President Ronald Reagan’s.
Some of Trump’s gripes are stale and petty. He fumes at “Crooked Hillary” and Evan McMullin, a Republican who ran against him in 2016. But Trump also picks fights that are new, big, and colossally stupid. He attacks (and has threatened to fire) Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who’s far more trusted on COVID-19 than Trump is. He also scorns “the scientists” as a whole, and he accuses doctors of inflating the COVID death count for money. Impugning the honor of health care workers during a pandemic is as nutty as impugning the honor of American troops during a war.