There is no point in pretending otherwise. “AP FACT CHECK: Democrats distort coronavirus readiness”.
Is Coronavirus the End of Donald Trump?
First, a quick thought experiment.
Imagine you had a very difficult job to do, perhaps the most difficult and dangerous job in the world, let’s say. It is understood that anyone who presumes to do this particular job will be subjected to the most intense scrutiny imaginable.
Now, let’s say in the course of your duties, you have a life-or-death decision to make; a series of decisions. The stakes couldn’t be higher. If you get it right, people live. Get it wrong, people will die.
In addition, imagine your slightest mistake will be magnified 10,000 times; with everyone watching, you have absolutely no margin whatsoever for error.
What kind of job do you do?
What do you do when failure is not an option? It sounds like the useless platitude of a kid’s soccer coach. But for Donald Trump, it is reality.
He simply can’t afford to fail. Failure would mean proving all his critics and detractors right. It would mean proving himself, and the 63 million Americans who voted for him, wrong. He knows that everyone who detests him, from his political opponents in the House and Senate to the Democrats running for president against him to Sen. Mitt Romney, would love nothing more than to see him fall flat on his face.
So far, Trump has repeatedly refused to give them the satisfaction.
Somehow, he has managed to turn the heat up on the U.S. economy. He has generated a truly shocking number of jobs, unemployment is shockingly low. He has achieved the kinds of results former President Barack Obama said he would need a magic wand to achieve.
He beat impeachment; twice.
Trump managed to turn the Soleimani strike into a win; his Iran sanctions have the country on the ropes. Trump has even managed to bring China to the table for a renegotiated trade deal; and to heel on the subject of Chinese theft of U.S. tech and intellectual property.
Trump renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement; even getting said agreement ratified by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s caucus of Trump-hating Democrats.
And it isn’t because he is a really stable genius. He doesn’t have a magic wand.
He has managed these things because failure simply isn’t an option for the Trump administration. The only way he is accepted by his fellow Republicans, embraced by the business community, and prayed for by the faith community, is if he wins.
For Trump, it’s do or die.
Sometimes this has meant hiring the right people; sometimes this has meant firing the wrong ones.
But knowing that there is no docile press waiting to ask Donald Trump what his picks are for March Madness, the way it did for Obama, keeps the Trump administration on its toes.
For Donald Trump, there won’t be any press friendly enough to look the other way on a losing war in Afghanistan for 8-years while the Obama administration lied to the American people about the efficacy of U.S. efforts there; he must make peace with the Taliban.
Trump has zero margin for error.
Which is why the Trump administration’s reaction to the Coronavirus threat will be successful.
The Centers for Disease Control isn’t staffed by Trump flunkies and cronies. The same top scientists who were running the place three years ago are still running it. In addition, the CDC budget is bigger today than it was when Trump first took office.
Scientific experts have been warning about potential global pandemic outbreaks for decades; U.S. public health agencies are ready. No one in the U.S. needs to panic about the coronavirus.
“The public-health system has a playbook to follow for pandemic preparation- regardless of who’s president or whether specific instructions are coming from the White House. Those plans were put into place in anticipation of another flu pandemic, but are designed to work for any respiratory-borne disease.” — Associated Press. February 26, 2020.
The plans that U.S. health authorities have in place predate the Trump administration by a good long while. The last major outbreak- Swine Flu- was handled by U.S. authorities quite well.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is headed by a Trump appointee; Alex Azar. And if at any point during his tenure of service, if the Trump administration had any doubt at all it Azar’s ability to deal with a serious outbreak like Coronavirus, he wouldn’t be Secretary of HHS today.
Trump can’t afford a single inept bureaucrat; Trump is directly responsible for anything that may happen. Which is why HHS Secretary Alex Azar is going above and beyond, and doing an excellent job responding to the coronavirus crisis well before it ever becomes a crisis.
For the same reason, Vice President Mike Pence- who was tapped by Trump this week to spearhead efforts to combat the virus by coordinating with various public health agencies- will also not fail in his duties.
There is simply no margin for error; failure is not an option. A press that is so rabidly anti-Trump has created a situation in which these elected officials have no other choice but to go to the mattresses. Nothing less than an all-out 100% effort is acceptable.
The press should not be ashamed for holding a politician like Donald Trump to such a high standard of scrutiny. It should, however, be ashamed that coverage of the previous administration wasn’t as hard-hitting.
With Trump, the buck always stop with Trump. For Democrats, the buck never stops.
Consider the alternative of our above thought experiment:
Imagine you have the most difficult and dangerous job in the world.
Now, imagine a press-corp dedicated to running interference for you with the public, spinning away or outright ignoring any of your failures and lauding your slightest accomplishments to high heaven.
How would that alter your performance?
Which political party is more likely to fail: The political party for whom failure is not an option? Or the political party for whom failure really isn’t all that big of a deal?
The U.S. mainstream press may think it is helping the Democratic Party with the kind of kid-glove coverage it perfected on President Obama. Getting Democrats elected, and Donald Trump unelected is the name of the game, after all.
But without the press holding Democrats accountable, you get a field of Democratic contenders who aren’t up to the challenge. You get a lot of talk without much in the way of results.
You get a party reduced to hoping, without any real hope, that the other party screws up something as important as the U.S. Coronavirus response.
And not much else.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)