If there is one great achievement of Donald Trumps term, its creating the weakest presidency in history. Sure, Trump talks the authoritarian talk, and William Barr does his best to make everyone forget the idea of impartial justice. But Trumps unwillingness to take the least bit of responsibility in the face ofthe greatest crisis in decades, has turned him into an orange figurehead on his own ship of state. Rather than addressing the pandemic head on with nationwide lockdowns and social distancing mandates, Trump stepped aside and left it all to the states. Rather than conducting the kind of coordinated national testing and tracing program that has been conducted in every other nation, Trump stepped aside and left it all to the states.And now all the Trump-wanna-be governors are demonstrating that they too can be Weak Like Trump.
In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey hasnt passed a mask mandate, but he has decided that city and county officials can pass one. And maybe that attitude has trickled down still more as Trumps Tuesday night rally was held in a city where the local government has passed a mask mandate that definitely affects rallies like Trumps, but no one seemed to be enforcing it.
In Texas, Gov. GregAbbott has also warned that Wednesday is likely to bring a massive new record with over 5,000 cases, As a result he is telling local officials that they can impose new restrictions. That would be easier except for the fact that on April 27, Abbott signed an executive order barring cities and counties from passing mask mandates. He backed that up with another executive order on June 3 banning local governments from imposing penalties for violating social distancing. And though Abbott urged Texans to stay home, he did so in the same breath as he said that closing any part of the Texas economy would be the last option.
In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking another approach learned from Trumplying about the numbers. Dr. Rebekah Jones, who created the coronavirus dashboard for Florida before being fired from her job after she refused to remove critical data, pointed out on Tuesday that Florida has abruptly stopped reporting the number of ICU beds available. And Jones makes an astounding charge, I have multiple sources at [Department of Health]who have just told me they have been instructed this week to change the numbers and begin slowly deleting deaths and cases so it looks like Florida is improving next week in the lead up to July 4 … This move brought to you by the continuing effort to make the mayor from Jaws appear to be a relative saint. Even so, the staggering jump in cases in the Sunshine State is going to be difficult to square with any over the hump narrative.
Regional data on new cases from The COVID Tracking ProjectContinued efforts to enforce social distancing, limits on gatherings, and restrictions on businesses have dropped the rate of new cases enormously in New York and surrounding states. But an open at all cost strategy is driving a spike of new cases everywhere else. Thats even true in California, where the growing cases between Los Angeles and San Diego are erasing gains made through prompt action in the early months of the outbreak.
Across the nation, more than half the states are seeing rising cases, and more states are also reporting record hospitalization and an approaching shortage of ICU beds. But many of thenations governors appear to have learned at the knee of Donald Trumpdo nothing, and pass the buck.
For a perfect example, theres Missouri Gov.Mike Parson. Asked about his responsibility in handling the disease in his state, the governor had an answer that would do Trump proud. I dont know that any one person is responsible for that no more than anybody else standing out here in this hallway, said Parson. Because its not like a governor can do anything, after all. No. Hes powerless. “Do I feel guilty because we have car accidents, and people die every day? No, I don’t feel guilty about that. Each person that gets in those situations, things happen like that in life, they do.” Weak, so weak. And powerless.