Presidents often meet national trauma with soothing words. As U.S. deaths from COVID-19 near 100,000, President Trump’s message: It could have been worse.
WASHINGTON (AP) — In the rubble of buildings and lives, modern U.S. presidents have met national trauma with words such as these: “I can hear you.” “You have lost too much, but you have not lost...
Actual deaths from COVID-19 are almost certainly higher than the numbers show, an undercount to be corrected in time.At every turn Trump has asserted the numbers would be worse without his leadership. Yet the toll keeps climbing. It is well beyond what he told people to expect even as his public-health authorities started bracing the country in early April for at least 100,000 deaths.
“I think we’ll be substantially under that number,” he said April 10.“ Ten days later: ”We’re going toward 50- or 60,000 people.” Ten days after that: “We’re probably heading to 60,000, 70,000.”The scale and swiftness of the pandemic’s killing are unlike anything that confronted Trump’s recent predecessors. Yet the calamity offers no where-were-you moment — no flashpoint turning blue skies black, no fusillade at an elementary school. Instead the toll unfolds in stages of sickness.
The pandemic is playing out in a divided country under a president who thrives on rousing his supporters and getting a rise out of those who don’t like him, whether that means forgoing a mask, playing golf while millions hunker down or thrashing opponents on Twitter. He lowered flags to half staff to recognize those who have died from the virus but had them back up days before the 100,000 marker was reached.
His feelings on Tuesday? He tweeted to “all the political hacks out there” that without his leadership the lives lost would be far worse than the “100,000 plus that looks like will be the number.”Early on, when only a few hundred had died, Trump was asked at a briefing what message he had for Americans who were scared. “You’re a terrible reporter, that’s what I say,” he responded. “I think it’s a very nasty question.”
Full Coverage:Virus OutbreakIn the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook school and other national nightmares that brought flags to half staff, presidents found more soothing words for the frightened and grieving than Trump’s boilerplate line that one death is too many.
Empathy was Clinton’s wheelhouse. The rhetorically fumbly Bush grabbed eloquence by the bullhorn. The cool and controlled Obama cried.Trump? “I’ve never seen a president with less capacity for empathy,” said Andrew J. Polsky, a political science professor at Hunter College, City University of New York, who has studied such leadership traits for decades. “He doesn’t even try. ... It’s way outside his emotional comfort zone.”
Clinton’s touchy-feely ways are forever symbolized by his assurance that “I feel your pain,” which did not come from a tragic moment at all but rather an epic smackdown of a heckler. Challenged by an AIDS activist in New York in 1992 who said the Democratic candidate was more about ambition than achievement, Clinton told the man “I know how it hurts ... I feel your pain” but “quit talking to me like that.”
“I’m sick and tired of all these people who don’t know me, know nothing about my life ... making snotty-nosed remarks about how I haven’t done anything in my life,” Clinton told the crowd and the activist.But Clinton’s remarks as president at the memorial service for the victims of the Oklahoma City domestic terrorist attack in 1995
exemplified compassionate leadershipand helped dig him out of a political hole.“You have lost too much, but you have not lost everything,” he told the bereaved families. “And you have certainly not lost America, for we will stand with you for as many tomorrows as it takes.”
Henry Cisneros, his housing secretary,told the University of Virginia’s Miller Centerthat Clinton that day and Bush at smoldering Ground Zero six years later did what presidents are called to do.“There are moments when — and I think 9/11 was that for President Bush — you realize this is not about politics and this is not about momentary victories and this is not about your own legacy,” he said. “It’s about the burden you’re carrying for the people.”
Bush, inoff-the-cuff words through a bullhornto New York firefighters straining to hear him, bellowed: “I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” That was three days after Islamic terrorism laid waste to the World Trade Center and a chunk of the Pentagon.
Three days after that, Bush visited a mosque to make common cause with American Muslims facing hate on the streets because of the extremists from abroad. “Islam is peace,” he said. “Women who cover their heads in this country must feel comfortable going outside their homes. Moms who wear cover must be not intimidated in America.”
Masterful oratory brought Obama to national prominence, and measured calm marked his demeanor as president. Unlike his emotional vice president, Joe Biden, Obama practiced his own kind of social distancing, to the point of aloofness.The murder of 20 “beautiful little children” and six adults at Sandy Hook
brought a different Obama to the podiumthe day of the attack, as he swiped at his tears a half dozen times in a brief statement and spoke of hugging America’s children and his own “a little tighter” than before.He told mourners at Newtown’s prayer vigil two days later that “all across this land of ours, we have wept with you, we’ve pulled our children tight.” He talked about the teacher who told terrified kids in a barricaded room, “show me your smile,” and about the child who told terrified teachers: “I know karate. So it’s OK. I’ll lead the way out.”
Obama spoke admiringly during his presidency of “the incredible strength and resolve” of Bush’s bullhorn speech, despite their differences over the Iraq war and other matters of policy. In the midst of a catastrophe or when looking back on it, presidents cite the words of predecessors to project continuity and grace.
This, too, is not Trump’s way. He attacks Obama and snorts at Bush’s appeal from retirement for empathy and unity at a time of national emergency.“He’s a human being with certain qualities,” Polsky said of Trump. In this crisis, “these qualities haven’t been useful because they don’t unite people, they don’t express concern for people’s well-being.”
Trump came to power mirroring the grievances, anger and resentment of those who felt forgotten, Polsky said, and he remains angry, resentful and aggrieved — you could say true to himself. Read more: The Associated Press »
Fauci says Sen. Rand Paul has repeatedly misconstrued facts about the pandemic
Dr. Anthony Fauci and other health experts are testifying before a Senate committee on Trump's coronavirus response. Follow here for the latest.
I know, thank God we have Governors who care about the people who live in their states. Every other country disagrees with at that sentiment. And he's right. People get over it quit looking for people to blame. What needs to be looked at is the number counts on covide are not true counts. Flattening the curve was about suppressing the severity of the pandemic in America. TwitterFactCheck which has its own agenda and is no longer a news organization.
Yes open the country soon Wow, 100 Thousand Americans DEAD We are 30k short on those numbers As US deaths near 100,000, AP and other MSM outlets continue to stoke fear and try their best to hurt the economy, hurting every American. Their continued misinformation and propaganda couldn’t be worse. I thought AP was supposed to be unbiased? Disappointing
Those are really soothing words. Much more soothing than you, Democrats, and the rest of the FakeNewsMedia, v hoping for more deaths No , he isn’t psychologically capable of that . Oh please. Get a grip. We need strong leadership not soothing words. That’s what mothers are for. FrecklesXX20 American carnage.
Whoever gave the story to news should be shot as a traitor .of course potus is upset he’s given with no thanks just treason and traitors outside very close circle Luckily not everyone listened to Me. On average, 100k people die every 13 days in the US. Putting things in perspective, instead of fear mongering or brain dead virtue signaling, is actually the adult way to deal with it. That’s not even taking into account many are people who died with Covid, not because of it.
He is not wrong. Some leaders push on through. Others lament. It could have been...why is that news? In 2009, the predictions were that 1/3 of the planet was going to get Swine Flu, which killed 11-12% of everyone who was hospitalized (of all ages)...we got lucky (which is usually what happens). It could always be worse.
lol u guys crack me up People die every day!! 7700 a day on average!! Do the math!! Governor Cuomo said people are going to die, he should know he killed them Just honest news I see. Where do the states and China play into this? FakeNewsMedia (2) Lots of politicians know how to talk. Words matter, actions (policies) matter more.
(1) The report is basically based on 3 people’s views/ analysis/opinions: Andrew J. Polsky, Henry Cisneros (Bill Clinton’s housing secretary), and the reporter. I would rather not see this piece from AP. It can be well interpreted as media bias against Trump. Hardly indeed It’s not over... the worst is yet to come
It could have been raining It could have been better The medias words were that millions will die and everyone should stay home until there is a cure. Stop the hypocrisy media 🤦🏻 He doesn't feel. Narcissistic sociopathy is a bitch that way. May he burn in hell. It's time. I don't need him to 'feel' my pain, I need him to lead. Snowflakes. Go yell at a tree while Poppy Trump and his follower undue another sad attempt to take him down.
Trump has a good leadership style... Unlike dictatorship government of the African leaders... Remember back in the days when the wire services only reported news? Trump is a failure in every way. Criminal negligence on full display. Mr. Morbid Lee Obese has no empathy. Trump’s words are both true and comforting. Your narrative is wrong.
Trashy trump. How about one more NamasteTrump ? That may kill CoronaVirus! If not, then ChinaVirus smokescreen is always there! Is a/p disappointed that it was'nt ?! often attempts to hide its narrative-telling ways. Their message: They predicted 2 Million. You have to have a heart to care. He has shown so many times (I've lost count) that it is all about him looking good. Its all about staying in office. He caused a division in this country like never seen before. The man is ice.
He tried soothing words but was vilified by the left & MSM. Yes, he does. Do you care that women, children are being abused because of the stress of being without a job and stuck at home? Is that okay with you? Japan and Sweden didn't shutdown and they have low death rates. Check the worldometer deaths are now over 100,000.
Have those numbers been verified for accuracy? And? Vote Biden 2020 Because America needs leadership not a twitter troll 100kDead depression unemployment foodshortages nationaldebt tariffs bankruptcy fear We've had enough of Trump Truth But its true, it could been worse, Trump save USA with freedom and free market
He is correct. Original estimates by Drs Fauci and Birx were 1-2 million. Pres DT has also said many times 1 death is too many. So we’ve reached the low end of what they predicted, got it. And Coumo? $SPY ON HIS MIND Blue State governors own this.
Apple to reopen about 100 U.S. stores, most with curbside pickupApple Inc plans to reopen about 100 U.S. stores, mostly with curbside pickup but some with walk-in service, the company said on Tuesday. I’m a Powerball lottery winner that has battled credit card debt in the past It has been my burning desire to solve credit card debt for as many people as I can Winning the Powerball made my dream come true Send a dm if you need help clearing your credit card debt Eagerly waiting for a non-China iPhone. I’ll take a MacBook Pro 15 and Apple Watch on the side to go
Apple to open about 100 stores in the U.S. this week with focus on curbside serviceIn total, about 130 out of 271 Apple Stores in the United States will be open by the end of the week. Apple operates 510 stores around the world. CNBC Made in China using forced labor: Apple suppliers including Foxconn in China use Uighur workers forcibly displaced by the Chinese government, let alone the health issues raised by Covid_19 CNBC 👏👏👏 CNBC My forget your iMask. Only $400 while supplies last.
Goldberg: Trump 'is incapable of even miming empathy' as coronavirus death toll nears 100,00.michelleinbklyn: 'This is a president who is incapable of even miming empathy. Who only sees this mass illness and mass death through the prism of what it means for his fortunes and how he's perceived.' michelleinbklyn He doesn't mime it because he doesn't want anyone to think he's empathetic michelleinbklyn realDonaldTrump DonaldJTrumpJr EricTrump Time for your medication Fake news. michelleinbklyn IMPOTUS plays golf while pandemic’s DeathToll is nearing 100k; a PictureIsWorthAThousandWords VoteJoeBiden2020 to SaveAmerica
These Rare Photos Turn 100 Years Old This YearTake a trip back to 1920.
Finland to spend 100 million euros on coronavirus protectionFinland said on Monday it plans to place between June and August orders for protective equipment and respirators worth 100 million euros ($109 million) to fight the coronavirus and prepare for a possible upsurge in demand for the equipment. The US has spent over 3 Trillion and people still are complaining about wearing a mask. I sure hope not from China 😷
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