When the threat of the coronavirus surfaced at the first of the year, America’s loud-mouthed presidential bully was too scared to take any health-related action for fear of wrecking the economic Obama Bump, which he had been trying to claim as his own for three years.

          His natural, psychopathic response was to lie. From claiming in January that the virus was “totally under control” through a February of similar disinformation – “We’re very close to a vaccine” – Trump downplayed the seriousness of the disease.

          Because the health of Americans was/is not his priority.

          All that mattered/matters to him and his band of profit-firsters is the condition of the Stock Market. As it turned out, it was just his cowardly inaction that caused the markets to crash.

          From encouraging sick workers to continue working (and then denying he said such) to calling the rising catastrophe a hoax, Trump’s rhetoric instilled no confidence in the money guys that he and Greed’s Own Party protect at all costs.

          Asking experts to investigate injecting COVID-19 sufferers with bleach and advocating a dangerous drug in which he has a financial interest does not impress hard-headed realists.

          (And Oklahomans can rest easier knowing that our Republican governor stocked up with $2 million worth of that malarial drug when Trump first touted it.)

          Business leaders realized that Trump’s daily-demonstrated incompetence meant that the country had no guidance, no leadership, no unified effort to protect their investments. Boom! The markets went bust.

          Economic chaos ensued: massive unemployment; the permanent destruction of businesses large and small – along with an estimate of about 50,000 deaths that earlier social distancing might have prevented.

          With Americans dying at the rate of about 1,000 a day, our Liar-in-Chief still brags about what a great job he’s doing – when it has fallen to some governors to provide any leadership that we have seen.

           And, of course, those governors have been subjected to vilification and threats by the man still afraid to take a leadership role.

          Maybe, somewhere deep inside his morbidly obese ego, Trump does realize his own incompetence.

          Maybe his cowardice springs from his refusal to accept responsibility for anything unfavorable. Maybe he thinks that he can’t be blamed for doing nothing.

          And it’s not just American business leaders who have no faith in the American president.

          Writing for the Daily Kos in April, Dartagnan observed. “This country’s unfathomably bungled response to a public health crisis that several European nations have already begun to resolve has demonstrated that, thanks to Donald Trump and the Republican Party, the U.S. is now viewed as a cautionary tale among nations, an abject failure on a truly global scale that no one in their right minds would look to for leadership or advice in a crisis.”

          Having wrecked the economy by being afraid to try to protect it, the president only calls for returning to normal when the new normal can never again be the old normal. We’ve lost too much, lost too many jobs, lost too many opportunities. Lost too many lives! All that is rising now is the death count – which experts remind us is likely undercounted.

          (Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party: scdpok.us or facebook.com/SCDPOK/.)

Trump’s cowardice causes catastrophe

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