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Pointing out Trump’s failings not ‘playing the blame game’

Published: 5/5/2020 10:03:42 AM

A recent letter to the Gazette urges liberals to “stop the blame game” about responsibility for the COVID-19 crisis.

Ignoring the self-contradiction of blaming one group for blaming others, one wonders whether the writer has ever listened to typical performances by President Donald Trump. These consist very largely of a litany of grievances and charges hurled helter-skelter at a variety of “enemies,” often enough liberals. And did not millions of Americans vote for Trump precisely because he is a self-proclaimed disrupter, a divider, or (in the memorable words of one Trump supporter) “our murder weapon?”

Is not the shoe on the other foot here? I can agree with the writer that many factors, from Chinese duplicity to mistakes by state and local leaders, have contributed to making this global crisis worse. But that must not distract us from a glaring truth that Trump, the man with the highest responsibility to lead in national emergencies, delayed for well over a month-and-a-half to take the steps deemed necessary by his health advisers, repeatedly claiming that the whole thing was being blown out of proportion, that it was a “Democratic hoax” and that the “press is in hysteria mode.”

He kept repeating false or misleading statements about the disease, statements that his own medical advisers were telling him were false, thereby deceiving the public, most egregiously in his recent speculations about injecting or ingesting disinfectants. The president’s first obligation should be to tell the nation the hard truths, not to obfuscate.

In short, it is not “playing the blame game” when critics, including many conservatives, point out the president’s dangerous failings in this crisis. Indeed, to ignore these failings would be culpable.

John M. Connolly


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