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COVID-19 Is Spiking—and Donald Trump Has Pulled a 'Disappearance Act'

發佈時間 18th Nov 2020 @ 4:15 PM

As a deadly new wave of COVID-19 infections surges in 46 states, President Donald Trump hasn’t attended a coronavirus task force meeting in months. The President has been largely silent about the renewed strain on hospitals. He hasn’t added his voice to pressure more state governors to require masks and distancing — moves his own public health officials say can save thousands of lives as the country enters a potentially deadly winter before a vaccine will be widely distributed. Vice President Mike Pence led a White House call with state governors on Nov. 17 about the coronavirus response. Trump didn’t attend.

For someone who is still the country’s President for another two months, and falsely insists he won the election, Trump is showing little interest in continuing to fulfill the duties of his office. “He’s never liked the subject, and he’s sitting there knowing that he lost the election because of it,” says a former White House official in close touch with Trump’s inner circle. “To the extent that he thinks he lost, he lost because of COVID.”

In the two weeks since Election Day, Trump has rarely appeared in public. Between false allegations of election fraud, he’s occasionally governed with his thumbs, firing his Defense Secretary by tweet, and, on Sunday, tweeting “Great job Emily!” at the government services administrator Emily Murphy, a political appointee who continues to block Biden’s transition in Washington. Trump’s ordered the military to fulfill his promise to pull thousands more troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by mid-January. So far this week, he’s has no public events scheduled. With control of the Senate hanging in the balance, he hasn’t made plans to help Republican candidates campaign for the runoff in Georgia on Jan. 5. Over the weekend, he went golfing—twice—and slowed the limousine along the way to waive to thousands of supporters marching in Washington to parrot his false claims of election fraud.

“There’s a little bit of a clash between Trump’s claim he’s serving four more years and his disappearance act,” says historian Michael Beschloss. “There’s no sign that Donald Trump is doing very much to be President” even as he insists he won a second term, he says.