Americans are dying of Covid-19 and Trump is pouting about Fauci

Article Image

President Donald Trump brought up Dr. Anthony Fauci's approval rating when asked about him during a coronavirus press conference. CNN's Dana Bash analyzes.

Posted: Jul 29, 2020 5:00 PM
Updated: Jul 29, 2020 5:00 PM

President Donald Trump's aides almost got him to become a serious leader in this age of pandemic. After they showed him evidence that voters in "our states" (Republican ones, that is) were falling ill and dying -- and that this wasn't good for him politically -- Trump resumed pandemic press briefings and even let himself be photographed wearing a face mask.

Alas, the New Trump was not to be. After the mask appearance signaled that he might agree with his top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, Trump retweeted a video in which a controversial doctor says masks don't help prevent the spread of coronavirus and that FDA warnings against hydroxychloroquine -- a drug promoted by President Donald Trump -- are based on fake science. The doctor, Stella Immanuel, has previously made bizarre claims about space aliens, demons, and the danger of Magic 8 Ball toys.

As is his wont, President Trump doubled down in his commitment to spreading Dr. Immanuel's message, telling a press conference Tuesday that, "She was on air, along with many other doctors -- they were big fans of hydroxychloroquine, and I thought she was very impressive." He seemed most impressed by her claim that the same medicines the President himself touted -- an antimalarial drug and an antibiotic -- worked. (For the record, Twitter took down posts related to her claims, citing them as an example of dangerous misinformation.)

As the President's aides no doubt recall, to their exasperation, the President's musing about the antimalaria drug hydroxychloroquine and other imagined cures -- sunlight, household cleaners -- contributed significantly to criticism of his early handling of the pandemic. He pulled back from public engagement with the crisis, but as weeks passed it became obvious that the caseload that now exceeds 4.2 million and a death count approaching 150,000 could be devastating to his re-election prospects.

According to The Washington Post, Trump's recent attempt at taking a new approach on the pandemic happened after his aides showed him data proving that members of his base -- his loyalists in Republican red states -- are now also being hit hard by the coronavirus. They are suffering and dying, just like Democrats in blue states.

In Tulsa, cases surged after the President defied medical advice against public gatherings to hold a rally there in June.

Among those infected, as the President must know, his semi-famous supporter, former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, has been in the hospital with Covid-19 for three weeks. While it can't be known for sure where Cain caught the virus, we do know that Cain proudly shared photos of himself at the rally without a mask. The rally was a bust. And Cain is just one person whose suffering recalls an embarrassing night for Trump.

But where someone else's suffering might not be enough to move the President, a trend that makes him look bad may. In this case the political polls made it clear that he risked a humiliating loss if he didn't turn around public opinion on his pandemic response. He also, apparently, started to feel envious of Fauci who, polls show, is more trusted on coronavirus than the President.

Trump's irritation over Fauci's popularity was evident when, after the doctor threw out the first pitch at a Major League ball game, the President surprised his staff by saying he was going to do the same thing at Yankee Stadium next month. (Trump later canceled.) Then, during his Tuesday afternoon coronavirus rating, the President seemed irritated by Fauci's approval ratings. "So it sort of is curious," Trump said, "a man works for us, with us, very closely, Dr. Fauci and Dr. [Deborah] Birx also, very highly thought of -- and yet, they're highly thought of, but nobody likes me?"

Stop for a moment and let this sink in. The President is complaining about the public respect for a public health expert who has offered steady advice to the country in its moment of great anguish. A normal leader would be grateful for a man like Fauci and follow his advice whenever possible. Trump has, instead, made a habit of contradicting his adviser and now, like a child seems envious of him.

It is appalling that while tens of thousands of American dead didn't appear to move him, Trump only donned a mask in public after being briefed on his political peril. Nevertheless, Americans could have prayed that the politics of the latter had forced him to change tack. Better late than never. However, it turns out that the President really isn't capable of changing direction and doing the right thing to save American lives. Left to his own devices, and presumably alone with his Twitter account, he fell right back into irresponsibly touting a bogus drug treatment and pouting about a medical expert who really is a national treasure.

If only Fauci were president.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 343505

Reported Deaths: 7543
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds23932444
DeSoto23229283
Harrison20527329
Rankin15411291
Jackson15232252
Madison10959227
Lee10719179
Jones9047169
Forrest8723159
Lauderdale7884244
Lowndes7054151
Lamar702989
Lafayette6548124
Washington5595139
Pearl River5196152
Bolivar4954134
Oktibbeha494398
Panola4771112
Warren4728128
Marshall4701106
Pontotoc447773
Union433279
Monroe4330137
Neshoba4281181
Hancock428088
Lincoln4176116
Pike3667113
Leflore3627125
Tate353388
Alcorn350974
Sunflower347694
Scott341176
Adams340988
Yazoo339376
Copiah324968
Simpson322891
Itawamba314680
Coahoma314085
Tippah306568
Prentiss298863
Covington293484
Leake285475
Marion284181
Wayne277543
George272251
Grenada269488
Newton262364
Tishomingo239770
Winston236784
Jasper230648
Stone229637
Attala226373
Chickasaw219060
Holmes200174
Clay197654
Clarke186880
Tallahatchie183742
Calhoun181332
Smith179235
Yalobusha171540
Walthall145748
Lawrence142826
Greene140134
Amite137543
Noxubee135235
Perry133538
Montgomery133044
Carroll126431
Webster121232
Jefferson Davis116734
Tunica114227
Benton106725
Claiborne105331
Kemper102429
Humphreys100133
Franklin87923
Quitman84719
Choctaw82619
Wilkinson78032
Jefferson71328
Sharkey51618
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 587405

Reported Deaths: 11536
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson853851591
Mobile48932864
Madison37517533
Shelby27280257
Tuscaloosa27171465
Montgomery26172627
Baldwin25399329
Lee17224181
Calhoun15401334
Morgan15170291
Etowah14954370
Marshall13116235
Houston12077293
Elmore10915219
St. Clair10763252
Limestone10725158
Cullman10546205
Lauderdale10255254
DeKalb9508192
Talladega8949188
Walker7793288
Autauga7563114
Jackson7400117
Blount7362139
Colbert6703142
Coffee6365132
Dale5650117
Russell480243
Chilton4771117
Covington4749125
Franklin458181
Tallapoosa4519156
Escambia441383
Chambers3949125
Dallas3743163
Clarke371263
Marion3463107
Pike332579
Lawrence3263100
Winston298773
Bibb290465
Geneva283983
Marengo262467
Barbour250961
Pickens245562
Butler240872
Hale235578
Fayette227065
Henry213945
Monroe202141
Randolph201144
Cherokee199248
Washington185239
Macon170552
Crenshaw168358
Clay166259
Cleburne161345
Lamar151038
Lowndes145455
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh121332
Coosa118329
Perry110528
Sumter110333
Greene99137
Choctaw64425
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Mostly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 83°
Columbus
Mostly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 78°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 81°
Starkville
Mostly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 78°
The heat wave that controlled our area over the past several days is now behind us. The forecast for the next week looks a bit cooler & less humid.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather