Opinion | Trump Is Feeding America’s Coronavirus Nightmare

Opinion | Trump Is Feeding America’s Coronavirus Nightmare

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President Trump says the coronavirus is “fading away” and pats himself on the back for “a great job on CoronaVirus” that saved “millions of U.S. lives.”

“It’s going away,” Trump said Tuesday at a packed megachurch in Phoenix where few people wore masks.

That’s what delusion sounds like. We need a Churchill to lead our nation against a deadly challenge; instead, we have a president who helps an enemy virus infiltrate our churches and homes. Churchill and Roosevelt worked to deceive the enemy; Trump is trying to deceive us.

For a reality check, look at this map by my colleague Nathaniel Lash showing how much of America is trending in the wrong direction.

His advice: Be humble and be bold, and make rigorous preparations.

We don’t know for sure, but the post-peak experience from New York and Europe as well as from street protests, offers some guidance: If people wear masks, distance as much as possible and avoid mixing indoors, it just might be possible to keep the virus in check.

Instead, our president refuses to wear a mask and brings people together indoors to cheer his newest proposed strategy, which in his words is “slow the testing down.” After aides rushed to say he was joking, Trump denied that, saying, “I don’t kid.” He amplified in a tweet: “With smaller testing, we would show fewer cases!”

Yes, and by ending cancer screenings, we would reduce cancer rates. By locking hospital doors, we would reduce hospitalizations. And if we stopped issuing death certificates, Americans would achieve immortality!

That’s the kind of strategizing that has led the United States, with 4 percent of the world’s population, to experience one-quarter of the deaths worldwide from the coronavirus — and instead of “fading away,” it’s surging.

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