(RightWing.org) – Snippets of Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book “Rage” have hit the news and the reaction is, quite honestly, predictable. The book has stirred a hornets’ nest of activity surrounding President Donald Trump, his knowledge of the coronavirus pandemic, and his public presentation of it. And while critics of President Trump would prefer the public soak up every word of Woodward’s missive, what the people really need to remember is Woodward doesn’t exactly have a reputation for painting very many presidential administrations in a positive light.
Trump’s Response to COVID
The president was recorded during an interview with Woodward on March 19 saying he’d intentionally downplayed the potential dangers of COVID-19 in its early days on American shores in order to prevent widespread panic, which, after all, is one of the duties of the office. However, it’s important to note that in a March 22 interview, Doctor Anthony Fauci characterized the Trump administration actions as “impressive,” that it was an “all hands on deck” type of response.
So we’re clear, President Trump and his administration took quite a number of immediate and drastic actions to control COVID-19, including:
- Immediately shutting down and limiting travel and tourism, including to and from China
- Taking swift action to give researchers and manufacturers the tools necessary to develop and enhance testing for a virus no one had ever encountered before
- Immediately collaborating with Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, and a myriad of other medical professionals in order to release public guidance to slow the spread and mitigate fear
- Enacting the Defense Production Act to ensure the country was able to obtain necessary supplies
- Guiding private corporations to halt normal productions and instead shift focus to PPE, ventilators, and other tools that were in critically short supply
- Immediately creating guidance to protect our country’s most vulnerable segments of the population, including those living in nursing homes and those without regular access to health insurance and necessary care
- Encouraging the FDA and working with them to give emergency authorizations for the use of newer treatments and the off-label use of potentially life-saving medications
- Ensuring local governments had the guidance necessary to reopen in safe timeframes while not further crippling our struggling economy
- Offering federal assistance, including the use of military ships, to the states struggling most to contain the virus
This list only scratches the surface, and none are the actions of a leader with no knowledge of or concern for the severity of COVID-19 or the safety of the public.
The Elephant In the Room
Of course, mainstream media seems to be ignoring the elephant in the room – Mr. Woodward’s motives in choosing a date just under two months away from the election to bring his concerns to the public’s attention. He’s made several dubious excuses for sitting on it, including:
- That it was only in May that Woodward believed the direct and clear statement President Trump made in March was based on “reliable information.” By that time, the virus had already spread across the nation. We’d like to believe someone who was truly concerned might have come forward anyway, rather than staying quiet as the crisis around us got worse.
- Woodward is quoted as saying if he had sounded the alarm at the time of the interview with Trump back in March, it wouldn’t have been “telling us anything we didn’t know.” This should leave one wondering why the Liberals are making such a big deal out of it today?
- His overriding impetus was knowing the book would come out before the election. Woodward tries to make his actions honorable, saying if the book wouldn’t hit the shelf before Christmas, holding his tongue would’ve been “unthinkable.” (Which brings us back to the first point).
Political Hit Piece?
So is this book good journalism or just a hatchet piece? Let’s look at two telling factors.
First, President Trump denounced the book as an attempt to sway the electorate before the election. Considering Woodward’s song-and-dance routine about why he didn’t do exactly what the Liberals are accusing the president of, namely warning the public months ago, Trump’s comments may give additional credence to his purely political motivations — aka “sour grapes.”
Second is the numbers, which don’t lie. The book opens on January 28th, at which point there was only one known case of COVID in the United States. By the time of the quoted February 7th interview, during which President Trump talks about how serious COVID is, we had a stunningly low 11 cases. By the time of the March 19 interview in which he’s purported to downplay the severity? Still under 1,000 in total. Why, then, would our leader be expected to create mass hysteria or panic in a nation that was already on edge? It seems as though his immediate response was swift and evolved properly as the severity of the situation changed.
Politics is a very hard game to play, but Donald Trump didn’t become one of the wealthiest business tycoons in the world — or the leader of the free world — by being afraid of playing tough. He has a very strong base among Conservative voters and they’re fairly politically savvy themselves. They will see right through what appears to us to be just another attempt at twisting old information to create new problems.
Copyright 2020, RightWing.org