More than 150,000 new cases of the coronavirus were reported on Tuesday as the lame duck stayed out of sight.
Donald Trump has ignored the worsening coronavirus pandemic since losing the 2020 presidential election to Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
In the past week, the nation has repeatedly broken records for new coronavirus cases. On Tuesday alone, more than 150,000 new cases were reported, bringing the national total to more than 11 million to date. Since the beginning of the pandemic, nearly 250,000 Americans are reported to have died.
On Wednesday, Trump's daily schedule listed zero public events. He has been mostly out of sight since Biden defeated him on Nov. 3.
A Washington Post analysis on Tuesday noted that, since Election Day, Trump has held just three public events and four private ones. Meanwhile, he has found time for four trips to play golf at his Virginia golf club, two lunches with Mike Pence, and more than 400 tweets and retweets. Nearly all of his Twitter activity has been complaining about the results of the election and claiming he won.
On Wednesday morning, for example, Trump tweeted "I WON THE ELECTION. VOTER FRAUD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY!" Twitter responded to the tweet with the label "Multiple sources called this election differently."
Trump has also used his final days in the White House to go after people in his own administration whom he does not believe to be sufficiently loyal, forcing out and firing many of the appointees he once bragged were the "best and most serious people." On Tuesday night, he announced by tweet that, "effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency" for not backing his voter fraud conspiracy theories. (Twitter: "This claim about election fraud is disputed.")
Trump's only real attention to the virus has been to claim credit for vaccines being developed by pharmaceutical companies. "For those great 'historians', please remember that these great discoveries, which will end the China Plague, all took place on my watch!" he tweeted on Monday, continuing to use his racist term for the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump's own White House task force warned Tuesday that, without action, the nation might see 1,500 deaths a day next week and 2,000 deaths a day by Christmas. But thus far their recommendations have been ignored by Trump and his administration.
While Trump ignores both the virus and the job he wanted so much to keep, President-elect Joe Biden has made handling the pandemic his top priority. He was scheduled to meet virtually with health care workers on Wednesday.
Because the Trump administration refuses to acknowledge Biden's victory, he has been thus far unable to begin the formal process of transition to the White House. Biden and his team are being blocked from coordinating their strategy for dealing with the pandemic with that of current federal officials.
Biden warned Monday: "More people may die if we don't coordinate. How do we get over 300 million Americans vaccinated? What's the game plan? It's a huge, huge, huge undertaking."
Trump is reported to be furious that he will not be president when coronavirus vaccines become widely available. The Daily Beast noted on Tuesday that he had been planning to hold mass rallies to celebrate himself, claim credit for producing the vaccines, and crow that he was right and the media was wrong — plans that now have to be scrapped.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.