In the face of the public health crisis that's upended daily life in the United States, the historical impeachment trial of President Donald Trump—which ended on February 5—feels like a lifetime ago, despite captivating. a nation as late as last month.
One of the chief criticisms of the Republican party during the proceedings was the claim that Democrats were trying to undo an election that was only months away, out of fear that Trump would be reelected.
GOP lawmakers frequently urged Democrats to let the voters decide at the ballot box whether or not Trump's extortion of Ukraine indeed merited Trump being ejected from the Oval Office.
Head House impeachment manager Adam Schiff (D-CA) addressed this criticism while addressing Senators during the trial, and his warning is making rounds again for its prescience in the face of the current pandemic.
Schiff says in the video:
"Now, you may be asking, 'How much damage can he really do in the next several months until the election?' A lot. A lot of damage."
Schiff's prophecy is proving correct.
Trump's weeks-long dismissal during the precious early stages of the outbreak in the United States greatly contributed to the current crisis the country is facing today.
He assured the public that the virus would eventually disappear. When there were only 15 cases in the United States near the end of February, he assured that the number would be down to zero by the following week.
That was a month ago, and at over 90,000 cases, the virus only continues to spread.
Businesses across the countries have been forced to shut their doors indefinitely, resulting in over 3 million new unemployment claims in one week—the highest in recorded history. Health professionals are facing a deadly shortage of ventilators and personal protective equipment required to treat the virus.
Meanwhile, Trump is dealing in the same self-interest that got him impeached in the first place: offering unethical quid pro quos in order to deploy the federal government to save the lives of those it governs. In a Fox News town hall this week, the President said that the federal government was happy to help governors obtain resources in their states—but they have to treat him nicely.
The state of chaos thrust upon the nation just over a month after Schiff's speech made his warning all the more chilling.
No one can say we weren't warned.
Trump was first briefed on the virus by intelligence officials in January—the month before Schiff made this speech.
For a deeper look into Trump's ineptitude, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.