Even in the face of a national health crisis that threatens hundreds of thousands of American lives, President Donald Trump has consistently signaled that he's incapable of rising to the urgency of the moment, choosing instead to pick fights with governors over Twitter and to brag about the ratings of his press briefings.
That string of behavior continued with a letter to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), which read more like one of the President's Twitter screeds than a letter from the President of the United States.
CNN congressional correspondent Phil Mattingly posted the letter on Twitter:
President Trump has sent a letter to Sen. Schumer: https://t.co/uIo8bUcdj0— Phil Mattingly (@Phil Mattingly)1585865541.0
Trump began with his trademark pettiness:
"Thank you for your Democrat public relations letter and incorrect sound bites, which are wrong in every day."
Trump proceeded to list vague accomplishments and praises for his own administration's response to the pandemic, while criticizing New York—the epicenter of the virus—for what he called a lack of preparation.
He then went on to repeat bogus Republican talking points:
"If you spent less time on your ridiculous impeachment hoax, which went haplessly on forever and ended up going nowhere (except increasing my poll numbers), and instead focused on helping the people of New York, then New York would not have been so completely unprepared for the 'invisible enemy.' No wonder AOC and others are thinking about running against you in the primary. If they did, they would likely win."
After accusing Schumer of only being in action when talking to the press, Trump concluded:
"I've known you for many years, but I never knew how bad a Senator you are for the state of New York, until I became President."
The Senate Minority Leader responded, but instead of stooping to Trump's level with immature smears, he offered the President a sobering reminder of just how dire the situation is.
When I sent Pres. Trump a serious letter on getting critical medical supplies to our frontline fighters, he respond… https://t.co/bB7pgLkw4v— Chuck Schumer (@Chuck Schumer)1585878970.0
Schumer reminded Trump that Americans are dying and losing jobs—and he's right.
The U.S. has seen over 6,000 deaths due to the virus, and over nine million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past two weeks. Both of these numbers are expected to grow.
Many Twitter users reacted with disgust.
When historians read this letter in the Trump presidential archives, they will have a clear understanding of why so… https://t.co/i3HvjcjFCu— Julian Zelizer (@Julian Zelizer)1585875239.0
This is lacking in: leadership sound judgment compassion respect intellectual curiosity emotional intelligence Ba… https://t.co/31ywbwCH1b— Sophia A. Nelson (@Sophia A. Nelson)1585868049.0
How presidential, how statesmanlike, how utterly repulsive. We're dying by the scores in NYC, Schumer is our Senato… https://t.co/oGCL6aJIZW— Elizabeth West (@Elizabeth West)1585870694.0
Okay. So even if you support everything he stands for and love his policies... HOW do you still support a person wh… https://t.co/W512Nk25wP— Emma Scott (@Emma Scott)1585921743.0
What an utter prick he is. https://t.co/2kBQOgvuGd— Terry Dresbach (@Terry Dresbach)1585869225.0
Some echoed Schumer's rebuttal.
244k cases nationally & over 5900 deaths in the US. The Senate minority leader deserves a serious response. We, t… https://t.co/tMf8yAkDjm— HawaiiDelilah™ (@HawaiiDelilah™)1585880317.0
I do not like Schumer but I admit he had a very valid point. Trump needs to go. https://t.co/wnULev1IZU— Clark King (@Clark King)1585922672.0
Write it in crayon so he could understand it https://t.co/TDdN0R6Iey— JTPizana (@JTPizana)1585922371.0
Feeling safe yet?
For a deeper look into Trump's ineptitude from people who were there, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.