The virus that's killed over 70 thousand Americans and upended daily life in the United States doesn't show signs of relenting, but President Donald Trump remains eager to see social distancing measures designed to slow the spread of the virus scaled back.
One crucial requirement for a safe return to normal, however, is widespread testing. As recently as Wednesday, the White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that only vulnerable groups like nursing home residents and meat processing workers need to be tested, and that the idea of testing everyone was "nonsensical."
Sadly, this is a continuation of a stance long-held by Trump. The Trump administration initially denied the need for widespread testing, because the President was dismissing the virus as little more than a flu. Fearing a weakened economy that would jeopardize his reelection, the Trump administration pushed against widespread testing in hopes of keeping the number of diagnosed cases low.
When they finally did begin acknowledging the need for testing, the initial testing kits rolled out by Trump's CDC were faulty. Trump now boasts that the United States has tested more than anyone in the world, but doesn't acknowledge that it's sorely lacking in per-capita tests still.
Trump doesn't think an accurate count of cases is necessary for reopening—a position he startingly reiterated in a New York Times report published on Wednesday.
The President said:
"In a way, by doing all this testing we make ourselves look bad."
It's illustrative of the philosophy Trump has put forth nearly his entire career: that the way things look is more important than their accuracy.
Trump is prioritizing his political palatability over public health.
How could anyone still support Trump, after hearing a comment like this? Let's not commit ourselves to guidelines,… https://t.co/qT9CaWDxwn— Tom Sawyer (@Tom Sawyer) 1588860315.0
Yep, it's all about image, not lives https://t.co/kWujzh1DyZ— jerrymberger (@jerrymberger) 1588850902.0
That statement says everything you need to know - that Trump prioritizes his image and electoral prospects over doi… https://t.co/EplJ6KBkYo— Jon Niola (@Jon Niola) 1588857540.0
That is horrific! He'd risk everyone's life for an IMAGE??? https://t.co/jtVZe9OJDg— Churchlady320 (@Churchlady320) 1588864713.0
73,000 people have died but his main priority is in not looking bad. Both our people and our economy are dying .… https://t.co/AJmZJ7Qsrb— Anne Arbor (@Anne Arbor) 1588861633.0
The disregard for the people he swore to protect exacerbated the position long-held by many that Trump isn't fit for office.
It's ridiculous how many 'invoke the 25th amendment' statements Trump has made and yet, it hasn't even been conside… https://t.co/q1nRhADIHF— Charlie M MASA-Make America Safe Again-Dump Trump (@Charlie M MASA-Make America Safe Again-Dump Trump) 1588857781.0
We are long past the point where it is appropriate to invoke the 25th Amendment. JFC, what else has to happen!?!? https://t.co/TLRaLjAMfS— Oldbitch5151 (@Oldbitch5151) 1588859865.0
Oh, dude, he should never have been put anywhere NEAR the levers of power in the first place. But here we are. https://t.co/ub6cK9NT9H— The Liberal Voice of Reason (@The Liberal Voice of Reason) 1588863359.0
We need to give Trump some numbers he can't deny in November. Are you registered to vote?
For a deeper look into Trump's ineptitude, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.