With the growing threat of the novel coronavirus spreading throughout the United States, President Donald Trump has faced criticism for his response, with moves like dismissing the threat of the virus and appointing Vice President Mike Pence to oversee the response.
Now, CNN political analyst Peter Bergen says that Trump's lackluster response to the virus is a perfect example of his eight most notable shortcomings as a leader.
The first failure, according to Bergen:
"Trump doesn't do any homework."
The President notoriously hates to read, and some reporting indicated that officials had begun trying their best to include as many diagrams, pictures, and graphics as possible, so Trump would potentially pay attention to national security episode.
Trump recently told on himself for not researching the coronavirus when he revealed he didn't even know how a vaccine works.
Bergen says the second failure is that
"He always believes he knows more than the experts about any given subject. During his presidential campaign, for instance, Trump said he knew more about fighting ISIS than the generals leading the fight, an absurd claim since Trump had avoided military service in Vietnam and his knowledge of ISIS and the Middle East was no deeper than the average newspaper reader."
The third? He relies too much on instinct.
"Trump trusts his own gut. This might work in a Manhattan real estate deal where Trump knows the players and the market, but going with your gut in a complex crisis when you don't do homework or listen to experts is not likely to produce relevant knowledge or coherent policy.
"On Wednesday at a White House press conference Trump claimed that the coronavirus was less lethal than influenza. CNN's Sanjay Gupta corrected him. In fact, the coronavirus appears to be far deadlier than influenza."
Fourthly, his team trusts Trump just as blindly as Trump trusts himself.
"Trump has increasingly surrounded himself with a team of acolytes who will not challenge him."
And let's talk about how the guy lies...a lot.
"[I]t's hard for the public to believe a President who has made more than 16,000 false or misleading claims in his first three years in office, according to the Washington Post, at a time when the administration desperately needs the trust of the American public."
Not to mention...
"Trump always blames the messenger for news he doesn't like, and he has been doing a lot of that when it comes to the coronavirus. In fact, organizations like CNN and the New York Times and many others have taken real risks to cover the outbreak of the virus in China and elsewhere and should be commended for doing what they are supposed to be doing: Gathering and disseminating knowledge that is in the public interest."
Seventh, Trump only takes responsibility if it means taking credit:
"Seventh, Trump is the reverse of President Harry Truman. The buck never stops at Trump's desk. If things are going well, he is always ready to take credit: Stock market up, it's because of Trump; stock market down, it's because of the media -- and the Fed. If things go poorly it's always someone else fault."
"Trump almost always plays the divider-in-chief, not the uniter-in chief. Now is surely not the time for Trump and his top cabinet officials (such as acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney) and proxies (Donald Trump Jr.) to claim that the coronavirus is being hyped by crazed Democrats. This is arguably the most serious health crisis that the world has faced in many years and to pass it off as a partisan issue is crass at best."
People agreed that the coronavirus outbreak is highlighting all of Trump's worst attributes.
There was one glaring disagreement with Bergen's premise:
Trump has only eight failings?
But as he's taught us time and time again, eight is enough.
Bergen's book, Trump and His Generals, is available here.