On Wednesday, President Donald Trump explained why he lied to the public in the crucial early days of the pandemic, publicly proclaiming the novel coronavirus no more dangerous than the flu while privately warning that it was “deadly stuff.”
“I don’t want people to be frightened,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday. “I don’t want to create panic, as you say. And certainly, I’m not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy.”
This, from the president who on Thursday sent out this tweet:
The Democrats never even mentioned the words LAW & ORDER at their National Convention. That’s where they are coming from. If I don’t win, America’s Suburbs will be OVERRUN with Low Income Projects, Anarchists, Agitators, Looters and, of course, “Friendly Protesters”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2020
Trump lives on creating a frenzy
Trump’s entire political career is built on sending people into a frenzy, if not a full-blown panic …
… Whether it’s Mexicans who illegally cross the border (“The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.” drug dealers, criminals, rapists, etc”) …
... Central American caravans. (“Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy [sic]. Must change laws!") ...
... The Supreme Court, if he's not re-elected. (“Radical justices will erase the Second Amendment, silence political speech and require taxpayers to fund extreme late-term abortion. They will give unelected bureaucrats the power to destroy millions of American jobs. They will remove the words ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance. They will unilaterally declare the death penalty unconstitutional, even for the most depraved mass murderers. They will erase national borders, cripple police departments and grant new protections to anarchists, rioters, violent criminals and terrorists.”) ...
... Or the Democrats. (“Joe Biden and the radical, socialist Democrats would immediately collapse the economy. If they got in, they would collapse it. You’ll have a crash the likes of which you’ve never seen before. Your stocks, your 401(k)s.”).
Trump is a walking, talking, tweeting klaxon, forever blaring out a warning that the boogeyman is at the gate. FDR said there was nothing to fear but fear itself. Trump, meanwhile, warns us daily of the many dangers confronting the average American, from terrorists amassing at the border to anarchists invading our suburbs.
But not, apparently, from the greatest health threat we have faced in a century: a global pandemic that has killed more than 190,000 Americans and counting.
One that for months our president publicly downplayed as it took hold across America.
“We don’t want to instill panic,” he explained on Wednesday. “We don’t want to jump up and down and start shouting that we have a problem that is a tremendous problem, scare everybody.”
Laurie Roberts is a columnist for the Arizona Republic where this column first appeared.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Donald Trump says he didn't want to panic people, but he tweeted this?