From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:
If it is possible to avert a public health crisis by inoculating the population with sheer incoherence, we’re all going to be healthy as horses over the next several months.
He’s not ready, of course. He’s shredded the nation’s public health institutions. He’s populated his administration* with sycophantic know-nothings. He himself doesn’t know anything about anything. He looked incredibly relieved during Wednesday’s press conference when somebody asked him about the effect of a coronavirus pandemic on the stock market. He doesn’t know anything about anything there, either, but at least, in that area, he’s more accustomed to faking it.
The sad part was watching all of these accomplished, brilliant people, the people who have dedicated their lives to solving epidemic diseases at the highest level, standing there behind a vulgar talking yam, praising him for his brilliant work thus far, and listening to him hand the country’s response over to Vice President Mike Pence, who is just as ignorant as the president* but with that extra Jesus-y sheen on his ignorance. This is the same Pence who, while governor of Indiana, once oversaw an HIV epidemic in a small town in part because of his animus to Planned Parenthood, and who wrote newspaper columns denigrating the connection between cigarettes and respiratory diseases.
Like so much else about this administration*, the press conference was the apotheosis of over 40 years of Republican governing philosophy: the neglect of science in every field from climate to the human reproductive system, the rejection of empiricism in every field from economics to public health, the deliberately cultivated incompetence within the institutions of government and without. The distance between James Watt and Mike Pence is so small, it’s hardly worth measuring. The press conference was nothing more than what we’ve come to expect from Republican presidents, albeit more of a tussle with the English language than even those engaged in by George W. Bush. The coronavirus may fade. The prion disease, which is just as contagious, rages on.