Tuesday, October 06, 2020

All Kinds Of Leadership

I respect this tweet:

All over social media I keep seeing this masks don't work mentality. Saying its the election infection and it will magically go away Nov. 4th. Leadership has failed, and thousands upon thousands of lives have been lost because of it.

I respect this but it is inaccurate.  Leadership has succeeded.  On March 19, Trump told Bob Woodward

It goes through air, Bob. That’s always tougher than the touch. You know, the touch, you don’t have to touch things, right? But the air, you just breathe the air, and that’s how it’s passed. And so that’s a very tricky one, that’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than your — you know, your, even your strenuous flus. … This is more deadly. This is five per — you know, this is five percent versus one percent and less than one percent. You know? So this is deadly stuff.

The President added "I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

Trump created neither a panic- a sell-off on Wall Street- nor panic. As this video indicates, he spoke consistently since that time, downplaying the coronavirus 54 times.

That list was compiled on March 26 and now, even after being hospitalized for Covid-19, the President has warned Americans "don't be afraid of it."  His remarks and actions throughout the pandemic have had the desired effect:

Reportedly, one of the president's military aides and one of his valets, who traveled with the president last week, have tested positive. Both are on active duty with the military, for which Trump professes love.  The New York Times reports that the "White House has decided not to trace the contacts of guests and staff members at the Rose Garden celebration 10 days ago for Judge Amy Coney Barrett."

There has been no suggestion of sympathy or empathy from President Trump. Back in March, he did not want to create a panic on Wall Street nor stir Americans to action. He would instead hold rallies at which supporters would be encouraged to congregate; ridicule the use of face masks; discourage testing; pointedly refuse to coordinate PPE distribution, thus  prompting states to bid against each other; and prioritized distribution according to to the strategic importance of the state or the fealty of a governor to him.

Leadership comes in different styles with different objectives and varying ends. Not everyone can be a Winston Churchill. Some can be an Adolph Hitler. If that shoe doesn't fit, President Eugenicist still has time to prove it's not in his size.


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