By Julianne Malveaux
The daily White House coronavirus briefings have made me cringe, scream, shake my head, and even laugh! The President of the United States offers medical advice, minimizes the coronavirus, injects partisanship into his remarks, and generally treated these critical briefings as his daily open mike. He uses his bully pulpit to praise and to scold, saving particular scorn for the media. Not only is this man vindictive, but also brusque and churlish.
His ignorance hit a nadir, though, when he suggested, on April 23, that sunlight and heat might heal the coronavirus. Then he said that since bleach and other disinfectants could rid surfaces of the coronavirus, bleach and disinfectants might also work on people. His comment was so alarming that Lysol should not be used internally, “Under no circumstances should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body through injection, ingestion, or any other route,” a Lysol spokesperson told NBC News. A day later, he attempted to explain his remarks, but he outright lied about what he said.
Is 45 this ignorant, or is he merely deflecting from the many mistakes he has made, as our nation’s leader, in combatting the deadly and highly infectious virus.? From urging people to go to church on Easter Sunday (he took it back), to telling states they can open for business before testing results are back, he has taken the nation’s health into his hands and imperiled our collective health as a result. Not to mention his enthusiastic embrace of hydroxychloroquine, touting it in several press briefings as a “game-changer.” The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cautioned against the use of the drug except in a hospital setting or clinical trial. Did 45 ask for their advice? Or did he go to med school when none of us were looking?
During the daily briefings, I’ve been extremely impressed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the blunt-talking director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. While he is not disagreeable, he is not afraid to openly disagree with 45. He’s been leading NAIAD since 1984 and was instrumental in working on ways to contain the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The President seems so tone-deaf to Dr. Fauci’s advice and the advice of Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator. Previously, she served as the United States Global Coronavirus Response Coordinator. Watching her body language when 45 speaks suggests that she does not have to contradict him verbally to make her displeasure. When he ignores the advice of these medical experts, he endangers our health. The President is not concerned with our physical health, but with his political health. That is why he has sparred with governors, the press, and others.
That’s why he has been opposed to mail ballots, even as he casts them himself. That’s why he has approached a dire situation with bluster and braggadocio. That’s why he has failed to wear a mask, failing to model the kind of behavior all of us, including his acolytes, should emulate.
Scientists are looking for a vaccination against the coronavirus. Our nation needs protection against our President.