Letters to the Editor
March 3, 2020

To the Editor:
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that I did not hate Trump, but that I feared him. This last two weeks are one illustration of why.
This administration forfeited a near-month long heads up about Covid-19 because our president believed the virus was a “foreign problem,” against explicit warnings by his health advisors who are experts in the spread of disease. Surprisingly, when he eventually passed to the scientifically-challenged VP the responsibility for the health task force, some truth finally emerged. Dr. Tony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), in a televised meeting of the task force, had to wrestle with Trump over how long a vaccine would take. On Sunday TV shows Fauci had to defend his commitment to the truth about the virus, to insist that vaccines will take a year or more, not the three or four months prediction the president “prefers.”
It is reported that, from the very beginning, the president argued not to tell the public about the true characteristics of the virus so as not to “spook the markets.” Trump wanted to keep a boatload of passengers to remain aboard a stricken vessel near San Francisco so “the numbers will be better…and it’s not our (his) fault.” Trump brays that lower prices at the gas pump mean savings for citizens and ignores the fact that we are now oil self-sufficient; Houston, we have a problem. He assured us that “everyone who needs a test can have one,” only to be corrected by his own health advisors. And still, he publicly laments that “maybe he should have been a doctor” he is so brilliant about medicine. Clearly, he lives an alternate reality.
This is where the fear emerges. Trump, contrary to his claims, clearly knows nothing about epidemiology, despite efforts to inform him, and would rather control the story to his political advantage than solve the problem. It’s not so much that he
doesn’t know; what is frightening is that he refuses to listen to those who do. He cut funding to all health organizations responsible for containing infectious disease over the last three years. An expensive lesson for Mr. Trump. And for us. The truth is, we have never been able to trust this president to manage this crisis or any other. He is his own expert in all things. Remember, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do.” “I think I know about it [the economy] better than [the Federal Reserve]. “ “Technology — nobody knows more about technology than me.” “Who knows more about lawsuits than I do? I’m the king.” “I know more about courts than any human being on Earth.” “I, alone can fix it.” A man who knows everything can learn nothing. And that is a frightening situation when that person is the president of the United States.
We are now past containment and into mitigation of the virus. You know all the rules about hand washing, etc. Stay healthy.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore CA