CNN Historian Douglas Brinkley Indicts ‘Pathetic Figure’ Trump for Failed Pandemic Response: ‘He Basically Went AWOL’


Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley offered up a damning indictment of President Donald Trump’s failed response to the coronavirus pandemic on the occasion of the country passing the ignominious milestone of 100,000 deaths.

Speaking on Anderson Cooper 360, Brinkley, a CNN contributor and author of award-wining biographies about prominent figures like President Theodore Roosevelt and CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, rebuked Trump’s self-identified claim of being a “wartime president” and called out the president’s silence over the massive fatality rate.

“If you declare that and then you don’t follow through on it and you have a huge death toll, I mean, do you think his legacy will be defined by his response to Covid?” Cooper asked, referencing Trump’s “wartime” claim.

“I think it really will be,” Brinkley declared. “I mean, the big bell rang. We had the big crisis, one of the worst ever, and he basically went AWOL. He got in a denial mode and then he worried about himself only.”

“We look at presidents that we want to feel the empathy of an F.D.R. telling Depression people, ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself,’ and pulling the country together. Or Ronald Regan after the Challenger disaster in 1986. Or Bill Clinton in Oklahoma City, on and on. There are all these great moments. Today should be a day of national mourning that we hit the 100,000 mark. He should be leading that, showing the open heartedness of America, that there were mistakes, there were blunders. But instead he refuses to have a heart, and that’s the part that makes me most sad about what’s happening here. It’s not just the bungled policies, bad decision-making, but it’s a president who doesn’t seem to ever be able to express love to people unless they’re ardent Trump supporters and it makes him sort of a pathetic figure.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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