comScore David Jolly Shreds Trump for Reckless Covid-19 MisInformation

‘The Less We Hear From the President, the Safer We Are’: Fmr GOP Congressman Shreds Trump for Repeated, Reckless Coronavirus Info

Former GOP Congressman David Jolly called out the president for a number of leadership failures and personal character flaws during the coronavirus pandemic, specifically targeting Donald Trump’s habit of sharing unproven or completely unsafe public health information.

Speaking with MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, Jolly, who left the Republican Party in 2018, began his argument against Trump by alluding to a New York Times portrait of an increasingly frustrated president, cloistered in the White House and growing obsessed with how the press is covering his administration’s at-time chaotic coronavirus response.

“Look, in some ways it’s good that Donald Trump is confined to his room,” Jolly snarked, prompting Wallace to laugh out loud. But he then tied Trump’s frustration to the grossly irresponsible comments about possible injecting disinfectant into Covid-19 patients that the president made at Thursday’s coronavirus briefing. “Most people who would suggest you should inject Lysol into your veins would be confined to their room or another institution… I understand this plays poorly with the psychology that apparently he’s kept up in his room, but so are the American people. And you know what, the American people aren’t complaining. The American people are asking for the advice of public health officials. Donald Trump, not withstanding that he said this was 15 people and was going to go to zero, and then the hydroxychloroquine recommendation and now the Lysol recommendation, the reality is the message from Donald Trump is dangerous. It conflicts with that of our public health officials and the less we hear from the president the safer we are.”

“This is a man since the outbreak of Covid-19 has spoken and tweeted more about his own approval ratings than he has about the 50,000 Americans who died under his watch,” Jolly went on, pulling no punches. “So if we need an assessment of the president’s character as he has locked himself in his room, watching TV so he can make a self-assessment of his own ratings, perhaps we just go forward ignoring the guy.”

“There’s all that he does to sort of threaten the things that we do to keep ourselves safe,” Wallace said, before offering up a disclaimer against following Trump’s amateur medical advice, which he tried to excuse on Friday by claiming was merely sarcasm. “If there’s anyone out there thinking about injecting bleach, don’t do it. We’re only covering it because Trump suggested people do. But the other side of the ledger seems to be all the things he could do to help people that he doesn’t do. If he wore a mask for one briefing and did an elbow bump, those behaviors would be mimicked not just by his base, but there’s also the whole bucket of missed opportunities to use a bully pulpit for good. What do you think of that?”

“The president, through his own character, leads the nation, and every four or eight years we see a president, his character shines through in the toughest moments, not the easiest moments,” Jolly said. “The missed opportunity here is significant, not just for the president, I suppose, his own re-election and for the public health of the American people, but it’s reflective of the fact, Nicole, of how broken our American politics are in this moment. And in our broken politics, we have accepted a broken government. The American presidency has been broken by this man. The responsibilities we used to expect of the office are no longer upheld.”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

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