Until just now, I thought the administration’s response to the coronavirus contagion was merely, and characteristically, inept. But I’m having a difficult time thinking-up a benign reason for this.
The White House has ordered federal health officials to treat top-level coronavirus meetings as classified, an unusual step that has restricted information and hampered the U.S. government’s response to the contagion, according to four Trump administration officials.
The officials said that dozens of classified discussions about such topics as the scope of infections, quarantines and travel restrictions have been held since mid-January in a high-security meeting room at the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), a key player in the fight against the coronavirus.
Staffers without security clearances, including government experts, were excluded from the interagency meetings, which included video conference calls, the sources said.
I can’t make sense of this. After all, if the outbreak is expected to be worse than publicly acknowledged, then the smart thing to do is to go public with strong warnings as quickly as possible in the hope of arresting activities that promote spreading the virus. And am I the only person who has failed to notice pre-emptive defenses — drug caches and personnel moved into place, testing and other medical supplies ordered, leaves and vacations cancelled, urgings against large public gatherings?
The look of things is that the adminiatration held multiple secret meetings and did … nothing.
Granted, the First Felon is vain, buffoonish, incompetent. But even he can see, surely, that an aggressive response is better than dilatory silence? Or is it the case that, Southern Baptist-like, there is no bad news in the Trump universe? Ho-ho. It may turn out that the coronavirus shows Americans how dishonest and incompetent Trump actually is, and does so far more effectively than the tedious documentations of “fake news.” After all, the dozens of lies and screw-ups every single day happen somewhere else — but the empty seat at the dinner table is in the same room.