February 27, 2020

The Morning Joe crew was at it again, stroking Trump's wafer-thin ego and coming this close to resurrecting the tired, pathetic question, "Gee, is THIS the day Trump becomes presidential?"

Praising his performance at the press conference yesterday, and congratulating him on his choice of location — the BRIEFING Room! Huzzah! — Joe Scarborough whispered his gentle mitigation of the praise by sheepishly admitting he was grading on a slight curve. He then went so far as to say he was pleased and "actually comforted" by Trump's actions and words.

Skip the handwashing, kids, Joe Scarborough feels just fine.

SCARBOROUGH: First of all, I was very glad he had a press conference...In the Briefing Room. I thought that was very important...Now, listen, people might say it's because he cares more about the stock market than the coronavirus. I don't really care why he's in there. It's important he's in there...He brought his team together. He had the experts come up and lay out the possibility and, of course, we're grading on a lower scale and, of course, we had to listen to poor Mike Pence bow and scrape and talk about how great Donald Trump was every three seconds, but, again, all that aside, the president came out, got the message out...So, yes, grading on the lower scale, grading on the Trump scale, I was very pleased and actually comforted that the president of the United States brought the entire health care team out, and they talked to Americans about this very important situation.

OH, POOR MIKE PENCE. The one who, as Governor of Indiana was responsible for the state's worst outbreak of HIV? The one who said that smoking cigarettes doesn't kill? Sure, Mika and Joe, just sit there and giggle your knowing sympathy that Pence had to grovel to Trump. After all, that's basically what YOU both are doing.

Willie Geist wasn't much better. First, he said Trump, while having earned everyone's skepticism, he "did what presidents traditionally do." Oh, really? Like have zero grasp on anything scientific, and blaming the Speaker of the House for trying to induce panic? Don't forget this was the press conference where Trump expressed shock at learning for the very first time in his seven decades on this earth that the flu virus is deadly to thousands each year. But to Geist, that's just Trump not getting into "the nitty-gritty of the science of the whole thing."

GEIST: The president has obviously has earned everyone's skepticism when he first starts talking. He's told so many lies, he's protected his own interests many times before the interests of the country, but he did what presidents traditionally do in that moment, which is not to get in the nitty-gritty of the science of the whole thing but try to ease the country as a sense of panic begins to set in around the world. He said the risk is very low, then those CDC officials came forward and said, actually, no. We don't know where this is headed Richard Haass. We have to be careful when we say the risk is low, so he did his job, the scientists did theirs.

Then Richard Haass gravely agrees that we just don't know what the risk is, but he praises Trump for putting Pence in charge. We need this, he says. One person who can coordinate the response of people like Sec. of Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, who has no idea how many respirators we have, and Sec. of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, who has no interest whatsoever in making the future coronavirus vaccine affordable for all who need it. I know *I* am comforted knowing the anti-science, anti-woman, anti-LGBQT+, Trump-loving Mike Pence is in charge of the coronavirus response!

Honestly, if the Morning Joe Team was any softer on this Trump response, they'd be on Fox News.

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