Mehdi Hasan was in no mood to mince words Sunday morning while speaking to Ali Velshi, rightly holding "thin-skinned, egomaniacal" Donald Trump completely responsible for failing to take this pandemic seriously when there was still time to prepare.
March 22, 2020

Mehdi Hasan was in no mood to mince words Sunday morning while speaking to Ali Velshi, rightly holding "thin-skinned, egomaniacal" Donald Trump completely responsible for failing to take this pandemic seriously when there was still time to prepare. He also laid into the myth that the free markets will take care of this problem.

VELSHI: The president said two days ago the government is not in the shipping business. We shouldn't be involved in procuring things. We don't need to direct factories to make masks and respirators. We have heard from hospitals to say they are on their last few dozen swabs. We heard from the VA yesterday saying they don't have enough testing for people available. We heard from doctors who are saying they are reusing masks. This business about the government being in competition with states and every man for himself poses a few problems including that in which states will buy everything that's on the market for the most money that they can pay for it so that they've got it. We're not going to get accurate and efficient distribution. This is just not the way this should be running.

HASAN: The idea that you rely on the old-fashioned free market in a time of national emergency in a pandemic is absurd. I don't know why he has not invoked the defense production act to compel companies to up their manufacture of masks of ventilators of gowns of the eternal materials that the world's richest country is sorely lacking. He's talked about it. He's tweeted about it. He hasn't done it. I honestly don't know why.

Then again, who would have guessed if you put a thin-skinned ego maniacal amoral former tv star in charge of the nation's public health disaster that things would end in disaster? Who would have guessed that? The coronavirus is a natural disaster. It's not man-made. The response to it here in the United States, that disaster is purely man-made. That man is Donald J. Trump.

On testing and the overall pandemic response Hasan noted that the testing situation is pathetic, comparing it to South Korea's response. Both nations had their first case on the same day in JANUARY, but the U.S. failed to test people aggressively the way South Korea did.

"The United States was led by Donald Trump who told us it was a small problem: It would go away, it was under control. It was one guy from China. It would miraculously disappear. The warm weather would get rid of it. It was mild. It was the equivalent of the flu. It was completely shut down," he said. "That was the stuff he was saying in public."

But, as Hasan observed, what Trump was doing in private was entirely different.

"He was ignoring warnings from his own intelligence agencies in January telling him this was a problem," Hasan continued. "His health secretary called him in January to try and talk COVID-19 with him. He only wanted to talk about vaping and when flavored vaping would be on the market. He complained when he was in India the CDC was spooking the market by talking about when not if."

"This president does have blood on his hands, I'm sorry to say," he concluded.

Yes, yes he does. I've been aware that this had the potential for a pandemic of epic proportions since early January. Donald Trump owns all of the death and economic misery that will come to us as a result of his obsession with his own approval rating and re-election hopes. Nothing is about him, yet everything becomes about him because he simply cannot fathom it not being about him.

Every day we should remember that the rising death toll is the result of one man's decision to ignore the danger -- a man who swore to protect this nation. He should be tried for his crimes after we toss him out of office.

Can you help us out?

For 17 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


New Commenting System

Our comments are now powered by Insticator. In order to comment you will need to create an Insticator account. The process is quick and simple. When registering you will also be presented with the option to tie all your old Disqus comments to your new Insticator account. Please note that the ability to comment with a C&L site account is no longer available.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.