Horror master Stephen King was a guest on Reliable Sources with Brian Stetler yesterday.
"In the last three or four weeks, people are saying to me, 'We're living in a Stephen King world.' And all I can say is boy, I wish we weren't. But there's been -- this has been waiting in the wings for a long, long time. I wrote The Stand about a pandemic that wipes out most of the human race. Thank God this one isn't that bad. But I wrote that in 1979, and ever since then, there's been -- this has just been waiting to happen. And the fact that nobody really seemed prepared still mystifies me," King said.
Stelter asked King what he thought of Trump's leadership in the pandemic.
King said it was "almost impossible" to comprehend.
"I mean, I remember back in the 70s when Republicans kind of laughed at Jimmy Carter as being indecisive and wishy-washy, and the President that we have now -- and again, Ron DeSantis here in Florida, the same way. These are supposed to be 'go to it' guys, these are supposed to be the take-charge guy. It's the guy that you want in charge when something really goes wrong, because they don't waffle. They don't 'wishy-washy.'
"So, you had Trump at first saying, well, this really isn't very serious. Don't worry, everything's going to be OK. Then when the stock market starts to dive, when the reality of the thing hits home, he's talking about well, take it easy, really, this thing is going to be like a miracle.
"Everything's going to be OK by Easter and we'll have the churches open and everything will be back. And then a couple of days later he talks about a quarantine. Andrew Cuomo didn't know about it. Nobody really seemed to know about it. It just came out of his head," King said.
"And he's not even talking about Easter anymore," Stelter said.
"I see people on the roads all the time down here. They're walking together. They're talking together. And I have to say that there's been a horrible example set from the top on down. The thing that sticks in my mind is the fact that all these people got together in the Oval Office when President Trump signed the bailout bill. Basically, we'll call it a bailout," King said.
"So here they all are side by side and to me, the only anything I could think of was, suppose everyone in that picture had a cigarette, you know, because you'd be talking about the same kind of damage, same kind of possibility of damage to people, and it's a terrible example, horrible example.
"But it's a way of saying, and the same thing is true with the sadness down here in Florida, there is a sense, here's an undertext to this thing, Brian, where people are saying at the top, 'Really, don't worry about this too much.' And if they continue with that attitude, people are going to take it from the pictures they see."