Trump hurts one achievement

By declaring that he 'probably won't" receive a booster shot, former President Donald Trump is undermining his one achievement pertaining to the novel coronavirus pandemic.Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images/Tribune News Service

This editorial appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Sept. 8:

ST. LOUIS (Tribune News Service) — Then-President Donald Trump’s catastrophic mishandling of the pandemic last year has already secured his place among the worst presidents in America’s history.

The one bright spot in the entire tragic debacle was his administration’s speed in developing vaccines against the coronavirus. Now, in a sorry postscript that severely undermines that achievement, Trump says he will likely refuse the recommended vaccine booster, with the bizarre claim that it’s some kind of for-profit scam.

As president when the worst global pandemic in a century arose in early 2020, Trump’s response was a disastrous mix of wishful thinking, science denial and misinformation. Even as his government’s own experts warned that the few U.S. cases early on would quickly bloom into a national epidemic, Trump, obsessed with protecting his economic record, publicly predicted the virus would disappear on its own, “like a miracle.” When the numbers instead exploded, he took to baselessly challenging both the official death counts and the experts’ advice.

He resisted the societal shutdowns that doctors said were needed to contain the spread. He bickered with desperate governors instead of providing them with coherent leadership, sometimes even threatening to withhold federal help from states that had displeased him.

He refused to set an example by masking in public, and conducted large, maskless rallies that became superspreader events. He promoted quack cures that included disinfectant and the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine. If Trump’s goal had been to make the pandemic as devastating as possible, it’s difficult to imagine what he would have done differently.

The one big exception was Operation Warp Speed, the public-private partnership initiated by the Trump administration to develop viable vaccines by the end of 2020. It was an unprecedented timetable for a process that normally might have taken years. The speedy delivery of the vaccines has undoubtedly saved countless lives. Trump will always deserve credit for that historic achievement and for encouraging his followers to take the vaccine — even if too tepidly and with mixed success, as was demonstrated recently when some of his own followers at a rally in Alabama booed him for it.

Perhaps that was on Trump’s mind when he told The Wall Street Journal last week that he “probably won’t” get the booster shot that doctors say may soon be necessary for the fully vaccinated (as Trump is). Two weeks prior, he dismissively told Fox News the boosters are “a money-making operation for Pfizer.”

After leading the extraordinary vaccine-development effort, Trump first hobbled it with his mixed messaging on the seriousness of the pandemic, and now has completely kicked the legs out from under it by giving his followers one more reason to continue putting themselves and those around them in danger. How many more of Trump’s followers have to die before he finally understands the damage he’s still doing, even out of office?

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency. ©2021

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(6) comments


Trump still living rent free in the heads of the sad democrats. Biden has been in office for 8 month’s and he’s been a total disaster…


Crime against humanity- a deliberate act, typically as part of a systematic campaign, that causes human suffering or death on a large scale.


I still remember at Trump's post July 4th rally proclaiming failed to meet the 70% vaccination rate and the idiots cheering while he smiled...


Excellent synopsis of Trump’s handling of the Covid pandemic. It’s hilarious that he could actually accuse someone else of scamming when that’s his lifeblood.

Joseph Savoca

We only have one guy coming in from China, so I am not worried. The virus will go away on its own.

hermit thrush

at almost every turn, republicans have been sabotaging our response to the pandemic.

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