Donald Trump is the virus: His coronavirus response confirms how toxic he is for the country
We've put up with a lot as a nation over the years. But whatever your political party, the latest antics from President Trump, during a global pandemic which has killed more than 25,000 Americans, seal the deal: We need out of this mess for good.
Our threshold for the absolutely absurd and the inarguably indefensible has been fairly high, considering just how far Trump has pushed the boundaries of decency and incompetence.
Since the day he was elected, there was a near constant-barrage of collateral damage -- all the stuff that came with him when a mere 27% of the eligible voting population ushered him into office.
There was the unconventional and brash governing style, a revolving door of staffers and Cabinet members, a steep learning curve in the rules of governance, an inability to admit to failures, a hostility toward the press, etc.
And some of the fallout was truly galling, from his administration's anti-immigrant policies that put kids in cages at the border to his clandestine attempts to interfere in our elections.
The baggage has not just been for his detractors, but his supporters, too, who put up with his juvenile tweets, his unhinged attacks on perceived enemies (including even a teenage climate activist with Asperger's syndrome) and a politics of distraction that kept many of their favored policies from being accomplished.
From Republicans' point of view, obsession with bringing down Trump also unleashed an unending flood of investigations by Democrats and a failed attempt to remove him from office.
As consumed as we were by the dizzying rollercoaster that was Trump's presidency, all of that looks like kids' stuff compared to the carnival ride from hell we are all on now.
This wasn't inevitable. On a practical level, we could be in better shape today had another administration been better equipped to deal with this pandemic. As two epidemiologists write in The New York Times this week, we could have saved thousands of lives had coronavirus been taken more seriously, earlier.
"[A]n estimated 90% of the cumulative deaths in the United States from COVID-19, at least from the first wave of the epidemic, might have been prevented by putting social distancing policies into effect two weeks earlier, on March 2, when there were only 11 deaths in the entire country."