Protecting the physical health of all Americans during the Coronaviris epidemic is the #1 goal of all state governors, medical professionals, and the average citizen. Governor’s are demanding massive closures of non- essential businesses, schools, sports/ entertainment venues, and government offices. They are engaging in law enforcement in implementing state orders of social distancing and the stay-at-home policy. Americans are especially impressed with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s tough yet compassionate handling of the rapid spread of the virus in his state. His job performance during this epidemic has made Trump’s performance look incompetent and detached.
Americans are aware that Trump knew of the virus threat since December 2019 and did nothing to be prepared to protect Americans. He was advised by Obama’s National Security Advisor and the entire pandemic office personnel to be prepared for a crisis. Trump dismissed the warning, using his frighteningly immature, ill-informed, self-serving “gut feelings” to proclaim only 15 people were infected and in about 15 days it would probably all be over. As he continued to downplay the seriousness of the beginnings of the epidemic nightmare of Covid-19, government public health officials sounded the alarms to an administration who would not listen. The disaster was predicted to befall America based on the book “The Dangerous Case of Donald J. Trump,” where 37 psychiatrists described the probable mental conditions that Trump suffers from and how these conditions would impair his judgment about how to keep Americans safe and democracy intact.
Refusing to educate himself on what was happening about Covid-19 in other countries, like China, Italy, and South Korea, Trump stayed in his imaginary bubble that everything would be over soon, and his Obama-inherited excellent economy would get him re-elected. This is the kind of thinking that thousands of mental health experts have sounded the alarm about for over 3 years. Trump seems to believe himself overall experts on any topic. This distorted, grandiose thinking has led him to continuously govern based on his own feelings and self-interests. There is also a suspicion of thought disordered thinking by his most loyal followers. Continuing to believe in someone who lies and whose emotions never match the seriousness of a situation requires a form of magical thinking more like that of a child or someone with personality pathology or thought-process disorders. Of course, there are the evangelicals who are always looking for a god-like creature to worship, the greedy rich, or the racists who continue to support Trump in the midst of one of the most egregious errors of judgment and inaction on the part of any U.S. President in our history.
It was predictable that people would experience emotional problems during the extreme threat to life and health from the Coronavirus spread. The losses financially, professionally, socially, and personally are as dramatic for many as being in jail or living in a dictatorship. Many are suffering from anxiety, depression, impulsivity, irrational thinking, and aggression which is compounding the tremendous stress and hardship to an already traumatic experience. Social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and the shut down of businesses, venues of entertainment, professional sports, and schools have rendered millions of people at a loss for how to cope with so much change and loss all at once. Mental health professionals are suggesting staying in touch with friends and family online and by phone. Continuing your mental health treatment is essential, as well as newly entering therapy via the teletherapy process if you are experiencing severe emotional reactions. Talking about your feelings, taking walks, doing projects for your home and work can also help create purpose and structure to each day.
However, it is also being reported millions of people are angry at Trump and his Administration for leaving America vulnerable to this pandemic due to a lack of preparedness. Trump’s statement “no one could have seen this coming” is one of his most embarrassing, “cover your ass” lies of all. There is massive documentation about warnings he received and ignored from national security and health officials regarding the spreading Covid-19 epidemic in other countries. He was also made aware that without a fully staffed global health security staff trained to prepare for pandemics, America would not be protected from massive casualties. Trump managed the Coronavirus crisis like an incompetent parent who does not make sure the kids are fed, adequately dressed, housed, or medically treated. Children who grow up suffering the consequences of inadequate parenting are having a particularly hard time with anger about how Trump’s self-interest and incompetence have made this bad time even more perilous.
We all know Trump did not cause the existence of the Coronavirus. But is it too much for Americans to expect if there is a rampant disease attacking our country, we should all be able to purchase gloves, masks, sanitizers, and be tested to make sure we are not infected? Emotional suffering has been heightened because there is not enough protective gear and medical testing to relieve Americans of the fear of the unknown. Until we can all go and buy as many gloves, masks, and sanitizers we need to feel safe, Trump and his administration cannot claim they are doing a good job. A good job would have been to be prepared for the possibility of a pandemic. To brag about taking action on a problem that your incompetence contributed to making worse is a sign of damage control. Americans have a right to be angry. When the epidemic is under control and fears lessen, the anger will remind us to vote out the most incompetent, disordered person ever to be a U.S. President.