Donald Trump – A Great President By Walrus.


This is not an April Fool joke. I spent the best part of Two hours this morning watching the live briefing (31/3) to the press by President  Trump and his Coronavirus taskforce. You are a very lucky country to have that man leading you during this Coronavirus pandemic. Whatever his faults and foibles he is a great President, even if he does nothing else than what is already done.

What came through loud and clear was the pure leadership ability  of President Trump. He let his team speak for him and while the situation is stark – a best case estimate of some 100,000 deaths, there is solid evidence that there is a plan. It is working. The American "Can Do" attitude is taking hold very quickly and the team is firing on all cylinders. Trump ain't Churchill. But then Churchill didn't have the ability to pull a team together like Trump has.

I will not go into specifics except for one question later. The plan is more social distancing for another Thirty days. During that period we are going to see a lot of people die, no matter what. Medical supplies and resources are being found or manufactured and being deployed where they are needed most. The defence forces are being employed to help. Deaths will lag action, so what is done today won't show for two weeks. Drug treatments are being trialed. Vaccines are  under development. However the message is clear. We will get through this and emerge stronger than ever.

I was not impressed much by the hostility of Press. I think President Trump handled their questions very well and showed  considerable mastery of the details, if necessary deferring to the doctors and Vice President Pence – another surprisingly capable leader.

The matter I want to raise comes out of a press question, I forget which media company asked it; "What would be the death rate without the mitigation measures now in place and Trumps early travel bans?" The answer to that was over two million Americans. In answering the question Trump stated that he had been under early pressure from people, presumably advisers and lobbyists, just to "ride it out" – do nothing, carry on with business and accept the casualties. It was already clear even then that the casualties in such an event would be older Americans, the poor, the sick.

I want to know who advised him to do nothing?

I suggest you watch it yourself.


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45 Responses to Donald Trump – A Great President By Walrus.

  1. Jose says:

    I want to know who advised him to do nothing?
    The CDC also misinformed Obama on the Swine Flu.
    Col. Lang needs to come out of retirement and teach the Epidemic Intelligence Service how to do a better job.

  2. different clue says:

    Who would have advised President Trump to do nothing special? I don’t think we will ever know unless President Trump decides to tell us himself. Unless he does that, all we will ever be able to do is guess.
    I will go ahead and guess: Peter Mnuchin, economic adviser Steven Moore, Mr. Kudlow, and maybe others in that circle of friends and fellow like-thinkers. But unless the President tells us, I will never know if I have guessed right or wrong.

  3. optimax says:

    I agree Trump is doing a great job. And so is Pence with his stable and competent attitude that is reassuring.
    Oregon’s governor Kate Brown is leading our fight by blaming Trump for evry single death in the US from the virus. Insley and Newsome are much better leaders despite the former’s complaints.

  4. Ramon Z says:

    If you find yourself in a novel situation and you have to make a decision with incomplete information, then good luck and best wishes.
    We are already seeing which countries were prepared and which were not.
    If you leave the population exposed to a virus that all the experts told you was coming, then you should be facing serious consequences.

  5. Jack says:

    “The plan is more social distancing for another Thirty days. During that period we are going to see a lot of people die, no matter what.
    We’ve been hearing this refrain for many weeks now. But when I talk to my grandson who is a doc at the VA, my doc and my nephew who is a doc in Tennessee, none are seeing the surge at their ICUs that was predicted couple weeks ago. Their ICUs are at normal load for this time of the year.
    As you know only some 26 states have imposed the draconian order to shut it all down except for essentials. I’m not reading about any major acceleration of infections in those states where such an order has not been issued and many small businesses are still operating. In addition I don’t see news stories of stress in the hospital system around the country with the exception of NYC.
    OTOH the response to the Wuhan virus potential fatalities and spread could cause unemployment and small business failures that rival the Great Depression. At what point will the epidemiologists who claim potential catastrophe walk back their calls if we don’t see this surge at our hospitals? How many weeks do they need before it needs to be concluded that this could be a false alarm?

    Federal Reserve estimates coronavirus job losses could total 47M; unemployment rate may hit 32%, topping Great Depression peak of 24.9%.

  6. walrus says:

    Jack, the problem with this virus is that it is infectious for at least four days before symptoms appear. That means that what we do today won’t produce results for at least a week.
    To put that another way, remember the old joke about the parachutist with the collapsed chute? “So far so good!”.
    Trump uniquely understands this, probably because he has serious experience at high level real estate project management.

  7. Fredw says:

    You are judging organizational effectiveness from the ability to put on a dog and pony show? Granted, inability of world class professionals to put on a show is an indicator of onrushing calamity. But the show is not the operation. (Whatever professional politician might think.) I stopped watching such things many decades ago except for the purpose of judging their effects on the public. Does it impress me that Biden can’t seem to put on a good show? Yes. Does it impress me that Trump can? No. Putting on a good show should be a minimal standard.
    There were lots of good dog and pony shows during the Vietnam war. Did they prove that the war was being conducted competently? No.

  8. sbin says:

    I find Trump to be a carnival barker.No continuity of thought or action but lots of blathering.
    Also fear his long history of bankrupting organizations will continue.
    Lastly anyone that puts the likes of Pompeo and Bolton in position of authority is not to be trusted.

  9. Fred says:

    ” Incomplete Chinese Data Misled Experts on Seriousness of Coronavirus”
    That headlilne is the understatement of the century. The Chinese willfully lied to everyone and still is. They’ve siezed the production capacity of medical equipment supply companies and are using the output themselves, though they do send defective equipment abroad and teams of doctors for the ‘dog and pony show’, to use Fredw’s term, to put their communist govenment in the best light possible.

  10. The Beaver says:

    I want to know who advised him to do nothing?
    It is the Hidden Genius – his son in law Jared, who then went to the father in law of his brother to get some advice when things started to get bad on March 11, 2020. That FIL who is an ER doctor went to his Facebook to get advice from his brethren and that’s why we got an address from the Oval Office on March 12, 2020.
    Jared must have read 25 books on epidemiology from Jan 21st 2020 till March 11th 2020 ( sarcasm) like he did for Peace in the Middle East

  11. JoeC100 says:

    I have been reading the full Corona Task Force press conference transcripts for the past week plus. They are far more informative than any media coverage I have access to and I would recommend reading the transcripts in stead of relying on typical brief (and probably biased – from either “side”) media coverage.
    It is clear that the Task Force is learning and evolving a range of positions on action.
    I fully agree with Walrus that this team is impressive and Trump appears to be leading it well.

  12. BillWade says:

    Thanks Mr Walrus!
    And, I’ll voice my appreciation to the Australian longshoreman who are refusing to unload a Chinese freighter, hope our guys follow suit soon.

  13. Bill H says:

    There is nothing in the constitution about the president being responsible for budgeting, “keeping us safe,” or drafting legislation. The responsibility of the president is to provide leadership for the nation, and President Trump is doing an admirable job of precisely that. Not since FDR’s “Fireside Chats” has the nation been provided with such frequent quidance from its chief executive.

  14. FWH says:

    Thanks for the comment about the doctor’s view of ICUs. We need more of this kind of information as a reality check. I noticed in the Province of British Columbia, CA there are now about 120 cases in the hospitals and only about 60 in ICUs, with no information about how old they are and what underlying diseases exist. Meanwhile Canadian border has been mostly closed and the economy has been partly shut down with obvious economic and personal injury. “Thousands” of hospital beds are being made available.
    I suspect we would find the same general data about hospitalizations in Washington State if the data were being reported. We need more reality check (called investigative journalism) going on through the news media.

  15. fredw says:

    “Incomplete Chinese Data Misled Experts on Seriousness of Coronavirus”
    As a first year college student, I participated in a small group meeting with a professor of Chinese philosophy and history. The thought about China that he wanted us to take away was “Never trust Chinese statistics.” This thought had no specific reference to the Maoist regime. He had outrageous examples from all periods of Chinese history. I didn’t actually know anything relevant at the time, but it stuck in my mind and I have always found his characterization to be accurate. Only non-Chinese numbers about China are useful. That was in 1964.

  16. Mark K Logan says:

    The last few pressers have been well done, no doubt about it. I can’t go as far as saying that makes him a great President. Bush with his megaphone on the rubble was thereby a great President, Giuliani with some of his statements at that time would be a great man too. The information is Trump is capable of putting himself aside in a crisis. Many will find that surprising and be incredulous. He has not exhibited this sort of behavior often.

  17. Vegetius says:

    People who would wreck a one-car funeral have no idea what it is to bring a lot of people together and get them moving in a coordinated manner to common purpose under extraordinary circumstances.
    That said, Jim Acosta seemed to be on what passes for his best behavior yesterday afternoon.

  18. Serge says:

    >I want to know who advised him to do nothing?
    Jared and the rest of the Tribe

  19. turcopolier says:

    Mark K Logan
    Yes he has but you want to grade his mannerisms and hate him because he is a counter-revolutionary of the sort detested by the clown pseudo intellectual Jim Acosta.

  20. Fred says:

    One of my friends is an ICU nurse is in Detroit, she says the ward is full. The nurse I know working in Novi, 26 miles West says their’s is not, neither is the one in Toledo according to one of their contacts. What do these three anecdotes tell that is different than yours from the doctor at the unknow VA location or the one in an unknown hospital in Tennesse? Not too much.
    FWH, here’s more anecdotes for to fill your need: 11 patients recovered and off ventilators. dischargwd 40 people identified to have Covid19. I assume that means recovered patient. Hope you feel better but I sure wouldn’t make national or even state policy off this one data point.

  21. stueeeeee says:

    Trump’s CEO type leadership has been adequate…not bold…not great. Yes, he proposed the travel ban; but like many other policies, his follow thru was/has been tepid. He is risk averse. He acts on knowledge and chooses the middle ground. He proposes restricting illegal and legal immigration, but signs bills that invites both. He chooses conservatives justices/judges to the federal courts, but ignores the demographic change that will yield their appointments meaningless. He speaks of opening the country up for business one day and then to possibly quarantine the nation the next. With the bully pulpit at his disposal, he then can claim he was right all along. Trump’s adequate leadership so far reveals he is not a man of history; but like Col Lang has commented, a mere businessman.

  22. steve says:

    I am in the process of setting up new ICUs and cross training staff to supplement the ICU doctors we have and supplement the mid-levels. I dont do clinical ICU anymore so I am taking advice from my ICU leads, but I am responsible for both choosing the people to give me advice and deciding the quality of their advice. If I choose the idiot who tells me we dont really need PPE gear, it is my responsibility. If they forget to tell me something and one of my staff is harmed it will be my responsibility for not choosing the right person or not getting another opinion.
    If you want to lead you dont get to just blame others when things go wrong and take the credit when things go well. I think the general failure to hold our leaders responsible has become a problem in our society.

  23. sam says:

    Trump is now the arsonist who lit his girlfriend’s house on fire and is now is the hero for rushing to save her.
    Why not blame him for not picking up on the risk himself, many many people did and the writing was on the walls
    A pandemic-preparedness office that was part of the National Security Council was dissolved in 2018. On January 28, Luciana Borio, who was part of that team, urged the government to “act now to prevent an American epidemic,” and specifically to work with the private sector to develop fast, easy diagnostic tests. But with the office shuttered, those warnings were published in The Wall Street Journal, rather than spoken into the president’s ear. Instead of springing into action, America sat idle.
    Dec. 31: China confirms existence of a new virus.
    JAN. 30 The W.H.O. declared a global health emergency.
    March 2: Fewer than 500 people have been tested for the coronavirus in the United States, compared with 1,126 in the Ontario province of Canada alone.
    We were caught with our pants down, no PPE, doctors and Nurses on the front lines without masks, unable to test, trace, and contain.
    At one hospital in NYC alone: Montefiore CEO Philip Ozuah went on the conference call with employees and said 311 workers had been confirmed positive for Covid-19 and more than 1,000 were quarantined.
    We had a heads up for months. What if this were a terrorist biological attack or a missiles from North Korea… ?
    The risk was anticipated in 2015 and described in details as if the talk was today by Bill Gates

  24. different clue says:

    Am I being too paranoid when I consider the possibility that the ChinaGov sent defective medical-worker-safety equipment deliberately and on purpose in hopes of fostering more corona spreading specifically among the medical care-givers in order to force-multiply the spread of corona all over America?
    ( And did I use the term ” force multiply” correctly?)

  25. English Outsider says:

    Walrus – thank you for a great article. It would be interesting to have an overview of the response by the various Western countries. The impression I get is that most heeded the initial WHO advice and thought this would be no big deal. Then when they realised it was they got to grips with it.
    None more effectively than Trump. Some of the European leaders were pretty good – Mrs Merkel in particular, I thought, and our own PM did fine, but the sheer bustle and dynamism of Trump’s response was something else.
    But why does the American President have to be perpetually savaged by most of the media? Just once they could let up and recognise that this is the sort of work Trump was designed for, and leave off the constant carping.

  26. Mark K Logan says:

    I viewed this thread as a grading of his mannerisms.
    I don’t view him as a counter-revolutionary. IMO nearly everything he does fits the model of him primarily being concerned with himself. IMO he ran for President to raise his public profile, and his type A obsessive competitiveness kept him in it. His ideology is himself. IOW: I don’t see the revolution. He brought in the neo-cons to run his foreign policy. He handed Jerusalem to Israel. He had some notions of bringing manufacturing back but IMO his actions on the matter are half-baked and infrequent, and I don’t even blame him overmuch for that. Took decades to ship our mfg. overseas. It will take a generation to move a significant part of it back. IMO the free-traders have set us on a course that there is no easy fixing.
    On the fixing: There are some folks I pray do not take my side in a dispute. Trump is one. Is he countering something I am missing?
    Yet I don’t hate him for that. I pity him if anything. I am more moved towards pity for the utterly self absorbed these days. IMO he has no real friends. I view the self-absorbed as creatures living in a hall of mirrors, and distorted ones. The resultant incuriousity makes them miss so much. I’m glad to see he’s not melting down in this crisis, actually.

  27. Rene Laclerk says:

    Walrus and the rest of y’all had me going there…until I looked at the date. Well done.

  28. turcopolier says:

    Mark A Logan
    You want a boy scout or someone not from NY City.

  29. turcopolier says:

    Which aircraft carrier? One is at Guam.

  30. sam says:

    There are no PPEs available to Drs and Nurses across the country. It is not that they have them and they are defective. They don’t have enough and Drs and Nurses are using and reusing the same masks that is if they find them. That is why all elective surgeries have been cancelled.. to shift resources into ERs and ICUs.
    Where is the government’s emergency stockpile of respirator masks, gloves and other medical supplies ? are we are not prepared for a biological war or a catastrophic event?
    We had weeks if not months to prepare..
    The political system is broken, Democrats blaming Russia and the Republicans blaming China.
    But we saw this train crashing into the station in slow motion while we did nothing to prepare.
    Even if China was deceitful and hid information. They came clean in late December and locked down the county in January… If it weren’t serious why would they have done that? They didn’t hind the lock down and the building of 10 new hospitals in Wuhan alone..
    We all saw that and did what? Nothing!
    Japan, South Korea, and Singapore acted quickly… We were like a deer in the headlight, Dems and GOP playing politics

  31. JohninMK says:

    The carrier with the 100+ infected sailor problem is the USS Theodore Roosevelt currently pierside in Guam. They are faced with trying to find somewhere for the 5000 crew to be disembarked to as they disinfect the ship, a horrendous task. She left port in the US on the 17th Jan, so its either been onboard since then or the virus was inadvertently airlifted in.
    I read somewhere but, it seems to have faded, that the US carrier in Japan has a similar but much smaller problem.
    It is unlikely that we will get more information as someone woke up to the OPSEC implications and no more updates will be made available on any US military location.
    This is not of course limited to US ships, at least 3 submarines, including a Russian, have the problem.

  32. JohninMK says:

    Small update to my last post. Secretary Esper has said today the “it is not the time to evacuate the USS Roosevelt”. Whilst very logical from his position this does not seem to have gone down well on social media and probably not on board either as they wait for their turn to head for the sick bay.
    This is a really nasty virus in an unfortunate location. You have to feel for the crew.

  33. Fred says:

    The standard process on equipment returned due to claims of defects is to quarantine it, inspect items for defects, return the good items back into the system for use/sale and rework or scrap the remainder. If these are basic face masks they probably can’t be reworked so if defective they should get scrapped. As to this being central government policy? I doubt it at this time. Some corrupt warehouse manager, factory manager or scrap company dealer putting this stuff on the market? Well, a sucker is born every minute and some corrupt people think they’ll get away with it this time.

  34. Fred says:

    “There are no PPEs available to Drs and Nurses across the country. ”
    None, in any hospital? Wow! Where’d you get that propaganda from and why are you repeating it here?
    “That is why all elective surgeries have been cancelled”
    You mean they didn’t get cancelled due to the risk of infection with Covid19 to the patient? What are all the doctors of specialties like Urology doing now, running ventilators, just curious?
    “Even if China was deceitful and hid information. They came clean in late December”
    Sure thing Comrade! We won’t be declaring war tomorrow, we’ve got a democratic congress.
    The USS Roosevelt also made a ‘liberty call’ in Danang. At today’s (4/1) Covid news conference the President made a point of correcting the CNO by stating the USN isn’t going to be making overseas port stops any time soon.
    There is another point in the defense press:
    “No one knows how the coronavirus got onto the ship. Modly said all sailors returning from an early-March port visit in Danang, Vietnam, were tested and found negative for the virus. The first two sailors to develop COVID symptoms did so 14 days after the ship left Danang, he said.”
    Why lookie there, they didn’t show positive after returning from liberty but 14 days later? My, what is “incubation period”? We’ve got more admirals that carriers, I suggest again that we shitcan a few.The same with carrier captains. Especially after seeing that the CNO didn’t bother to inform the Navy or Defense Secretary of what they decided to do in Guam so he would come off look like an ass.

  35. Upstate NY'er says:

    You nailed it.
    Government – politicians and bureaucrats – means NO accountability, no responsibility.
    9/11, Iraq WMD, billion dollar cost overruns for defense systems that don’t work, endless wars and on and on.
    Did anyone lose their job or pension?
    Of course not.

  36. optimax says:

    The only person who, if he had been elected president, would have prepared the country for this health crisis is Bill Gates. And the mac people wouldn’t have voted for him.
    Oregon didn’t stock pile close to enough, that’s for sure, that’s for dang sure.
    On the bright side, the doctor at a veteran’s home gave the hq/az cocktail to those infected and a 104 year old man survived and is well enough to celebrate his birthday today.
    On the dark side, a friend’s daughter depends on hydrochloroquin for a rare disease she has. The pharmacy notified her they can’t refill her prescription and she needs to stretch out what she has, taking a pill every other day instead of daily. Hopefully they can ramp up production enough
    to supply those who depend on it first and have enough for symptomatic cases.

  37. The Beaver says:

    Here s the proof:
    “This was a total mess,” Kushner told people when he got involved last month. “I know how to make this government run now,” he said, according to a source.
    “I have all this data about ICU capacity. I’m doing my own projections, and I’ve gotten a lot smarter about this. New York doesn’t need all the ventilators,” Kushner said, according to a person present. During an interview on Hannity on March 26, Trump said: “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators.”
    Next he will run the whole West Wing !

  38. JJackson says:

    “The impression I get is that most heeded the initial WHO advice and thought this would be no big deal.”
    I have been following WHO output since the beginning and do not recall them ever saying anything like that. They have been very cautious in their statements and have been warning every country to get ready from the moment Wuhan cases started climbing. Their message has been test, contact trace and isolate for months.
    Air craft carriers will have the same or worse problems than the Diamond Princess if the crew are not separated ashore. It is very difficult to deal with that level of population density in a confined space.
    Somebody here posted the comment they thought it was great that longshoremen would not unload a ship from China. There have been some insane comments in these threads but this must be a contender for worst comment. We have major supply chain issues developing I do not know what was in that ship but if it included PPE they may be responsible for killing their citizens. If you want to pick a ship not to unload due to COVID fears try Italian, Spanish, UK or US. China is about the safest place on the planet to visit at the moment although they will lock up if you do get in because you will have come from a high risk area, relative to them. China is the manufacturing hub for everything we need at the moment if we continue to slander them they may just decide to keep domestic production for themselves until this is over. They would come out of this much stronger than we would. Fortunately they are much better world citizens than most of us.

  39. Christian J Chuba says:

    I do not have a problem w/Trump’s leadership on this except for his mindless escalation w/Venezuela, the people around him underestimate the risk of a shooting war.
    I have a problem w/our anonymous Intel sources whose only purpose is to make us feel good about ourselves rather than warn us about real threats. They are worse than useless.
    The latest red meat subject, ‘China is lying about their numbers’, why does this matter? Over 5,000 of us are dead with that number increasing by the hour. Let’s suppose China has a higher death toll, I guess that means we win.
    The total number of deaths in Russia, Japan, and S.Korea is less than 200
    So while we are playing the victim, other countries were able to respond effectively and we aren’t even questioning ourselves. We are reducing it to, ‘they lied’. CNN is daring Trump to choose China over our Intel while FOX is waving the flag. I see us as totally dysfunctional. It’s fine for the public to wave the flag but the MSM is supposed to ask questions, not fawn over our bureaucracy.
    Here is a list of situation reports from WHO:
    The interesting ones are the first 4 starting on 1/21. They are concise. They list the # of infections, where they are and what measures each country is taking. Each one is just a few pages.
    S.Korea started screening, quarantine measures and monitoring all pneumonia cases on on 1/3, Japan started doing the same thing on on 1/7. Later they added contact tracing, I don’t think we ever got to do that. I wish we had their Intel guys.
    Santa Clara started their lock down just one week earlier than NY and they have 200 deaths vs NY’s 2,000. An ounce of prevention …

  40. Fred says:

    The Beaver,
    “according to a person present. ” who told it to, of all people, Gabrial Sherman of Vanity Fair, which publish an article entitled “The Campaign Panicked….” Was there really a national debate about Trump saying he wanted Americans to be able to attend church on Easter because we had beaten this virus? I thought that gave some hope and only the press was bitching about Christians going to church.
    Oh, wait, it was published on April 1st. Ha, ha, ha. Good job Gabriel!

  41. turcopolier says:

    I only pretend to be a constitutional scholar but I question whether or not POTUS has the authority to declare a national lock down. Tell me if he has. I would think that this is a state matter unless civil government breaks down at the state level. In that case the president could declare martial law in a particular state and simply take control of the state for direct administration. We do not do that very often and in each case the responsible military authority, in this case the CinC, is legally responsible for his/her actions in the emergency. The blond woman sitting behind John Roberts yesterday at the presser did not seem to understand the limits of presidential power.

  42. Fred says:

    That’s my read on the president’s power also.

  43. turcopolier says:

    I went through every level of officer service school from the infantry Lt. course to the Army War College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and was taught all that about martial law at every level.

  44. LJ says:

    Who did not warn the President indeed! Dr Chris Martensen from his YouTube channel was warning his listeners that this had all the markings of a global pandemic — in January — hair on fire warnings. How is it that he with his $105 internet service could know this when our intelligence community would not know this? Well, that dog don’t hunt!

  45. DH says:

    I have a large affection for Trump. We got off easy this time. Now we will be up and running for the Big One, at least.
    It is beyond bizarre Pelosi is starting a witch hunt around this, and the press is an ass.

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