When I taught my kids to drive, I emphasized that unexpected challenges expose the weaknesses of unprepared drivers. Anticipation and avoiding problems is important, as is mentally rehearsing prompt and effective emergency action.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the president as the bad driver of the Trump Administration’s clown car. After eliminating the White House’s pandemic office and cutting funding for the Centers for Disease Control, Trump made a bad situation worse when he ignored the warnings of his National Security Council experts in January regarding the extreme danger the virus posed to American lives and the economy. He told us there was no danger, that the COVID virus was “totally under control” and the virus would “miraculously go away.”

Once the medical crisis became too dire for even him to deny, Trump changed his tune, claiming he knew before anyone that the pandemic was coming and had done everything possible to prevent disaster. It was up to the states to find solutions, not him.

He is already claiming credit for their good work and blaming them for any negative outcomes. Business as usual for the fragile ego of our denier-in-chief.

Most Americans will survive the virus pandemic, but not because of any useful action by Trump. Many virus deaths are due directly to his prolonged and irresponsible denial of the pandemic and his slow and ineffective response. Even more deaths would have occurred had states not ignored Trump and taken action on their own.

Further victims are a certainty even as gains are being made in slowing the spread of infection. But many more Americans will die unnecessarily if we follow Trump in his self-serving ignorance.

Listen to experts, not clowns. Let’s hope our families aren’t forced to endure any more preventable virus deaths.

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