Inside Trump’s Failure: The Rush to Abandon Leadership Role on the Virus

"The roots of the nation’s current inability to control the pandemic can be traced to mid-April, when the White House embraced overly rosy projections to proclaim victory and move on."

"WASHINGTON — Each morning at 8 as the coronavirus crisis was raging in April, Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, convened a small group of aides to steer the administration through what had become a public health, economic and political disaster.

Seated around Mr. Meadows’s conference table and on a couch in his office down the hall from the Oval Office, they saw their immediate role as practical problem solvers. Produce more ventilators. Find more personal protective equipment. Provide more testing.

But their ultimate goal was to shift responsibility for leading the fight against the pandemic from the White House to the states. They referred to this as “state authority handoff,” and it was at the heart of what would become at once a catastrophic policy blunder and an attempt to escape blame for a crisis that had engulfed the country — perhaps one of the greatest failures of presidential leadership in generations."

Michael D. Shear, Noah Weiland, Eric Lipton, Maggie Haberman, and David E. Sanger report for the New York Times July 18, 2020.


"As Trump Ignores Virus Crisis, Republicans Start to Break Ranks" (New York Times)

"The Crisis That Shocked The World: America’s Response To The Coronavirus" (Washington Post)

"Endangered GOP Senators Under Pressure As Senate Considers New Coronavirus Measures" (Washington Post)

"Trump Defends Bungled Handling Of Coronavirus With Falsehoods And Dubious Claims" (Washington Post)

"'A Wake-Up Call': States Battle New Surge In COVID-19 Cases" (NPR)

"GOP Leaders Head To White House As Virus Crisis Deepens" (AP)

"Rancor Between Scientists And Trump Allies Threatens Pandemic Response As Cases Surge" (Washington Post)

Source: NYTimes, 07/20/2020