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April Was Trump’s Cruelest Month

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On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence peddled an extraordinary fantasy about Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus. Pence’s tale of heroic, decisive leadership was so completely at odds with reality that pretty much the only words he spoke that weren’t lies were “a,” “and,” and “the.”

And most media organizations did, indeed, point out the falsehoods.

Yet what seems to me to be missing from much of the commentary on the Republican carnival of disinformation is an acknowledgment that Trump’s worst hour came not during Covid-19’s initial surge but weeks later, when he did all he could to push America into a reckless — and maskless — reopening.

And he’s doing it again. Speaker after speaker at the Republican National Convention referred to Covid-19, if at all, in the past tense. Their not-so-subtle message was that the pandemic is over. But it isn’t, and the Trump administration is still failing to protect the American people.

If I had to pick a single day when America lost the fight against the coronavirus, it would be April 17. That was the day when Trump proclaimed his support for mobs — some of whose members were carrying guns — that were threatening Democratic state governments and demanding an end to social distancing. “LIBERATE MINNESOTA,” he tweeted, followed by “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” and “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd........

© The New York Times

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