Why It Is Time for President Trump to Resign.

COVID-19 infection map from Johns Hopkins.

Now is the time to call for the immediate resignation of President Donald J. Trump.

Over the last four weeks — the month of June — the president has become more irrational, has made decisions that put the nation at risk, and behaved in a way that has led many political observers to ask with all sincerity whether he is truly seeking re-election or deliberately sabotaging his own campaign in an effort to guarantee a return to private life.

At the beginning of the last week of June, deaths from the Coronavirus in the United States had reached 122,000. By the end of the week the number of deaths topped 125,000 and with the number of new cases also dramatically rising on a daily basis, it is possible the number could be 130,000 dead by the end of the July Fourth weekend. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people are dying every week and President Trump is trying to tell us the pandemic is under control and we need to move on.

The United States is leading the world in both Corona cases and fatalities. There is no avoiding these facts. Through his willful inaction the president is saying to the nation: The virus is here to stay, some of you are going to die and that is something we have to accept. The rest of the world meantime is fighting the disease and in most cases making progress. Only the U.S., under President Trump, has given up.

Under these circumstances it is reasonable and even necessary to make the call for Trump’s resignation.

Let’s start in Texas and Florida where the governors of each state spent the first few months of the COVID-19 crisis taking messaging cues from the White House by attempting to tell their citizens the virus was under control. They also took steps to re-open parts of their states’ economies earlier than recommended by public health officials. Their arguments and claims at the time seemed out of touch with the known facts. The governors sounded irresponsible and disingenuous as they made their public assurances.

Last week, as new cases of the disease went up in both states, both governors changed their views and began calling for the wearing of face masks and the closing of businesses to help control the spread. They were caught in an irresponsible and unforgivable lie that cost hundreds of lives in each state. Should they not resign? Would it be a surprise if newspapers, other political leaders and the people of Florida and Texas began calling for the governors to step down?

President Trump is guilty of even worse malpractice because he has set the tone since the beginning of the pandemic. He has never taken it seriously. He has continually tried to ignore the warning signs, taken credit for half measures and engaged in fantastical thinking in the belief that if we refuse to look at the problem it will go away on its own.

As everyone knows; testing for the virus does not create new cases it only tells us who is sick. If there is no testing to try to determine where the virus is spreading, it spreads without our knowledge and we deny ourselves the opportunity to intervene. The same number of people get sick, the same number of people will die, whether we test or not. Testing does not cause the disease a virus does. Nevertheless, Trump is against testing because the results amount to bad public relations for him.

As the virus rages across the country, with increases in cases in more than thirty states, the president has quite obviously decided he is willing to accept a certain number of casualties. He is trying to move the country in another direction by turning away. In the last few weeks his agenda has included a continued attempt to overturn the national health insurance law known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. This in the middle of a pandemic. There is an old rule in politics that you don’t close a firehouse in the middle of a fire. Yet that is just what the president is trying to do.

People are dying at an alarming rate and the president is doing nothing or the wrong things. The responsibility for the deaths and the illness rests with him and those governors who have tried to curry favor with him by following his lead regardless of the predictable health consequences.

The president is not doing his job. He should resign. It is not out of the realm of possibility that he could be forced from office through the exertion of immense public pressure. Newspaper editorials boards, elected leaders and the public can raise the temperature so high that he may be forced to leave office early. At the very least, he may see his re-election is impossible and withdraw as a candidate.

On a smaller scale I have seen this kind of pressure campaign work before on elected and appointed officials who become the target of public outrage. There is a snowball effect that can take over especially, in this case, if Republicans take the lead. So far they have not, but the president’s incompetence is no longer defensible and at some point that incompetence will begin reflecting poorly on those who have supported him out of misplaced partisan loyalty. It is not enough for Republicans to be concerned, troubled or struggling with uncomfortable feelings about the president’s behavior. Republicans must put the country first.

The Trump administration was always going to end this way; in a conflagration of mismanagement that cost American lives. I thought the lost lives would come on a military battlefield, but what has actually happened maybe worse, because we are talking about the deaths of civilians who were not expecting to be in battle and numbers of deaths that far exceed the body count in any conventional military conflict. 125,000 dead and counting.

It is time to speak up. It is time to say enough. President Trump’s lack of leadership is costing American lives. It is time to demand that the president to resign.

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