The first episode in the second season of The Five O’Clock Follies debuted Tuesday. It’s a show that’s promoted by aides as a way to inform Americans on the president’s management of the pandemic, and described quietly as a means to soothe a man of action frustrated by being locked down in the crown jewel of the country’s prison system. He misses his rallies.
Donald Trump made it through the briefing without causing national panic, but the real snapshot of how Trump is coping with the job was his epic interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday. It was a shocker because Trump so rarely puts himself in a situation where he can be challenged on his hollow accomplishments, tall tales (“some people say”), and outright lies. When Wallace questioned his continued downplaying of COVID-19 (the sniffles that will disappear), Trump added, “I’ll be right, eventually,” making Wallace’s point with an unaware reference to John Maynard Keynes’ observation that eventually we’ll all be dead.
When Wallace challenged Trump’s insistence the United States had one of the lowest mortality rates in the world, the president summoned his press secretary to prove him right, as if he were a contestant on a quiz show calling his lifeline. Sound the gong; he was wrong. He asked for help again to back up his assertion Joe Biden wanted to defund the police. Wrong again.