Sometimes the only way a message can get through to people is by using no uncertain terms to emphasize the urgency of a matter. The coronavirus pandemic is precisely one of those times and California Sen. Maxine Waters felt the need to remind Donald Trump about all of the errors in his ways of confronting the public health crisis that has only tightened its grip around the U.S. due in no small part to the president’s mishandling of it. Not only did he incorrectly call the coronavirus a political hoax championed by Democrats, he repeatedly misled the American public about how serious the situation was.
Waters’ district that she represents includes parts of Los Angeles County, where cases of the coronavirus were spiking exponentially and the death toll, like the rest of the country, was growing rapidly. Perhaps that was the reason why she unleashed on Monday a Twitter storm of factual tweets about what she said was Trump’s disingenuous efforts to bring crucial healthcare equipment to American citizens who need it most. Waters called Trump everything from “duplicitous” to “a failure” to an “incompetent idiot” and seemingly everything in between.
“Trump, since you destroyed the WH unit designed to plan for pandemics like #COVID19, you need to stop being duplicitous about the DPA & get more corps to develop masks, respirators, & everything needed to protect hospital workers trying to save lives,” she first tweeted in reference to the president dismantling the infectious diseases group that President Barack Obama had put in place. “Get your act together!”
Waters was just getting warmed up. She went on to question Trump’s upbringing that she said was a reflection of his response to the greatest challenge to public health that the country has faced in generations.
“Trump, weren’t you taught at an early age that self congratulations are improper? When you’re doing a good job, you will be commended,” Waters tweeted in an apparent reference to the president’s insistence that he was responding effectively and accurately to the coronavirus. “When you have to congratulate yourself it’s b/c of incompetence & insecurity. No one values hubris. A lesson you should’ve learned long ago.”
Ouch. But did she lie?
Waters went on to call out Trump’s demonstrated misogyny for his adamant contempt for Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who last week criticized the president’s response in her state.
“Trump, Gov Whitmer, the governor you called ‘that woman’, is what you think of ALL women, period!” Waters tweeted. “We women are all ‘that woman’! We are mothers & working professionals; we’re doctors & lawyers; & we’re elected officials, even governors, & you will show us the respect we deserve!”
The statement about Trump’s treatment of women came after a weekend of the president disrespecting PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor for asking questions during a press conference that he couldn’t answer without insulting her.
Waters also reacted quickly to Trump going back on his misguided vow to reopen the country sooner rather than proceeding with the caution advised by health officials. Trump instead announced on Monday that he was extending the social distancing guidelines through April, an instance of the president backtracking that Waters noticed, to put it mildly.
“Trump, so now you’re expanding the social distancing order? Another correction b/c of your ignorant hunches,” Waters tweeted. “You said we’d be safe by Easter! Experts always have to clean up after your ‘hunches.’ Keep your hunches 2 yourself & don’t waste experts’ time correcting your stupidity!”
But what really seemed to set Waters off was the report that Trump sent to China the type of coronavirus aid that Whitmer and other governors have practically been begging for. According to CNN, the “Trump administration sent protective medical gear to China while he minimized the virus threat to US.” Waters implored Trump to repent for what she described as his sins.
“Trump, you incompetent idiot! You sent 18 tons of PPE to China early but ignored warnings & called COVID19 concerns a hoax,” she wrote in the final tweet of her Twitter thread about the president’s response to the coronavirus crisis. “You’ve endangered doctors, nurses, aids, orderlies, & janitors – all risking their lives to save ours. Pray 4 forgiveness for the harm that you’re causing!”
There may be nothing that gets deeper under Trump’s skin that receiving criticism from a Black woman, making it all but a guarantee that his Twitter fingers will be typing an angry response to her. And when he does so, he will be using time that could be better spent by trying to fix the errors in his ways responding to the coronavirus crisis that was showing no signs of loosening its grip on the country.
What a time.