President Donald Trump is now not just downplaying the coronavirus -- he's resorting to absurd historical allusions about great World War II leaders to try to disguise his culpability in 190,000 American deaths.
Trump ridiculously invoked former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at a Thursday night rally, claiming that like them, he had tried hard to calm public panic in a dark hour.
It was a historically illiterate gambit, since unlike Trump in the pandemic, both statesmen leveled with their people about grave national crises.
But it reflected his struggle to explain his failure to tell the American people the truth about the seriousness of the virus -- even though he told Bob Woodward in interviews for his new book in February that it was "deadly stuff."
In a low-energy news conference earlier in the day, Trump doubled down on falsehood, declaring that "I did not lie" when he warned Woodward the pathogen was worse than the flu while publicly comparing it to the seasonal illness.
In one stunning moment, he said that if the Washington Post reporter, whose book "Rage" comes out Tuesday, was so concerned about what was said in their taped conversations, he should have gone to the "authorities" so they could prepare the country. Of course, under the Constitution, the President is the ultimate authority and whether Trump likes it, the buck stops with him for the pandemic and every other national crisis.
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