Donald Trump back in 2014 had criticized Obama for golfing during the Ebola outbreak that ended up taking lives of 2 American citizens. The same Donald Trump hit the links this Saturday, as the number of American citizens who died due to the coronavirus outbreak nears 100,000.
Coronavirus Pandemic: Trump’s Failures
100,000 also happens to be a total that President Trump has said it will not exceed in one of his frequently revised estimate of the virus’ expected death toll. “It looks like we’re headed to a number substantially below 100,000,” said President Trump on April 10. The number of confirmed cases in the US currently stands at around 1.6 million according to New York Times. There is no method of finding out the actual number of positive cases, though. Despite Trump’s claim made on 6th March that “anybody that wants a test can get a test,” a large number of people don’t seem to be able to get the tests.
BREAKING: to celebrate the start of the Memorial day weekend – Donald Trump golfs off the coffin of the 100,000th Coronavirus victim's coffin. pic.twitter.com/yzee9fAbTE
— Paul Lidicul (@PaulLidicul) May 23, 2020
Coronavirus Pandemic: The Real Numbers
The death toll being reported is also probably an undercount. Compilation of state mortality figures by the Centers for Disease Control have suggested a different picture. According to them, the coronavirus pandemic has caused somewhere between 33 to 60% more deaths than what is being reported. Despite that fact that the pandemic is causing around 1,200 deaths a day, Trump has made efforts to reopen states and churches. The motive of such an irresponsible move is straightforward. His focus is reelection by containing the economic collapse that has left 38 million Americans unemployed. His Saturday outing seems to be aimed at delivering the message that “the worst is behind us and that America is ready to return to normal,” as Philip Bump of Washington Post writes.
Two days ago Donald Trump said, without any authority, that states must treat all churches and other houses of worship as essential under coronavirus lockdown orders, so naturally he is spending his Sunday…on the golf course.
— Andrew Weinstein (@Weinsteinlaw) May 24, 2020
Pundits have repeatedly argued that Donald Trump’s hypocrisy over golf is irrelevant amid a large number of policy failures. His coronavirus record will face criticism even in absence of a golf outing. Nevertheless, symbolism matters. And as Americans continue to die from the coronavirus, Trump’s choice of symbol on Saturday was golf.