This fascinating and terrifying New York Times article explains that Valimir Putin has conducted an extensive disinformation campaign against the United States for many years, and it is escalating. It is designed to spread misinformation to undermine American confidence in science and American officials. The Russian campaign is becoming more sophisticated and, thus, more difficult to detect. It works by making it harder to tell truth from lies. That makes it imperative that our government officials, especially you as President, are scrupulous in your honesty and transparency.
Every time you lie or exaggerate, you enable and enhance Russian propaganda. It doesn’t matter whether you believe what you are saying and are ignorant or misinformed. Or your statements are deliberate attempts to look more effective and grandiose in the moment. You must be more careful in what you say.
You also add to the Russian campaign to undermine confidence in American institutions when you attack and denigrate our American media and our elected officials. Name calling and other efforts to viciously belittle anyone you think is critical of you does not make you look better. Trying to diminish others does not enhance your veracity or competence.
You childishly deny and defend statements for which there is irrefutable evidence. For example:
Jan. 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” Extremely exaggerated.
Jan 30: “We’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for us … that I can assure you.” Not true. Exaggerated self-aggrandizement
Feb. 23: “We have it very much under control in this country.” Not true.
Feb 25: “We’re rapidly developing a vaccine.” It’s still 12 – 18 months away.
Feb. 26: “And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” Exaggerated self-aggrandizement.
Feb 26: “The risk to the American people remains very low.” Premature and inaccurate.
Feb 27: “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.” Not true.
March 4: “Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number.” Denigrating the WHO.
March 7: “Anyone who wants a test can get one.” Still not true.
March 4: The coronavirus is no more dangerous than the flu. Not true.
Major insurance companies will cover COVID-19 treatment free of charge. Not true
Ubiquitous drive-through testing sites are just about to open. Never happened.
The government will partner with Target to have testing sites in Target parking lots. Never happened.
At-home testing will be rolling out very soon. Never happened.
Google is developing a nation-wide online screening site to tell people if they need testing and where to get it, and it will be operating in two days. Never happened.
Diagnostic testing labs asked the federal government for funds to build new testing facilities, to develop national standards for who gets tested, and to support the testing supply chain. None of it happened.
I as President have the sole authority to lift the stay-at-home regulations. You do not, and that would be AGAINST the U S Constitution.
“When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s gotta be. It’s total.” Not true and dangerously dictatorial.
Each of these false or exaggerated statements not only undermine your credibility, they undermine America and aid Russia’s campaign to destroy our nation.
And now you want to cut off funding for the WHO because you claim it was slow and ineffective in handling the coronavirus outbreak. IF that is true, then learn from those mistakes and make the organization better. How does cutting their funding help anything? It’s only a way to flaunt the power you think you have.
How does your criticism of the WHO not apply to you? Rather than deny, defend, deflect, and punish others, why not learn what could have been better? Learning requires being willing to change. It requires deciding you can do better in the future than you did in the past. It sometimes requires admitting mistakes or imperfection. As long as you stick to the delusion of being perfect, you cannot learn anything.
Learn to be honest, transparent, empathic, and humble. You could still become a good person.