President Donald Trump has unleashed a humanitarian and economic disaster on his own people. There is no way to escape this fact.

While other places — Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and others — prepared for the coronavirus and took proactive measures to prevent its spread, Trump did nothing. He dismantled the White House task force responsible for pandemic responses, sat on his hands while the death toll escalated in other countries, called the virus a “hoax,” repeatedly claimed it would “miraculously” go away on its own, downplayed the intensity of the virus by comparing it to the seasonal flu and insisted for months that the situation was “totally under control” while his administration failed even to procure basic tests.

As a result, the United States now faces a domestic crisis unseen since the Great Depression. This is the result of political malpractice, not merely biological bad luck.

But Trump does not have a monopoly on political malpractice. As the crisis has spread, Democratic Party leaders ― House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden ― have either been missing in action or short on solutions.

Their silence has ― incredibly ― allowed a handful of arch-conservative Republicans to take public credit for advancing the popular, progressive idea of just sending every household a large check for the duration of the crisis. Pelosi explicitly rejected that very idea in early talks among House Democrats, overruling pleas from Democratic economists. With Democratic leaders thinking small, a majority of the public now actually approves of Trump’s catastrophic pandemic management, according to a new poll.

The leader of one party has caused a national calamity, while the leaders of the other have nothing much to say.

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