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Donald Trump’s COVID Comeuppance

Refusing to act decisively on COVID-19 – using all the resources at the disposal of the federal government – was very risky for US President Donald Trump. But Trump likes this kind of risk, because he believes – based on long experience – that he can shift all losses onto others.

WASHINGTON, DC – The US COVID-19 crisis fits the pattern of President Donald Trump’s career with its serial bankruptcies. Trump has badly mishandled the crisis, but while the United States will be living with the adverse consequences for many years, Trump will walk away – perhaps as soon as this week – blaming everyone but himself.

The pandemic did not turn Trump into a bad decision-maker unwilling to learn and take responsibility. But it did fully expose all his worst tendencies, including his poor judgment, inability to think about anyone but himself, and eagerness to shift the cost of his mistakes onto others. This time, the human and economic losses are borne by all of us, and they are enormous.

Trump was born rich – and much of the money he made on his own was the tainted fruit of “tax dodges in the 1990s,” according to a New York Times assessment of his tax records. His career has been a train of default and failure: Atlantic City casinos, Trump University, Trump Mortgage, Trump Steaks, Trump Magazine, Trump: The Game, and so on. The available evidence suggests that by the early 2000s, Trump had little remaining net worth.

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