Yesterday the New York Times reported on emails which proved that Donald Trump was repeatedly warned by his own people that the coronavirus was going to be a disaster for the United States, and that Trump repeatedly refused to take action when it counted. Earlier today, Dr. Fauci appeared on CNN and acknowledged that more lives could have been saved if action had been taken sooner.
This raised the question of how Donald Trump would respond. Dr. Fauci has far too much clout and credibility for Trump to fire him, and in his more lucid moments, Trump seems to understand this. But Trump’s lucid moments are rare. This evening, Trump posted this surreal tweet:
Sorry Fake News, it’s all on tape. I banned China long before people spoke up. Thank you @OANN https://t.co/d40JQkUZg5— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2020
That’s right, Donald Trump just made a point of retweeting someone who said “Time to Fire Fauci.” That doesn’t mean Trump is actually going to do it. His presidency is hanging by a thread, and if he fires Dr. Fauci, it could be the thing that finally finishes him off.
Trump does have a history of pulling back from the kinds of moves that could hurt him in this way, instead settling for whining on Twitter, and firing the people he knows he can get away with firing. But we’re in some rare air here.