There’s an old expression, “on his watch,” that we use to ascribe responsibility to persons in charge.

On Sept. 11, 2001, four aircraft were hijacked by Saudi terrorists and crashed into the twin towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, killing 2,977 people – an intelligence failure that occurred on George W. Bush’s watch, though he can’t be directly blamed.

As the pandemic accelerates at an alarming pace, we are now looking at the possibility that more than 300,000 Americans will have died by the time Donald Trump leaves office on Jan. 20, 2021. In other words, on his watch, the equivalent of one hundred 9/11s.

Had Trump been an active, engaged president, following the advice of health care professionals from the early days of the pandemic – like leaders in countries like Vietnam, South Korea and New Zealand – it is estimated that only a few thousand U.S. lives would have been lost. But, given Trump’s nature, that was not possible.

There’s another old expression –”Nero fiddled while Rome burned” – an event that may be apocryphal.

In our time, as the pandemic has raged, Trump has regularly played golf. So, here’s a new one for you: “Trump golfed while America burned.” And that’s not apocryphal.

Rather, it is now, and forever will be, the Trumpian legacy – despite all denials, all efforts to shift blame.

For with the presidency comes final accountability. As Harry Truman’s old desk sign famously proclaimed, “The Buck Stops Here.”

Dale Hueppchen
Lincolnville

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