The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 225,000 Americans, yet President Donald Trump lashed out at Dr. Anthony Fauci just weeks before Election Day in a desperate effort to pin the blame on him.

Trump is still losing badly in the polls to former Vice President Joe Biden, and his reckless and incompetent handling of the pandemic is a big reason why. Trump knew all along that the virus is deadlier than the flu and he repeatedly downplayed it as it spread uncontrollably and people died.

Trump is the one who ignored the virus and did not take it seriously from the start. He would go on to end the economic shutdown earlier than health experts recommended just when it was working to stop the spread. He has since sought to demonize social distancing and masks.

On Monday, Trump tried to pin the blame for the pandemic on Dr. Fauci and took a petty shot at Fauci for throwing out the first pitch at a Washington Nationals game earlier this year.

Except that Fauci has explained why he did not initially advise wearing masks because hospital workers needed the masks more on the front line and there was a shortage of them:

“Back then, the critical issue was to save the masks for the people who really needed them because it was felt that there was a shortage of masks,” Fauci said back in July. “What happened as the weeks and months came by, two things became clear: one, that there wasn’t a shortage of masks, we had plenty of masks and coverings that you could put on that’s plain cloth…so that took care of that problem. Secondly, we fully realized that there are a lot of people who are asymptomatic who are spreading infection. So it became clear that we absolutely should be wearing masks consistently.”

It should also be pointed out that social distancing and staying home were working to slow the spread and could have stopped the virus had we continued to do so like New Zealand did. Instead, Trump reopened the economy too early, which caused infections to spike and spread like wildfire. Now we are facing a third peak and a death toll that will likely surpass 300,000 all because Trump cared more about the stock market than the lives of the American people. And even after Fauci strenuously advised wearing masks, Trump refused to listen and even contracted the virus himself along with many other Republicans and White House officials.

Trump would go on to double down on attacking Fauci’s first pitch by bragging about one of his own.

Of course, Trump had boasted that he would be throwing out a first pitch in New York at a Yankees game but soon backtracked on that like a coward. Given Trump’s inability to walk down a ramp or drink water with one hand, it’s likely he would have thrown a bad pitch and embarrassed himself.

Make no mistake, Trump is the one to blame for this mess. He had a chance to exercise leadership at the beginning of this crisis and he blew it. If he had listened to Fauci, 225,000 Americans would not be dead and this pandemic would have been over. But he didn’t listen, and now he’s whining because he’s paying the price for it.

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