For those who enjoy horror movies, here’s something that might tickle your pickle: a video unflinchingly comparing Donald Trump’s coronavirus response to that of other world leaders.
Titled “Donald Trump: A Study in Leadership”, the short film lays bare just how badly Trump has mishandled the pandemic.
Collated by The Atlantic,the three minute montage pairs footage of Trump throughout the crisis with that of his peers, such as Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau.
In the cold light of day (read: when placed next to leaders gravely telling their people just how much of a threat coronavirus is) and collected together, it’s harrowing to see just how much Trump has fumbled repeated opportunities to get a handle on the situation.
Posting the video, Atlantic staff writer Anne Applebaum wrote:
Americans, as a rule, rarely compare themselves with other countries, so convinced are we that our system is superior, that our politicians are better, that our democracy is the fairest and most robust in the world.
But watch this video and ask yourself: Is this the kind of leadership you expect from a superpower? Does this make you feel confident in our future? Or is this man a warning signal, a blinking red light, a screaming siren telling all of us, and all of the world, that something about our political system has gone profoundly awry?
At one point a clip plays of Trump at the beginning of the outbreak, turning to an advisor and uttering the now-infamous sentence: “I really think doctor, you want to treat this like you treat the flu. It’s going to be fine”.
The scene is immediately followed by Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau telling reporters that “basing [the government’s] decisions on evidence, on facts, on the best science available [will] be extremely important for keeping Canadians safe”.
At another point footage shows Trump being challenged over his repeated assertions that coronavirus is a “Chinese virus".
“Why do you keep using this [term]?” an unseen reporter asks, frustratedly. “A lot of people say it sounds racist”.
“It’s not racist at all,” the president replies. “It comes from China”.
That particular clip is succeeded by video of Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-Wen saying:
I want to ask everyone not to see anyone as potential enemies and not to point the finger of blame.
If the message about Trump’s leadership skills wasn’t clear enough, there’s also a particular striking point in the montage, that sees him directly compared to New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, when discussing health guidelines during the pandemic.
Reading from a briefing, Trump announces the CDC are advising people to wear cloth-face coverings to protect themselves.
“It’s voluntary,” he adds. “So you don’t have to do it. I don’t think I’m going to be doing it”.
Immediately the video cuts to Ardern, delivering a message to her nation.
“I need every New Zealander to help me,” she asks. “We won’t achieve that outcome of looking after everyone unless people follow the rules”.
At least two more minutes of Trump’s “best bits” follow, before the film wraps up with him commenting on his decision not to wear a mask when meeting elderly World War II veterans.
“I was very far away,” Trump tells a reporter who asks if he considered the protective covering.
I would have loved to have gone up and hugged them because they’re great.
I had a conversation with everyone who were very far away. You saw.
Plus the wind was blowing so hard in such a direction that if the plague ever reached them I’d be very surprised.