At his White House news briefing on the coronavirus on March 19, President Trump offered high praise for the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Stephen Hahn. “He’s worked, like, probably as hard or harder than anybody,” Mr. Trump said. Then he corrected himself: “Other than maybe Mike Pence — or me.”
On March 27, Mr. Trump boasted about marshalling federal resources to fight the virus, ignoring his early failures and smearing previous administrations. “Nobody has done anything like we’ve been able to do,” he claimed. “And everything I took over was a mess. It was a broken country in so many ways. In so many ways.”
And on April 13, Mr. Trump insisted that governors were so satisfied with his performance they hadn’t asked for anything on a recent conference call. “There wasn’t even a statement of like, ‘We think you should do this or that,’” he said. “I heard it was, like, just a perfect phone call.”
The self-regard, the credit-taking, the audacious rewriting of recent history to cast himself as the hero of the pandemic rather than the president who was slow to respond: Such have been the defining features of Mr. Trump’s use of the bully pulpit during the coronavirus outbreak.
Continue reading @ The New York Times.