President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Friday, March 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
There are a number of folks out there opining that in essence, President Trump needs to shut up and let his experts do the talking. Permit me to most strongly dissent. The so called “experts” weren’t elected and they have absolutely no “Buck Stops Here” responsibility. They are staff guys…advisors to the guy who has to ultimately make the decisions and will be held accountable for the results.
As I have opined before, this might be a serious medical issue, but the solution will be mostly a logistics fight. Ultimately the effort will involve manufacturing, transportation and operational support. It will require more “hotel” type support to patients than actual “doctoring.” Because of the large, varied and sudden requirements over and above normal, many of those things, will require coordination at the National level. This is why the Trump Team has decided on a “whole of Government” effort to make sure needed equipment, supplies and manpower get to the spot they are needed, when they are needed.
This means for example, that while Dr Fauci (and other experts) surely has a speaking role, indeed a big one, he is not the most important person Americans need to hear from…not even in the top two. The two most important people speaking at these daily press briefings are the two political leaders, President Donald Trump and the guy who he had put in charge of the overall Federal effort, Vice President Mike Pence.
Why is this significant? Dr Fauci, brilliant scientist that he is, cannot control the output of a single factory that produces N95 masks. He certainly cannot order an entire industry sector to drop or reduce production of one or a series of items, in order to begin production of masks or ventilators. He cannot order the call up of Military Reservists or Federalize the National Guard.
Dr. Fauci cannot call the Governors of the several states together and use the prestige of the Presidency to cajole them into voluntary cooperation with Federal “advice,” absent an order of Martial Law.” Dr. Fauci cannot cajole, wheedle or otherwise get the Captains of Industry to voluntarily switch production from a highly profitable line to one that at best, is a commodity with low margins, or in some cases, a loss.
Dr. Fauci cannot do any of those or any number of other things that the President of these United States can do with the stroke of a pen or a series of phone calls. Dr. Fauci might possibly be able to reassure folks based on his impeccable academic credentials. However, many Americans take that kind of reassurance with a grain of salt. Most of all, Dr. Fauci cannot make the tough calls that need to be made. Dr. Fauci, and all the other staff advisors have to follow the exact rules regarding the certification of treatment regimens. President Trump, as the President of these United States, can declare that the current emergency requires bypassing those, and thus get Chloroquine out to the public…and right now.
The people of these United States understand this. What they are really wanting to see, is the President of these United States firmly in charge of the situation, making the tough decisions, showing leadership…being “presidential.” He might be supported by a cast of experts, including his point man, Vice President Pence, but they want to see and hear President Trump.
If you don’t believe that—if you don’t believe that he is effectively communicating with the American people, then have a look at this article by my good friend and colleague Betsy Vaughn where she points out some important (if uncomfortable for the left) facts:
—President Trump is way up in several polls which asked Americans how well he was handling this crisis and;
—The Washington Post knows this and wants to deprive him of the means of communicating with those Americans.
I don’t personally care for President Trump’s speech delivery. I grew up in the Army where we started with the main idea, broke that down into 3 main parts and each of those into 3 more parts and then did a conclusion or summary. President Trump doesn’t do that. He is the poster boy for Stream-of-Consciousness type delivery. But it works for him. He connects well with Americans (just not the chattering class). That’s why WaPo and the rest of the left, want to shut him up. So, No. President Trump does NOT need to let his experts do all the talking.