A disease that has killed more than 240,000 Americans cares little for the President's bruised feelings after a defeat he has yet to recognize. — Stephen Collinson, CNN
A disease that has killed more than 240,000 Americans cares little for the President's bruised feelings after a defeat he has yet to recognize. — Stephen Collinson, CNN
Trump's stunning abdication of leadership comes as pandemic worsens
President Donald Trump had predicted in almost every campaign rally that the media would stop talking about the coronavirus pandemic the day after the election. But as it turns out, no one is ignoring the worsening tragedy more than the President himself.

Instead of taking charge as the country plunges deeper into the worst domestic crisis since World War II, Trump has disappeared inside the White House, saying nothing on camera since he baselessly claimed a week ago that the election was being stolen from him by President-elect Joe Biden.

He's spending time with advisers, not strategizing on how to tame the out-of-control health emergency but seeking a path to win an election already declared lost. He's also found time to purge the top leadership of the Pentagon, and with few appointments on his public schedule appears to spend his days watching news coverage and tweeting misinformation about voter fraud.

In essence, Trump, his family and his advisers are spending all their energy desperately trying to save a job -- the presidency -- that he appears to have no intention of doing in any meaningful sense.

It's an especially staggering and surreal failure of leadership, given the Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent economic turmoil, even for a President who downplayed and lied about the true nature of the pandemic and repeatedly predicted the virus would just go away.

Before the election, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had signaled the way ahead by claiming on CNN's "State of the Union" that the pandemic could not be controlled.

Now that the election is done, the Trump White House seems to care even less than it did before.

A disease that has killed more than 240,000 Americans cares little for the President's bruised feelings after a defeat he has yet to recognize. Even since the election, it has exploded. On Wednesday, the US recorded more than 140,500 new infections and lost more than 1,100 more lives. More patients than ever before -- nearly 65,000 -- are in hospitals with the disease and the rate of increase is alarming doctors, who fear health services will be swamped within weeks.

... Trump is not alone in his neglect. Vice President Mike Pence is the head of the White House coronavirus task force but has held no public briefings in weeks -- though he did huddle with the team this week. As a result, there are no directives from the West Wing on how Americans can mitigate the many thousands of deaths expected before Biden, who has made tackling the virus his priority, takes office.

... Dr. Seema Yasmin, a former CDC disease detective who's a CNN medical analyst, told CNN's John King on Wednesday that the current "unsustainable" carnage -- 1,400 American daily fatalities -- is equivalent to three or four planeloads of people crashing and dying every day.

... "The goal of mask-wearing is not to make your life less comfortable or take something away from you. It's to give something back to all of us: a normal life," Biden said on Monday. "The goal is to get back to normal as fast as possible, and masks are critical to doing that. It won't be forever," he said, trying, unlike Trump, to convince Americans that wearing a mask is not a political statement.