Of all the lies Trump administration officials pumped out during the Republican National Convention this week, the ones they should be held accountable for most pertain to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adding insult to injury, to spread his malevolent contention that the virus is behind us, Trump on Thursday decked out the people's White House with a red-carpet runway and the banners of his campaign — complete with fireworks spelling out "Trump" and "2020" as he wove a fairy tale that would have Americans believing he singlehandedly slayed the dragon virus.
Trump's speech was so filled with re-imaginings that it lasted over an hour.
And it was so brazen, it's hard to know where to begin. For starters, there was his entrance with Melania moving down the wide, curved staircase like royalty in front of perhaps 1,500 guests seated on the lawn just inches apart with no mask requirement and few masks in evidence.
But that was before the campaign banner fireworks. And before the 70 minutes of craven lying began.
* Despite the president saying otherwise, there are not right now any approved, effective, fail-safe life-saving therapies for coronavirus, including convalescent plasma or any other therapy. There are some hopeful ones in the pipeline.
* Despite Trump's claim, we also don't have the best testing system for COVID-19 in the world. In fact, we have a disastrous testing system. Per capita, the United States lags behind major countries, including Russia, and is tied with Britain in terms of number of tests per million people. Add to that how long our test results take — so long that it makes it impossible for the United States to replicate the primary and successful strategy of other countries to contain the virus — test, trace and isolate.
* We have done better than any other country in the world, Trump asserted. On the contrary, we have the largest and deadliest coronavirus epidemic in the entire world. We have 4% of the world's population and 25% of the world's deaths. We've seen 5.9 million confirmed cases overall. Does that sound like a "best" or "better" to you?
There were other whoppers.
* Like, "I have done more for the African American community than any president since Abraham Lincoln." Then why are there so many protests going on around the country?
* Like "We [and the Republican Party] will always and very strongly protect patients with pre-existing conditions [for health care]." Then why is the Republican Party and the Trump administration in court right now fighting to abolish the protections for people with pre-existing conditions that were part of the Affordable Care Act? The case is going before the Supreme Court one week after the election.
* No, Joe Biden does not support abortion at the time of birth.
* No, the New York Police Department has not endorsed Donald Trump's re-election.
* No, there have not been 300 new miles of border wall built. According to Trump's own Department of Homeland Security, as of this summer, it's been more like three miles of new wall built.
* No, Joe Biden and his supporters in last week's convention did not remain "completely silent" about "rioters and criminals spreading mayhem" in cities with Democratic mayors. On Wednesday, Biden in a tweet condemned the violence in Wisconsin, where protests began after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Blake, who is Black, was shot seven times in the back as he entered his car on Sunday. "Protesting brutality is a right and absolutely necessary," Biden said in the Twitter video. "But burning down communities is not protest, it's needless violence — violence that endangers lives." As for Trump's talk of "criminals spreading mayhem," it was a white teenager, reported to be a Trump supporter, who was arrested and charged this week in connection with the shooting deaths of two protesters.
* It was Barack Obama who signed the Veterans Choice Act, though Trump claimed credit Thursday, saying, "We also passed VA Accountability and VA Choice."
* Our troops are not coming home. There are more U.S. troops overseas now than when Trump took office.
* No, Joe Biden has not promised to abolish the production of energy in the United States. He has promised to put an increased emphasis on alternative energy.
Call it lying, call it being incapable of understanding facts, call it whatever you will — this president has no idea what to do to take care of America and its people.
In a 40-minute interview with reporters from The New York Times earlier this week, he was asked what his second term agenda would be.
"I think, I think it would be, I think it would be very, very, I think we'd have a very, very solid, we would continue what we're doing, we'd solidify what we've done, and we have other things on our plate that we want to get done," he said.
Michael Steele, a former Republican National Committee chairman who now is a Biden supporter, summed it up on MSNBC Thursday, saying we should look at the last piece of that nearly unintelligible comment.
"When he says, 'We have other things on our plate that we want to get done' —. People, you have been forewarned. And he has foretold what's coming. If you think [Trump's co-opting of the White House] tonight was a spectacle in violation of laws and ethics. ... You write that down on a piece of paper and take it with you when you vote. And just remember, this is why you need to vote him out. Because it's the other things they plan to do that's the problem."