The questions that I’d ask Bob Woodward…

… and any friends who say that Trump should have yelled “FIRE” back in January.
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Dana Perino interviewed Bob Woodward last week.

She was politely asking the right sort of questions … maybe, too politely … and not pointed enough.

IMHO, Woodward came off like a crotchety old man who wanted — above all — for Trump to get off his front lawn.

He kept harping on the the Jan. 28 NSA briefing that the coronavirus could be deadly and could be the most serious security threat to the U.S.

Good enough for Woodward, even if the scientists (think: Fauci) weren’t onboard and there was only 1 reported case in the U.S.

Paraphrasing slightly, when Perino pointed that and cited some of Trump’s accomplishments — including the Mideast peace accords — Woodward said, in effect, “I base my judgment of his incompetency on his response to the Jan. 28 NSA brief alone.”

click to view a 3-minute snippet of the interview
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OK, given Woodward’s sharp focus on the Jan. 28 NSA briefing, these are the specific questions I’d ask him…

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1. During a public health crisis, should the President “follow the science and the data”?

Woodward would probably answer “of course he should follow the science and the data but not ignore other sources of information”.

I would then point out that on Jan.28. “the science” — fronted by Dr. Fauci — was saying that the risk to the U.s. was “miniscule” and that “the data” was saying one reported case of the coronavirus in the U.S. and no deaths.

I would add that the “intelligence community” has a spotty track record (think: weapons of mass destruction in Iraq) … and that the NSA brief was based on “rumblings on the ground” and non-scientific conjecture.

Should the President have ignored the science and the data and just gone with the intelligence community and his gut?

Assuming that Woodward would finesse his way around this question, I would ask…

2. Despite near-unanimous opposition, the President enacted the Chinese travel ban on Jan. 30. You say that “so much more could have been done”. So, specifically, what additional actions should the President have taken then? A coast-to-coast lockdown? A national mask mandate? What?

No way that Woodward could pose any additional actions.

A lockdown with 1 case and no deaths would have been a non-starter.

The entire scientific community was anti-masks at that time.

So, Woodward would have to resort to “He should have been forthright with the country and prepared people for what was coming”

So, I’d ask…

3. Given that the NSA was reporting rumblings and conjecture, that the data was one case, no deaths and the scientists were saying “miniscule risk” and “no change to normal routines” … what specifically should the President told the country?

Checkmate!

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P.S. Biden’s initial reaction to the book was Trump’s slow reaction cost tens of thousands on lives” … he has now upped the charge to “all of the people who died would still be alive”.

C’mon, man … get serious.

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