Jen Hayden Daily Kos Staff Monday April 20, 2020 · 1:10 PM ED

With the toll climbing ever higher, you’d think this would be a time of reflection for the president of the United States. After all, in order to take office, the president takes this solemn oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” It is a heavy burden, to be sure. American lives are in their hands and this cannot be taken lightly. Some presidents apparently take this burden more seriously than others. For comparison’s sake, here is a photo of former President Lyndon B. Johnson during the height of the Vietnam War as he grappled with the mounting death toll in Vietnam.

This is a photo of President Johnson in 1968 about the time American deaths in Vietnam reached 40,000, the number of Americans dead so far from COVID-19.

Shortly after that photo, Johnson would announce he was not seeking a second term. 

Here is President Obama addressing the nation after the mass shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. 

And now Donald Trump is president, and 41,000 Americans have already died. On Sunday, Donald Trump held a “briefing.” Like he’s done in recent days, he played what is essentially a campaign commercial. A glossy, edited video showing whatever meek praise he has earned. In this case, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo complimented Trump on finally getting ventilators to the state with the most infections.

Trump lashing out at reporters.

After the campaign video played for the press, Trump turned to take questions. Right off the bat, Weijia Jiang with CBS News asked him why he didn’t do more to warn Americans in February and why he continued holding rallies, golfing, etc. That set Trump off right away. He demanded to know who she was and where she was from before scolding her and in the absolutely creepiest possible tone, he cut her off to say: “Relax. Nice and easy.” Later in the exchange he ordered her to “keep your voice down” more than once. Ew. Nevertheless, Jiang kept her cool and proceeded with her questions. This is the duty of White House reporters, especially when 41,000 Americans are dead. 

Trump was later asked about the new death toll mark and whether it was appropriate to be spending so much time patting himself on the back. Trump responded like the completely narcissistic bully he truly is by belittling the White House reporter who asked him about it during a Sunday press availability session. Here is the exchange:

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