The move—which is consistent with the reopen America theme he's been ardently pushing of late—shows an utter lack of empathy and tone-deafness with regards to the ongoing health crisis and the significance of the weekend.
President Donald Trump finally gave in to his golf cravings this weekend. Even as criticism for the Trump administration's handling of the coronavirus crisis grows, the 73-year-old decided to leave the White House on Saturday to play golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia. The Memorial Day weekend trip is reportedly Trump's first outing to one of his private golf courses since early March although, as Rolling Stones reports, it is unknown whether he indulged in a few rounds during the two "working weekends" he spent at Camp David in May.
President Donald Trump played golf for the second time since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, visiting his club in the Washington suburbs pic.twitter.com/PZKhavZn3h— Reuters (@Reuters) May 24, 2020
Trump's latest golfing trip comes just as the country nears a devastating 100,000 COVID-19 deaths. The move—which is consistent with the reopen America theme he's been ardently pushing of late—shows an utter lack of empathy and tone-deafness with regards to the ongoing health crisis and the significance of the weekend. It also presents as yet another instance of Trump's unapologetically hypocritic work ethics when considering the multiple times he criticized his predecessor Barack Obama's penchant for hitting the links. In fact, his Twitter history clearly shows how the exact same words he used to condemn America's first black president are an almost comically perfect fit for himself.
In October of 2014, Trump tweeted that Obama was doing a poor job as the sitting President because he was golfing. Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf. Worse than Carter, he wrote. Later the same month, he slammed Obama yet again on Twitter with a tweet that didn't just condemn the act of golfing as President but golfing as President during a health crisis. Sounds oddly familiar, doesn't it?
President Obama has a major meeting on the N.Y.C. Ebola outbreak, with people flying in from all over the country, but decided to play golf!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2014
Whereas according to CNN's Andrew Kaczynski, Trump's criticism for Obama's golfing habits came at a time when there were two Ebola cases in the U.S., yet he seems to have found nothing inappropriate about playing a few rounds himself when the nation's death toll is nearing 100,000. Speaking of his predecessor's 200th round of golf as president during a phone-in interview with Fox News in 2014, Trump said: "When you're president, you sorta say, 'I'm gonna give [golf] up for a couple of years and really focus on the job.' It sends the wrong signal." We agree, Mr. President, you really should focus on your job.
Trump is golfing today.— andrew kaczynski🤔 (@KFILE) May 23, 2020
In 2014 on Fox and Friends he criticized Obama for golfing when there were *two cases* of Ebola in the United States saying, "it sends the wrong signal" and he should have given up golf as president "to really focus on the job." https://t.co/br8jLwVLts pic.twitter.com/Jmh5CSt2mp
And just to put things into perspective, according to a report released by CNN late last year, Trump spent one of every five days in 2019 at a golf club. This is despite promising his supporters in 2016 that he wouldn't have time to play golf if elected President. "I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf," the then-candidate had said.
Trump isn't the only one who previously expressed strong opinions about a President playing golf while his nation is in distress. The White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also once weighed in on of the inappropriateness of an American leader golfing while Americans are mourning although it too seems to have come with an "only applicable for Obama" clause. According to Huffington Post, complaining in 2017 about Barack Obama golfing in 2002 after the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, she said on CNN: "I think when we’re in a state of mourning, you should take time off from the golf course."
WATCH: Kayleigh McEnany: Obama rushed off to golf after Daniel Pearl was beheaded.— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) March 28, 2017
Pearl was killed in 2002. Obama was a state senator. pic.twitter.com/5QkFRgjoR4
McEnany, who was a CNN commentator at the time and already a staunch Trump defender, claimed the former President expressed how upset he was at Pearl's killing, then "rushed off to a golf game." She later apologized for her statements, clarifying that she'd meant to refer to James Foley, a freelance American journalist who was kidnapped in Syria and beheaded by the Islamic State militant group in 2014, and not Pearl. She added that both men "should be honored by our leaders," which we'd also say applies perfectly to Trump and the rising coronavirus death toll as well.
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