Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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The deadly consequences of having a semi-literate president

Windsor Mann writes:

If you’re reading this sentence, you’ve read more than the president has today.

Last month, The Washington Post reported that President Trump ignored “more than a dozen” intelligence briefings in January and February warning him of the coronavirus. They were in the President’s Daily Brief, which the president doesn’t read.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro wrote a memo in January warning of “a full-blown coronavirus outbreak on U.S. soil.” Trump said he didn’t see it because “Peter sends a lot of memos,” none of which he reads.

After failing to read about the coronavirus, Trump failed to respond to it. It’s not a stretch to say that if the president read, thousands of lives might have been saved.

Trump’s ghostwriter for The Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz, speculated that Trump has never read a single book in his adult life, not even a book about him or “by” him, of which there are 17. Trump pretends to have written more books than he pretends to have read.

In an interview on Crossfire in 1987, Trump mentioned Tom Wolfe as one of his favorite authors. Seconds after saying he had not read The Bonfire of the Vanities, Trump said, “I really like Tom Wolfe’s last book,” which was The Bonfire of the Vanities.

In 2015, Joe Scarborough asked Trump if he could read. After some awkward silence, according to Scarborough, “Trump quietly responded that he could while holding up a Bible.”

When Megyn Kelly asked him about the last book he read, Trump replied, “I read passages. I read areas. I’ll read chapters. I don’t have the time.” Trump didn’t have time to read the last book he read. [Continue reading…]

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