At his Friday news conference, President Trump declared his opposition to the House bill meant to ease the burden on businesses and individuals from the coronavirus pandemic. Trump said Republicans had not “gotten enough,” a reference to the payroll tax that members of both parties opposed.

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced she had reached a deal with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, it predictably did not include that payroll tax. Increasingly, the way to get anything done is for Pelosi and Mnuchin to hammer out a reasonable compromise, let Mnuchin sell it to the president and then present it as a fait accompli to the Senate Republicans who have no ideas or legislation of their own, having become vassals of the president. This is how it went on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade negotiations.

Not long after the president had finished his news conference (and after more than a dozen conversations with Mnuchin), Pelosi told her members in a Dear Colleague letter: “Today, the House is taking the next step to put Families First. We are proud to have reached an agreement with the Administration to resolve outstanding challenges, and now will soon pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.”

She thanked her committee chairmen and did not hide her delight in passing a bill that essentially gave the House exactly what it wanted. “This legislation is about testing, testing, testing,” she said. " To stop the spread of the virus, we have secured free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured. We cannot fight coronavirus effectively unless everyone in our country who needs to be tested can get their test free of charge." (Trump has claimed, alternatively, that testing was fully available, rolling out smoothly, or that, on second thought, people really did not need to get tested unless they had symptoms.)

Other provisions include paid sick leave, enhanced unemployment insurance, “strengthened nutrition security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors’ nutrition and food banks” and “increased federal funds for Medicaid to support our local, state, tribal and territorial governments and health systems, so that they have the resources necessary to combat this crisis.”

Trump often announces things that are not quite ready (drive-through testing). As he has done for his entire career, he makes all sorts of declarations, exaggerating the speed and scope of his plans. The Post reports, “At a Rose Garden news conference, the president said the push to let people get tested from their own cars would involve a new Google website, available as soon as Sunday night, that would help consumers figure out whether they should get tested, as well as big-box companies, drugstores and state and local health departments.” But — you guessed it! — “the plan to build a broadly available website is nowhere close.”

Trump is incapable of mastering any level of detail or accurately conveying it to the public. He either cannot remember, or never understood, what he is supposed to roll out and instead often chooses to make himself look better. His penchant for ad-libbing (as he did with disastrous result during his Oval Office speech Thursday night) causes more chaos and confusion.

Trump has neither the mental capacity nor the emotional tools to lead in a crisis. Increasingly, the best course of action seems to be to let him blather, but then hand off matters to the real adults who can correct his misstatements or take action in the real national interest.

We certainly are not relying on Trump to help us get through this. To the contrary, we will come through this horror only by working around an entirely unfit president.

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