Brian Williams Attacks Trump’s ‘Lack of Empathy’ For COVID Deaths

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As COVID-19 deaths continue to rise, MSNBC’s Brian Williams and historian Douglas Brinkley wondered on Friday night’s The 11th Hour why President Trump doesn’t seem to care.

Williams began by giving a brief history lesson:

Doug Brinkley, we’ve elected, what, 11 generals over the years to be our president. We’ve had some characters with some pretty hard bark on them. And while empathy is something in your hardwiring or not, you’re born with it or you don’t have it, we’ve had some folks fake it pretty good. Talk about the lack of empathy at these public briefings.

Williams would later correct himself to say that 12 presidents previously served as generals.

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Brinkley agreed, claiming, “Well, that’s been, I think, the worst part of them. I’ve yet to see Donald Trump really open up his heart to people that are dying.” He then compared the deaths to the Vietnam and Korean Wars: “You know, there were 58,000 died in Vietnam. Pretty soon it could be Korean War and Vietnam combined, and this president doesn’t seem to have an open heart,” Brinkley said.

He then condemned Trump for not showing human emotion:

“He hasn’t really gone somewhere to try to talk to the doctors and nurses in any way. I mean ex-president Bill Clinton sent pizzas to a hospital in Westchester. There just hasn’t been a human touch to this president,” he accused.

In addition to that being grossly unfair because different people handle emotions differently, sending the sitting president and his security detail to a hospital where they would only get in the way seems like a bad idea.

Brinkley concluded by saying the reason that Trump can’t bring himself to show that he cares is because he’s too selfish, “He keeps feeling angry that his stock market went down, and he’s trying to figure out how this will work for him in 2020. But being empathetic is important for presidents. We saw with Bill Clinton in the Oklahoma City moment or George W. Bush with the bullhorn after 9/11. We just don’t get that from this president. He’s too self-involved.” 

Here is a transcript for the April 24 show:

MSNBC

The 11th Hour with Brian Williams

11:41 PM ET:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Doug Brinkley, we’ve elected, what, 11 generals over the years to be our president. We’ve had some characters with some pretty hard bark on them. And while empathy is something in your hardwiring or not, you’re born with it or you don’t have it, we’ve had some folks fake it pretty good. Talk about the lack of empathy at these public briefings. 

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY: Well, that’s been, I think, the worst part of them. I’ve yet to see Donald Trump really open up his heart to people that are dying. I mean as you said at the top of the broadcast, Brian, we’re approaching Vietnam War numbers of American dead. You know, there were 58,000 died in Vietnam. Pretty soon it could be Korean War and Vietnam combined, and this president doesn’t seem to have an open heart. He hasn’t really gone somewhere to try to talk to the doctors and nurses in any way. I mean ex-president Bill Clinton sent pizzas to a hospital in Westchester. There just hasn’t been a human touch to this president. He keeps feeling angry that his stock market went down, and he’s trying to figure out how this will work for him in 2020. But being empathetic is important for presidents. We saw with Bill Clinton in the Oklahoma City moment or George W. Bush with the bullhorn after 9/11. We just don’t get that from this president. He’s too self-involved. 

WILLIAMS: Indeed we just saw the headline, Susan Glasser’s latest piece of work from the New Yorker and, indeed, we have elected 12 generals in our history as a nation. 

 

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