Donald Trump has faced criticism for his handling of the coronavirus crisis in the United States, with a new poll Friday showing that for the first time, a majority of Americans now disapprove of how he has responded to the pandemic. But on Saturday, a political journalist and New York Times-bestselling author offered her own explanation for how Trump has managed the crisis.
Sarah Kendzior is the author of the upcoming book Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America, which explores Trump’s political rise dating back to his days as a New York real estate developer in the 1980s. According to a Twitter post by Kendzior, Trump “savors the idea of mass death.” In fact, according to the author, Trump has revealed his fantasies about his ability to “cause it and face no repercussions” in interviews going back four decades.
Kendzior is also the author of the 2018 bestselling book The View From Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America. Her new book on Trump and his career in the public eye is scheduled for release on April 7.
The author previewed her upcoming book in an op-ed for The Toronto Globe and Mail published last week. In the essay, she quotes Trump in an interview with Barbara Walters in the 1980s.
“When bad times come, then I’ll get whatever I want,” he said.
She also cites a 1990 interview with Playboy Magazine in which Trump expresses a fatalistic attitude, saying that even if “you win,” life and death “doesn’t mean a hell of a lot,” as quoted by Kendzior.
In an essay published last year by Fast Company magazine, Kendzior claimed that Trump’s “apathy” toward the deaths of other people is “broad and all-encompassing,” citing Trump’s interview with MSNBC host Chris Matthews, in which Trump appeared to say that he would use nuclear weapons as president.
“If we have them, why can’t we use them?” Trump told Matthews in the interview, quoted by Kendzior.
In her Globe and Mail op-ed, Kendzior also said that “destruction and annihilation” are what Trump “craves,” citing his comments following the 2008 financial crash. Rather than expressing empathy with people who would suffer severe losses in the economic meltdown, Trump declared that he was “excited” by the prospect of profiting from the disaster, Kendzior recounted.
In the Globe and Mail essay, Kendzior describes Trump’s emotional reaction to the coronavirus crisis, which has so far killed more than 8,300 Americans, as “sanguine.”
“The world finally exists as it has in his fantasies,” Kendzior writes. “Everything is collapsing, yet he remains untouchable.”