In a Tuesday op-ed for The Atlantic, Peter Wehner, who served as head of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives under former President George W. Bush, argued that America is witnessing the unraveling of President Donald Trump as he struggles to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic gripping the United States ahead of the 2020 election.
"We are witnessing the steady, uninterrupted intellectual and psychological decomposition of an American president," Wehner wrote.
"It's something the Trump White House cannot hide — indeed, it doesn't even try to hide it anymore. There is not even the slightest hint of normalcy."Amid Trump's purported decline, Wehner claims that some people in positions of influence are doing nothing to stop its ramifications.
"Watching formerly serious individuals on the right, including the Christian right, become Trump courtiers has been a painful and dispiriting thing for many of us to witness," Wehner wrote. "In the process, they have reconfigured their own character, intellect, and moral sensibilities to align with the disordered mind and deformed ethical world of Donald Trump."
In line with the recent pattern of behavior seen in the Republican Party, Wehner says the GOP will continue to fall in line behind Trump. Some, Wehner says, will use their platform to defend the president, while others will lay low out of fear.
Wehner's column comes not long after Bush released a call for unity amid the pandemic. The call was praised by many on the left, while some progressives took the time to point to the former president's blood-soaked record in office. In response to the positive message, Vox reported that Trump attacked Bush and called out his lack of support during the impeachment probe and subsequent trial.Along with Wehner, columnist Bess Levin recently claimed that Trump is losing his remaining sanity — something she believes is reflected in reports of his recent spat with his campaign manager, Brad Parscale. According to the reports, Trump threatened to sue Parscale and appeared fixated on ensuring he doesn't lose in November against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Trump's purported mental decline comes as he faces pressure to reopen the U.S. economy as COVID-19 cases show no signs of declining. As reported by Global News, the president said Sunday during a virtual town hall hosted by Fox News Channel that the total U.S. death toll from the virus would be around 80,000 or 90,000 (the death toll is at 69,680 as of Tuesday morning). However, the president also stressed the importance of reopening the economy in a safe but quick fashion.