The Enablers: How Team Trump Flunked the Pandemic and Failed America

Barbara Kellerman. Cambridge Univ, $24.95 (200p) ISBN 978-1-108-83832-0
In this canned critique, Kellerman (Leadership and Lust), former executive director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School, spreads the blame for the Trump administration’s mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic far and wide. She argues that Donald Trump’s base of white, conservative voters; members of his “inner circle,” including his daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner; Republican lawmakers and candidates; and conservative media figures such as Fox News host Sean Hannity all bear some responsibility for the high U.S. death toll from Covid-19 because they “encouraged [Trump] to engage and then to persist in behaviors that were destructive.” It’s a reasonable claim, but Kellerman’s evidence amounts to recycled newspaper reports and scenes from books by Tim Alberta, Bob Woodward, and others. Plenty of problematic behavior is highlighted, including Sen. Lindsey Graham revising, after only a few days, his “metric of success” for the government’s response to Covid-19 from less than 50,000 deaths to less than 100,000, and the White House pressuring state governors to lift their lockdowns days after they were put in place. But readers who follow the news will be familiar with most of this material, and Kellerman’s analysis of what motivated Trump’s enablers lacks depth. This attempted takedown misses the mark. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 07/26/2021
Release date: 08/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-108-97441-7
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