I used to glance at the New England Journal of Medicine many years ago, when I was married to a doctor (let’s just say I found neither the Journal nor the doctor very exciting.) Exciting or not, the Journal is a longtime, highly respected source of medical research–and to the best of my knowledge, has always been entirely apolitical.

Until now.

A tip of my hat goes to Juanita Jean at the World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Shop for the link to this unprecedented column–the apology the Journal believes Donald Trump owes  America.

I am giving over the rest of today’s post to that column– asking readers to consider how outraged the editors had to be to run it, and how comforting it would be if the buffoon-in-chief had a vocabulary sufficient to deliver it.


Dear Nation — A Series of Apologies on COVID-19
(What I’m sincerely hoping we’ll be hearing in an upcoming press conference, and soon.)

Dear Fellow Americans,

I’d like to take a brief moment in today’s press briefing to say something that is long overdue.

I’m sorry.

In a moment, I’ll cite the specifics of what I’ll be apologizing about.

But first, I want to acknowledge the sadness of this spring. I see our parks, fields, and forests coming alive with beautiful flowers and trees in bloom, but see none of the exciting vitality, diversity, and spirit that characterizes our great country.

Here in your nation’s capital, the cherry blossoms bear witness only to a sad silence. I imagine they are in mourning for the terrible losses already inflicted by this cruel virus. No doubt many of you have experienced losses yourself — I offer you my deepest, and most heartfelt condolences in your grief.

Now it’s time for me to apologize. By doing so now, I hope to chart a path forward so we can work together to end this devastating threat.

Let me apologize for dismantling programs put in place to deal with global infectious threats.

Acting like a reality TV host instead of a leader, I fired Tom Bossert — he was Homeland Security Adviser and coordinated the response to pandemics. I also let Tim Ziemer go — he was the head of global health security on the White House’s National Security Council. I then shut down the entire global health security unit.

Then Dr. Luciana Borio, the National Security Council’s director for medical and biodefense preparedness, left as well. Like Ziemer and Bossert, my administration never replaced these talented individuals — I confess these moves greatly weakened our ability to respond to infectious threats.

Dr. Borio tried to warn us in late January what was coming. I’m sorry for not heeding that warning.

I also apologize to the reporter who asked me about these actions, and I called her questions “nasty” — that was an inappropriate and disrespectful response. You were correct to challenge me on these moves, as have many others in these exchanges. Going forward, I promise to engage in productive dialogue with an understandably interested press corp.

I have repeatedly proposed funding cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where many positions also remain unfilled. I even did this after COVID-19 had already appeared in our country. I’m sorry about that.

In addition, I have taken away the CDC’s lead role in navigating and monitoring a response to the outbreak, silencing their regular briefs during infectious threats. The CDC workers are dedicated public health professionals who deserve our respect, and our thanks. They tried to issue a broad warning in late February, one we should have heeded.

Instead, I downplayed their warnings. I’m sorry to them, and to you, for this misdirection.

I apologize for all the times I’ve mentioned that media coverage of COVID-19 is politically motivated. Such comments only serve to drive us further apart at a time when we need to be working together.

In other words, from now on, no more of this:

Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape! @CDCgov…..

I’m sorry for not accepting the WHO COVID-19 test when first offered to the United States, for not moving more quickly to remedy our initially flawed tests, and for the ongoing struggles you experience even today with testing.

I did not help matters by saying in mid-March that COVID-19 testing could be obtained easily by any doctor, and that the tests were perfect. This clearly misled the public, causing more confusion — I apologize for that.

I’m sorry for calling the virus that causes COVID-19, which is SARS-CoV-2, the “Chinese virus”. Such medically inaccurate comments only encourage racism.

I’m sorry for saying to those working at overrun and beleaguered hospitals that they are exaggerating their need for lifesaving equipment such as ventilators. To the Governor of New York, I admire the selfless leadership you are displaying as our country’s largest city grapples with this terrible health threat.

To those of you on the front lines, putting your health and your family’s health at risk to care for people with COVID-19, I apologize for not doing enough to protect you. Despite what you have heard from our administration thus far, the federal stockpile should be there for all of us.

I also am sorry for the patchwork system in place for distributing these materials, which does not appear to be equitable.

Moreover, I apologize for implying that we already have an effective treatment for COVID-19, when such statements need the support of carefully done clinical studies.

Mostly, I’m sorry for the lies, half-truths, impulsive attacks, and bullying I’ve been responsible for ever since this horrible pandemic spread around the world. At times I confess financial and market forces, along with politics, motivated my actions more than personal and public health. I deeply apologize for that.

Many, including myself, have said we’re at war right now. Indeed, some aspects of this struggle are similar to war, when all a nation’s resources must be mobilized against a common enemy.

But wars pit people against people, so the comparison doesn’t quite fit, especially in a time when human kindness and caring are so important. In the fight against this infection, it isn’t other people who are enemies — it’s the virus.

Let’s work together to fight it.

Thank you.


  1. Sorry, too little too late. The only acceptable apology is your stepping down as president.

  2. Sheila, while you wait for an apology from Trump, I’ll hold out for one from his supporters both in and out of government. However, neither of us should hold our breaths while waiting for these events, as we would turn blue and die in the wait. Perhaps decency is too much to expect from those who have shown over the years to be devoid of any sense of shame.

  3. I would like to share the link to the piece in the New England Journal of Medicine with some others, but am not finding it in a search of their site. Could you please provide it? Thanks

  4. Waiting for an apology from Trump is as useless as waiting for Trump to suddenly become intelligent and a caring human being. He is targeting the United States Postal Service to prevent vote by mail for others but will allow himself, and probably Pence, the right to continue to do so. What is frightening is that he has the power and the support to end the Post Office service for the entire country to aid in his election to his appointed presidency.

    The apology from the New England Journal of Medicine has as much meaning to me as Trump’s claims of being a “stable genius”. Thank you for posting it during this Passover and Easter season which coincides with the Covid-19 Pandemic national self-quarantine. Those who happen to subscribe to the magazine will now have time to read it from cover-to-cover and will discover the apology. It does contain an informative list of the magazine’s oversights on vital health issues. Here in Indianapolis we don’t even have a viable daily newspaper to read for local, national or international information. Early this year I subscribed to Indianapolis Monthly Magazine expecting news missing from the Indianapolis Star and hopefully printed news formerly available in Neuvo. This month I received a double-issue in plastic wrap; Indianapolis Monthly Best Restaurants and Indiana Perfect Escapes, the previous Indianapolis Monthly leading item was Indy Loves Dogs. I assume Indiana doesn’t have a Journal of Medicine to refer to and why would average residents subscribe to it if there was one?

    To borrow Theresa Bowers’ comment; “Perhaps decency is too much to expect from those who have shown over the years to be devoid of any sense of shame.”

  5. Not going to happen. Mature people apologize and try to do better the next time, that leaves trump and his cult followers out.

  6. 45 never apologizes for anything. My comment from a couple of days ago about dividing by zero applies here.

  7. Trump apologize? Psychopaths don’t apologize for anything. Those poor rubes who hang on every word of his are just a complicit in the unnecessary deaths as his dreadful mismanagement.

    Trump’s “crew”, what’s left of them, couldn’t manage a keg party inside a brewery. People who blindly follow and support him couldn’t find the brewery.

  8. Oh boy!

    We’ve all seen Capt. Obvious, well we now have our very own Capt. Capricious! Of course this is nothing new, after 3 1/2 years, even Capt. Obvious has to be shaking his head!

    Here we go, expecting something, or hoping for something that will never happen. President Nero fiddled as everything burned down around him, his alter ego, President Narcissus (very stable genius) convinced himself to follow the parameters of “The Apprentice” to run a country! But our beloved Paranoid Nepotic Napoleon decided he could only trust his son-in-law to be a mini Moses working on his self-proclaimed Messianic behalf. I suppose we should have longed for The Apprentice guidelines, maybe there could have been, “A Diamond In The Rough” discovered with some capability!

    Who would’ve thought that the guys with the white coats and large butterfly nets (Senate) needed and need an intervention themselves, their purposeful agenda filled self-delusion has allowed an individual with no emergency brake, with no idea of reality, outside of Hollywood fantasy, run the Trump train through the bridge out barricades and over the precipice! And, believe it or not, president Nero might not be the worst, Mistress Nero is the invisible yet powerful enabler! Folks look at this woman as being something other than what she is! When this is all said and done, it will be revealed how much she was involved in all of this, all the while hiding behind Nero’s artificially expanded-and disease filled cranium.

    Not only has he destroyed this entire recovery construct, he was handed an economy on steroids, he managed to kill it! Take a look around, all of the cafés, the specialty shops, the small theaters, summer festivals, some of your neighbors, cruise lines, vacation destinations, buying homes, Social Security and Medicare, Medicaid, and the list goes on and on, these things are/will never be the same! He’s chopped down the cherry tree, and lied about it! He’s kicked the crutches out from under the social safety net and laughed about it! His favorite tool, “Anarchy” is doing its do, it has effectively changed this planet and its governmental and social construct forever!

  9. How does one forward this apology to Senators Young and Braun? Please, someone of you with more skill than I, make this available to them. At least to the staff people who read the comments we send ordinarily.

  10. The Trumpet is still playing his Con Man Game. The mindless blather, and lies flows like a flood from his mouth. At some point in life most people find that “mental brake” between what we think and what we say. The Trumpet does not have a “mental brake”.

    It is really easy to determine The Trumpet’s motives, it is all about making himself look good at the expense of the truth.

    Just a month or so ago, The Trumpter’s (believers in The Trumpet), were posting on Face Book, Corona Hoax, another deep state plot to topple The Trumpet, just a few deaths, no need to worry, etc.

    The Trumpter’s will not directly defend The Trumpet now, but have turned to familiar targets of opportunity like Pelosi, Schummer, Obama and even Hillary. Change the narrative and Always Attack.

  11. Verbal apologies have no meaning unless the offender cleans up his/her act. I prefer behavioral amends to verbal ones. This president will not change.

    Vote blue so we can change the POTUS.

  12. Well, since my previous post — all original, spell-checked, edited repeatedly, polished for an hour– was completely wiped out as soon as I clicked on Sheila’s POST COMMENT button, I’ll post another, but it is of mostly cut-n-paste derivation.

    This morning I discovered something on Wikipedia that connects Donald Trump to (one of my favorite names in all history) Kaiser Wilhelm ll, German Emperor and King of Prussia–I’m referring to their PERSONALITY. The Kaiser’s personality was described like this:

    He had a taste for the flashy modern,—technology, industry, science—but at the same time superficial, hasty, restless, unable to relax, without any deeper level of seriousness, without any desire for hard work or drive to see things through to the end, without any sense of sobriety, for balance and boundaries, or even for reality and real problems, uncontrollable and scarcely capable of learning from experience, desperate for applause and success,—as Bismarck said early on in his life, he wanted every day to be his birthday—romantic, sentimental and theatrical, unsure and arrogant, with an immeasurably exaggerated self-confidence and desire to show off, a juvenile cadet, who never took the tone of the officers’ mess out of his voice, and brashly wanted to play the part of the supreme warlord, full of panicky fear of a monotonous life without any diversions, and yet aimless, pathological in his hatred against his English mother.

    He was wildly jealous of the British, wanting to be British, wanting to be better at being British than the British were, while at the same time hating them and resenting them because he never could be fully accepted by them.

    He believed in force, and the ‘survival of the fittest’ in domestic as well as foreign politics … William was not lacking in intelligence, but he did lack stability, disguising his deep insecurities by swagger and tough talk. He frequently fell into depressions and hysterics … William’s personal instability was reflected in vacillations of policy. His actions, at home as well as abroad, lacked guidance, and therefore often bewildered or infuriated public opinion. He was not so much concerned with gaining specific objectives, as had been the case with Bismarck, as with asserting his will. This trait in the ruler of the leading Continental power was one of the main causes of the uneasiness prevailing in Europe at the turn-of-the-century.

    Both men had a fetish for their own hair, Trump with the growth on his head and Kaiser Wilhelm with the growth on his upper lip.

    The Kaiser had a complex about his withered left hand, and Trump has a complex about his two withered hands.

    The Kaiser’s confusing and impulsive policies caused animosity and distrust among world powerhouse countries that were largely the cause of WWl and indirect cause of WWll; Trump’s impulsiveness has sown distrust among present power countries and perhaps caused the 21st century’s version of WWlll to have already begun.

  13. So (to borrow E. Warren’s favorite sentence starter), what weakness in human beings addicts us to the always false “I’m sorry” and the acceptance of “I’m sorry’s” inherent permission to do it again? After all, the only repercussion is doling out another token “I’m sorry”.

    I prefer a simple “It will not happen again”, though that too is apt to be a lie, but it does not carry with it the inherent permission to repeat the behavior.

    Please, don’t encourage Trump to say he’s sorry. The thought of him thinking he could get away with all he’s done for the cost of one more lie, makes me gag.

  14. Hey all, guess you read today’s posting differently than I did.

    I see it not as something expected from a man who appears to have many personality, life, and character issues which I, for one, do not understand, as I do not have the same memes or experiences. Instead I see Sheila’s sharing of this Doctors blog as a prayer (to whatever higher power/s which might be moderating, or at the very least watching, from another realm, our experiences as living human beings ) to bring to many others awareness a different view.

    No expectations of Donald Trump, that would be insane (insanity is doing the same thing expecting different results); however if we all start approaching this time differently, not imitating his actions of bullying and attack of others; not allowing our fears and concerns to grab all our abilities to cope and look with different eyes; not offending the offenders….perhaps we might feel more empowered to actually do something, not just say something about it.

    For one, I will be copying the actual blog and forwarding it to The White House (to join a request I earlier sent ); to Vice resident; to Congress; to Senators; to State Officials; to Mitch; to all my friends who have social media accounts asking them to post it. That to me is putting shoes on the ground while still being unable to use them to walk far in the world at this time.

    May each of you find some peace, some soul, some love, some faith at this Holy Season.

  15. On this Holy Day, our blessings come at a time in the changing season when we celebrate renewal of life. Trees begin to bear fruit and display blossoms that was already within the tree during the long hard winter. The blog today (well done, Sheila) is an aspiration we desire from leadership at all levels of our society. Some have it within to show up to our hearts’ desire, and one in particular we have learned with hard evidence (no pun intended) it is just not within him to ask genuinely for forgiveness even as we witness his barren capacity to demonstrate forgiveness of others. The act of forgiveness is the key message on this Holiest of Days for us who observe Christian faith … the act of forgiveness being an everyday act of kindness that returns dignity from whom and those others it was taken. We must find new leadership to recover to a new abnormal recognizing a world very unlike the one of our past.

  16. There’s about as much chance that Trump could deliver such apology as there is in my winning consecutive Irish Sweepstakes. He can’t; he doesn’t live in a world of forgiveness, empathy etc. Such is not available to him; his neurons of bluster and bully and me-me are set in stone.

    The only way I see how to handle such psychoses is, for instance, when he tells a lie (e.g., his continuing insistence that the Chinese and not American consumers are paying for his tariffs) is to interrupt him and say “That’s not true,” and then say the same as he (predictably) rants about the questioner’s motives, deep state connections, fake news and other staples he uses with his cult and to openly dispute him on every such subsequent claim he makes until the reporter is removed by the sergeant at arms or when Trump abandons the podium, as he sometimes does when the heat is too intense).

    I understand that a certain modicum of respect is due a president but that is a two-way street, and reporters as representatives of the public interest are entitled to presidential respect as well. I also note that you encourage further lies when you do not call the liar to task. I likewise understand that a reporter who follows my plan would be banned from the White House forever, so he or she should have a day job assured before calling truth to power (like advertising clerk at the Podunk Weekly News).

    On the other hand, what appears to be a career-ending spat with our self-styled genius could lead to a new career with The New Yorker, The Atlantic, or some other prestigious publication. Some courageous reporter should take the risk and find out. I think that if the “Give ’em Hell” Mother Jones were still with us in the flesh we would already have had such an encounter. Is there such a mother (or father) out there? If so, front and center.

  17. Trump, from my observations throughout my life, has never changed. He started out as he is now and his behavior was reinforced by our shallow society that granted respect, even if grudgingly, for his always on display wealth.

    I don’t know what caused him to consider the Presidency but I suspect that his horrible betting with his families wealth had come home to roost and he needed the money. Plus he had become a celebrity which his ego had mistaken for fame and finally found a talent, personal brand management. He had become a P. T. Barnum.

    He needed a party and probably someone advised him to become a Republican because many of their members were easily swayed by celebrity: The evangelicals, the racists, the misogynists, the authoritarians of all stripes, the oligarchs, the white supremacists, the fascists, the ignorant, all were single issue single party voters, and all needed a diabolical leader to follow. The rest of the party were merely shoved aside into silence.

    Trump’s choice to run was also an unbelievable opportunity for another diabolical mind, Vlad the bad in Russia. He would have hated Hillary Clinton as President and he found the clown prince an opportunity that he couldn’t possibly pass up. He jumped in like he was killing snakes and the sad outcome, using every one of the holes and flaws in our democracy, was progress for Russia and chaos for us.

    As was eminently predictable Trump was successful until challenged by circumstances that required a President. The rest is history. Sheila’s blog this Easter morning is not the usual rebirth story but the story of the crusifiction of a country, of ideals, of freedom, of principles, of capability.

    We have a chance though as that country to create our own Easter in November of this year, a resurrection of what has been killed, a Spring of rebirth.

    Vote blue no matter who.

  18. With kudos to Alphons – Sorry, too little too late. The only acceptable apology is your stepping down as president. With apologies to all who commented with great words and thoughts on this important post not much beyond this really needs to be said.

    How ironic it is that this post by Sheila and our responses to it come on the 75th anniversary of the passing of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a real leader and a real President – not the thoroughly empty headed man in the also empty suit sitting behind the Resolute Desk that we are saddled with right now.

  19. The night Trump was a truly horrifying event. It wasn’t because of Trump’s views. (Although I knew his conservatism was just pretend for the GOP faithful and I never trusted his supposed conversion on a litany of issues.) Rather, I knew from following Trump’s career that he was completely unfit to be President of the United States. As much as I disliked Hillary and her liberal views, not once did I ever think she wasn’t fit to serve as President. I knew I could trust Hillary Clinton in a crisis. On the other hand, everything I knew about Trump told me he did not have the intelligence, the intellectual honesty and temperament to handle a crisis. Sadly, my instincts turned out to be 100% correct.

  20. I don’t like spreading conspiracy theories, but if Trump every did say that, I would openly ask if some secret organization or space aliens had replaced him with a robot or “Pod person” duplicate. I could never believe that coming from the “real” Donald Trump.

  21. The article should finish with:
    “Lastly, I’m sorry Joe Biden is the democrat candidate because it’s going to be a republican
    landslide and the country will be greater than ever!”
    Happy Easter – Thankfully God is still in control and NOTHING will ever change that!
    He is risen!

  22. Here is a little something to keep you busy Becky, social distancing and all!

    The book, “Recent Discoveries in Bible Lands”, states: “Springtime was sacred to the sex worshipers of Phoenicia. Their fertility goddess, Astarte, or Ishtar (Aphrodite to the Greeks), had as her symbols the egg and the hare. She had an insatiable thirst for blood and immoral sex. Her statues variously depicted her as having rudely exaggerated sex organs or with an egg in her hand and a rabbit at her side. Sacred prostitution was part of her cult. In Canaan, the sex goddess was styled the wife of Baal. She was honored by drunken sex orgies, the worshipers believing that their sexual intercourse helped to bring about the full awakening and mating of Baal with his wife. in no country has so relatively great a number of figurines of the naked goddess of fertility, some distinctly obscene, been found.”

    (“Beneath memorials to her in Carthage, brightly colored urns were discovered containing the charred bones of little children. Their parents, commonly people of rank and title, sought the blessing of the gods on their wealth and influence. Some of the urns were found to contain the remains of several children of different ages, perhaps of the same family.”)

  23. I am going to do as Barbara George is doing. I see this as a prayer and will be sending it to every 45 supporter I have managed to stay connected with in the hopes that an awakening will occur. Insanity? I hope not.
    I am making copies of this and like Barbara, sending it on. Please do the same.
    Great move Sheila!

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