Bolton’s Revelations And The Pandemic

Leaks from John Bolton’s book, The Room Where It Happened” have given the media lots of material. It’s hard to escape headlines trumpeting the “eight most stunning” revelations (or whatever number of “stunning revelations” has been chosen by the person writing that particular book review). 

Most of the commentary has accompanied the disclosures with the (obligatory and undeniable)  observation that Bolton’s refusal to share what he knew with the House impeachment managers was despicable–undoubtedly motivated by choosing anticipated profit from book sales over an opportunity to rid the country of a clear and present danger.

But it took Heather Cox Richardson to point out the single most horrifying disclosure, worse even than Trump’s encouragement of Chinese concentration camps.

Richardson points out that Trump’s desperate desire to protect the trade deal with China–a deal that he thought would  would “smooth the way” for his reelection–  delayed the administration’s response to the coronavirus and the pandemic that has now claimed the lives of more Americans than died in WWI.

She reminds us of the timeline: on January 15, Trump and Xi inked a trade deal that required China to increase purchases of U.S. products by at least $200 billion over 2017 levels. January, as we now know, was when the first signs of the pandemic arose.

At the same time, news of the coronavirus was spreading. Trump praised Xi’s handling of the virus and claimed it had been contained. On January 22, he tweeted: “One of the many great things about our just signed giant Trade Deal with China is that it will bring both the USA & China closer together in so many other ways. Terrific working with President Xi, a man who truly loves his country. Much more to come!” And on January 24, as the devastation of the novel coronavirus came clearer, he wrote: “China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!”

When the pandemic tanked the U.S. economy, the trade deal made less of a difference, and Trump’s close engagement with China just as the pandemic was breaking out suddenly became a liability that Biden was quick to hit. Trump turned on China, blaming it for the virus, and then took the US out of the World Health Organization, saying the WHO was responsible for the pandemic because it had been too willing to trust the Chinese.

Bottom line: Trump’s responsibility for the pandemic goes well beyond his (and, remember, Bolton’s) knee-jerk decision to eliminate the pandemic task force that had been established by Obama. It goes beyond Trump’s lies about the federal “cupboard” being “bare,” beyond the administration’s incredible mismanagement of the resources that remained at the federal government’s disposal, and even beyond the lies about phony “cures” and the likely, warm-weather disappearance of the virus.

Think about this: In order to protect his chances of re-election, Donald Trump was perfectly willing to ignore a deadly threat to the lives of American citizens. 

If people had to die in order to ensure his re-election, well, so be it. The other revelations pale in comparison.

This shouldn’t come as a shock, of course. Trump’s insistence on holding a rally in Tulsa–without masks and social distancing–confirms everything we suspected about Trump’s concern for the life and health of American citizens–even those who support him.

It’s non-existent.


  1. Then there is the insistence that the meat packers keep working despite being spreading centers for the virus. Did I mention that we’re exporting a record amount of pork to China?

    It’s not just Trump who doesn’t care about the virus killing people. How can we ignore the craven idiocy of DeSantis in Florida? “God’s waiting room for the elderly.” Really? Or how about Ducey in AZ banning communities from instituting their own mask rules? The Nebraska governor shutting off case data. The Iowa governor kissing Trump’s ass and keeping the spreading centers open. Gregg Abbott in Texas throwing open the doors of business resulting in a record spike in daily cases. Stitts in Oklahoma doing nothing while waiting for the Trump clown show tomorrow and watching the case numbers go through the roof. Montgomery, Alabama Republicans voting down an ordnance requiring face masks.

    Gosh, they’re all Republicans. Who knew that the cult of Trump was so much about retaining power while eagerly allowing the killer virus to have its way? But, hey! Those e-mails. Obamagate. The distractions are the smoke screens that criminals put up to hide their crimes.

    Why can’t Congress impeach this orange bastard again. Bolton would probably testify before the House Judicial committee if he would be allowed to flack his book.

  2. Playing Devil’s Advocate here; is it possible that John Bolton, having been on the “inside”, knew for a fact that McConnell and HIS Republican Senators would never vote to impeach Trump and remove him from the White House? Maybe, maybe, his book can/will be put to better use in the last few months before the November election? SCOTUS has ruled against him on two major campaign issues just this week; the “biggie”, Roe vs. Wade, is waiting to be heard. Will SCOTUS support Trump and Pence at the last minute or delay the vote till after November 3rd? Does Bolton make any references to the Electoral College situation which Giuliani warned us of two weeks before the 2016 election…that was and could still be…where Trump’s power lies.

    Does anyone doubt that Trump just signed the Uighur Muslim Bill calling for sanctions over repression of China’s Uighur Muslims for spite after supporting China President Xi’s building concentration camps?

    Vernon; is now, amid the increasing sources of and escalating life-threatening Trump chaotic situations, the time to dump this on the Senate with McConnell concerned about his own reelection in Kentucky and at his highest pissed level at Trump’s idiocy? Just askin’

    I fear Trump’s Tulsa rally may result in the worst rioting, looting and burning we have seen over the past month. Trump wanted war, he touted war and using our nuclear power somewhere against someone but has so far been thwarted. He has instead turned our streets into a boots-on-the ground war zone.

    I have pre-ordered my copy of “The Room Where It Happened”; redundant and rhetorical it may be but I consider it to be a compilation of Trump’s past and continuing sins and high crimes and misdemeanors to be used as a referral source.

  3. Sheila,

    If there was any question about the Nazi-facation of this administration, well, there should be no doubt anymore.

    I believe the concentration camp thing, Trumps gleeful willingness to support the internment of close to 2 million Muslims in the so-called reeducation centers, which of course are concentration camps, should speak volumes of where was headed in the 1st place.

    Remember Ronald Reagan’s FEMA chief? His name was “Jeff” Giuffrida! He wrote a thesis at the Army war College in the late 60s, to forcibly relocate millions of African-Americans into concentration camps to quell civil unrest. When Reagan was elected, they hired him as the FEMA chief. And his thesis, was the outline for readiness exercise 84, Rex/84 which would round up millions of central and South Americans and put them in concentration camps to prevent subversive activity! Portions of Readiness exercise, or Rex,were put into effect a couple of times by Bush Junior, after 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina. And in 1992 for the Los Angeles riots! This plan was mentioned in the Iran-Contra hearings in 1987, and reported on by the Miami Herald in July 1987.

    Now, there have been many that pooh-poohed the idea, and that the program was never really an official government plan, but the government never denied it, and the blueprint still exists!

    The Rex-84 Alpha Explan (Readiness Exercise 1984, Exercise Plan; otherwise known as a continuity of government plan), indicates that FEMA in association with 34 other federal civil departments and agencies, along with other NATO nations, conducted a civil readiness exercise during April 5-13, 1984. It was conducted in coordination and simultaneously with a Joint Chiefs exercise, Night Train 84, a worldwide military command post exercise (including Continental U.S. Forces or CONUS) based on multi-emergency scenarios operating both abroad and at home. In the combined exercise, Rex-84 Bravo, FEMA and DOD led the other federal agencies and departments, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Secret Service, the Treasury, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Veterans Administration through a gaming exercise to test military assistance in civil defense.
    The exercise anticipated civil disturbances, major demonstrations and strikes that would affect continuity of government and/or resource mobilization. To fight subversive activities, there was authorization for the military to implement government ordered movements of civilian populations at state and regional levels, the arrest of certain unidentified segments of the population, and the imposition of martial law.

    So, with the idea that our currant administration green lights the construction of monstrously huge concentration camps cities, we know how much our currant administration admires that sort of strongman activity, and has already been playing around with martial law! There’s a lot more going on in the shadows, it’s like an iceberg! You can see the 10%, but 90% is not visible.

    This whole scenario mentioned above, is something right out of Nazi Germany! And we all know how much this currant administration and POTUS admired the Nazi leader. I think, the plot, the plan, is available to this currant POTUS as a tool that he is aware of! Hence the aforementioned green lighting of the Chinese concentration camp cities!

  4. JoAnne, I think you are right about the timing of the release of Bolton’s book. It is more effective now than had he shared all his juicy details at an impeachment hearing. I think the Democrats impeached Trump solely to have on the historical record that they objected to the Tyrant.They knew they could not prevailed but at least it would go down on historical records that they tried. Had they prevailed, we would have had president Pence. Now that would be A nightmare.

    Better the Book by the despicable Bolton come out during the campaign season to enlighten and remind us why we need to defeat Trump through an election. May Trump suffer the worse political defeat in the History of America. May he be the biggest Loser ever known to human kind.

  5. JoAnn,

    Oh sure. We must direct a good portion of our energy to defeating McConnell. Trump is destroying himself without any help from anyone else. But McConnell is truly evil and knows how to play the system.

    I have a better book for you to read…at least one that is somewhat enjoyable: “Meadows and Minefields”. has it posted now. Enjoy.

  6. I agree with Alison and JoAnn, billboards across America saying:

    “Hey Donald, You’re Fired!”

    My only question is, “Are we giving Trump too much credit for being sinister?”

    In my opinion, he is just ignorant with no self-awareness or moral compass. He is purely a reactionary human being going through life triggered by one whim after another. Under analysis, will his ignorance piece enough together to be compared with the sinister, Adolph Hitler, who was a great leader, but without a moral compass?

    And, how will history look upon our highly ineffective elected representatives who served during the last four years?

  7. Well we have purloined redacted copies and at least one unredacted copy of Bolton’s book, so anyone paying attention will know what happened in “The Room Where It Happened”. I should note that the redactions are courtesy of the National Security Council, which has the legal authority to pre-publication review and redaction. The book’s release will more than likely be held up by Barr’s legal filings to stop publication until after November 3, 2020. Let me just ask some of you, since I know you are paying attention, did anything you’ve heard so far surprise or shock you?

    We know who he is. One problem is that about 40 percent know and they don’t care. His followers will make excuses until the cows come home, refusing to address the reality of their reality show President. Another problem is that too large a number aren’t paying attention. They never do. That’s how we got here in the first place.

  8. sioux falls, smithfield,owned by china, and has a mainstay as an exporter,to china, was , the big one for the spread of this virus. even the city/state of SoDak ignored,or,seen fit to trivialize the workers,mainly immigrants. the govenor is a trump cheerleader,and former congress criter. the likes of sen john thune is no better, having derailed Sen Dashel his seat. that was a first major play,that used media and net,to discredit with false info,to obtain Dashels seat. (thanks knx,am) but as the dakotas go, its profit first,and only the whiteys here get any favor.
    recent conversations with the trumpers, mmmm, now its seems a middle line,except to infuse more cops everywhere to settle the,,issues…on and on. article yesterday in commondreams, assured my past thought why smithfield was demanding workers to keep prodiction quotas. like china, its influence is here, in working order,die for the,( whatever you want to add here..)
    seems corprate america really doesnt care,and like trumps demands to kill oneself,,never have any safety net,above what wall street,,allows.. when the concetration camps were metioned,again, trump has assurance from china to buy more farm products, todays marketplace mentioned 200 billion worth, in the next 2 years,,if china can be trusted,daves words. the talk about trump and xi on helping the election,im figuring xi is tired of trump,and the blow back about how china does its,,er internments.. corp america sees a new view on controling its own here with trump,at large…
    i was in talk with a Native American who works at a place i load at.. hes very well informed of the issues,and his friends ,family,will be in masse at the polls in november to vote.. seems the movement there,is well on the way…

  9. Vern
    send us the book publisher,or the coveted book i.d.number.. sorry,amazon will never see my name.. but my dependant,independant bookseller,likes my buisness,in cash…he may order it through ammo,but not in my name..meadows and minefields, has a ring to it…

  10. Methinks Bolton wanted it both ways: to keep silent during the impeachment trial so he could have the 2 million book advance AND roll out the book closer to the election to screw Trump.
    He knows Trump cannot resist rage tweeting and trying to block the book, so reprehensible as it is, Bolton is laughing all the way to the bank.

  11. Jack,

    Will do. Sheila doesn’t want me to post book acquisition info on this blog. The publisher is Solstice Publishing. My book is listed there on my author’s page. If that is insufficient, mail me at

  12. Not a penny will go from me to Bolton’s pockets. The press will tell me all I need to know about the book

    Vote Blue.

  13. Given the craven McConnell leadership (perhaps minus Romney) in the Senate, I am not sure that Bolton’s testimony before Schiff’s committee would have resulted in Trump’s premature departure from the Oval Office. However, it might have, and even if it didn’t, it would expose Trump to greater and more intense oversight. We’ll never know. It didn’t happen.

    Bolton’s observations will be useful for campaign purposes as Trump’s diseased mind becomes obvious for all to see, including his forty percent, as he does Tulsa and even more Tulsas as the campaign gets into full swing and his utter disregard for the deaths and incarcerations of humans are politiized. Now even death is politicized as collateral damage in his drive to fame, glory and riches. Pandemic? What pandemic? Recession? What recession? Trump cannot represent any interest other than his own. He is not structurally up to the job.

    Schiff should reconvene his impeachment committee and his first witness under subpoena should be Bolton. Numer two should be Mattis. Too late in the game? When is it ever too late to excise a raging cancer that is so destructive to America?

  14. It’s brand management 101 to leave out the whole truth and focus on the partial truths necessary to sell the branded product. It’s been going on forever and is the basis of marketing, politics, religion and entertainment.

    Create demand for the brand name.

    What Trump would like to add to that body of knowledge is “just lie”, ignore even the most partial of truths and make up a reality wherein black is white.

    That’s not a new idea but people who live in reality that is, catch on and withhold credibility to those who outright lie.

    That is unless it’s 1984 in Oceania or 1935 in Germany or 2020 in the USA.

  15. Vernon,

    Since I came in on the tail end of the baby boomers explosion, it was much different than those who are born earlier and were of an age of understanding in the 50s and 60s. Being born in 1959, I remember watching Pres. Kennedy’s funeral with my parents, I also remember the Robert Kennedy assassination and Martin Luther King being assassinated.

    To white America, those were some of the good old days. To everyone else it brought misery for the most part. I know it did with me! After all, it was a white America that flooded Harlem and then the rest of black America’s enclaves with drugs, especially using the Vietnam war and the connections developed as the vehicle. Then using the money that was gleaned from destroying black America to run clandestine operations across the globe. So in essence, this country has been no different whatsoever than any other authoritarian country that abuses its citizens. You’ve got a white president sticking his finger in the eye of black business owners in Tulsa Oklahoma, but the event which was meant as a celebration on June 19 as the effective date of the end of slavery the United States, you had white mobs burning down black Wall Street! Murdering hundreds, maiming hundreds, and leaving thousands without anything! The sucking of that much wealth out of the community, was worse than a 9/11 event, because it was homegrown terrorism and the authorities refused to allow rebuilding or replacing what was lost, sending many in the community, the black on a different trajectory that lasts to this day!

    Why, why! Why? Why if the white ruling class is now all of a sudden enlightened, did it take this long for anything to happen? Which, I guarantee, nothing has happened yet! After all, lynching is not a federal crime and the bill to make it so, has been blocked by the president’s party! So, Jim Crow and everything else including lynching never really went anywhere. Not being able to vote by mail, a poll tax, standing in lines for sometimes an entire day to vote, a poll tax, gerrymandering and dividing up black communities in different voting districts so that representation of one’s peers is nonexistent, another poll tax! Police belligerently entering communities of color or camping out at voting locations, a poll tax through intimidation! That’s what I see and that’s what I remember!

    Even white religion has used lies to ease their conscience while disrespecting and abusing their brothers in flesh! It not only makes me sick, it makes me angry.

  16. John Sorg,

    Then you definitely should read my novel, “Meadows and Minefields”. It will fill in the blanks and give you the perspective you seem to want. You know where to find it. If you want an autographed copy, e-mail me (See my note to Jack).

  17. JoAnn Green, Bolton is from the same self interested clan as Trump. While his book will sway some people, it will not even penetrate to his base.

    I don’t think in the long run history will look any more kindly on Bolton than they will Trump. They all seem to be sleaze bags doing anything for their own self interests.

  18. Bolton is another of those “Chicken Hawks” who avoided being sent to Vietnam and changed into a War Hawk. There are a few of these sorts – Their Bravery increases the farther they are away from the actual battlefield. The Trumpet is of course is one of those Chicken Hawks.

    Even if Bolton had testified during the impeachment the Republicans first loyalty is to The Trumpet. They would have dismissed, ignored and/or attacked Bolton. Bolton’s book is not going to change the minds of The Loyal Trumpter’s by any means. Bolton will be viewed by The Trumpter’s as Deep State or part of The Swamp.

    Bolton’s Revelations tell us nothing new about The Trumpet. Bolton is first and foremost an aggressive Reactionary Right Wing Ideologue. The Trumpet is Narcissistic, who has no ideology, except for a total devotion to himself, as such he will use people for his purposes. Bolton was just someone who could be used at a specific time and discarded when the time came, like Sessions, etc.

  19. I don’t know if they are enforcing it, but they are providing temperature checks, masks & hand sanitizers at the rally — along with a waiver to get in. Just want to make certain the facts are straight, since the rest of this blog really resonates with me & the bit at the end jarred me & could make me doubt the rest. (It doesn’t, but it might for someone else).

  20. I am STILL astounded by one of THE most influential books of the 20th century, “Propaganda,” by Edward L. Bernays in 1928. This followed his other books, “Crystallizing Public Opinion” in 1923 and “A Public Relations Counsel” in 1927. For more see:

    I totally agree with you Pete. How to move the herd in any society has been the blue print of history. One of the good lines from Bernay is that “We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.” This is the POWER of communication, marketing, propaganda…whatever word you want to use for it. To be human is to communicate (among other things of course). We are participating in that practice each time Sheila has a post and we respond.

    There are experts in this field who intermingle and work with the Corporate brands who own our “representatives” in Congress along with the rest of the machine of politics. Social media and satellite communications has made this tool of herd manipulation all too easy of a game.

    How many of us can spout out an old commercial tune from the TV years ago?

    I make my case.

    Somehow, someway, there has to be an apposing (and more humane) counter messaging to the herd. IT IS VITAL.

  21. I’ve been saying that the “invisible” enemy, Corvid-19, at least isn’t radioactive. Thank heaven Trump hasn’t gotten us into an “invisible” radioactive problem. As long as he’s still President, I worry about how it could be even worse than it is now.

  22. Bradford, to put it bluntly, there are many incentives unleashed by brand management to obscure some truth. We have been well trained to allow into our everyday lives unfettered advertising for every product and brand imaginable during every waking minute.

    Trump is merely the peak of the trend to emulate “1984” voluntarily and effectively.

    Advertise it and we will come.

    To say that’s unsustainable is almost cliche in its obviousness.

    We will manage to end the madness or societal collapse will, traumatically and chaotically.

    It’s simply not possible for us to create and live in a dream of what we want. In the end the universe wins.

  23. Having his fans sign a waiver of liability to get into his rally is indicative of his m.o. Nothing is ever his fault, and he’s only responsible for the profit/good of a situation. Well, trump US citizens didn’t sign a waiver when you hustled the presidency in 2016! You are responsible for the professional negligence, you have thrust on this country! You haven’t lived up to your oath of office, just the opposite!

  24. Has it escaped irony that it seems folk who would readily adorn in a Ku Klux Klan gown and hood, dance around like clowns before a burning cross, but refuse wearing a simple mask to protect others from themselves. Did someone miss a marketing opportunity to sew masks from defrocked Confederate flags?!

  25. Nancy J – masks and hand sanitizer are optional – a temperature check is a cheap smoke screen that the media treats like a preventative procedure – it may help, but you can have a “normal” temperature and still spread the virus like crazy – the idea that you are immediately ill when you get infected, or that you can’t spread the virus until you register an elevated temperature simply isn’t true – I fear that these “true believers” will attend the rally, without masks, shoulder-to-shoulder, and bring the virus back to the many states whence they came

    Sheila – spot on — again

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