President Donald Trump defied expert medical opinion and shunned masks, leading to a growing outbreak in the White House. He failed to mount a national effort to control the virus’ spread. He recklessly checked out of COVID-19 treatment after a few days and admonished Americans not to fear the coronavirus that has killed more than 210,000 of us.

Trump is cementing his place in the pantheon of disease-deniers along with South African President Thabo Mbeki. In office from 1999 to 2008, Mbeki denied that HIV caused AIDS and blocked distribution of lifesaving drugs, leading directly to the deaths of at least 350,000 South Africans.

Eileen Crawford, Seattle