President Donald Trump has spent 307 days, almost a full year, golfing during his presidency. The total is likely to be the most golf outings of any president in history. Additionally, Trump is likely to be collectively viewed by historians as one of the worst presidents in American history.
Almost a year of time spent on golf courses was punctuated recently as December became the worst month for deaths and infections in the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. Many in conservative media made a point of mentioning time spent playing golf by President Barack Obama. But Trump has now far surpassed him and any other president in time spent on golf courses.
In 2017, Trump spent three months’ time – 91 days – on the golf course. In 2018, he spent 75 days playing golf. In 2019, he spent 87 days on a golf course and in 2020, the president spent 54 days playing golf – even during the deadliest year for the U.S. since World War II, which brought 291,557 fatalities. The pandemic was disproportionately deadlier for Black communities.
In only 10 months in 2020, more than 330,000 Americans died in the coronavirus pandemic and more than 19 million were infected. In December, an average of over 1,5000 people died every day in the U.S. due to coronavirus. More than 70,000 deaths are predicted by the end of December.
President Trump never developed a national strategy for the coronavirus pandemic that may have included a testing and tracing plan. Recent legislation passed by Congress did not include aid for state and local governments to circulate vaccines and deal with coronavirus treatment.
“So, while a plan to slightly reduce suffering of vast numbers of Americans is being debated by Congressional leaders, the President is in Palm Beach, VP is in Vail, Secretary of Treasury in Cabo San Lucas,” wrote historian Michael Beschloss in a series of tweets Dec. 24. “While many Americans are in medical centers or quarantine, VP Pence, chief of President’s Covid-19 task force, has reportedly had himself flown from DC to Vail skiing resort in Colorado for vacation. Pence’s Colorado vacation – defying the national pandemic he was assigned to help thwart – is your tax dollars at work.”
During the worst pandemic to hit the U.S. since the influenza pandemic of 1919, President Trump has been on the golf course more than 280 times during his presidency, at a cost of more than $100 million.
After January 20, 2021, both Trump and Pence are likely to have plenty of time for vacation. The COVID-19 crisis is predicted to get worse in January 2021 as former Vice President Biden prepares to take over as president.
On Dec. 28, Biden publicly stated that Trump’s team is making the transition of power difficult and putting up “roadblocks.” Calling the moves irresponsible, Biden said it, “all of it makes it harder for our government to protect the American people,” actions Biden characterized as “nothing short of irresponsibility.”
Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist for NNPA and the host of the podcast Burkefile. She is also a political strategist as principal of Win Digital Media LLC.