Veteran journalist Dan Rather scorched Donald Trump Saturday night for his callous indifference to the suffering of millions of Americans as the president kicked back at his Palm Beach golf resort while desperately needed extended unemployment benefits ran out for lack of his signature.
Trump refused to sign the COVID relief and spending bill that had been considered a done deal before his last-minute demands for larger relief checks and complaints about unspecified “pork” spending. At least 9.5 million Americans have been relying on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program section of the package that expired at midnight Saturday.
Rather tweeted that he was thinking of all those “desperate” for the help. “Heartbreaking,” he wrote. “The abject cruelty, the callousness, the lack of a single drop of empathy... during the holidays and a pandemic ... All for no purpose but a malignant ego,” he added, referring to the president.
President-elect Joe Biden denounced Trump’s refusal to sign the stimulus package, calling it an “abdication of responsibility” with “devastating consequences.”
Trump didn’t even acknowledge the expiration of the critically important unemployment benefits as he continued to angrily tweet late Saturday night about the presidential election that he continues to falsely claim he won.
The unemployment package would have extended enhanced benefits for Americans hit hard in the job market and struggling mightily to cover costs for food and shelter amid a devastating pandemic.
Others were as stunned as Rather that the vital aid could simply drop by the wayside.