Daily Beast Editor Doesn’t Know How Constitution Works, Accidentally Admits She Wants Dictatorship

Daily Beast editor-at-large Molly Jong-Fast appears to have missed high school civics, as she lamented that President Donald Trump is leaving too much of the coronavirus response to the states.

Replying Monday to a tweet by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announcing that his state is joining Connecticut and New Jersey in taking “joint regional action” to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, Jong-Fast tweeted, “So the states are filling the vacuum that the president left?”

In another tweet demonstrating just as much ignorance, she wrote, “So the states are basically governing themselves because our president doesn’t know how to president at all?”

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As a refresher, the U.S. federal government is one of enumerated powers spelled out in the Constitution.

The president has a subset of those limited powers.

Is the balance between the federal and state governments in dealing with the coronavirus about right?

Barack Obama famously reminded us during his tenure in office that he was not an emperor or a dictator.

You would think Jong-Fast would be appreciative of that fact with the big, bad Trump now holding the reins.

The broad plenary police power remains with the states, and the governor, as chief executive, oversees it.

The 10th Amendment specifically spells this out: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

The Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School informs us the police power includes protecting the “public health” and “safety” of citizens and resides primarily with the states.

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One of the most common instances where we see federalism in action is in response to natural disasters such as hurricanes or the recent tornadoes in Tennessee.

The state and the local governments form the front line and have the primary responsibility for responding to the disaster, while the federal government acts in an assist role.

Some folks on Twitter had fun responding to Jong-Fast’s lack of knowledge of how federalism works.

Lyndsey Fifield, with the Heritage Foundation, highlighted the contradictory nature of Jong-Fast’s attacks on Trump, seeing him as both a fascist and someone who’s yielding too much power to the states.

Ben Boychuk, the managing editor of American Greatness, wasn’t as generous.

Jong-Fast did not burnish her bona fides when she tweeted later Monday, “Imagine how much better any other president would have handled this.”

Adding, “Even Cartier or Nixon.”

Cartier is a fine French jeweler, while Jimmy Carter was the 39th president.

Obama would clearly fit into the category of “any other president,” but many have pointed out how much slower his administration was to respond to the H1N1 virus outbreak in 2009 and 2010 than Trump to COVID-19.

That so-called swine flu pandemic resulted in the deaths of approximately 12,500 Americans, with another 275,000 hospitalizations and over 60 million cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

timeline compiled by CNN shows the Trump administration began screening for symptoms of coronavirus at San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York airports in mid-January, just weeks after learning of its outbreak in China.

On Jan. 20, Dr. Anthony Fauci, with the National Institutes of Health, announced his agency was “in the process of taking the first steps towards the development of a vaccine.”

The first confirmed case on U.S. soil was Jan. 21.

On Jan. 29, the White House announced the formation of a coronavirus task force.

Two days later, Trump shut down the entry of all foreign nationals traveling from China and into the U.S. and declared a public health emergency.

The first case of community spread — someone who had not traveled to the U.S. with the illness — was found on Feb. 26.

Last week, the president declared a national emergency — about two weeks after the first case of community spread — and banned travel from most of Europe, the new hotspot.

That is a tight timeline.

Compare Trump’s swift actions with those of Obama, who waited six months to declare a national emergency in 2009.

The New York Times reported that as of Tuesday there were just over 5,000 known coronavirus cases in the U.S., resulting in 93 deaths to date.

While it’s true those numbers will go up, Trump’s team deserves credit for doing its part to confront the pandemic’s inflow from outside our borders.

And yes, Ms. Jong-Fast, the states have stepped up too to help win the fight, as they should.

It’s federalism at work, just as our Founding Fathers intended.

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

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