As you may have noticed, the Good Morning Britain presenter’s approach to the coronavirus crisis has earned him astonished admiration from progressives. For the past couple of months, Morgan has been vocal about the severity of Covid-19 – even while others were downplaying the risks – and has been highly critical of the way the British and US governments are handling the pandemic. The man who has long been a cheerleader for Donald Trump (and who loves referring to the president as his friend) found himself trending on Twitter over the weekend after delivering a searing criticism of the US’s abysmal response to the crisis.
Speaking on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Morgan said he had been watching Trump’s White House briefings “with mounting horror” and accused the president of “failing the American people”. “He’s turning these briefings into a self-aggrandising, self-justifying, overly defensive, politically partisan, almost like a rally to him – almost like what’s more important is winning the election in November,” Morgan said.
Ya think? Well done, Piers! You’ve finally realised Trump is a dangerous narcissist who does not care if Americans lose their loved ones as he long as he gains in the polls. Shame you were not so clearsighted about his failings when you were doing puff pieces on him. Shame it took a global pandemic, instead of Trump’s rabid racism and staggering incompetence, to get you to criticise your pal. Still, I am glad you have seen the light.
The bigger question, however, is whether Morgan is an exception or part of a wider trend. Will other people who used to bow down to Trump and Boris Johnson start to realise that they are frauds? How many thousands of people will have to die before they can no longer masquerade as strongmen and are exposed to everyone as dithering, dangerous fools?
Arwa Mahdawi is a Guardian columnist