Praise indicates loyalty and loyalty is essential to President Donald Trump. That's likely why a recent round table regarding how best to begin reopening schools in the wake of the pandemic turned into an hour long parade of praise for the President.
With 130 thousand Americans dead and millions more out of work, educators and local officials took turns praising the President for his response to the virus, though public approval of it has steadily sunk since April and now sits at only 39.5 percent.
Few bestowed more praise on Trump than Missouri Governor Mike Parson, who praised the President for over a minute.
"I'm just honored and humbled to be here sitting with you, the Vice President, the First Lady and the Second Lady. Those dreams you think about some day, you never imagine them being reality, but here we are. So it's an honor to be here today."
Parson took a break from praising Trump to thank him.
Let me first start off by just saying thanks to the President, the Vice President for what they've done over the last—well, since they've been in office to say the least—but over the last 17, 18 weeks, they've been on the phone every week.
Then to praising him again...
The President himself has been and I don't mean for five minutes to say 'Hello, governors' and 'See ya later.'...and the one thing they've stressed every day in those phone calls every week, they're trying to do the best thing for this country, for every day people out there and they were trying to make their full support to the governors across this state."
And, finally, back to thanking him.
"I just want to thank you for doing that. For leading. It's what good leaders do in time of crisis. I just want to thank you for that."
While Governor Parson may have had a good experience, Trump's own statements and actions towards governors throughout the pandemic contradict Parson's praise.
Trump attacked governors like JB Pritzker and Gretchen Whitmer on Twitter for asking that the federal government do more to organize a national response to the virus, rather than leaving governors to their own devices in obtaining lifesaving equipment and determining testing strategies.
Trump even bragged that—as deaths across the country continued to rise—he instructed Vice President Mike Pence not to reach out to governors whom he didn't think respected him enough.
Parson's praise for Trump struck people as bizarre to say the least.
@atrupar @GovParsonMO So embarrassing to Missouri to have to watch @GovParsonMO debase himself by rolling over & wa… https://t.co/piIcvP7kmn— Jennifer Raymond (@Jennifer Raymond)1594153989.0
@atrupar @GovParsonMO "Let me start off by saying to the pilot, thank you for flying straight into the side of a mo… https://t.co/yEw9sbAUwp— Warren Hargis (@Warren Hargis)1594170625.0
@atrupar @GovParsonMO This is the worst possible version of making everyone at the Thanksgiving table say what they're grateful for.— Foxy ✊🏻 🏳️🌈 🇺🇸 🦋 (@Foxy ✊🏻 🏳️🌈 🇺🇸 🦋)1594161479.0
@atrupar @GovParsonMO “This is far beyond garden-variety narcissism," his niece, . . . writes of Mr Trump. "Donald… https://t.co/ARzIrzbapV— Masked and Quarantined Genius (@Masked and Quarantined Genius)1594204454.0
@atrupar Never in 30+ years of holding a job, when the boss says “let’s go around the room”, did I think they were… https://t.co/G73AEew4Ly— J.C. Madsen, Super Duper Missile Man (@J.C. Madsen, Super Duper Missile Man)1594155877.0
@atrupar @GovParsonMO beyond parody, beyond pathetic, bootlicking cowards, everyone who does this on command— Ryan H. Walsh (@Ryan H. Walsh)1594178554.0
Some used the awkward moment to bolster support for Parson's 2020 gubernatorial opponent, Missouri state auditor Nicole Galloway.
@dennydorko @atrupar @GovParsonMO @nicolergalloway https://t.co/xzhrbrDczY— Ronald Singleterry (@Ronald Singleterry)1594165666.0
@atrupar @GovParsonMO Vote for @nicolergalloway for Missouri's next governor! And send her a small donation in the meantime.— WabiSabiBaby (@WabiSabiBaby)1594156161.0
@atrupar @GovParsonMO Please don’t rub it in. I’m embarrassed enough that he’s my governor. Anybody looking to turn… https://t.co/sFVzxNvO7E— NotTHATKaren (@NotTHATKaren)1594162025.0
On Wednesday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported a record increase of over 700 new cases in the state for Tuesday—the day Governor Parson heaped praise upon Trump.