I understand (and actually have some sympathy for) the “Jedi Mind Trick Thing” the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director-General is trying to use on Donald Trump: Praise the ‘Mad King’ so as to limit the amount of damage he can inflict. Dr. Fauci and Gov. Cuomo continue trying to use this same technique daily; and for the most part they are unsuccessful; e.g. Trump keeps holding daily press conferences where he undermines them by providing dangerously bad, wrong and counter-scientific advice to the public.
But the problem with the ‘mad king’ praising and fawning approach, is that basically it does not work; (just ask Jeff Sessions) because (1) No amount of contrived complimenting will cure the king of his mental depravity affliction; that ‘cure’ will require the use of psychotherapy and the removal from a position where he can inflict his psychopathological urges on other people. (2) Faux effusive flattering for deeds not done or done badly, also won’t cure his loyal rabid followers and supporters, (and there are many of them in America; if we are to believe recent polls), of their fervent belief that he has, and is continuing to do a good leadership job in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic.
If Fox news and other right-wing talking/public communication sources can cite the WHO’s chief , Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (who by the way is a brilliant scholar), as proof that Trump is “doing a good job”; then the majority of those 60% approving citizens who elected him primarily to fight to save white privilege and not a virus, are going to run with every anti-scientific idea he spews at his press conferences, thus making all of us less safe (e.g. like the ‘Easter opening date’ that he has ‘forced’ the Coronavirus to end its deadly work).
History (and the reason we study it in K-12 schools) is a great teacher here. And as many in the past have painfully learned; that living under a crazed and unethical leader like a Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot, means that the ‘worshiping’ method, offered sincerely or insincerely, of a narcissistic lunatic, only buys you time, not a cure. The problem with the Covid-19 virus is that time is an important variable in its ability to do great harm and damage; or, hopefully in time through good scientific thinking and practices, be stopped from doing that damage.
Civil leadership in a great health crises requires both an ethical and wise human being to be ‘in-charge’. Someone who will manage both time, and the finding, by deferring to the expertise of others, the cure for the crisis. This must be done by taking (and sticking to) a path of morality, compassion, civility, comity, science and reason.
A ‘mad king personality’ does not have the emotional and intellectual capacity to engage in those essential good leadership thinking and applicative tooling skills. And so, no amount of strategically cute, undeserved and disingenuous exalting homage heaped on a mad king’s head, will ultimately stop him from doing great harm to large numbers of people; including his most ardent and delusional followers.