Remember the time I extolled the virtues of a president displaying glimpses of mediocrity? Well, that didn't last long. He's returned to form. Last week, he vowed to defeat the enemy -- The Washington Post. Next up, the China Virus. I understand that it's appropriate to call it that because of its origin. Fair enough. Trump Stock Market, then. On a related note, Dear Fed, please stop trying to fix things.

While we're reminiscing, remember when Ronald Reagan said, “The most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help?'” He had this president in mind. Don't get me wrong, I have confidence in our country's ability to weather this storm. Just don't expect leadership from Trump. That cruise ship has sailed. All we can hope for are brief interludes of coherence and more of Dr. Fauci, who's apparently been sidelined with an optometrical issue. (Always remember to stretch before you eye roll.)

Take heart. Governors like Tim Walz and Andrew Cuomo are calmly leading, and governors like Doug Burgum are calmly following. Burgum wisely closed schools, bars and restaurants -- a day late, perhaps, but not a dollar short. However, North Dakota manufacturers, where hundreds of workers from dozens of communities work side by side, remain open. Do the math, governor. Too late is too late.

Meanwhile, Congress is doing what it does best, acting like it's the last day of Burning Man and all that's left to eat is the brown acid. Republicans want a top-secret bailout likely to include the Floating Petri Dish Industry that registers its ships anywhere but America to avoid taxes, and the Flying Petri Dish Industry that spent its last handout on stock buybacks instead of salary increases. (Who could have seen that coming?)

Obstructionist Democrats want to fund hospitals and provide workers with sick leave and food stamps.

The good news is, they're making sausage. We'll see how it goes down later.

Congress has some smart cookies. That explains all the hands in the cookie jar. After receiving intelligence reports about the Coronavirus, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., dumped his portfolio while reassuring the public that all was well. Remember the Titanic? He's the guy in the lifeboat wearing a dress. Burr did whisper the truth to his $500-a-plate cronies a month ago. Save the rich.

An honorable mention goes to our own Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., who emerged from a briefing on the looming Zombie Apocalypse and rode out like Paul Revere to warn us plebeians. Actually, that didn't happen. I mean, Harold Hamm is safe in his bunker and all, but what Hoeven really did was load up on health sciences stock. Yes, it looks opportunistic, almost like insider trading, but give credit where credit is due. While other senators were rushing out, he was rushing in. You know, where investors fear to tread. Sure, it looks bad, but don't you get it? The man was funding a cure. This was for your own good, people. Did he mention he lost money? That proves he's done nothing wrong. I can't count the times I've invested in stocks expecting to lose money. Because I love America. And let me tell you, I'm loving America a whole heck of a lot these days

Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service.