(Image: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque, Adobe)

One of the instructive features of developed personality traits -- as distinct from mere personal behavioural moments -- is their enduring consistency. People with highly defined personalities respond during crises in consistent and predictable ways, and so sharpen our understanding of their personality type.

And thus it has been with Donald Trump, whose hyper-narcissism has defined his time in office. Trump has what I call an Emperor complex: a belief that he is a superior being, tremendously perfect in every way and not subject to the vicissitudes of life.

Certainly, in the relation to the pandemic, Trump’s narcissistic disdain has been evident from the beginning. He has been unwilling to acknowledge COVID’s seriousness and unsympathetic to the suffering of victims and their families. More recently he has failed to show empathy to those staff and supporters callously exposed to infection at his campaign rallies. As always, it’s all about Trump.