(CNN)The United States is heading into one of the darkest chapters of its modern history so far deprived of the unifying and clear-sighted leadership that helped it prevail in earlier times of crisis.President Donald Trump was late to accept the nature of the threat from the coronavirus pandemic and, even while now admitting its gravity, is deflecting blame, covering for a faltering federal response and emerging as the nation’s greatest source of misinformation on the crisis. He is also telling people what they want to hear, touting unproven therapies and predicting the frozen economy could soon relaunch like a “rocket.”One of Trump’s top public health lieutenants Sunday reached for grave historical parallels when describing the agony of the days to come.”The next week is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment. It’s going to be our 9/11 moment. It’s going to be the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire lives,” US Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” The analogies may be apt in expressing the historic enormity of the pandemic. But they also contain implications that are not flattering to the administration.The United States was caught by surprise by Japan’s attack on Hawaii and

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