This Day in Failure: April 3

2020: On a day in which more than a thousand Americans died from COVID-19, U.S. President Donald Trump fires Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community. The firing occurs late on a Friday night, in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, in hopes that the public doesn’t notice. At issue was Atkinson’s decision in 2019 to inform Congress that a whistleblower compliant had been filed to his office about the Trump administration, a complaint that eventually leads to Trump’s impeachment.

2020: U.S. President Donald Trump makes the following off-color joke in the midst of his own coronavirus pandemic briefing: “Hundreds of thousands of [Americans] are going to die. I want to come way under the model. The professionals did the models; I was never involved with a model—at least this kind of a model.”

2008: The NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals release wide receiver Chris Henry, 24, after the fourth-year player is arrested for assault—his fifth arrest in less than two-and-a-half years. During his time with the Bengals, Henry is also accused of possession of marijuana and providing alcohol to minors (Kentucky), carrying a concealed weapon (Florida), and drunk driving (Ohio).

1993: The result of the 1993 Grand National steeplechase is declared void after the majority of the 39-horse field fails to stop after the race’s second false start—the disruptions caused by animal rights protestors, who venture onto the four-and-a-half mile course at the first fence. A handful of competitors—led by Esha Ness—gallop all the way to the finish, prompting observers to criticize the failure of the race’s starter system. For one, BBC commentator Peter O’Sullevan calls this “the greatest disaster in the [more than 150 year] history of the Grand National.”

1933: The dirigible Akron encounters thunderstorms and severe turbulence off the coast of New Jersey, causing it to crash in the Atlantic Ocean.