The surreal Sci-Fi adventure that American is presently stumbling through took another bizarre plot twist on Friday when Donald Trump revealed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. He subsequently took up residency in the presidential suites of Walter Reed Medical Center. And for the next couple days he pretended that nothing was wrong as his “doctors” brazenly lied to the press.
While on his COVID-cation, Trump was uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter. He posted only 14 tweets total in three days. His daily average during September was 55 tweets. Meanwhile, Fox News was promoting Trump's ordeal as a sort of crucifixon because, as one Foxie said, “He's doing it for us.”
After less than 72 hours Trump announced that he would be returning to the White House where he can continue infecting the rest of his staff, along with his other primary duties: watching Fox News and tweeting. For the record, the long list of Trump associates already admitting their positive diagnoses can be found here. But we can expect that list to grow. In the meantime, Trump posted this message on Twitter regarding his discharge from the hospital:
So the lesson that Trump has learned from his still ongoing battle with a deadly virus is that people need not be afraid of it. He is once again giving de facto encouragement for people to go out without face masks or social distancing. He's even claiming that his post-COVID health is better than it was twenty years ago. Some people will conclude that it's therefore beneficial to get the disease. At the same time, Trump is presuming that all Americans have an army of doctors to cater to every sneeze and bone spur in their private home hospital quarters. And eventually we'll develop a “herd mentality,” (sic) after a mere two million more people die.
These are not lessons that any cognitively stable person would derive from facing a serious illness and potential death. But in Trump World these views are universal. His communications director, Erin Perrine, appeared on Fox News Monday and claimed that Trump's COVID encounter made him better able to address the pandemic. “He has experience, now, fighting the coronavirus as an individual,” Perrine said. “Those firsthand experiences – Joe Biden, he doesn’t have those.”
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 5, 2020
So in a perverse reversal of logic, Perrine is attacking Biden for not having contracted the virus. The Trumpian view is that being able to maintain one's health during a international pandemic is sign of deficiency and weakness. Only those who are “smart” enough to get sick can be trusted to lead.
Trump himself claimed to have “learned a lot about COVID” But if all he has learned is to tell others that they shouldn't be afraid of a virus that has already killed more than 210,000 people, it's a stretch to call that education. So “Don’t be afraid of Covid [and] Don’t let it dominate your life.” After all, if Trump, with his access to top-notch socialized medical care, can get through this (which he has not yet), then so can you. Even though he's currently suing to eliminate healthcare entirely for millions of Americans who are still at risk. MAGA (Make America Grieve Again).
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