Reportedly, Donald Trump declines the wearing of a protective mask because either it will make him look silly, or he believes it will give the wrong message to the American public, be afraid. There is a dark history to men wearing masks, magicians, executioners, and thieves. The current president has somehow conscripted every American into his army of civilian soldiers to face the guns of COVID-19 with bravery and a 1,200-dollar check. As per my warning and fear, this army would mainly consist of people of color, the elderly, and the vulnerable—the American born children and spouses of undocumented immigrants].
In the late 1990s, there was an infamous magician who performed under the name Val Valentino, his infamy came from a Fox program entitled the Masked Magician. He would weekly reveal the tricks of the trade to the dismay of his magic brethren. Valentino claimed his betrayal of the magicians' creed was a response to the love of the craft and not a money-making scheme, his caveat reportedly was that only the “oldest Illusions” would be revealed. Fox now has a new masked magician whose program was syndicated on every network for weeks, the daily Corona-virus Briefings. Mr. Trump donned the mask of scientist, doctor, infectious disease specialist, and waved his wand of misinformation, and for a while fooled the American public.
He promised to pull hydroxychloroquine from his magic hat, testing kits from under his cape and magically make the virus disappear. Of course, like magic, it was all distraction, sleight of hand and childish tomfoolery, but we were wide-eyed and hopeful; tuning in dutifully like the millions who did for Val Valentino. Like most bubbles, once it burst there was nothing left but a quickly evaporating mist. In the meantime, during the wand-waving, lights, and undulating scarves, his magic show eventually bored us because we discovered it was all an illusion. So, he has moved on to impersonate another group of mask wearers, executioners. People of color are dying, with one state reporting a rate of 80% and at best 50% of COVID-19 hospitalizations are the elderly, the infirmed, and people of color. The self-proclaimed wartime president, like those before him, has condemned those with the least amount of influence to the front lines, mail workers, cashiers, barbers, nail salon workers, and of course hospital workers to save his political skin. Anyone who has served in the military recognized the term ‘grunts.’
That leaves the last of the triumvirate of masked scourges to societies, thieves. One of the optics Mr. Trump is desperate to avoid is the meme of him standing before the American people revealing what he is, a masked thief in the night. Tiptoeing through our peaceful minds, pitting one group against another, and having us standing at the front and back doors of our psyche armed with a misfiring set of facts. He is stealing the justice system right out from under us; stolen the ability of independent checks and balances by labeling anyone who disagrees with him as partisan “ human scum.” Our last line of defense, the press, is under threat. Let me not disparage every man in a mask, there was The Lone Ranger, Batman, and The Black Panther; the difference between all these characters and the one in the White House was that they all sought to make their accomplishments bigger than themselves.