“They’re going out the back door!”


Trump: “It’s worse than hoarding.”

The conventional wisdom with Donald Trump is that at some point he’d hit bottom; he’d say or do something so dreadful, so vile, so nasty that it couldn’t be topped (well, actually, “bottomed”).

It’s possible that on Sunday he reached that bottom when he suggested that hospitals have been hoarding ventilators and that something more nefarious* may be afoot when it comes to their mask supplies.

*Note: he did not use the word nefarious because despite the fact that he has “many words, the best words,” in fact, he does not know what nefarious means.

At his Sunday rally/press conference, Trump noted suspiciously that hospitals are now asking for many more masks than they used to before the coronavirus appeared. “How do you go from 10,000 to 20,000 masks [prior to the pandemic] — to 300,000…” he said, “Something’s going on. And you ought to look into it as reporters. Where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door? … And we have that happening in numerous places.”

“I don’t think it’s hoarding,” he later added, “I think maybe it’s worse than hoarding.”

As noted by New York Magazine,

“Trump provided no evidence to support this accusation. It is true that some people have been stealing masks and other medical supplies from hospitals, but Trump’s insinuation that theft is to blame for hospital mask shortages during this pandemic, at a time when hundreds of hospitals across the country — and countries across the world — are all begging for more masks, is insane.”

James Fallows of The Atlantic added his take on Trump’s latest outrage.

“Through his public career, Trump has been notable for his projection, in the psychologists’ sense of that term. What he is aware of in himself is what he claims to detect in others.

“If you asked most Americans why emergency rooms and ICUs might be running short of masks, the last possibility they would think of is that the masks were “going out the back door.” We are talking about doctors, nurses, and medical staff working around the clock in increasingly difficult circumstances. We are talking about hospital administrators now thinking about beds, ventilators, space in temporary morgues. All of these health staffers are coping with sick and dying people, while wondering when they, themselves, might get the disease.

It had not even occurred to me that people like these might be skimming off masks and selling them. But this is what occurred to Donald Trump. Projection. It’s something he might have thought of himself.

So, has Trump reached rock bottom? Or will the Trumpian “how low can you go” limbo go even lower?

Anyone? Anyone?

One more thing to make your day. As The Atlantic also reported, “Trump put out a tweet that rivaled “out the back door” in its bottomless lack of empathy.”

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

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