Will we ever reach the bottom?
(That was a rhetorical question.)
As Donaldo Trumpolini made his grand appearance on the American flag-festooned Truman balcony of the White House (what is it with dictators and balconies, anyway?), dramatically removing his mask, visibly out of breath, directing the White House photographer to come up to the balcony to get pictures pictures from behind (and potentially becoming another Covid victim), with ridiculously coiffed hair and made-up oranged face, all that was missing were the triumphant trumpeters heralding his return.
After shooting enough video for a campaign ad, Trumpolini turned, entered the White House (which is both a residence and an OFFICE BUILDING) to greet his staff, still unmasked, knowingly spreading the virus to even more innocent people, in order to film a video in which he told Americans, “not to be afraid of the virus.”
The only additional thing Trumpolini could have said beyond, “Don’t let it dominate. Don’t let it take over your lives,” would have been the immortal words of the Wizard of Oz, somewhat paraphrased, “Pay no attention to the coronavirus behind that curtain.”
Here’s a sample of some editorial opinions on the outrageous display of arrogance and irresponsibility by Il Duce, er, President of the United States:
- Washington Post Editorial Board – We wish President Trump and the first lady speedy recovery from the coronavirus. We wish the infected White House staff speedy recovery, and the unknown number of people in this cluster who might have caught the virus over the last week or so, from Cleveland to Duluth to Bedminster to the White House Rose Garden. But every one of them — and the nation as a whole — must reject Mr. Trump’s unconscionable declaration Monday: “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.” This disease is a fearsome killer, and Mr. Trump’s magical thinking will not change that.
- Dana Milbank – Washington Post: Americans of all political stripes wished President Trump well in his battle with covid-19. Now he is repaying our compassion with reckless disregard and callous contempt for the well-being of anybody but himself.
- Leanna S. Wen – Washington Post: “Feeling really good!” the president wrote. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.” Reports of Trump’s strong desire to leave the hospital — together with his cavalier attitude toward a pandemic that has already claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Americans — have caused alarm among clinicians and public health experts.
- Megan McArdle – Washington Post: To hear the president tell it, covid-19 is better than a spa weekend. Perhaps this will become, in time, the origin story for a new generation of superheroes: “I was a 74-year-old obese man, but then I got covid and my doctors injected me with an experimental drug. Next thing I knew, I was biting through high-voltage lines for breakfast and incinerating America’s enemies using the crackling beams of electricity I can now project from my eyes.”
- Bret Stephens – New York Times: Wish a President well who doesn’t wish you well. We wish him well because if, God forbid, the president were to die this month, he would go down undefeated, a martyr to the tens of millions of Americans who’ve treated him as a savior. Trump’s death would guarantee a long life for Trumpism, with his children as its principal beneficiaries.
- Michelle Goldberg – New York Times: What’s alarming, rather, is that each new diagnosis in the White House demonstrates how thoroughly this administration has been infected by its own disinformation. The refusal to take basic precautions against the pandemic is the starkest evidence yet of how our government has morphed into a personality cult.
- Frank Bruni – New York Times: This whole administration is a super-spreader event.
- Dhruv Khullarly (M.D. M.P.P., Assistant professor of healthcare policy at Weill Cornell Medical College. – The New Yorker: He added some advice that seemed not just ludicrous but—in light of the fact that more than two hundred and ten thousand Americans have died of the coronavirus—deranged: “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge.”
I could go on but…
One final word, however: It didn’t end well for that other “olini!”