I wasn’t going to write anything else about the election. I felt like that last post said all I needed to say. But as I’ve learned, sometimes, circumstances move faster than type; sometimes they’re faster than thought.
As you know, the President has tested positive and is now in the hospital. Given the way he was behaving, this was inevitable. It shouldn’t be surprising that he is neither being treated with hydroxychloroquine nor bleach. Miracle cures always seem terrific when you’re feeling bulletproof, running your mouth about things you don’t understand. Once you get sick, you tend to listen to the doctor.
The President’s infection has prompted many different reactions: sympathy, fear, schadenfreude, outright glee, self-righteousness, a renewed sense of order in the universe. A debate has opened about the ethics of wishing misfortune on people who are engaged in active harm. I am a notorious other-cheek-turner, but I don’t think it’s controversial to say that it is a good thing for the country that a proven superspreader is temporarily sidelined. We’ve seen the President and his circle act with absolute disregard for public health: that’s what made me write that last post in the first place. The White House was planning rallies in Wisconsin and Florida — two places that don’t need any more pathogens than they’ve already got. He was about to accelerate transmission of the virus. With Trump parked at Walter Reed for the time being, those events are now off the calendar, which ought to be a relief for anybody who understands the first thing about communicable disease. We don’t have to pray to speed the recovery. I’m sure he’ll be out of the hospital and back on his irresponsible behavior soon enough.
If we allow him to, I mean. I’d like to see him banned from the state of New Jersey. I really don’t see why we wouldn’t. We don’t allow out of staters to bring in loaded firearms or toxic waste, and we shouldn’t make excuses for Trump’s recklessness and outright contempt for science and probability. To recap: on Wednesday, he knew that Hope Hicks, one of his closest handlers, was positive for the coronavirus. Any moral or rational actor would have gone into quarantine at once. Instead, shedding virus, he headed to Bedminster to meet with donors. That event was, at least partially, held indoors. We don’t know what went on in there, because we don’t hang out with miscreants. But the Amy Coney Barrett disaster in Rose Garden is a good indication of how powerful Republicans behave when they get together: they act like reality doesn’t apply to them. Alas, reality bites. When it does, it’s a problem, and not just for them. It’s a problem for everybody caught in the wake of their terrible, amoral decisions.
For instance, my parents live twelve minutes from Bedminster. I’d like to know, very, very, very much, whether any of the people who’ll cross their path today in Morris County were in contact with the President. Right on brand, the GOP has been reluctant to engage in contact tracing, and since they’ve never believed that they were susceptible to the virus, I’d wager that they wouldn’t know how to do it even if they tried. I also imagine that many of the attendees at that event don’t want to be outed as Trump donors, which complicates things further, especially as the President continues to disgrace himself.
Because every bit of news out of the White House press corps this morning is, indeed, disgraceful; for instance, we now know that Trump and his entourage showed up late (deliberately, I’m sure) to the debate on Tuesday, skipped testing, refused to wear masks, and endangered both Biden and the moderator. They didn’t even have the courtesy or humanity to call Biden and tell him that Trump was positive for the coronavirus — he had to find out from the news. Lest you think these people are any better to their “friends”, it now seems that Chris Christie, who was handling the President’s debate preparations, found out the same way. That’s not to mention all of the journalists, cooks, chauffeurs, stylists, policemen and Secret Service agents, and others who are forced to attend to this callous buffoon for professional reasons, and whose immediate futures have been jeopardized by his monstrous arrogance and aggressive idiocy. So I’ll say it again, a little louder this time: if you support this regime, in any way, you are dumb as a rock and you don’t possess the intelligence or judgment necessary to be a citizen in a republic. That’s brutal, but it’s true. This is no time for tact. I am trying to stay alive. I want you to stay alive, too. Please act wisely, and be careful.