The Plague and the President

Headlines about Trump contracting the virus, with a plush toy of a plague doctor in the foreground.

John ScalziThere is of course irony, of the cheap, Alanis Morissette sort, of a man so heavily invested in denying the reality and severity of the COVID-19 virus contracting the thing and joining the millions of his fellow Americans who have suffered from it, and risking becoming one of the more than 200,000 who have died from it. It does not escape notice that, like many if not most of those, the president might not have had to suffer this particular calamity if the federal government had not had a shambolic response to the virus, in no small part due to Trump himself being the largest vector of disinformation about it. And of course, the fact that Trump has repeatedly disdained wearing face masks as a protective measure, and repeatedly mocked and criticized Joe Biden for doing so, up to and including at this week’s debate, certainly adds a mordant bite to his diagnosis.

No one deserves to contract a virus which can damage multiple organs, cause lungs to malfunction, require its victims to be hooked up to respirators to keep their bodies alive, and force people to die alone, away from the touch and comfort of family and loved ones, not even a man, who, when confronted with the deaths the virus and his policies regarding it wrought, merely said “It is what it is.” But it’s possible some people might find they have less sympathy for a man who so heavily politicized the national response to this disease, and actively prioritized his own re-election strategy over helping contain the spread of the virus, than they might have for others.

All of this is true. But for me, this is a reminder of a thing that has been true from the beginning, regardless of how much so many, including and indeed primarily Trump himself, thought and wished it otherwise: The virus doesn’t care about your politics. It doesn’t care about your party affiliation, whether you believe in God or not, what your opinions are about science or vaccines, your feelings about what is “masculine” or “alpha” behavior, or whether you think it’s an intrusion on your rights to be told what to put on your face or how to act in a retail establishment, or a school, or anywhere else. It doesn’t care about anything. The only thing it wants is to make more of itself — and it will, when offered the opportunity.

Trump, through his actions, and inaction, has offered the virus that opportunity, over and over again. He’s now done it personally, offering up his own body to its tender predations — and if that was the extent of it, then that would simply be his own karma. Trump is like a man who sees a sign warning against alligators lurking in a swamp as a dare to take a swim, and when the alligators spin him under the water, no one could say he wasn’t warned. Unfortunately, he hasn’t confined his heedlessness to himself. How dare this sign tell us where we can and can’t swim, it’s a liberal plot to take our freedoms! And then suddenly legions are splashing into the swamp, dragging unwilling others with them, to be a feast for the creatures that dwell there. And Trump, chest high in the swampy water, chortles to himself that the signmakers will be blamed for it all, even as the alligators close in on him.

The president is 74 years old and very obviously in less-than-great physical and mental shape; it seems likely he has some of the various comorbidities that exacerbate the severity of the virus. He is fortunate that thanks to his position, he will receive a level of health care that his administration is currently trying to strip from millions of other Americans. For this reason among others, I think it’s possible, indeed, probable, he’ll get through this diagnosis just fine, unlike so many others of his general age and infirmity.

If and when he does, it will be interesting to see how he reacts to having contracted the virus. One would like to hope that it causes him to reassess his previous positions and actions, but I think we all know it won’t. If Trump has a mild case and bounces back, it’ll just be proof to him that he was right all along, and off he’ll go, telling people to come on in, the swamp water’s fine. And in they will go.

It would be karmically disadvantageous to wish on Trump a level of viral severity that makes it sink in, even to him, how bad this disease can get, and how foolish he has been to deny it, as it burned through the country, taking hundreds of thousands with it, and obliging countless more to deal with chronic health issues springing from having contracted it. Rather, I wish him a full and quick recovery, and that with the recovery comes wisdom, knowledge, and a desire to help his fellow Americans — all of them, not just the ones he think might be useful to him.

I acknowledge the latter parts of that are the very definition of wishful thinking. But if they came true despite my doubts, well. That would be ironic.

— JS

157 Comments on “The Plague and the President”

  1. Notes:

    1. Hey, look, politics! Even though the virus shouldn’t be political! As always, the Mallet is out, be respectful and play nice with others on the thread, and so on.

    2. If the entirety of your comment here is something on the line of “Ha ha that fucker got what he deserves” or alternately “HOW DARE PEOPLE BE HAPPY ABOUT THIS YOU ALL ARE MONSTERS,” I would suggest not leaving the comment, because I’ll likely just mallet it out. For the former, it’s not that I don’t understand schadenfreude, but I’d like you to have more to say. For the latter, your performative outrage is noted, well done you, move on, thank you.

    3. Hey, folks: wear a fucking mask, okay? Thanks.

  2. 1) your title for you blog post is better than mine, but I suck at titles.
    2) Agree, 100%
    3) I listened to an extended interview with Mary Trump on the Lincoln Project’s Podcast and she said that the phrase “it is what it is” is a Trump family shorthand for “Yeah, I don’t care for how this effects you.” And hearing him saying about the pandemic chilled her.

  3. Agreed, John, though I have to say, given this administration’s penchant for lying, that it would not be beyond Trump to falsely claim to be infected and then a week later to boast that he took hydroxychloroquine and was cured. And I wonder, even if he DOES have it, if a fast, largely symptom-free recovery wouldn’t further embolden him to claim that the virus is “not a bid deal.”

  4. Maybe he will learn something from it and take it to heart. It’s almost inconceivable, but I’ve said that about a lot of things in the last four years and it seems to happen more and more frequently.

  5. 1. I feel sorry for Barron. But I’ve felt sorry for him for a while now.

    2. Seeing Trump’s Dogma get run right over by Karma, well, I laughed out loud, literally, when I heard the news this morning. Yes, I am a Bad Person. One who has had friends come down with this, and at least one indirectly dying because of this.

    3. We could get President Pence out of this. All the policies executed by someone who’s actually reasonably intelligent, and probably not an actual criminal. Lots of people on the right who would vote against Trump wouldn’t vote against Pence.

  6. I still think it could (can’t , of course, be sure about it) be a political strategy to avoid next debates, get miraculously out of it, claiming how he beat the virus to try to prove again how “strong” and “fit to lead” he is… At this point i can hardly believe anything that gets out of his mouth… One thing is true, though… The virus is a killer and everyone should take it very seriously, so, yeah… wear a fucking mask, please.

  7. Well our Prime Minister had it – and was quite bad with it – and I can’t see that that experience has made him any better at dealing with our mess than he was before sadly.

  8. Honestly, I really hope this doesn’t kill him. And I hope he doesn’t get too sick, mostly because it’s a national security risk.

    I can also recognize that Trump brought this on himself with his reckless disregard for both the disease’s progress in the country as well as discouraging basic safety practices within his family and staff. Hell, his family and many of his guests refused to wear the required masks at the debate on Tuesday – including an infected Melania.

    I suppose we should also note that 4 years ago today Trump was literally publicly making fun of Hillary Clinton for getting pneumonia.

  9. I think it’s entirely unrealistic to think this is cooked-up. Dude wouldn’t concoct a story like this, not if it means appearing vulnerable to a disease he’s repeatedly dismissed.
    My first take upon hearing the news this morning was, he’s going to spin this into “I lost vital weeks of campaigning to quarantine, and THEREFORE these election results are invalid. I didn’t get a fair chance to campaign. Do-over!”
    My second take was, if he does drop off the campaign ticket for whatever reason, how many semi-reasonable conservatives who would otherwise have stayed home or voted cross-party, will weep tears of joy at being able to cast a vote for Mike Pence instead?

  10. Why? If you believe in the death penalty, Trump deserves it. If you don’t believe in the death penalty then he deserves life in prison for his crimes. The likelihood of him actually suffering the consequences he deserves are minimal. Why not celebrate that he will suffer?

  11. @Dave Branson – For some reason the fable about the scorpion needing a ride across a river comes to mind. He’s not going to change so you could have left out the “almost” in your second sentence.

    As soon as I heard this morning, I stopped by the grocery store, picked up a gallon of bleach, and went to drop it off at the White House. They turned me away. (Yes, this is snark.)

  12. I should note that it’s a sad reflection on Trump and his administration that he lies so much that there’s literally an open question (on social media and so on) as to whether or not he actually has covid. He does – we found out about his inner circle getting it because a reporter found out and reported it, not because the Administration told us.

    But really, this might be a positive for Trump’s campaign – he was losing bigly, and needed to shake up the race. This has some potential to do that, though I can’t believe it’ll matter. But it’s definitely a change.

  13. You’re a far nicer person than I am, John. I am quite amused that it’s suddenly COVID-19 in his twitter feed and no longer the ‘China virus’ or any of the other pig ignorant things he’s called it.

    To be clear, I don’t want it to kill him. A nice decades long debilitating illness would do nicely. Then he can keep telling us it was just a ‘bad flu’.

  14. The way 2020 is going, I expect him to miraculously recover while others….do not. I hope I’m wrong.

  15. John, I wholeheartedly, WHOLE FUCKING HEARTEDLY, disagree with your notion that no one deserves this.

    Some people abso-fucking-lutley do.

    Also, I still enjoyed your write-up. Not saying that. Just I, you know, disagree with a key point.

    Also, he’s EVIL because he KNOWS how dangerous it is, you heard the tapes from earlier this year.

    You say he won’t get it, the evil part is he already knows. My mother (70 years old) got COVID last month and she gets her information from Fox News, so for anyone trying to change my mind about this? Save your time.

  16. Aside from anything else, there is no level of severity to this that could possibly convince Trump to have a sudden bout of introspection or remorse, because he’s demonstrated time and again that he is fundamentally incapable of either.

    Of course, as with much of 2020, there is pretty much no good outcome here.

    Either he recovers, at which point he will simultaneously tout how strong he is to have survived it and suggest that if a 74-year-old man with no more than his own health and 24/7 access to the best health care available for money or power in the USA can survive this disease it’s nowhere near serious enough to shut down the country…

    .. Or he dies from it, at which point the rest of us are left with a suddenly bereaved group of fanatical followers who believe from the bottom of their hearts that Donald Trump was the Chosen Messiah fighting an invisible shadow war against the Globalist Deep State. I don’t think they’re going to take news of his death well.

  17. John: “The only thing [covid-19] wants is to make more of itself — and it will, when offered the opportunity.”

    That actually sounds like the perfect metaphor for the GOP these days, more’s the pity. I admire your ethics for not wishing him a long and nasty end; I’m not that good a person. At this point, my only claim to right action is that I didn’t immediately send him a “thoughts and prayers” tweet.

  18. Or, it’s a lie — he doesn’t have it and it’s simply another way to try to manipulate vote; he’ll announce that he’s better and that it was no big deal and if he can recover despite being 74, then the only reason anyone dies is from other causes, not his fault, etc., etc., ad nauseum. :(

  19. Let us not forget that this is a man who has access to daily coronavirus tests, and who has those around him tested frequently, also. All these precautions for himself, while denying the existence of the problem.

    It turns out that tests for yourself give you information too late, as do tests only for direct contacts. The value in tests comes from spreading them more broadly, and using them to do contact tracing. The bigger picture derived from this testing can inform and shape the behavior of those who have been exposed, may be contagious, but do not yet exhibit the disease. The solution really does require protecting society, not just individuals.

  20. Yeah, Slate is now up with a story about how Trump and his staff knew he’d been exposed by Thursday morningg and didn’t change his schedule for the day (including campaign eventss in New Jersey)–evidently they just carried on, hoping that Hope Hicks’ symptoms and positive test didn’t make the news. So I think it’s likely that Trump really has tested positive. How he spins it, or how he and his staff and campaign try to spin it . . . well, we’ll see how it goes. But honestly, I find it hard not to feel too much sympathy. Something in me keeps saying: “You knew this could happen. You knew you were risking other people’s health as well as your own. Why are you surprised?”

  21. I’ve seen people say “this is god’s will” or “karma” but in his own words, this is the result of “herd mentality”.

    I don’t wish ill (or illness) on anyone, but a couple boast-and-blather-free weeks due to intubation would be such a stress relief on so many people.

  22. The problem with trying to figure this whole thing is three words.
    Trump always lies.

  23. Nope, sorry… this is obviously a Gigantic Deep State Conspiracy to promote a Big Lie about Beloved Leader, because everyone knows there is NO SUCH THING as Coronavirus or the Covid-19 disease, they are all a gigantic hoax of Fake News.

    Which means that this new Fake News is a coverup for a Black Operation on the part of the incredibly brilliant infinity-level chess player who is our Beloved Leader, to somehow or other defeat the Deep State Machine that the Librul conspiracy has been fueling with the disemboweled bodies of the sexually abused children they’ve been keeping in trailers in drive-in bunkers under every pizza parlor in Antifa-controlled Anarchy cities. WHARRRRGGGLEEE….!!!

    We’ll hear this from Q any minute now.

  24. I was somewhat (but not totally) surprised when my brother and several friends (all on Facebook, I add, which I am not and never have been) expressed the same opinion this morning – that he isn’t infected, that it is a hoax/conspiracy, that he is going to be “miraculously” cured by hydroxychloroquine, etc.

    I don’t see it.

    Where exactly would be the upside for him? He’s been screaming “HOAX!” for eight months. Now it’s real? At the very least, he will miss his two or three a day rallies for the next two weeks while quarantining. Did he get Hope Hicks and Ronna McDaniel and Melania to fake “positive” to back up his story? Unless this is the first step to withdrawing from the race, no explanation I’ve heard so far is remotely believable. Not that he would lie, of course, but not this lie. Will he suddenly “reform” and start wearing a mask? Yeah, right.

    But no, I don’t wish him well in any way, just wish him gone, the sooner the better. He has done probably irreparable harm to the country and, in the words he has used about “Crooked Hillary” and so many other people, had it been anyone else, he or she would be in jail right now.

  25. The data are all over the place, given that places are in different stages of the pandemic, but it’s clear that the US, at 64 deaths per 100,000, is among the very worst of the developed countries that the pandemic entered in early 2020. Whether you think that the US could have prevented 200,000 of our 210,000 (and counting) deaths, or a number higher or lower, it’s clear that this evil president and his administration have hundreds of thousands of deaths on their hands. Data:

  26. A man rich and powerful and famous shares our common clay. I am reminded of the Italian chess proverb: At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

  27. You’re a much better person than me. And also a better writer, by orders of magnitude. Maybe it should be your career, rather than the burrito molester path?

    He may have it, we’d need a test performed by the Pope and overseen by the Dalai Lama before I’m 100% convinced as every word out of his mouth is a lie. But as others have said, getting it projects weakness and not “alpha maleness” (which apparently is code for “insufferable asshole”)

    The other thing I don’t know is, if Pence has to step in temporarily under the 25th amendment, does he get pardon powers and can he pardon Trump without being sworn in as President? If he can, this might be a precursor to that.

    Good point someone brought up about the tweet saying COVID-19 not some racial dogwhistle, that would indicate cheeto mussolini didn’t write it himself.

    I just hope Biden wasn’t infected at the debate, that would suck

  28. I wish illness upon no one, but the actual *practice* of my compassion for others is sorely tested today.

    If he does get a bad case of COVID, the stream of tweets about feeling like crap might actually help convince some of his more ardent fans that taking precautions to avoid getting and spreading the virus is desirable behavior.

  29. I heard the Trumpists are suggesting Biden should stop his campaign – to which I can only say that I hope that Biden will decide on this through the age old question, ‘What would Trump do in my place?’

    No, that would be wrong. Better to follow Michelle Obama’s ‘When they go low…’ advice.
    So, in the name of fairness, both Trump and Biden should retire from the race and let Pence and Harris fight for the presidency.

  30. My bet, if he does get really sick, is that he finds a way to make this a conspiracy and blame everyone but him. It’s not that covid is that bad, oh no no, it’s that someone poisoned him or a doctor didn’t treat it right or something like that, someone else, not HIM. Some brand new mutation of the virus, and in fact he’s a superhero for recovering at all!

    There is someone with NPD in my family and the contortions she goes through when there are any kind of consequences to her actions is just amazing to see. The most relevant story I can remember is when her husband was diagnosed with cancer, but she’s very important, see, and couldn’t take any time off work to help care for him, and had to make this ok with herself by believing that actually he didn’t need help, it wasn’t that bad. So he had to go to the oncologist’s alone. It was brain cancer, so he wasn’t capable of really taking in the information or remembering things like dosages, and ended up giving himself several times his daily dose of medication for weeks on end, which ended up causing life-threatening side effects. The doctors tried calling them for days to get them to bring him in for treatment, but again, it couldn’t be that serious, because if it was, that would mean she was a bad person, so they put it off in favour of fixing up a house she’d convinced him to buy (while he had brain cancer. Seriously. Guess who did all the work fixing it up?). They finally went in and the doctors saved his life with a brand new set of medications that required daily injections, but he was still in really bad shape for a while (above and beyond the brain cancer).

    I remember visiting them after this happened, and he was telling me the highly sanitized version of this story (I knew what had really happened because at one point his doctor in total desperation called me as next-of-kin after the NPD person, hoping I could get them to return his messages and come to the hospital), and showed me his bruises from the injections, and overall just looked like shit–again, above and beyond the cancer. But grateful for the treatment and to be alive. And from the next room, the NPD-er called out “It was the beet juice!”

    Cancer patient: Oh yes, it was the beet juice.

    NPD: You got those awful blood clots because the doctors overdosed you and didn’t write the prescription down! We should sue them! And then I gave you beet juice because it has anticoagulating properties! And then the blood clots went away!

    Cancer patient: Yes, that’s right, it was the beet juice.

    It was one of the most chilling things I’d ever seen. She’d explained away to herself already that her negligence of her spouse of 45 years and her decisions around his medical care and the danger they’d placed him in was actually her heroically saving him from incompetent doctors. And he went along with it.

    Trump won’t learn. He can’t.

  31. Donald Trump is the Liar-in-Chief. What makes you believe that his Covid announcement is true? It provides his excuse for losing the election.

  32. Hold on for the roller-coaster ride. Given the timing, things could get ugly if both Trump and Pence (who has been around Trump as well) get sick. Or Biden. Or both. Imagine the chaos if both Trump and Biden are down with the virus…ugh. No, I don’t see a lot of good coming out of this, and could see some real nastiness.

  33. A person can be of many minds at once. Most of 2020 has been an exercise in holding on to various degrees and layers of cognitive dissonance, as only a heightened form of much of which has happened since 2016, as only a heightened form of much of which has been happening to the United States for over 40 years, as only a part of the historical bills that come due from the history it has.

    With all that mind (pun intended), stop yourself a moment and think:

    A sitting President becoming ill with a deadly virus should, in any normal and empathetic view of civics, be a moment of solemnity and concern for all citizens. I’m not saying that you should then feel that way and not the other ways in which you are feeling. I’m saying it’s worth knowing that baseline, so that you can see how much has been fundamentally lost. Outright lost. Caput from our civic discourse and mutual care. Gone. The behaviors of your fellow citizens around you today is very much all a measure of how poorly we’re functioning as a society.

    Also, we live in chaotic times. Chaos is defined as unbounded, so it’s literally impossible to know all possible outcomes or potentials in an unbounded environment. This makes worst-case scenarios not even the least likely scenarios. So despite the statistical unlikeliness of it, imagine:

    Both Trump and Biden die of COVID-19 by November 3rd.

    Like all the other “be prepared” signals out there, this is something the likelihood of which seems anywhere from trivial to silly, until the percentage likelihood keeps building greater. Like Lucifer’s Hammer.

    We’re shit-posting and laugh-bullying our way into waters far murkier and nutsoid than crocodile territory.

    Meanwhile, yes, I laughed about this last night and keep finding the memes quite funny. Because as bad as this absurd situation is, absurdity is funny.

  34. Has Biden been tested? Considering the volume of Trumpspeak, I would worry that Biden might have been exposed, and Biden would also not be in a good spot if he got sick. I would take Harris over either Trump or Pence if anything happened, but that may not be universally true.

    I think Trump and his people want endorsed privilege – that consequences apply only to the actions of others and not their own. I don’t think this will penetrate that (Herman Cain paid for that already) and I would not expect Trump to change if he recovers (Boris Johnson is an appropriate example).

  35. Sean: Or, to quote Hamlet: “[…]we fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service, two dishes, but to one table; that’s the end.”

  36. Biden just announced on Twitter he’s tested negative. They’ll probably need to do a follow up in a couple of days to be sure of no infection, but it’s a good sign.

  37. Here in a rational blue state people wear masks.

    I am looking forward to a report from trump country about any changes in locals behaviors.

    Also this is such a distraction from crunch time of must finish writing the book.

  38. Damn John, you are in a very optimistic mood today! Your second to last paragraph mirrored my own thoughts when I first heard that he was infected. Only we have come to different conclusions. You have taken the high road whilst I have elected to take the pessimistic low road for fear of his reaction if he only suffers a mild case. I do not wish death upon the giant pustule on the scrotum of hell, but a moderate to severe case is the only situation that knocks a clue into his ego.

    Should his COVID experience be light I fear that he will throw off his little worn mask with gusto, prance down the streets grabbing every microphone with his fat cheese curl fingers and scream, frothing at the mouth, that “Yes, all the fear of COVID is nothing! NOTHING! Reopen all the schools. Go to concerts. I have spoken with the NFL and convinced them to reopen the stadiums at full capacity. I did that. COVID is a little virus, a wimp, a loser. I BEAT IT! Don’t let the liberals scare you into being fearful. It’s nothing. Reopen all businesses! Reopen the country!”

    And then three months later our COVID death rate soars to 2 million.

  39. Well said, John.

    I don’t believe that deserving has anything to do with disease transmission. But karma is not a system of rewards and punishments. That would be the Evangelical Christian (which is to say, white male supremacist) God. Karma is the natural consequences of one’s own actions; therefore, since he’s refused to mask or have any of his people mask, it *is* his karma to have gotten infected.

    It is *not* his karma because of the other people whose infections, sickness, permanent disability, and death he has caused. That, again, is about deserving. That would be about justice.

    Since we don’t live in a just universe (proof: Trump has not been struck by lightning on a golf course and burned to ashes), it’s up to us humans to administer justice. We’re pretty bad at it, but I believe Trump can and will be brought to justice, at least for his state-level crimes.

    Not the Reddit Chris S.: The scenario I’ve heard is that Trump resigns in early January, so that Pence can pardon him for his federal crimes. The one I like is that Pence doesn’t. After all, what does he gain?

  40. Just when you think it can’t get any worse…it does. My first thought was for the country. No matter what happens, it won’t be good. If he gets seriously ill (or worse) his followers will make up crazy shit about him being poisoned or something and if he does not have a severe case it’ll be “See? Just like a flu” and more people will die. The irony, schadenfreude and karma ideas are real, but I don’t wish extreme suffering on him, just as I wouldn’t want it for myself. But I doubt that he would learn from anything, so the silver lining most people find after a severe illness wouldn’t be there. And the thought in the back of my mind: “What if he’s just saying this to get out of the debates?” (A liar is not believed even when he tells the truth). Or worse: “What if Joe gets it and dies?” I could hardly sleep last night, having heard the news West Coast time. I cannot think of any positive outcome, except the one outcome that Mr. Scalzi proposed and is most unlikely to happen.

  41. John:

    “If Trump has a mild case and bounces back, it’ll just be proof to him that he was right all along, and off he’ll go, telling people to come on in, the swamp water’s fine. And in they will go.”

    Of course that is true, but I must add that there is nothing stopping him from simply lying, saying he contracted the virus when he didn’t, or didn’t bother to know either way about, just as a talking point to sell it all as evidence of a liberal hoax.

    If he does happen to contract COVID and gets sick, every single Trump supporter will be on the conspiracy bandwagon, literally saying it was an assassination attempt by a Democratic plot. You can believe that.

    Republicans have a way of taking seemingly sure-fire Democratic wins and perverting them into their own shallow victories. When you have no morals or values except for harming vulnerable people and holding power, this is a horribly easy thing to accomplish. And as despairing as it is to say, they will.

  42. Then again it could be a hoax perpetrated by this trickster to prove that those with “good” genes recover and those with inferior genes don’t.

  43. I’m hoping that “Everything Trump touches dies” doesn’t become more literal than it has been.

  44. I am very glad to hear that Joe and Dr. Biden have tested negative. I’m sure the tests will be repeated soon to make absolutely sure.

    I am a bad person, evidently, because I am more concerned about Rick Moranis getting randomly punched in the head while on a walk, than about the health of the Trumps. I ask you, who would punch Rick Moranis?

    Sorry for the sidetrack, there. Seems the Kushners, the Pences and also Barron have tested negative as well.

  45. @Keven Grierson: I think that’s a bit “Trump is a genius at 5-dimensional chess”. None of this has been a cunning plan; he’s not capable of that– and even if he is, that implies all these other people who got infected at the same time are also faking their positive tests because CONSPIRACY. No, he’s got COVID and all is chaos and it’s comforting to believe this might be a Plan because then fewer people were exposed and it’s more of his chicanery but… really that seems a bit silly, even for Trump.

  46. One additional quick thought: my bet is that he can’t stand to be quarantined and will be out among people this weekend, barring physical incapacitation.

  47. It won’t take long to find out if this is just another distraction or the real deal. I believe it is real as it would be impossible to cover it up for long, plus it was bound to happen. Given what we do know about his health, only one outcome seems certain. I suspect Trump would rather die then face a humiliating defeat to Biden. It would also solve his post presidential problems, of which there are many, both legal and financial. He can’t be looking forward to that. His will to live may not be all that strong.

  48. Not the first thought I had, but one that showed up very quickly as the early reactions got voiced via Facebook and public radio call-ins: More than a couple of people were immediately skeptical about some part of this news, right up up to the threshold of conspiracy-thinking–that it’s a ploy or sympathy play or a way of faking triumph over COVID or a dodge to get him out of a humiliating electoral defeat or even a palace coup of some kind.

    And this isn’t just the Usual Suspects in the tin-foil-hat brigade, but what I think of as ordinary non-Trumpist folk. This automatic skepticism, especially when accompanied by intrigue-thriller scenarios, seems to me not to be entirely the result of Trumpworld’s dishonesty and distraction (which have been damaging enough) but of a couple decades of right-wing propaganda efforts that have made all of us suspicious of what we read or hear and willing to let our imaginations run amok.

    Trump is a symptom, not the underlying disease. The well of common public discourse has been poisoned, and I’m not sure how long it will take to let the water run clean again.

  49. @Not the Reddit Chris S.

    COVID-19 may not be a racist dog whistle here in the real world, but in the fantasy world in which Trump and his supporters live, Trump has sure tried his hardest for the past several months to turn it into one with all his “Chinese virus” malarkey.

  50. The true nightmare of this happens if he has mild symptoms for three days and gets better. He will crow about it and that the disease really is a hoax.

    He will make a call for herd mentality and the mask wars will grow exponentially. It will be like selling tickets to a train wreck.

  51. My mother died Sunday. Not from the horrible virus, but from a horrible, antibiotic resistant bacterial infection. She spent the last 6 months of her life terrified of getting the virus. She didn’t get to hug her children and grandchildren goodbye. I have no sympathy for the man who has recklessly toyed with our lives.

  52. I see him getting it, having minimal to no symptoms, then after two weeks going “see, it wasn’t that bad. Freaking liberal hoax. Open up the economy!” I think we can all hope like hell that he’s gonna learn something from this, but I’ve been hoping that every day for over four years and no luck so far.

  53. Considering that I’ve been waking up every morning for the last four years in hopes that Trump kicked it over night, it seems a bit hypocritical to start wishing for his recovery now. This may say bad things about me as a person but it’s the truth.

  54. Sorry, John, but I only half agree with your sentiment in the next-to-last paragraph. I want him to be sick through Inauguration Day but to recover just in time to leave the White House (and hopefully just in time for the Southern District of New York to “invite” him to chat about his finances.) I’d love to see Joe Biden and/or Hillary Clinton send him a fruit basket with a card reading “Get Well”.

  55. Would fantasizing that a dozen or two Republican senators were also infected, either by having a super spreader present at the fundraiser, or having a meeting with Hope Hicks, thus delaying the Supreme Court Justice confirmation process, make said person with those fantasies a bad person?

    Asking for a friend….

  56. It would be “karmically disadvantageous” to wish him several weeks on a ventilator, wouldn’t it?
    Unless there’s advantageous karma in wishing he would not be around to call into question a legitimate election loss, and call to war the long gun toting militias in hopes of staying in office.

  57. I wish I had the emotional fortitude to be kinder about this, but I’m just worn down from 4 years of the gaslighting, the fascism, the bullshit, and the endless cruelty. I suppose it’s rubbed off on me. I’m sad for everyone around him who didn’t sign up for this, but I’ll be sympathetic to him and his crew when the 200,000 dead rise from their graves and give me permission.
    I hate this movie so much.

  58. Mr. Covid-19 is no-one’s friend.

    I hope that DJT has no complications, recovers quickly, then loses the election. That way, after January 20th, he can spend the rest of his life facing the charges that will see him in prison for the rest of his days. Fighting those charges will be difficult for someone with no money. I hope his Legal Aid lawyers are good.

  59. A week ago I vowed to reduce my news consumption for the next few weeks. First there was the NYT expose on the Orange Creature’s taxes, then the debate, and now this. So much for the that vow. Sigh. I am not as nice as some people are. Had he, and his staff, followed CDC guidelines he probably wouldn’t be sick. But he didn’t, and he is, and I’m filled with schadenfreude. Can’t help myself.

  60. A nice schadenfreude pie would help him feel better. I also really hope we don’t get the “he’s got a mild fever for 3 days and then miraculously recovers, with or without HCQ”; at least his doctors won’t let him put bleach up his nose. I don’t wish him pain and suffering, but he needs to be seriously down for the count for a few weeks.

    And Biden needs to be talking about morality and decency and Democratic values and caring for America all this time, plus talking about Obamacare and how too many regular Americans aren’t getting the medical care Trump took away from them.

    I’ve had pneumonia a couple of times, fortunately just the bacterial type that a week of antibiotics treats, but it still takes a month or two to recover from it. And that’s just one of the symptoms of Covid, besides the neurological damage and the, y’know, death stuff.

  61. You can’t say Trump didn’t have it coming. Next to him, Gary Hart daring reporters to follow him catting around looks like a sound leadership strategy.

    Even so, PRESIDENT PENCE!!!!

    I don’t care what people say about Trump — Mike Pence is even more evil because he’s a False Prophet Christianist Gibbering Hypocrite. Worse, he’s not easily distracted by the next shiny thing that flashes across his Twitter feed — and he seems to think A HANDMAID’S TALE is a how-to guide, not a warning against Men Just Like Him.

  62. He knew he was positive, but went ahead with his activities — i.e. money-grubbing — w/o a mask, all over the country anyway.

    He set-up the most expected narrative that is 100% him from the time he was a toddler — that if he tested positive it was somebody else’s fault — this case the fault of soldiers, cops and other law enforcement who love him so much that upon meeting with him, which they do all the time, they weep, embrace and kiss him.

    [ ….“”Even as he awaited his coronavirus test results Thursday night, President Trump was looking for ways to blame others.

    It’s very hard when you’re with soldiers, when you are with airmen, when you’re with the Marines, and the police officers, I’m with them so much,” he said. “And when they come over to you, it’s hard to say, ‘Stay back, stay back.’ You know, it’s a tough kind of a situation, it’s a terrible thing.”

    Of course, it likely wouldn’t have been a problem if he and they were wearing masks and respecting distancing. Many of the cops, and the military, had to be there, to escort him as he kept up heavy travel during the pandemic. But sure, blame the cops and the troops.” ….]

  63. I got up early this morning to get my flu shot, and the reports were all citing Captain Combover’s Twitter. I didn’t think he was lying, but I did think maybe he should cut back on the late-night pepperoni pizza. By the time I got home, we were getting confirmation from medical personnel at the White House. OK, I wouldn’t put it past him to try coercing a fake statement out of them, but overall I’m willing to concede that the law of averages finally caught up with him and he’s got Covid. If nothing else, a fake “I’ve got Covid” announcement is the same as announcing he’s a weakling.

    While I don’t wish death for Trump (I happen to think a long life with his nose rubbed in what people really think of him every single day would be more appropriate), I do find myself hoping he gets a really good scare out of this, which means more than a week of the blahs. Too bad he’s not Catholic, because a priest showing up with full Last Rights paraphernalia could be really dramatic.

    There’s something else that I haven’t seen in any of the news coverage, that Mom and I were discussing this morning. Trump, his immediate family, and his cabinet have been getting regular Covid testing. Maybe even the Secret Service detatchment has been getting tests. What about the rest of the White House staff? The cooks, the maids, the secretarial pool — even with Trump in “quarantine”, they’re going to be in constant contact with him. Are we about to see a Covid hotspot inside the White House itself?

  64. I’m afraid.

    If Trump dies before the election, or is so obviously and publicly debilitated that Pence takes over… then we may well be looking at President Pence for the next four years. Because Republicans who might have stayed at home rather than voting for a bigoted bully (as Trump proved himself to be beyond a shadow of a doubt at the debate the other day) would likely turn out for Pence.

    And I truly believe that Pence is a much smarter, much more strategic, much more EFFECTIVE monster than Trump ever was.

    I’m legitimately afraid. Afraid enough not to put my actual name to this comment.

  65. I believe he tested positive. He will quarantine for 10-14 days. We know that giving rallies and basking in the adulation of his cultists is his lifeblood. Anybody notice he hasn’t tweeted in 14 hours? Yeah, he really is sick.

    One scenario is being downplayed. Given his physical situation, he probably has a 10% chance of dying. Likely a low, perhaps 10-20% chance of minor symptoms. The most likely result is moderate to major symptoms, lasting weeks, with lasting damage. The possibility of an invalid President is quite real.

    I hope in that event, he will gather little sympathy, but plenty of pity.

  66. I don’t wish a cold on anybody, nor a flu, let alone this.

    I wish for DJT (and Hope, and Melania, and…) to recover from a mild case. I want him to pay his taxes. I want him to cover his debts. I want him to have a nice seat in Mar-a-Lago at the upcoming swearing-in ceremony in January. Okay, I want all of those to happen, but will be satisfied with the first and last.

    Maybe he could develop a fondness for burritos while the rest of the federal government is undertaking its own environmental clean-up.

    Actually, I really do not expect a vaccine to be generally available for several months, so I am looking forward to see how the swearing-in ceremony is handled.

  67. >> My second take was, if he does drop off the campaign ticket for whatever reason, how many semi-reasonable conservatives who would otherwise have stayed home or voted cross-party, will weep tears of joy at being able to cast a vote for Mike Pence instead? >>

    The flip side of that is, how many Q-hole MAGA Trump-idolizing true believers wouldn’t bother voting at all, because they’re not interested in anyone but Trump himself?

  68. There are two senses in which I mean, of course T-man got the covid. One, he wasn’t being sensible. Two, this is an October Surprise befitting the year 2020.

    In my experience, someone like the T-man always wins. Like Bolsonaro, like Johnson, he will make it worse no matter what outcome eventuates.

  69. If Trump had not shot himself in the foot in so many ways, I would be a little more worried. Because a President who still had some crumb of credibility/good will from the majority of the country could totally spin this news powerfully. “I was out doing my job for the country while Sleepy Joe hid in the basement.” I do think that 50% or more of the country now spurn Trump as if he were a rabid dog, but if there actually still was a significant squishy middle, he might have some good moves now.

    Trump interrupted Biden so much that Biden had no chance to say something stupid himself. Trump pissed off old people so Biden did not have to worry as much about young people. Trump showed utter contempt and confusion during the Covid response; so he is not getting the feels a normal person might get from the public in this situation.

    The most effective move for the GOP now is to spin that Trump cannot last another four years and you will really be voting for Pence. Still a loser, but maybe a little less. Pushing Biden on court packing might also save a few Congressional races for the Republicans.

    Meanwhile, I think Joe Manchin will be the most important person in Washington by the end of January. Because the Democrats won’t be able to pass anything he won’t sign off on.

  70. It wouldn’t surprise me if this step one of a GOP soft coup and attempt to slip Pence into his spot. I think the GOP as a whole is pretty fed up with dealing with all Trump’s nonsense, and the only thing he’s delivered on are judges and taxes.

  71. @ShrinkingViolet – tangential at best, but I wanted to thank you for the Kzin reference in your comment on the last post here. Comments closed there just before I could thank you there – it made me smile, which is definitely worthwhile currently!

  72. Chris ODonnell, your comment, “Given recent revelations, we should probably add ‘low income’ to his list of risk factors,” made me laugh out loud. But that brings a couple of question from a northern neighbour who’d love some insights on your American regulations:

    1. Trump has been President and presumably filed his taxes for three years now, and it’s public knowledge what he earns for that role; has he paid his taxes on that income in 2017, 2018, 2019? As he had to recuse himself from his business activities for the duration, it’s not like he could claim all the (bogus) business deductions he normally does.

    2. If Trump does not recover from COVID-19 before election day, is there any possibility of the election being delayed? Your system is set up so that Pence automatically takes over Presidential duties, but does he automatically become the Republican nominee?

    Really, really hope the Biden doesn’t end up with it after enduring what he did on Tuesday evening.

  73. Gonna have to disagree with you there vis-a-vis the virus not caring “what your opinions are about science.”

    After all, the people who have a strong reliance on science are showing it by wearing masks and not, you know, intentionally going to superspreader events.

  74. Eileen O @ 3.20:

    Speaking to your second point, it’s complicated.

    It would take an act of both houses of Congress to postpone or change the date of the election, as it’s enshrined in law: US voters go to the polls the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, every four years.

    If the President-elect dies during the “lame duck” period between the election and the inauguration, the Vice President-elect becomes President. If the President dies or is permanently incapacitated BEFORE the election, then it gets messy. More than a million people have already submitted early ballots: plenty of folks who wouldn’t have voted for Trump might be willing to vote for Pence, while others wouldn’t have him on a plate. Electors to the Electoral College would have to decide, on a state-by-state basis, if their votes are committed to a candidate who’s died/been permanently incapacitated.

  75. “Karmically Disadvantageous” – should be Scalzi’s (or someone’s) next band name.

  76. Ruth Bader Ginsgerg dies and dear leader and The McConnell Senate move heaven and earth in response. 200000 people die and it is what it is. Maybe this one case so very close to home will get them to move on a relief package, since they only seem to care when they are directly affected.

  77. As I said of Herman Cain and other anti-maskers, may the recovery be long and frightening.

    Note that I don’t wish for a full one; a life-long cough or severe organ damage will be just what the lying, genocidal wannabe autocrat deserves.

    Death means not having to live with the consequences of his actions and inactions.

    We laughed the house down, called friends and laughed some more and did celebratory shots of Irish whiskey.

    We gathered around our favorite news broadcasts and giggled as pundit’s tried their damnedist not to whip out metaphorical pie makings on live television.

    You haven’t lived until you’ve heard “that’s what you get, how y’all like dat Rona, mothafuckas” couched in polite, job protecting terms.

    Still, the realization that this country is literally and figuratively headless (this has been the case for four years but is truer now than ever) and thus vulnerable to any number of domestic (rather not have “a glorified Gilead commander” taking the helm, thanks) and foreign threats tempers my glee upon hearing of his infection.

    Like others, I’m also concerned that this is yet one more effort to stimy this election and/or strike the ultimate blow for covidiocy.

    That said, if, as other posters have suggested, his plan is to twist this ordeal into a “it’s nothing but the flu/behold the miracle that is hydroxychloroquine” moment of glory/martyrdom, he’ll need to hope that he and his merry band of proud petri-dishes come through it all with their lives and/ or general health intact.

    It wouldn’t do to have even one of them wind up like my best friend’s 28-year old cousin who, as I type, lies in a semi-vegetative state in a Florida hospital on a feeding tube and under the lash of daily seizures.

    Also, it will really be interesting to see how the white supremacist, right-wing Darwinists crowing about whites’ diet and lifestyle choices respond.

    Will they apply the same racist victim blaming to Trump?

    Trump’s pre-existing conditions probably aren’t attributable to poverty, food deserts or other forms of systemic racism but to years of frat-boy pig outs and other substances (I don’t believe that this man has abstained from drugs or alcohol all his life).

    I’ll tell you this, if Trump and his peeps glide through this outbreak and Biden ends up dead because exposure, the resulting outrage may dwarf anything we saw this summer.

    Bottom line, let this be a lesson to covid-deniers, anti-maskers and other such assholes everywhere.

    May they reflect on the price of chest-thumping and “right “fighting as covid cuts a swath through their political heroes.

  78. > And I truly believe that Pence is a much smarter, much more strategic, much more EFFECTIVE monster than Trump ever was.

    Nah, from what I’ve heard from Indiana natives, Pence is just as much of a blithering incompetent as the Orange Turd. He just has enough sense to stay off Twitter, and whitewash his sepulchres.

  79. I’m with the folks who are delighted by the thought that he might suffer and worse. Dietrich Bonhoeffer remains one of the great heroes of history, even though he failed in his mission and was executed. This virus can’t be executed. Trump already failed at reining it in. And, like with North Korea, his buddying up to it and making sure it flourished didn’t spare him.

  80. I will admit to being every so slightly tempted to make Our Gracious Host’s pie, but in the interests of not tempting fate I’ve left the molasses in the pantry.

    The only reason I’m not super worried about Pence is that Pence has all the charisma of a room-temperature mayonnaise sandwich. He might attract some very conservative evangelicals, but he can’t fire up the ones who scare me, like the Proud Boys.

    SARS-Cov-2 doesn’t care about your politics or your religion or anything else. It can’t. It’s barely even alive. All it “cares” about is that you’ve got some cells for it to replicate in before either your immune system kills them all, or you die and your cells stop being little virus factories. For anyone to have ever thought otherwise is a consequence of poor science communication/education and our bizarre but deeply human need for there to be “reasons”.

    Nature doesn’t have reasons. Cause and effect, sure. But reasons imply reasoning, and that’s mostly restricted to humans.

    Mask up and Vote!

  81. @JMCarver:

    You and I are usually in agreement, but I’m going to have to toss up a hand on this one.

    Sorry, but the best I can do is stop short at wishing him dead.

    He is a mass murderer whose body count far exceeds that of the one that has and continues to justify the harassment and demonization of the Muslim community.

    Three-thousand people lost their lives on 911 and America went on the literal and figurative warpath. We lost civil liberties and became torture practitioners/apologists because “national security.”

    He has racists and xenophobes so terrified of South American rapists and caravans that eugenics and concentration camps are, in right-wing circles, at least, perfectly acceptable deterrents to illegal immigration.

    Family separations, indefinite imprisonment and dead and disappearing children are part of a “zero tolerance policy” designed to show everyone how ruthless he’s willing to get in the name of protecting the “culture” and the ever shrinking white, English speaking majority in this country.

    He has, by far, been one of the biggest threats to Americans and the American way of life, yet his loyal orcs have and continue to attribute the nations ills to brown people, foreigners and non-Christians and act accordingly.

    Trumpists cite the casualties of the George Floyd protests as evidence of BLM’s terrorism but are perfectly okay with Trump’s body count because…reasons.

    He’s got supporters engaging in minor acts of domestic terrorism because treating covid seriously and encouraging Americans to do the same are potentially detrimental to his, his family’s and his buddies’ financial interests.

    Bottom line, I have about as much love and compassion for him as he and his supporters do for the innocent people who get persecuted for being brown, foreign or Muslim.

    More to the point, who feels for the gang members who slaughter innocent people and jet back to Mexico to avoid prosecution? I don’t.

    Do we pore out buckets of compassion for the mass shooters who wind up injured or dead alongside their victims?

    Was Charles Manson worthy of our compassion as he rotted to death in prison?

    Honestly, had I or mine been touched by covid in any way, I’d be livid at the suggestion that I show compassion for the man who lied about and did practically nothing to stop the scourge that tore our lives apart.

    My president went on national television and pointed a Proud Boy shaped gun at my community’s head, so excuse me while I offer him the very least I can as a fellow human.

    I’m reserving my love and compassion for those who’ve lost loved ones to covid and for those who’ve suffered human rights violations on Trump’s watch and at the hands of his supporters.

  82. To lie and say he had it when he didn’t would be an admission of weakness–I can’t see him doing that.

  83. According to the Guardian, he’s being taken to Walter Reed Medical Center “out of an abundance of caution”.

  84. It will be interesting to see how Trump maintains his weedpatch during this. He has to keep up his communication with the Trumpbots in order to keep them knowing what to think. He has to keep the proto-sociopathic mind infection going in order to keep them on the hook. Once that umbilicus is broken, the spell slowly wears off. The truth will out, and lunatic fantasies become harder to sustain.

    These are social dominance fanatics who are so hierarchical in their thinking — messianic if you will — that they have no idea how to live in a democracy, and obviously don’t want to.

  85. PBS is reporting that the most researched word in Britain today is “schadenfreude”.

  86. I wish for him to have a safe, quick, and healthy recovery, and the results of his actions run their course, and he has to face the consequences. No one wants to doubt a fair election process even if one gets ill

    But for someone who is a Narcissist like Trump, he believes he DESERVES the free taxpayer-funded special treatment and attention others can only wish for a fraction of. And Trump would be insulted that anyone would get just as good care (The fact you got the same care means I didn’t get SPECIAL care)

  87. @ Kat:

    Agreed; this is the country that Trump has wrought, a diseased ravaged jungle where green is gray, up is down, right is wrong and the fabric of society is a snot rag.

    Recall the game of musical theories and arguments that have and continue to infest ND and other forums.

    Trumpists went from pointing and laughing at the paranoid, cowardly liberals running around in masks and social distancing to hunting in packs at grocery stores across multiple communities, yanking food out of others’ carts, pushing and shoving people to the ground and buying up food and supplies by the display-load so that none but them and theirs could eat or disinfect their houses.

    Their rapid shift from smug, right-wing alpha-bots to terrified hoarders at the sound of the Trump tweet/faux news bell was an astonishing thing to behold.

    Cue the racist crowing about inherently healthy white people and the not-so-subtle celebration of covid as a pesticide for the elderly, disabled and otherwise undesirable segments of the population.

    Then, still convinced of covid’s lethality, they coopted pro-choice precepts and, fueled by their chaos loving dear leader, armed themselves and took to the streets in a bare-faced protest of liberal authority and mitigation efforts; they were by God going to exercise their rights as “muricans” to endanger themselves and others in the name of freedom and republican/Trumpist pride.

    And you can bet that if we wind up in anything close to a Mad Max situation, even the ever-faithful faux Christian brigade will further devolve into “apex predators” willing to do anything it takes to clean up society and ensure their own survival.

    Ultimately, little things like science, the constitution, democracy, and equal justice under the law are inconvenient concepts wholly antithetical to everything they are, want and believe in.

    We’ll see what happens now that the person doing their thinking is out of commission.

  88. @Epiphyta:

    It’s even more complicated, because there are two “lame duck” periods – from Election Day to when the Electoral College casts its votes, and from then until Inauguration.

    The case you describe – the Vice President-Elect becomes the President-Elect, is inaugurated, and serves out the term – only comes into action after the Electoral College votes (or possibly after those votes are accepted by Congress; I’m not entirely sure).

    But the Electoral College doesn’t vote until December 14; between “Election Day” and December 14, there is still no President-Elect, and if a candidate dies in that interval, each state has its own laws on what an elector can (or must) do. In some states, electors are required by law to cast their votes for the candidate of their party (though the laws don’t specify whether the elector has leeway to do otherwise if said candidate is dead); in others, they can technically vote for anyone they want.

    In reality, the party committee would most likely pick a new candidate and instruct all their electors to cast their votes for that candidate, and electors, being for the most part party functionaries, would do so.

    And all this talk of “party committees” and “electors” makes me realize that the process of electing the President of the US is in fact some combination of Soviet Russia and the Holy Roman Empire.

  89. Yes indeed. And the well-known brain damage and cognitive sequelae of COVID-19 will most assuredly become much more important in the conversation of the election campaign. Amusing, actually. Oh, sorry everyone who wants me to pretend to be wishing him and his family well…

  90. A press release says that Trump has been given an experimental treatment. Either he saw the reports last week and demanded it, or his doctors are pessimistic about his prognosis.

  91. We need Trump to recover fully, get crushed in the election, and then face the appropriate criminal prosecution for his crimes. He should die in Jail, many years from now.

  92. Hey, Pappenheimer!

    You owe me a knew keyboard! LOL!

    And Kat can chip in, because the image of a lethargic, drooling, glaze-eyed Trump stumbling and sputtering his way through sentence one of a prepared statement is priceless.

    I’m anticipating an equally priceless, Halloween themed Lincoln Project ad.

    “Donald Trump’s embarrassing, irresponsible and reckless response to the pandemic gutted America.

    Now his embarrassing, irresponsible and reckless behavior threatens to behead it.

    America and her people are not would be victims in a slasher film.
    We need a commander and chief, not a slasher in chief.”

    As the president, it was his duty to model responsible pandemic behavior, not simply to be an influence but to protect this country against the ramifications of an incapacitated president.

    I hope people really hammer on the failed patriarch theme, something that might really resonate with the three Ps of Manhood crowd.

    On another note, how low have we sunk as a nation when the first and second most powerful men in the country are a murderous RSHD and a Fred Waterford clone?

    Will Work for Danish Citizenship.

  93. Let’s hope Trump’s ego makes him stubbornly want to stay in the race no matter what, ventilator be damned, that sort of thing. I really want to see how that health argument works out…

    So pleased that Tillis and Lee won’t be available for a couple of weeks to vote on the SCJ. Maybe there will be more out for the count. Put more money into Mark Kelly’s kitty…he would join the Senate upon election.

  94. LOL!

    Presidential covidiocy: Protecting women’s reproductive rights and American democracy since 2020.

    It should be interesting to see how infections break down along party lines.

    To be clear, I’m not wishing covid on my political opponents; I’m just curious as to how those most passionate about promoting herd immunity, opening the country, downplaying the pandemic, sacrificing marginalized groups and going unmasked will fare now that the chickens have come home to roost.

  95. Old, old joke: “Friends don’t let friends call their ex-wife”.
    If they love you, your friends keep you from doing something utterly stupid. No ex-wives but I was momentarily tempted to boast. Okay, a bit of humblebragging.
    My few remaining friends have once again kept me grounded and avoid ‘ego inflationary spiral’. Buddy reminded me, “even a broken clock is right twice daily”. Just because I posted a scenario that is actually starting to play out, is not because I am smart but just dumb luck. Millions of posts hourly, One will be most closely matching to what reality reveals. For two minutes, mine. But things are chaotic, gonna get worse before getting better, so many “unknowable unknowns” including all those palace plots underway amongst not-so-loyal Republicans.
    * * *
    my ‘personal best’ twitter…
    here’s my closest approximation of FAKENEWS sympathy…
    (Trump checks into hospital, Pence secretly sworn in; I’m gonna get ahead of the crowd in brownnosing our next POTUS since I want a high-paying no-show job at Pence WH)
    * * *
    There is always room for humor, but right now, it is a day of ambiguous politics and national uncertainty and opportunistic sycophants. Worst thing would be some situation without decisive outcome. Anything short of an outright coma leaves room for argument. A halfway recovery. Some degree of neurological impairment but not sufficient to be blatant. Possibility of wallpapering over ‘accelerated senior decline’.
    Whilst simultaneously other GOP factions seek to shove an unloved candidate off the cliff so Pence can step into a dead man’s shoes. Whether rolling the dice too many times by Trump and his team, or a coldly calculated deliberate spreading as an assassination attempt by someone on Pence’s team, we will never know unless there is an idiot eagerly pushing another tell-all-scandals about President Pence in two years. (And if caught, they’ll shift blame onto All The Usual Suspects amongst the uncountable millions angry at Trump rather be held to account.)
    Republicans have a way of ignoring necessary policies and perverting legislation into shallow victories, short term and immediate, ignoring the longer term. Environmental pollution. Offshoring jobs. Shortchanging education. Reducing medical coverage. Gelding product liability lawsuits. They have morals or values, centered upon themselves, ignoring bigger picture of a larger constituency. Now? There is crisis after crisis, yet they try to return to business-as-usual, despite reality biting their ankles.
    Oh, shit, had I ever tried to write a political thriller, this plotline too absurd and over-the-top to ever attempt. And here we are. I have a whispering itchiness, we are living inside a horrid video game; instead of a simple-minded first-person zombie shooter, it is a complex political chess game and we are the NPCs being cycled by an AI.
    I keep repeating “computer end simulation, exit holodeck” but no such luck.
    * * *
    What we have here is a failure to communicate. And people are dying because there has been an ‘epic fail’ by our nation’s leadership. Another source of bitterness, a further delay in figuring out how the nation ought respond to reports of Trump’s being airlifted out is uncertainty. As sad reflection upon Trump’s behavior, and his sycophantic administration has been enabling him by way of bald-faced lying at press conference, there’s literally been hundreds (thousands?) of spontaneous questioners whether or not he actually has the virus. A liar not believed if ever he tells the truth. He lost one debate, his sycophants might convince there was a face-saving escape hatch in telling not a lie, but a Big Lie. A honking Gigantic Big Lie.
    As careless as Trump has been the surprise news is how it took this long to get infected. His sense of righteous superiority seemed to be proven, he was above it, immune due to aristocratic superiority. Nope.
    This is a virus. It does not care. It is mindless, blind and selfish. Destroying its habitat would likely result in its own extinction, but it lacks the foresight, the intellect to care.
    A fictional character, explained it best, chilling for how he was weary of fighting a monster: “It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.” Yeah, Kyle Reese, got it right. (Almost sounds like Anthony Fauci, hmmm?)
    * * *
    Repeating critical piece of advice in a crisis: NSA, GCHQ, et al, are copying all texts and recording all phone chatter. Choose your words with careful attention. Even if it takes three drafts to eliminate anything overtly threatening and position yourself avoiding overt threat language. Right now DHS will be taking this opportunity to round up anyone suspected of threats against the person of the President.
    * * *
    Choose. Your. Words. With. Careful. Attention.
    * * *
    Barbara (October 2, 2020, 1:26 pm):
    “My mother died Sunday.”
    Please find attached, a sustained hug which you can invoke as needed; it is endurable just breathe and scream into a pillow as necessary; for me, what helped after the loss of my dad, whenever I play back memories of meals and arguments over lack of grandchildren and my dad’s demands I get a haircut; when I started shaving my head, he began complaining I should let it grow back; he loved me, too gruff to ever used the emo-laden words, but right up to his death nineteen years ago he showed it;
    Aaron Dow:
    what you said is spot on and now I too resemble this remark, “We’re shit-posting and laugh-bullying our way into waters far murkier and nutsoid than crocodile territory.”;
    nice touch, mentioning pizza; suggested minor tweak mention “refrigerated trucks”;
    I laughed and then I choked because it is actually playing out, upon reading your posting of: “I’m hoping that “Everything Trump touches dies” doesn’t become more literal than it has been.”
    you make a bitterly good point, “he seems to think A HANDMAID’S TALE is a how-to guide, not a warning against Men Just Like Him”
    thanks for fun fact, which is no surprise given how many millions are hiding their smiles; “PBS is reporting that the most researched word in Britain today is “schadenfreude”.”
    * * *

  96. 1) If he dies, he can’t be marched out of the White House wearing orange. Besides, hate doesn’t have limits but seeps into everything, poisons everything – it’s a weapon that kills the user too (also, see Julius Caesar). The only mitigating factor is that him dying would be better for the US than him losing the election and running to Russia for asylum, which would be a significant intelligence coup for Russia.

    2) Pence is smart enough not to tweet and not be an overt bigot, but he was not popular in IN (I thought he was losing the Senate race there when he got picked for VP, and IN is kind of conservative), and if he’s not popular there, I don’t think he’ll do better in the country as a whole. I also think his collaboration with Trump would probably yield some dirty laundry, as well – you can’t play in the sty and not get dirty.

  97. Fine. I, however, and a bitter old man and I have no problem at all being glad the plague is sweeping the white house. This may indicate I am petty and small-souled; fine. I can live with that; I do not, however, insist you share my view nor do I decry your lack of smug joy at this situation.

  98. “No one deserves to contract a virus”

    Deserve: to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward, assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities, or situation:

    Seems like someone whose actions include not wearing a mask and not socially distancing, whose qualities included knowing the virus was dangerous but downplayed it for his own selfish gain, in the situation that is a global pandemic that has killed so many,

    did in fact deserve this.

  99. I confess to not feeling MLK levels of compassion. Trump is receiving excellent care, including the monoclonal antibodies, and his chances are as good as they can be for someone his age.
    This adds extra chaos to an already very disordered year, and we know that chaos is a ladder for some. Even if Trump falls off, there’ll be other takers wanting to climb it themselves.
    The Yes! magazine article linked by @sbradfor above appeals for stability, nonviolence and the rule of law. Americans – and the rest of us too – should demand no less.
    @Ewan: =^_^=

  100. Nice Squishable, John – are you getting the nurse to go with it?

    (Yes, this is really all I came here to comment on.)

  101. Plus 210,000!
    Here’s to the business end of the “make poor decisions and live with the consequences” philosophy!

    With the “murican” freedom to do what you damn well please come the consequences of your actions.

    The Welfare queen,” the “nagging bitch” of a DV victim, the “loose” woman or girl pregnant with a child she doesn’t want, the perpetually unemployed recent grad who “picked the wrong major/career path” and those whose unhealthy lifestyles and “dumb life choices” render them undeserving of insurance or adequate healthcare wave hello.

    His body, his choice, amirite?

    What did he expect, going out like that?

    The man was obviously asking for it, and the virus was just doing what viruses do.

    He shouldn’t have tempted it, and he never should have invited it up to his immune system for a drink.

    He must have done *something* to provoke covid or it wouldn’t have hit him.

    In all seriousness, while I don’t wish the man dead (hard to rot in prison when you’re a pile of ash or husk in a box), I do think he’s getting exactly what he and his acolytes have been courting for eight months.

    His diminished capacity notwithstanding, he’s not just some impetuous teen bent on proving his superhumanity, he is a world leader (chokes) armed with knowledge of what this virus can do.

    I, for one, am more than comfortable charging him with his own attempted murder.

  102. Given that Trump’s tweets bug me, it occurs to me that I could splice a bit from Alan Dudderar, and put it in a judgemental humorous voice: “Has anyone noticed that he hasn’t tweeted in 14 hours? Yeah, he really is sick.”

  103. I really hope that Barron doesn’t get it. Kids aren’t responsible for who their parents are.

  104. @Sarah Marie: I got such a grand belly laugh out of your post — love all your posts! But you knew that, of course.

    @Sean Crawford: Nice, eh?

  105. One of the things that struck me about to Woodward tapes was how lucid Trump sounded. He spoke in complete sentences, and without the dog whistles and insults of his opponents he is infamous for. Very different from the style of speaking he does on camera. This lead me to believe that he is less stupid and more evil than I previously thought. Because of those revelations, I do want him to recover and without lasting detriment. (and I believe that this is likely. he is tested frequently and the best care money can buy is administered as early as medically possible) I want him to recover not out of my empathy and well wishing towards him as a human being, deserving of my compassion, but so that he is healthy when he loses the election…maybe he’ll believe he is a loser. I want him not to have the excuse of being ill for the cause of his loss. I want him healthy enough to stand trial for fraud and tax evasion and whatever else he is guilty of. I want him healthy enough to witness his cronies, friends and crooked family members (which ever ones they are)..whoever aided and abetted his evil doings have their ill begotten wealth taken away and sent to prison. I want him to recover and be healthy enough to see his legacy crumble and know that Donald Trump’s name will be as derided by history just as Benedict Arnold’s or Emelada Marcos’ name is…

  106. @Kat:


    The funny thing is that I almost never really aim for humor; I’m often writing from a place of frustration or abject disgust.

    Still, I’m glad I could bring you some measure of laughter or merriment in the midst of this national clusterfuck. :)

  107. Barbara, you have my heartfelt sympathies for the loss of your grandmother, especially under the circumstances.

    I’m sorry, I can’t feel even a little bad about wishing the orange turd an excruciating and prolonged demise. Not when this asshole is doing his level best to take away healthcare in the middle of a pandemic from people who have no other recourse.

    I hope he slowly drowns to death in his own lungs, after suffering cascading multi-organ failure, rotting from within as his organs shut down one by one.

    My boyfriend’s father died from this horrible disease, in a tent in a parking lot, because there was no room in the actual hospital, including the corridors, a week before his 62nd wedding anniversary. We couldn’t be with him before he died. A family friend who worked in the hospital where he was admitted held a cell phone wrapped in a sealed plastic bag to his head so his wife, children and grandchild could say goodbye. His wife and son were also sick with Covid 19. I spent 4 months grocery shopping and cooking reheatable meals for my boyfriend and his mom because they were too sick to really take care of themselves and clearly couldn’t shop or go out in public and infect other people. As in, standing in line for hours to get into the grocery stores to get food, then cook food, then drive 90 miles each way to deliver food and other groceries about every 4 days, give or take. At a time when you couldn’t get rubbing alcohol for love or money. And for all those people who are saying “what about delivery”, ALL of the food delivery services in the five boroughs were overwhelmed by demand and were not accepting new customers. Even Amazon.

    83% fewer dead people if social distancing had started March 1. So to be clear, he didn’t have to die and likely wouldn’t have. But the five boroughs in NY got hit first and worst, with some exceptions. At the time the asshole was telling anyone who would listen that the “China virus” was nothing to worry about, early action and some actual truth would have saved thousands.

    As much as I wish that the orange asshole would have his final experience dying alone in a parking lot, unfortunately his position as POTUS will guarantee that he gets the best possible medical care on the planet. Unlike so many people who have died from this disease.

    My prayers are reserved for the rank and file White House staff and Secret Service personnel who have no choice but to be around this asshole despite the obvious risk. And also Barron Trump, who is the kid of two parents who clearly don’t care enough about him to take even the most basic precautions. (Tiffany clearly had the wit to stay away. Who knew the smart one in the family was the one named Tiffany? Kind of like the smart Bush being a guy named Jeb.) As for Melania and the rest of the bootlickers? You knew he was a snake when you picked him up. Eyes wide shut and all that.

    For the people who posted here hoping he would live long enough for that massive IRS audit and liquidation? Never going to happen. I have no doubt that there are legal and financial firewalls around the surviving profitable Trump businesses. At best, the IRS could only go after any money on Trump’s personal income. Business taxes and personal income taxes are not the same thing. If a business generates income and Trump collects on it, the IRS can garnish his personal income, not the income of the business in question. I predict the businesses will either all go to the Trump kids or a Trump trust, rendering them untouchable and Ivanka and Jared will pay for the mango moron’s lifestyle once they have the bulk of the businesses. I predict Eric & Junior will be summarily cut out of the deal.

    Also, for optimal results, he needs to die before the election. Here’s why:

    Pence has all the charisma of week-old roadkill. I suspect if Trump dies, most of the Trumpists will largely stay home on election day. Pence isn’t exactly packing the venues where he speaks, on the rare occasions that he does.

    For all the people who think it’s terrible to wish for anyone to die: is it? Is it really? Would it have been a tragedy if Manson or John Wayne Gacy or Dahmer died far earlier than they did?

    Yes, the comparison is valid. The above three were all serial killers, but Trump is both a serial killer AND a mass murderer. At least under the depraved indifference to life definition, although you could certainly argue it was premeditated, as per the Woodward interviews.

    You cut out the rot caused by cancer or gangrene. You don’t feel bad about doing it and you don’t mourn it’s demise. You don’t ask yourself “if I cut out this cancer, it will die, does that make me a bad person” CUTTING IT OUT AND KILLING IT IS THE WHOLE FUCKING POINT OF THE EXERCISE. You do it so you can survive.

  108. Edited: Barbara, I meant the loss of your mother. No idea how that happened but spell check is strange tonight.

  109. Hey, kids. Spoilers, he’s not going to die. It’s a mother-fucking Resurrection miracle!

    Pence isn’t exactly packing the venues where he speaks, on the rare occasions that he does.

    Pence is perfect for them. Control the masses working the trifecta of Opus Dei, The Family, The Mormons and so on, $trillion tax cuts, women are enslaved for another 2,000 years and you really should have taken our warnings seriously.

    You’re already dead asshole, at least die a sacrifice for something worthwhile

    Oooh, but Audrey.

    When you’re ready, we’ve something amazing to show you. Full on Avatar shit.

    The terms are “Our Body and Minds are willing” …

    Dragons. Oh, you’ve no idea….

  110. @Audrey:

    First, I am terribly sorry to hear about your dad (((Audrey))).

    Also, yours is one of the most beautiful images of justice I’ve read today.

    I can just imagine the frantic, terrified tweets as he begins to decay from the inside out.

    I say he should be required to spend his last days croaking out the names of all 210,000 plus of his victims, as well as those of all who died in his camps and as a result of his abandonment of Puerto Rico.

    All of the impacted families should be given the opportunity to watch this from a safe distance, kind of like they do at exicutions.

    Also, stories like yours are why I and mine laughed and celebrated as if we’d won the lottery.

    So little justice has been done of late that seeing the scales balance just this little bit was amazing.

    When I think of the tens of thousands of families whose lives and futures have been needlessly destroyed, my gut churns.

    There were always going to be deaths, but things did not have to get this bad, not for humans, and not for the economy.

    I too feel for Barron, not just because he was born to two of the most self-absorbed and apathetic people on the planet, but because his father’s reign of terror is likely going to follow him his entire life.

    I’ve read stories of the children of serial killers, mass murderers and other infamously terrible people being ostracized and/or harassed by trolls and angry mobs. I sincerely hope that he escapes this phenomenon, as the sins of the father are the father’s to own. As for the enablers/accomplices among DJT’s Brood, I really don’t care, do you?

    @Jon Mitchell:

    I agree but…

    Would that we lived in a just nation.

    Would that we lived in a nation wholly peopled with tolerant, inclusive, reasonable, intelligent, non-tribalistic citizens who haven’t been whipped into a frenzy by a ruddy-faced walking spittle and froth machine with more debt and criminal offenses than governing skills.

    I strongly suspect that some very powerful, very ruthless and extremely dangerous entities are invested in keeping Trump right where he is, even, maybe especially, if it means creeping up behind democracy like Daniel Robitaille, ripping it from groin to gullet, reducing it to nothing but a blood pool, torn flesh and a steaming mass of viscera and bone fragments.

    To closely paraphrase Danielle Moody-Mills, cohost of Democracy Ish, White men in America can do whatever the fuck they want to do.

    For every one that justice touches, 50 more escape it entirely, not because they aren’t guilty but because they aren’t poor, foreign or brown-skinned.

    An overwhelming preponderance of evidence suggests that Trump’s difficulty setting has and will continue to mean freedom from all consequences and further encouragement to go forth and sin some more.

    Trump and his republican accomplices will never pay for littering the American landscape with all those bodies, most especially because many of said bodies were brown.

    My hope is that Trump suffers a spectacular and decisive loss on election night.

    More importantly, I hope that, should Trump get the ole
    Treatment, the decent, professional contingents of police forces across the country will do as good a job of controlling the tide of *white* hot rage as their bigoted, partisan counterparts did at brutalizing BLM protesters.

  111. Being 74 myself I am not to happy about the dim one coming down with the virus.

    If he lives he will continue to lie cheat and steal running the country into the ground.

    If he dies there will be nothing but grief not the sad type but rather the pain in the ass type
    from his fans which will run the country into the ground.

    He has changed the country and the people in it. Their will never be the trust in the government that the people had before donnie the dim took power. The effect this liar
    has had on our country will take generations to recover from.

    We have to fix the system so that people who do not win the vote of the people will not be able to be given the power of the office of the President.

  112. “Supremacist” post comments were closed before I remembered to tell Sarah Marie that I *have* seen Don’t Breathe, and quite liked it.

    Take good care of yourselves, North American Whateverites. The news coming from there gets more bizarre by the day, and we who are in our own little breathing spaces on the other side of the world? I can only speak for myself, but I worry about youse.

  113. @Shrinking Violet:

    It wasn’t the scariest horror movie I’ve ever heard (see my Daniel Robitaille reference upthread) but, as a blind person, I found it vindicating and caught myself raising my fist for the “antagonist” at several points.

    To stay kind-of sort-of on topic, the movie raises and answers some interesting questions about stupid, dangerous and objectively terrible behavior and its consequences.

    I read that there is a sequel in the works and am excited to hear how things unfold.

    Also, I envy you your stable society and competent leaders; consider this my frantic scribble of “H E L P!” in the dusty window of the dilapidated pickup truck.

  114. I got quoted! Big time, baby!

    Trump has now done two posts in the last 30 hours. One was the ridiculous 18 second video just before leaving for Walter Reed, saying “I’m doing fine”. The 2nd one was 8 hours ago basically saying “Going well, I think?”. I understand, it is a good idea to calm his cult followers from committing mass suicide. He thinks? News to me. Does that mean he can’t understand what the doctors are telling him?

    Incubation period is 2-14 days, expect more higher ups to test positive from the Saturday ACB soiree in the coming week.

    Irony #1: a couple more GOP Senators test positive, and possibly the ACB vote will get postponed.

    Irony #2: Millions of taxpayer dollars will go into Trump’s treatment at Walter Reed, including the several hundred thousand that Biden and his wife paid in. Our Coward-in-chief has put in next to nothing to help those 7 million plus who have tested positive. His minions are trying to destroy the ACA, which means that those 7 million, and those that follow, will be placed in pre-existing condition Hell, along with the millions with previous pre-existing conditions.

  115. That’s…disgusting. :(

    Just more proof that difficulty settings are real and not something out of the partisan, SJW toolbox.

    Seems Danielle Moody-Mills was right about certain folks being able to “do whatever the fuck they want to do.”

  116. Checks back for suspected error, finds it, blushes and apologizes to Audrey immediately.

    Audrey, that sentence should read as an offer of comfort over the death of your boyfriend’s father, not your own.

    I am terribly sorry.

  117. Australia has its share of natural disasters and human-created stuff-ups. The response to COVID-19 hasn’t been perfect, but we’re an island nation with a relatively small population, and thus the task is proportionately easier.

    A previous comment I made to this post, still in the moderation queue, was mostly a gross underestimate of the difficulties that you in the US now face. Happy to let it go.

    Still, a smiling kitty face goes out to Ewan. =^_^=

  118. OK. The irony of the Judiciary Committee Republican Senators who were exposed at that ridiculously unhealthy ceremony for their Supreme Court nominee, it burns, it burns so beautifully brightly.

  119. I see a number of people hoping that the President’s illness will bring him to a new understanding of the effects COVID-19 has had on its many victims and their friends and families.

    I think that ignores everything we know about the President. Sympathy is not among his available responses.

    Now that he’s tested positive, he only has to survive, and then his presumed immunity. After that, presumably he’ll be immune, and the pandemic will be over: no further cause for concern.

  120. If what the NYT is now reporting is correct, Trump was diagnosed not on Thursday, but more likely on Wednesday and possibly even late on Tuesday. That is just unbelievable if true — it means that Trump, his doctor, and other senior aides willfully and deliberately withheld that information and were just fine with him swanning around unmasked in public spaces. I just can’t even at this point.

    We are now up to three senators who have tested positive, all Republicans. Chris Christie, and Trump’s current campaign manager also have tested positive – strange how the virus acts like a virus.

  121. The BEST you can say is this is an arrogant, careless administration who won’t take scientific advice seriously, and thus endangers multitudes of people.

  122. After thinking about this for a couple of days, I definitely don’t want him to become a martyr whose death would motivate his base to vote, perhaps even more than being reminded that the coronavirus isn’t a hoax. I am FINE with the interruption to his campaigning, and Biden is up in the polls just about everywhere he could be. I’m also FINE with possible delays in the Barrett-for-SCOTUS hearings.

    Also, I’m MORE THAN FINE with Trump going to jail at some point, which would require him to be alive.

  123. The remote possibility that Trump and his people kept mum about his infection as he headed into an in-person debate with Biden should terrify everyone who isn’t a rabid Trumpist bent on breaking America to make it “great again.”

    It’s chilling to know that Trump might have strolled onto that stage with that concealed weapon, fully prepared to spray Biden and Wallace to death.

    And I don’t believe for a quarter of a second that Trump and his Trumpists are going to learn one damn thing from their ordeal.

    Watching covid cold cock its way through Trump and his gaggle of right-wing chest thumping, science denying, herd immunity/survival of the whitist advocates is sweeter than is charitable.

    And while I don’t like what hoping that no democrats were infected says about me, I’m not going to pretend not to love that justice is going upside the heads of covid-deniers and racist covid promoters, respectively.

    I also love seeing the “personal responsibility “crowd scramble to blame everyone but Trump and his hangers on for the choices they made:

    Poc and the poor die of covid in droves and it’s their own fault for “making poor diet, lifestyle and life choices.”

    Trump and his orcs spend months chest bumping covid and daring it to leap if it felt froggy and it’s a left-wing assassination plot.

    Teh stupid, it burns!

  124. As Malania finds her ‘job’ as First Lady meaningless and disgusting, particularly the Christmas decoration of the White House and activities for children — with Halloween gear packed in display in every retail outlet that’s open and has customers entering today (it’s a lot, at least down here in my nabe) — I suggest she just skip Christmas then as she believes we, like her, don’t care, especially if the kids are immigrants’ kids. Instead she should decorate the WH for this whole month with Halloween. After all she and her partner have had 4 frackin’ years already of having turned the place in a House of Horrors.

  125. Thanks, Kat,for your kind (way, way, way too kind) words, but like everyone else, I’m just speaking from that same place of frustration and abject disgust.

    It’s really Audrey and Howard who win the thread. :)

  126. @Kat:

    I just wish I’d been here pre-malleting; you know how much I like a good game of Bingo.

  127. Ttump had a fever and low blood oxygen levels. Which means he is not going to be one if the asymptomatic folks.

    I hope it doesnt kill him though. He needs to live long enough to do a few things for me: lose the election, walk of shame out of the white house, show up in court for tax fraud, see massive fines and seizures reduce his remaining assets to zero, maybe get a criminal conviction for it, and watch from prison as his name becones a brand no one wants to associate with. His twitter followers drop like a rock. And folks throw their maga hats in the trash, pretending they never voted for him. Give trump the harshest punishment befitting a narcissist ego maniac: he loses his limelite and stage as his audience abandons him.

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