Trump Vs. the Coronavirus: Which One Is the Worse Disease?

It didn't have to be like this. If Donald Trump ever truly gave a damn about being widely beloved instead of just being worshipped by a brainwashed cadre of farting goons and foul geeks, he could have stepped up his game (or, you know, started his game) once the first hints surfaced that the coronavirus was going to head to the United States. He could have risen to the severity of the occasion and demanded that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention start testing people immediately. He could have...oh, wait, no, never mind. He couldn't have done any of that because he had already gutted the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services of the staff and funding it needed to control and prevent diseases and provide health services to humans. So fuck that. And fuck us.

Instead, Trump has taken the truly deranged position that everything is just fine and that COVID-19 can't do dick to Americans and, besides, he'd sue it for slander if it made him look bad. He told us that it was no big deal when it was 15 cases in the U.S. He waved off any idea the virus is that much of a threat when it was 240 cases. And, today, he said, really, "As you know, it’s about 600 cases, it’s about 26 deaths, within our country.  And had we not acted quickly, that number would have been substantially more." Except back when it was 15, he said, "[W]e're going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time." It's like he doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about.

He's not just dangerously unreliable. He's dangerously dangerous. More people will die from coronavirus in the United States because Trump is president. It's truly that simple.

So what's the goal here with this unmerited optimism? With this lowballing of numbers and touting of action that objectively did not happen (Washington doesn't even have enough tests to deal with the single nursing home and its staff where the virus exploded)? I have a dumb theory, and, because it's fuckin' Trump, it's probably dumb enough to be true.

I think Trump's banking on coronavirus doing like the flu and sharply decreasing in severity when warm weather hits. By this wishful thinking, the number of cases will plummet and he can prance around like toddler prince in fancy new breeches, demanding our admiration for his rightness and his prowess at rasslin' a virus.  He's thinking he'll be viewed as the motherfuckin' hero. He would hope that victory lap could last until the election, just as the flu season is kicking into gear and, possibly, the coronavirus resurgence. But the scientists who know things (no, really, they do) think pinning hopes on summer is a fool's game. So, of course, it's Trump's.

So we're forced to endure this mad dance of false competence that the White House puts on several times a day, with event after event to reassure us, to tell us of things happening that we already fucking knew and to take credit for shit that they really had nothing to do with. Today, at a meeting with the leaders of various health insurance companies, Vice President and loyal ass remora Mike Pence said, "I’m pleased to report, as you requested, Mr. President, that all the insurance companies here — either today or before today — have agreed to waive all copays on coronavirus testing and extend coverage for coronavirus treatment in all of their benefit plans." The implication here is that the insurers agreed to do this because wise ol' President Trump asked 'em to. Except that's not what happened. For instance, when Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield and AmeriHealth announced no co-pays for testing a couple of days ago, there was no mention that this was done at the behest of the White House. They did it because it's one way to not seem like the predatory monsters that they are.

By the way, the number of times that Pence and others have praised Trump at these events is fucking embarrassing. Pence said Trump is responsible for directing the federal government to produce "helpful information for every American family," and that Trump said it should be a "whole-of-government approach" to the virus, as if that is something special. Except you know Trump didn't do shit but sit there like largest carbuncle in history, wondering if it was Friday so he could fuck off back to Mar-a-Lago where he could golf and bitch about how his hotels might lose business and how he needs a government bailout.

It's just fascinating to see Trump insist, as he did again today, that "when people need a test, they can get a test.  When the professionals need a test, when they need tests for people, they can get the test." That is objectively untrue. And even if everyone could get tested, it doesn't matter if there aren't enough places for the tests to be completed. As Jake Tapper reported today, in Kirkland, Washington, the first responders who were tested after contact with the patients at the nursing home there now have to get tested again because the samples were kept too long without being processed.

And once we are testing at the levels of other countries (in the U.K., for instance, over 25,000 people so far), the number of patients is going to skyrocket. That's pretty much guaranteed. But the systemic failures of this administration, its delay in reacting, and its abdication in responsibility for the health and well-being of the nation, that shit ought to be impeachable. It ought to at least lose you an election. And any asshole who stood by Trump during this should be tainted forever with his flop-sweat stink.