I won’t even begin to mention the things that Donald Trump’s persistent denial of the seriousness of the health crisis that America faces makes me want to do to him as the COVID-19 pandemic spirals out of control in this country due to his mismanagement.
Enumerating that long list of unsavory deeds would likely have me banned from every social media platform expeditiously and likely inspire a quick visit from the Secret Service if they indeed have enough agents currently not in quarantine after joining Trump at his Tulsa rally to spare for such a fruitless visit.
It was difficult to suppress thoughts of, at the very least, grabbing the president by his lapels to try to shake him into reality today as Trump appeared on Fox Business and disseminated his magical thinking-inspired, scientifically-unsupported misinformation about the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yes, folks, on a day when the nation is reporting a new record number of daily cases — reaching over 48 thousand for the first time ever and bringing the grand total of coronavirus infections past the 2.6 million mark with many cases likely still uncounted due to inadequate testing capabilities — and the death toll approaches 128,000, Donald Trump is still going on TV and claiming that the virus will “just disappear.”
Trump ludicrously claimed to Fox Business just now that "I think we're gonna be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope." (The virus will not disappear on its own.) pic.twitter.com/ZkLtjKUEDu
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 1, 2020
While anyone who believes a word that comes out of the president’s mouth at this point deserves a nomination for a Darwin award, this particular counter-factual belief is likely only going to be swallowed by people who still believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.
Trump is betting that many people who have no trouble accepting counterfactual claims in their spiritual lives will feel equally comfortable accepting the crumbs of cost-free hope that he is distributing rather than having to reverse his tax cut on his oligarch buddies to pay for personal protective equipment and health care for everyone that needs it.
Luckily for America, this wager on the gullibility of the American electorate is likely to work out as well for Trump as his last endeavor involving big bets — his bankrupt casinos.
Unless your news diet exclusively consists of Fox News and other right-wing propagandists, the evidence of the absurdity of Trump’s pre-historic belief system is plastered over every media outlet in view in the form of charts showing sharply rising infection curves, particularly in Republican-controlled states whose governors — in their eagerness to get a pat on the head or a favorable tweet from the president — ignored CDC guidelines in reopening their states for business and are now suffering the consequences.
While, yes, there will still be a minority of people who continue to put their trust in the president’s unwarranted optimism — an optimism that oddly enough benefits Trump’s own re-election goals despite the fact that he is unwilling to predict a timeline for that eventual disappearance of the virus — most people will likely take the attitude of “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.”
Inaction and excuses from the president just won’t cut it any longer. Neither will hopeful fairy tales.
At this point, the only hope we have at getting a nationally co-ordinated policy to defeat COVID-19 — the only kind of policy that will work on a virus that doesn’t recognize state boundaries — is to remove Donald Trump from office as soon as possible and replace him with someone at least halfway competent.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.