If President Trump contracting COVID-19 has taught us anything at all, they’re lessons we’ve already learned. The man is dangerously irresponsible and the manner in which he has constantly downplayed the seriousness of the virus and mocked the wearing of masks led us to this place. We’ve also been reminded of what a deeply selfish, ego-driven man he is, as evidenced by his decision to drive around in the back of an SUV and wave at his fans, putting the lives of his Secret Service agents in danger by forcing them to share confined quarters with him.
Even though the president has months of briefings on the virus and access to as much information on it as he has would like to read, he says that his contracting it means he now “understands” COVID-19. Apparently, over 200,000 Americans dying and the entire world grinding to a halt wasn’t enough to convince him of the severity of the situation. No, he had to be personally affected because he has a seemingly pathological inability to care about anything that doesn’t directly affect him.
Rather than accepting responsibility for his irresponsibility and being humbled by this experience like a normal thinking and feeling person might, it seems Trump intends to exploit his coronavirus experience the way he exploits everything. Erin Perrine, the Communications Director for the Trump 2020 campaign, appeared on Fox News and absurdly tried to use Trump’s diagnosis to attack the Biden campaign.
“Well first-hand experience is always going to change how someone relates to something that’s been happening,” Perrine said when host Sandra Smith asked if this experience will change Trump’s campaign messaging about the pandemic. “The president has coronavirus right now he is battling it head-on as toughly as only President Trump can,” Perrine added, engaging in the shared bizarre right-wing delusion that Trump is some paragon of health and fitness.
It should also be noted that implying that surviving COVID-19 is a matter of toughness is deeply insulting to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have died from the virus. Not only does it affect people differently and with varying symptoms, not everyone has access to a presidential suite at Walter Reed and the best healthcare in the world like Trump.
“And listen of course that’s going to change the way that he speaks of it because it’ll be a first-hand experience,” Perrine went on. “But you know that experience, not only of coronavirus but being President of the United States. That’s why you just see a different tone overall from him. He has the first-hand experience.”
Smith interjected to ask if Trump would start talking about the coronavirus in his campaign speeches more frequently and pivot away from his “Law & Order” and economy talking points.
“And he’s talked about coronavirus as well. He’s talked about it all,” said Perrine, pushing back on Smith’s salient point that Trump hasn’t been consistent or strong with his remarks about the pandemic. “And listen he has experience as commander-in-chief, he has experience as a businessman, he has experience now fighting the coronavirus as an individual. Those first-hand experiences? Joe Biden, he doesn’t have those,” Perrine said before unleashing a slew of smears on Biden and insisting that Trump’s experiences will get him reelected.
Conveniently, Perrine left out the nature of Trump’s experiences. He has served as commander-in-chief yes, but he’s done a historically poor job of it, succeeding only in alienating our allies and emboldening our allies. He may have been a businessman, but he was an absolutely terrible one who managed to stay afloat by inheriting hundreds of millions of tax-evaded dollars from his father, constantly declaring bankruptcy, and incurring massive debts from shady corners of the global financial markets.
Her final point that Biden is less qualified because doesn’t have COVID-19 is truly absurd. Biden hasn’t contracted the virus because unlike Trump he has taken it seriously since the beginning of the outbreak and has taken the proper safety measures. Trump’s recklessness is what caused him to get it and his illness doesn’t change the fact that his apathy and incompetence are why the virus spread so quickly and so far in the first place.
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