While in office, Donald Trump wanted to stage a showing of strength, by ripping off his shirt, to reveal a Superman t-shirt underneath, according to the new book by New York Times reporter, Maggie Haberman.
Prior to the then-president’s discharge from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, after being treated for Covid-19, the always attention-seeking head of state concocted an asinine plan to “wow” his supporters with the uncarefully planned show of narcissism.
The Hill reported:
The Times reported on Saturday that during several phone calls from inside the hospital last weekend, Trump shared the idea of appearing frail when he emerged from the facility then exposing the Superman T-shirt underneath his top layer, which he described as a symbol of strength, according to sources with knowledge of the conversations.
Haberman turned her Trump access into political gossip fodder, and bestselling books—democracy be damned. In her latest, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, the veteran journalist writes about Trump’s predictable, but bizarre, egomaniacal plan:
[H]e would be wheeled out of Walter Reed in a chair and, once outdoors, he would dramatically stand up, then open his button-down dress shirt to reveal [a] Superman logo beneath it. (Trump was so serious about it that he called the campaign headquarters to instruct an aide, Max Miller, to procure the Superman shirts; Miller was sent to a Virginia big-box store.)
The man formerly known as president was transported to Walter Reed on the same day he and then-First Lady Melania Trump announced their Covid-19 contraction.
Deemed to be in a high-risk group—age and a steady diet of Big Macs and Diet Coke don’t exactly inspire good health —Trump was given oxygen, steroids, and the experimental treatments Regeneron and Remdesivir. He was released after a three-day stay at the premiere military hospital.
During that stay, Trump carelessly put the lives of his secret service agents in danger, by ordering his security team to drive him around a parking lot in an enclosed vehicle for a photo op.
President Trump waving to supporters in motorcade outside of Walter Reed… pic.twitter.com/S43p9nrtBP
— Lowell Melser (@MelserWBAL) October 4, 2020
James Phillips, Doctor of Emergency medicine at George Washington University and attending physician at Walter Reed, criticized the ill and possibly contagious President for his shameless and potentially deadly publicity stunt. According to MarketWatch:
“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days,” he said. “They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.”
Phillips added in a subsequent tweet: “That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of COVID-19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play.”
Like most stories involving Trump, these revelations are less shocking or surprising than they should be. But when it comes to cosplay Mussolini, it’s both asinine and on brand.
Original reporting by Aris Folley at The Hill.
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