4 minute read

When President Donald Trump made his bizarre drive-by around Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday, when he threatened the health and safety of his fellow passengers, he rode with a refrigerator filled with bags of blood in his own blood type. 

Does this sound like the medical care available to you? If so, then you are obviously Donald Trump. If not, please continue reading. 

Opinion

Opinion

by George Lang, opinion writer for Free Press

When Trump either tested positive or his White House handlers decided they could no longer keep the diagnosis under wraps, he was airlifted to a world-class medical facility where he was given an experimental antibody cocktail from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as well as a five-day course of remdesivir, which is used to treat moderately or severely affected patients. It was all topped off with dexamethasone, a steroid so powerful it stops just short of waking the dead.

And when he left Walter Reed after three days of treatment, he returned to a home where there is an on-call physician, staff and top-shelf medical technology to effectively address any health issue up to and including open-heart surgery.  

If this sounds like you, and you are not the President of the United States, then please share the name of your health provider and insurance with all of us. 

Of course I’m joking: you obviously are a different member of the G7, because only world leaders receive this personalized, army-of-white-coats level of care. 

This is why Trump’s Mussolini-like chest puffery on the White House balcony, his subsequent removal of his mask before entering “the people’s house” and his instructions to the American public to not let coronavirus “dominate you” feels like the worst possible takeaway from his health scare. He is currently infecting White House staff and now promises to try and infect others at next week’s second presidential debate.

“Don’t let it dominate you,” Trump said in a video released Monday. “Don’t be afraid of it. You’re going to beat it. We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines, all developed recently.”

This is a bad-faith argument from a bad actor. 

A growing number of people who came into contact with Trump at Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s late-September meet-and-greet are coming down with the virus, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and other members of the military top brass are in quarantine, more than 7.5 million Americans have contracted it and 210,000 of those Americans are dead. We are not supposed to be afraid of COVID-19 after losing so many of our fellow citizens?

Today, Oklahoma experienced 1,364 new cases, the highest daily increase since July. And yet Trump is currently trying to diminish the disease. Oklahoma is likely to go heavily in favor of Trump on Nov. 3, and he is thanking all of his truly die-hard fans in this state by telling them to treat coronavirus like the sniffles. 

I still see too many maskless Oklahomans launching droplets at one another, so this state did not need more encouragement to not “be afraid of it.”

Too many people in the media live in permanent hope that Trump will one day become “presidential.” It even became a snide social media joke to ask easily fooled commentators like CNN’s Van Jones or former MSNBC host Chris Matthews if the latest low-bar semi-accomplishment was, in fact, the moment Trump became president.  But his latest irresponsible actions prove that Trump will never have a “road to Damascus” moment of revelation. 

Contracting a potentially fatal disease only made Trump more dismissive of it. To take this current position after his recent experiences makes Trump stupid, evil or both, and those are not acceptable options at this moment in history. 

And his acolytes are falling in line: Trump’s defenders like Tomi Lahren are now back to mask-shaming former Vice President Joe Biden. Since so many Trumpists apparently believe he is a messianic figure, it would not be surprising if irresponsible and maskless behavior in red states increases between now and Election Day. 

Writing about Trump reminds me of a story I read about William Gibson, the near-future novelist who gave rise to the cyberpunk genre. For the past two decades, Gibson has found it difficult to write speculative fiction, because our strange, dystopian reality keeps exceeding what he can imagine. 

As with Gibson’s visions of machine sentience and corporate governance, nothing is unimaginable. Only the most foolish observers could say that, following Trump’s irresponsible take on his own infection, we have reached the nadir of Trump’s presidency. 

For at least the next three months, there will be a chance for Trump to be a worse president than he is today. Betting against his malfeasance and incompetence is strictly for chumps.


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