02 October 2020

Trump has covid-19

Donald and Melania Trump have tested positive for the virus.

Realistically, this shouldn't come as a surprise.  Over the last few months several politicians and religious leaders who downplayed the pandemic have been infected, and a few have died.  The precautions they mocked do, in fact, have good reasons behind them.

My first thought on hearing this news was that it may finally induce him to acknowledge the seriousness of the crisis.  Many on the right suffer from a peculiarly cramped sense of empathy -- they seem unable to acknowledge an issue until it strikes home at them personally in some way.  There have, for example, been cases of anti-gay politicians who suddenly became more sympathetic after one of their own children came out as gay, and I regularly see comments on right-wing blogs to the effect that covid-19 is a hoax because nobody the commenter personally knows has come down with it.  If Trump's case becomes symptomatic, will even he, as bizarrely emotionally-limited as he is, have a change of heart on the issue?  One can at least give credit for telling the truth about the diagnosis, rather than trying to hide it in order to preserve the narrative.

Given what we know of covid-19, the risk to Trump is serious.  He is 74, weighs 240 pounds, does not exercise, eats a terribly unhealthy diet, and is routinely under considerable stress.  Melania, who is much younger and to all appearances much healthier, is thus in less danger, but the virus sometimes does not spare even those who seem least susceptible.

There are obvious political implications.  For one thing, it's now far less likely that the remaining presidential debates will take place.  If Trump develops a serious case of the disease, he will be incapacitated to some degree during the final weeks before the election.  Since covid-19 often leaves survivors with permanent damage to major organs, including the brain, a serious case could raise questions about his ability to do the job even among those who have so far refused to recognize that he's already hardly doing it.

On the other hand, if he gets through this without serious symptoms, he and his supporters will feel vindicated in their downplaying of the disease.  Trumpanzees and covidiots generally will become even more resistant to taking precautions, helping the pandemic get even further out of control.

If Trump were to die, of course, the impact would be enormous.  His personality cult would not easily transfer its enthusiasm to Pence.  Many Trumpanzees, desperate to preserve the narrative, would deny that he had died of covid-19 (even though he announced it himself) and would instead scream that the "deep state" or the Satanic pedophile conspiracy had struck him down just as he was finally about to move against them.  If president Pence were to appoint a new vice president, that person would require confirmation by both houses of congress, confirmation which the Democratic House might deny on one basis or another, especially given the anger over the rushed Coney Barrett nomination.  This would leave Pelosi next in line.  Conservative voters who have felt compelled to support Biden due to Trump's unique repulsiveness might find Pence more acceptable, making the presidential race closer -- but if Trumpanzees unexcited by Pence stayed home, that would have an offsetting effect.

Let this, at least, serve as a warning to those who disdain precautions.  If all the resources available to the White House could not keep the president safe when he refused to take the threat seriously, what are your chances?


Blogger Lady M said...

Science doesn't care what you believe especially when it comes to infectious disease. What floors me is the amount of unhealthy behavior that the White House was engaging in, even after a positive diagnosis. These people just don't give a shit. I will be ok because I continue to take all necessary precautions regardless of the noise coming from the Trumpanezes.

02 October, 2020 04:46  
Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

I cackled when I heard the news. I'm petty.
Now, your post does raise some serious questions: will Cheeto recover? If so, to what degree? He's an old fart, plainly put, who has terrible habits. How's that gonna affect his overall health? While I totally believe Mother is measuring the curtains at the Oval Office, Pence's milquetoast, holier than thou approach does not feel like Twitle's red hot white supremacy and the MAGAts may not respond the same.
Bet people in the EU and China are betting millions right now.
And I totally forgot about the Deep State! Holy shit. The tinfoil hats are probably hard at work right now.
Also, I'm pissed off they were not going to tell anybody. And that Twitler was screaming at Uncle Joe on that stage without a mask for 90 minutes.


02 October, 2020 06:14  
Blogger One Fly said...

I'm inclined to be a bit skeptical.

02 October, 2020 07:13  
Blogger bluzdude said...

If he turns out to be asymptomatic, I'm betting this is a ruse to get out of more debates. All we have right now is his say-so that he has it, and you know what his word is worth.

I'm sure Fox "News" is working furiously, as we speak, to concoct a way to blame this on the Democrats.

Lastly, can't you just feel the love in his eyes, as he refers to his sick wife as "@FLOTUS?" It gives an old romantic like me butterflies.

02 October, 2020 07:18  
Anonymous Ole Phat Stu said...

I do hope that Melania recovers . . .

02 October, 2020 09:08  
Blogger Annie Asks You said...

I have never been one for conspiracy theories, but we’ve been forced to confront so many trumpian lies that I wish we could get a reliable outside expert to confirm the diagnosis—and give us updates. It makes sense, of course, that he could defy the odds for only so long. But the upside to him for his fabricating the illness is that if he escapes with just the sniffles, he will reassert his nonsense about COVID and declare his immune system the world’s best. In the meantime, we’re certainly not talking about his disastrous debate performance, his white supremacy call to arms, and his financial failures.

And, if true, the fact that he announced it himself won’t stop the lunatic fringe. One tweeter already blamed it on the left wing implanting the virus into his debate microphone.

I just hope Biden is OK. All that trump venom was a 90-minute aerosol propellant.

02 October, 2020 09:14  
Blogger Mike said...

Conservatives have the philosophy of 'if it doesn't affect me, I don't care'.

02 October, 2020 11:07  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Yep. People can ignore reality, but reality won't ignore them.

I'm already seeing comments on wingnut sites claiming that "Democratic operatives" must have "sprayed" Hope Hicks with the virus to get at Trump, or something similar. This is going to be fodder for even more conspiratardia.

False positives are always possible, but Trump is tested frequently and a false positive would quickly be detected, so I don't think that's the case here.

As to the idea that it might be a lie to get out of the debates or whatever, it seems to me that this is not the lie he'd pick. Trump has long been proud of his alleged health and it would stick in his throat to announce that he was sick -- especially with covid-19, since this undermines his endless efforts to downplay it. Also, claiming to have covid-19 will make it pretty much impossible for him to hold more rallies, which he loves doing. If he wanted to get out of the debates, he'd work out some other reason to claim. It would be nice to get independent confirmation, though.

Biden has tested negative, thank goodness.

02 October, 2020 12:08  
Blogger Annie Asks You said...

Good points about whether it’s a lie; I had concluded after reports that it was real, but your reasoning is persuasive.

02 October, 2020 13:27  
Blogger Ami said...

I've been sending thoughts and prayers.
Because we all know how much that helps.

02 October, 2020 14:17  
Anonymous K said...

People seem to be getting part of the narrative backwards.
Mask's greatest effect is by protecting others from ones own infection. What they have shown repeatedly, and continue to do so, is that they do not care about others.
If they spread infection well thats not their fault since they cannot be asked to conribute to the safety of others.
Just like paying taxes for entire nations that pay for infrastructure and other positive contributions and benefits for the ntion.
If they will not contribute fair share through taxes why should anyone expect them to care about infecting others?
After all they are "just" others.

02 October, 2020 14:53  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

I was not surprised at all, as a matter a fact, even back a month or more ago, I was thinking, "that dude needs to wear a mask", and all those folks around each other, and the rallies, etc ... his choice, but he risks others around him, and doesn't set a good example, as far as a President, to citizens. My daughter told me, she wouldn't be surprised if this is a publicity stunt by Trump, because of how he messed up debates to get people to feel sorry for him! {:-)

BTW, I didn't plan on watching the debate the other night, but just decided to for shits and grins, because my wife wanted to. MAN! ... I couldn't help laughing my ass off several times (glad I watched it, most entertaining debate I ever watched!!). However, after my first burst of laughter, my wife wasn't happy ... she looked at me and said, with that Filipino accent .... "that is not good to make fun of them, Hun ... these are President and VP, they are grown men ... this IS NOT FUNNY!!" Anyway, I only got about another 15 minutes, and covered my mouth and nose like I was about to sneeze, and slipped ... she looked at me like she was angry. I couldn't help it guy ... it was funny as Hell. I started thinking they're going to need to shut off Trump's mic when Joe's turn to talk ... or in the next debate, surround him in a cage, and cut him off too {:-) .... then I was picturing Trump in a cage, trying to yell, with no audio ... and started laughing again! {:-)

02 October, 2020 17:30  
Blogger Mike said...

How long before tRUMP claims Biden's test is fake and Biden's the one that made him sick at the debate? Any bets?

02 October, 2020 22:41  
Blogger Tommykey said...

I was just thinking earlier in the week how surprised I was that he hadn't caught it already, considering how many people who tested positive over the past few months who had been in close proximity to him.

03 October, 2020 06:56  
Anonymous Kwark said...

At this point it seems clear he's sick. Playing some sort of three dimensional chess game sort of con is simply beyond the ability of tRump and his goons occupying the WH, I'm sure they'll try to downplay his condition should it deteriorate and push for confirmation of Barrett above all else.

03 October, 2020 08:06  
Blogger Tommykey said...

Couple of quick thoughts.

Apparently the spreader event was the Rose Garden ceremony for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Perhaps had the Republicans been consistent with 2016 and waited until after the election and let the winner of the election pick the next nominee, Trump likely would not have become infected last week. Then again, given how many peopled who were in close proximity to him in recent months ended up becoming infected, I am surprised it took this long for Trump to catch it.

While I don't expect Trump to die from coronavirus, I note that Herman Cain, who was also 74 years old, died from it a month after his diagnosis. So, even if Trump spends the next few days trying to show that he is well, there is a possibility he could take a turn for the worst in the next week if he tries to overexert himself.

05 October, 2020 10:45  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Annie: At this point, maintaining such a lie would involve the collaboration of too many people. It's not a credible idea.

Ami: I care about him as much as he would care about me in the same situation.

K: And he's still doing it. Even this hasn't changed him.

Ranch: They're seriously talking about cutting off his mic at the next debate when it's not his turn. If he acts like a toddler, he needs to be treated like one.

Mike: His toadies are now saying he's better qualified to be president because he has direct experience of the disease.

Tommykey: I'm surprised it took this long as well. And I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he dies of it. Medicine can do a lot, but it isn't magic, and this is still a very new disease. And he continues to defy medical advice. He's setting himself up for the worst.

Kwark: I agree. This bunch is too incompetent to pull off such a deception.

06 October, 2020 00:47  
Blogger RO said...

This is all so unfortunate. Whatever our political affiliation, it was rough hearing that 18 people have become sick from this one public event, and I hope that everyone recovers with no issues. Still, this is an opportunity for everyone moving forward to get on board with the scientists, and to wear masks. Yes they're a pain, and they don't always match out outfits, but they do make a difference and minimize people getting sick. Be well and sending some air hugs our way. RO

06 October, 2020 02:54  

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