The debate and the diagnosis

It was only a week ago when we were talking about his tax evasion.

From the CDC
She knew I didn’t want to watch it. I had announced to the family that I was going to opt-out, and catch the reviews on the news the next day. But her history teacher recommended that my daughter watch the first Presidential debate. Since I’m the poli sci major, and no way my wife makes it to 10:30 p.m., I agreed.

You don’t need me to tell you what a disaster that Tuesday night was. Among other things, the incumbent’s claim that ballots Were found “in a river” is not substantiated. Generally, he showed how he is trying to derail the election. His denial of his call-out to the Proud Boys was disingenuous. The performance may have played to his base. But who did he sway?

A buddy of mine was happy they didn’t need to transcribe the dialogue for closed-captioning in real-time. It would have surely been, quite literally, a headache. Lots of people wished that moderator Chris Wallace had a mute button available. And it was the incumbent who interrupted the former vice-president by at least four to one. Borowitz joked that
Biden will do the remaining debates by mail.

Business as usual

The disruptor’s political rally in Duluth, MN tapped “into the white grievance of his political bubble,” the Boston Globe noted.

Then I awoke Friday morning to the news that IMPOTUS and FLOTUS had tested positive for COVID-19. This after months of encouraging his supporters to flout health and safety guidelines. The night before, aide Hope Hicks, who had been traveling with the campaign this week, tested positive.

As is his wont, IMPOTUS had mocked Joe Biden face-to-face for wearing masks, which have been proven to slow the spread of the coronavirus. And he attended a New Jersey fundraiser while awaiting confirmation of Hicks’ COVID-19 test. It’s ironic that “she was one of the few West Wing staffers to wear a mask in meetings, which her colleagues chided her for, according to Vanity Fair.

Of course, he announced the illness on Twitter late at night. Again. Since more than 208,000 people in the US have been killed by the virus, the news sent shockwaves across the country, the financial markets, and the world.

Short-sighted, indeed

The generally right-wing Hot Air understood. “If he knew [Hicks was sick] and decided to hold the [MN] event anyway, it would be emblematic of his short-sighted, self-sabotaging approach to COVID from the beginning. Reopening early instead of focusing on containing the virus risked sustained community spread, which would lead to a longer economic slowdown, but he couldn’t wait.

“Going onstage if he knew that there was a chance he was infected risked a terrible PR backlash because it would prove that Trump was once again taking the virus too lightly, unwilling to self-quarantine to protect the people around him. But again, he had other priorities.”

Everyone from Hot Air to the Daily Kos noted that aides thought he seemed unwell Wednesday, but he kept exposing people Thursday. Well, that was the cavalier attitude then. How will the regime respond moving forward? It is imperative that they do better, including for their Secret Service detail.

At 11 a.m. Friday, Mark Meadows, chief of staff, was being evasive about the timeline of the illness. And of course, he wasn’t wearing a mask. It’s 1) the nature of this cabal, but 2) the absolute wrong message. Meadows was wearing a mask when he accompanied The Donald on Marine One to Walter Reed Hospital Friday night.

Fortunately, Joe and Jill Biden tested negative for coronavirus. Unsurprisingly, Joe wished the infected couple a swift recovery. This after IMPOTUS said Tuesday night, “There’s nothing smart about you, Joe.” Biden’s so stupid that he actually advocates wearing a mask.

Whereas the other guy said at a rally a couple of months ago to “slow the testing down.” That’s how you have a garden party for Amy Coney Barrett on September 26 and end of having at least eight people, including Chris Christie and Kellyanne Conway, end up with coronavirus.

Will getting sick make him a believer?

You may recall that COVID denier Boris Johnson in the UK had very mild symptoms at first, but was later was debilitated and almost died. He went from the announcement on March 27 to hospitalization on April 6 to going back to work on April 27. We don’t know the trajectory of the disease for IMPOTUS, although the medical community has learned much in the past seven months.

His COVID-19 diagnosis is an indictment of his handling of the pandemic. The case “is exemplary of our failure at the federal level,” said Dr. Michael Mina, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. And it worries U.S. officials and national security experts, who fear aggressive moves from foreign adversaries.

Can it be a teachable moment? Some see “an opportunity to course-correct. The question is whether he will see his illness as a way to change his own narrative.” I genuinely hope so. But frankly, I doubt it.