I want my heart to go out to Donald Trump now that he has COVID-19, but my heart is not having it
It seems this is the conversation a lot of people are having since the news came out about Trump’s COVID diagnosis.
I look at it like this: The guy is a complete scuzbag in whom I have yet to encounter anything that could pass for a redeeming quality, but he’s somebody’s scuzbag. So purely as a human being I have no choice but to wish the best for him. But that said, if the worst or something close to it happens, you won’t find me in a state of dehydration because of all the tears I’ve been shedding. It’s too bad he has the virus, but that he does serves him right. If you choose to run around in traffic I’m not going to hope that you get hit, but there’s a limit to how badly I’m going to feel about it if you do. Trump has known what he’s been doing all along. My heart goes out to the decent people who love him assuming those exist, but forgive me if I find his plight just a little bit fucking hilarious. All I can hope is that it serves as a teaching moment not only for him, but for the people who follow his lead.
A day before Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus, Cornell researchers published a study that found the U.S. president was “likely the largest driver” of COVID-19 misinformation.
I’m not sure we need a team of PhDs to analyze 36 million news stories to know what is already crystal clear: Trump is a superspreader of lies. If he told you it was 100 per cent going to be sunny, you’d politely nod and then leave the house with an umbrella and galoshes.
But now that Trump and wife Melania are infected with a dangerous virus he once called a hoax, I’m questioning my own humanity. I should be sending thoughts and prayers. I should cling to a potential silver lining: maybe the brainwashed cultists in Trumpville will now take this pandemic more seriously and mask up and abide by social distancing. Maybe they’ll start caring for others.
Maybe they will realize slamming the window on science is opening the door to harm. Maybe they will stop politicizing medicine. Maybe they will start listening to experts. Maybe they will crawl out of their conspiratorial swamps. After sleepwalking through COVID-19, maybe this is the wake-up call.
But all I can do is shake my head at the grim irony.
I haven’t had this many mixed feelings since “The New WKRP in Cincinnati.”
As comedian Paul F. Tompkins observed: “Wishing harm, sickness or death on someone, even a bad person, is petty & small. BUT: it is genuinely & extremely funny that Trump got COVID. It’s objectively funny. He downplayed it & mishandled it & thousands of people died. Now he has it. It’s funny!”