SAN DIEGO — I’m not vice president. It’s not my responsibility to inquire daily about the health of the president.
As a professional storyteller, I just came here to collect the yarn. And if what you hunger for is poetic justice, the apocalyptic year of 2020 is dope.
What could be more poetic, or more just, than for the virus to afflict someone who has — over the last seven months — mocked those who wear masks as weak or paranoid, dismissed the pandemic as a “hoax” and the virus as no worse than the flu, promised it would someday magically disappear, pushed businesses to reopen too soon, and encouraged public uprisings against authority by freedom-loving zealots in states like Michigan?
Worst of all, what did you think the universe had in store for a leader who has displayed such a breathtaking lack of empathy for the more than 7 million Americans infected by the virus and the estimated 210,000 who died?
It’s only October, but the search is over for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2020. The hands-down winner is karma.
The Narcissist-in-Chief only cares about himself, and his pathetic response to the coronavirus over the last several months proved that once again.
It’s no wonder that, even before President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19, polls showed that the vast majority of the American people considered him to be no match for the virus. According to a poll by CBS News, taken before Trump checked into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, only 38% of Americans trusted him to do a better job of battling the disease while 52% thought former Vice President Joe Biden would do better.
The Beltway media has moved ahead. Now that Trump is out of the hospital, and physician to the president Sean Conley is painting a rosy picture of his recovery, the media wants to know about the timeline and whether Trump acted recklessly in spreading the virus. Reporters want to know if Conley is telling us the full story about when Trump first displayed symptoms and about the severity of his case. They’re also questioning whether Trump should have returned to the White House so soon, and who else he may have infected before he checked into the hospital.
All good questions. But, from my vantage point, there are still things that need to be said about the fact that Trump was infected at all.
Like the fact that COVID-19 is obviously making a statement. It’s not going to let itself be ignored in this election year. Over the last few months, American voters and candidates for office have tried to shift their gaze away from what should have always been the No. 1 issue on the ballot: the global pandemic. In fact, they’ve been eager to make this election about anything but COVID-19. They’ve wanted to focus on forest fires and climate change, police violence and social unrest, racial justice and maintaining order, or jobs and economic recovery.
Both political parties are playing this game of dodgeball. After the first debate, all Republicans wanted to talk about was what seemed to be Biden’s lack of cognitive focus, as evidenced by how easily he got distracted. Meanwhile, Democrats tried to shift attention to Trump’s irritatingly boorish behavior, as evidenced by his many interruptions and snarky jabs.
Takeaways: Biden is not sharp, and Trump is an insufferable jerk. Choose.
The biggest splash that COVID-19 made at that debate was when Trump tried to ridicule Biden for being cautious and usually wearing a mask. The president obviously thought that was silly. Who looks silly now?
COVID-19 isn’t back, folks. It never left.
Finally, as a Mexican American whose grandfather was not a rapist, criminal or drug trafficker, despite what Trump might have you believe, I insist on gloating. If you’re looking for compassion, sympathy, or even good manners, look elsewhere.
With more than a dozen cases of COVID-19 among White House aides, Republicans who visited the White House, and various Trump associates, we need to build a wall around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Trump World is a germ colony.
Consider me a bad person, if you like. After all, as conservative pro-Trump Republicans taught us over the last four years, being labeled a bad person is no big deal and not worth caring about. So put me down as not caring.
Like I said, I’m just here for the story. And whenever a bully gets what’s coming to him, it makes for a good one.
© 2020 The Washington Post