September 26, 2020, Trump and a massive crowd gathered to celebrate the announcement of Judge Amy Coney Barrett with great excitement. The most influential people in the party were there, without wearing masks or social distancing, in a party-like atmosphere disregarding CDC guidelines for safety.
September 29, 2020, Trump travels to Cleveland for the first presidential debate accompanied by his family and Hope Hicks on Air Force One. Trump states at the debate that nothing harmful has occurred at any of his rallies regarding COVID 19. Trump mocks Biden for wearing masks everywhere. The first family disregards the rules of the debate set by the Cleveland Clinic for wearing masks, once again ignoring CDC guidelines for safety.
September 30, 2020, Trump travels to Minnesota for a private home gathering and a rally later in Duluth accompanied by Hope Hicks. Hope does not feel well and seeks isolation on Air Force 1.
October 1, 2020, Hope Hicks tests positive for Coronavirus. Later that evening, Trump attends a private fundraiser in New Jersey. Trump states in an interview on Fox News that he and Melania will begin quarantine.
October 2, 2020, Trump is confirmed, as is Melania, to have the Coronavirus. Notably, conservative media switches from calling it the China Virus to Coronavirus. As the day progresses, American people are told it’s mild, and they’re having to slow the president down, to finally being airlifted to Walter Reed Medical Center. At the end of the day, it’s not just Trump with positive Coronavirus positives, but multiple people who attended the party for Amy Coney Barrett.
It did not need to be like this.
Cue social media reactions. Many on social media refused to show sympathy, and almost glee, at the president’s medical condition. Sean Hannity took to the airwaves to denounce the rancor against the unseemly tide of ill-wishers. Laura Ingram hosted a segment on how there is no proof that masks work and outrage over Americans wishing the president ill will.
Two thoughts have occurred to me today. The first thought is that Republicans have a terrible case of reoccurring amnesia. The second is that MAGA is so stuck on not being wrong, they’re literally moving backward not to be incorrect.
October 2, 2016, Hillary Clinton had a case of walking pneumonia. At the rally, Trump makes fun of the weakened Clinton to the sounds of clapping and cheers from supporters. Fox News would publish an article slamming Clinton for being so dishonest that they couldn’t believe if she was sick or not.
September 27, 2020, a GOP group begins to sell the t-shirt of “Notorious ACB,” taking the late Justice Ginsburg nickname, “Notorious RGB” as a way of celebrating the death of the late Justice.
September 23, 2020, internet preachers and right wring groups call Ruth Bader Ginsburg the “Jewish Princess,” and “mass-murdering hag.”
There were many less than full decorum takes on social media with the passing of Justice Ginsburg, with many celebrating it was time to “own the liberals,” and “tip the court.”
Republicans seem to conveniently forget that their president, their news media, their preachers, and their followers have a long-standing history of not only wishing ill but celebrating in the loss of those they claim are enemies.
Looking at the timeline and the lack of following CDC guidelines is a powerful picture of how a virus spreads rapidly. It’s also worth noting that the White House is equipped with rapid testing, and people are tested frequently. Trump, his family, the administration, and the GOP snubbed their finger at a virus Trump claimed affected hardly anybody.
The truth of a virus is simple. It doesn’t care if you believe in it or not. A virus doesn’t care if you are Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian. A virus has one objective, to get in your body and infect you. It’s not difficult to understand.
Yet in light of multiple people in top leadership positions in the party, Fox News still went with a, “We don’t know if masks are really effective,” or not program line. One would have hoped it might be a time of reflection to say, “Hey folks, we were wrong, protect yourself.” Instead, the party has decided to not only toe the line but also pull on it so hard to drag back the consequences.
DeAnna Lorraine suspects that Democrats infected Trump on the debate stage. QANON doesn’t believe Trump is infected but preparing for the Storm. Some Republicans have tossed out that the election should be postponed. Some Republicans have called for Joe Biden to stop campaigning. One Twitter commenter stated the election should be held off for one year.
It is worth noting that Joe Biden sent heartfelt wishes of recovery to Trump and pulled all negative advertising. Shortly after the announcement, the Trump team sent out an emailer asking for support against Lyin Obama and Biden. The Trump team never notified the Biden team of the potential infection.
Don’t Boo, Vote
One could give a multitude of reasons why Trump has gained so many ill wishes for his health. One could say that Trump has spent the last four years painting half the country as the enemy of America. One could say that Trump’s past behaviors, such as with Clinton, that he’s getting his comeuppance. The truth is, it doesn’t matter.
The GOP will settle back into their mock horror at how Trump is being treated, forgetting that Trump and their party have partaken in such behaviors. The faithful will stick to their anti-mask and anti-science stance, digging in deeper. When Trump recovers, they will forget he was given experimental treatments to stop the virus and exceptional health care and claim, “See, it didn’t kill him. It’s no big deal.”
There is nothing you can do or say that will change their feelings or opinions. But there is something you can do. You can vote. Save the energy of being glad Trump is sick, and vote. Save the righteous indignation of saying, “We were right,” and vote. Hold onto your humanity and appeal to your greater angels, and vote.
Tyler Davis Author of New America: Awakenings Coming October 2020