"The View" was filmed before a non-existent studio audience Wednesday, thanks to the coronavirus, the gift that Donald Trump keeps on giving. The camera panned past empty seats that wouldn't have human shields for protection against Meghan McCain's usual empty-headed rhetoric. However, Megs McCabe wasn't the dumbest person on the barren “View" set talking about the coronavirus. That honor fell to former co-host and conservative affirmative action hire, Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

Whoopi Goldberg asked the panel what they were doing different in light of the pandemic, and Sunny Hostin discussed precautions her family was taking because her 70something, asthmatic, very much at risk, mother lived with them. Hasselbeck, literally wearing red, white, and blue because she loves America, cautioned her fellow citizens not to freak the fuck out. The coronavirus isn't a common Black Lives Matter, which she once wanted classified as a “hate group."

HASSELBECK: I think that there can be a fine line between ... what is taking precaution and what is panic. And I think a lot of it has to be decided. We're gonna take precautions. We're gonna Purell.

I didn't know “Purell" had become a verb like “Google." I'm also unsure how much of a “precaution" that is. Maybe I'm just incredibly naive, but I thought everyone was already washing the ass off their hands prior to the coronavirus. Hasselbeck's “Purell precaution" didn't convince Hostin, who responded with a curt “hmmm." She looked astonished, as if she couldn't believe she'd encountered someone dumber than John McCain's secret daughter.


Hasselbeck puts a lot of faith in Purell. The company's stock holders are grateful. She then moved on to faith healing.

HASSELBECK: Pray that God's got us in our tomorrows. We pray that this coronavirus is extinguished, that it's stopped in its tracks.

That's also not a precaution. Those are the same prayers that the nice ladies from my late aunt's church gave over her deathbed. Don't bring God into this so soon, lady. I want to live long enough to see Trump's concession speech in November. There was also a look of astonishment on McCain's face, as if she herself couldn't believe she'd met someone dumber than she is.

HASSELBECK: I love the fact that we can identify this is precautionary. We have effective cases. Those are serious. We've had deaths. Those are serious, not to be taken lightly at all.

You can find more compelling insights like this in Hasselbeck's book, Deaths Are Serious.

HASSELBECK: We shouldn't be in a state of panic, because what we're doing, taking cues from our president.

Sweet Christ. Hasselbeck seriously believes any American can take comfort in Trump's response to the coronavirus? Trump is the president in a Zucker brothers disaster film parody. The collection of chattering teeth he calls an administration has bungled everything remotely virus related.

HASSELBECK: We're taking early, strong, bold actions to keep this at bay right now. We're still on the front end of this. I feel comfortable and confident that because of strong leadership ...

Joy Behar interrupted to ask Hasselbeck where all this strong leadership was. Hostin and McCain were also curious.

BEHAR: [Trump] has told us nothing of any importance.

HASSELBECK: What do you mean by that? ... He's actually proposing middle class tax halt right now ...

The coronavirus isn't a social program. You can't kill it with tax cuts. That's the only trick the GOP has in its arsenal. It's like the 1995 Brady Bunch movie where every house architect Mike Brady designed looked exactly like his own home. Hostin pointed out that Trump's tax remedies were stupid sauce because too many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, most of those folks can't work from home, and without paid sick leave, they have to choose between going to work when they're not 100 percent or dumpster diving.

After Behar and Hostin provided more examples of how Trump has utterly failed to lead by either example or deed, Hasselbeck resorted to just yelling, “You're not my real dad!" at the coronavirus.

HASSELBECK: I'm not going to let coronavirus rule me and be an idol. I'm gonna use Purell RIGHT NOW.

And she did. It was the damndest thing.

HASSELBECK: I think our leadership is pointing us to say, “This is not a panic situation. This is a precautionary situation. We're gonna use Purell. We're gonna wash our hands. We're gonna be okay, guys!"

McCain couldn't stand to see her fellow conservative flailing away so she cut in to remind everyone that she is still the absolute worst.

MCCAIN: I think it's different for, like, my friends living in Arizona. They're not at the same panic level that New Yorkers are. This could be something that the coastal elites are feeling in a different way than folks in the middle of the country.

First place, asshole, your “friends living in Arizona" are probably all just as rich as you are. And it's not only Eustace Tilley, martini-swilling “coastal elites" dying in New York or enduring lock downs in New Rochelle.

HASSELBECK: Here's what I know. I think fear and isolation are tools of the enemy ... If you have to desocialize, find a way to love somebody and hug them in a way that you can.

That's terrible medical advice but still preferable to McCain's tired “coastal elite" rants.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).

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