No One Should Put The Trump Family In Same Sentence With ‘Honor System’
Donald Trump was probably highly contagious when screaming COVID-19-packed invective at Joe Biden during last week's presidential debate, and although the former vice president tested negative each day since Trump announced his diagnosis, we won't know for another few days if he's in the clear.
COVID-19 has an average incubation period of five days. You're the most contagious the day before symptoms develop. Worse, you can test negative during the incubation period. This is why my brother, Jaime Harrison, was right to bring his own portable Popemobile to his debate Saturday with South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
How did this happen? Why weren't better precautions taken with septuagenarian presidential candidates during a pandemic? All voters learned from the debate is that Trump's an asshole, which is already extensively documented.
Trump had previously demanded Biden take a drug test to prove he wasn't high on brain steroids, but according to Chris Wallace, whose astral projection moderated the debate, the president couldn't be bothered to arrive in time for an actually relevant COVID-19 test.
WALLACE: [The Trump family] didn't arrive until Tuesday afternoon. So for them to get tested, there wouldn't have been enough time to have the test and have the debate at 9:00 that night. They didn't show up until 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 in the afternoon. There was an honor system when it came to the people that came into the hall from the two campaigns.
Why would anyone with a functioning brain and a short-term memory trust the Trump family to operate under the “honor system"? I wouldn't trust any of them alone with a “leave or penny, take a penny" dish. There was a significant risk at the debate to the health of everyone assembled, and the presidential crime family has a demonstrated lack of concern for anyone but themselves.
I don't think boxers get to miss their weigh-ins and proceed under the “honor system." No business that checks you for a fever before permitting you inside would skip that precaution just because you claimed you'd taken your own temperature earlier that day. And unlike the Trumps, you're probably an honorable person.
On “Fox New Sunday," Wallace was still pissed when he called out Trump's family for refusing to wear masks while seated in the first row during the debate. Only Wallace, Biden, and President Pandemic were exempt from the mask rule. Officials from the Cleveland Clinic, where the debate was held, offered masks to the Trumps — Ivanka, Eric, Donald Jr., Tiffany, and Melania — but they were rebuffed.
Trump adviser Steve Cortes claimed that since the Trumps had been tested beforehand, at some point, just not on the premises, everything was OK. A furious Wallace disagreed.
WALLACE: Everybody was tested beforehand. That — no, I'm going to finish my question — everybody was told to wear a mask, why did the first family and the chief of staff feel that the rules for everybody else didn't apply to them?
CORTES: Chris, we believe the masks are very useful. The president has worn them on many occasions,
Yes, Mr. Cortes, the masks are very useful units. Our eyes are also quite useful, and we rarely see that asshole wearing a fucking mask.
Trump adviser Steve Cortes whines that Chris Wallace is "haranguing" him for asking why mask guidelines don't apply… https://t.co/ajYgBK1jrE— Justin Baragona (@Justin Baragona)1601821724.0
CORTES: We also believe in some element of individual choice.
I really love hearing about “individual choice" from people who held a superspreader event to celebrate the nomination of a Supreme Court justice they hope will overturn Roe v. Wade.
CORTES: People were distanced, and they had been tested, both of those things were true.
What the hell is he talking about? No one wore masks or practiced social distancing during the president's debate preparation, and now Chris Christie and campaign manager Bill Stepien have tested positive for COVID-19. This was a shitshow.
Wallace demanded that Cortes explain why Trump's circle refused to follow the same rules as everyone else. After whining that Wallace was mean to Trump at the debate, Cortes said “people can make reasonable decisions for themselves."
WALLACE: No, actually they can't, they're the rules and they'll be kicked out next time.
As much as I'd enjoy seeing the Trumps forcibly removed from the next debate venue like the refuse they are, I think we're better off calling off the rest of them. The first was already a threat to our mental health, and now we've learned it was a threat to people's actual physical health.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."