South Carolina Governor, First Lady Attend White House Holiday Party, Catch COVID-19 .... Somehow.
Surprisingly literally no one, South Carolina's Republican, Trump-boosting Gov. Henry McMaster announced Tuesday that he's tested positive for the coronavirus. Thanks to his superb stewardship, everyone in South Carolina is going to have it at some point, and this was his turn. Last week, the governor's wife, Peggy McMaster, took a routine test that confirmed she also had the virus. The first lady's been running with COVID bare faced for a while now.
What a beautiful day and way to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage and so many strong women contri… https://t.co/ZPiORHT2sL— First Lady Peggy McMaster (@First Lady Peggy McMaster) 1597771463.0
Both these dummies attended Donald Trump's Christmas death galas. This ain't Easter and there's no guarantee anyone's getting resurrected. Jentezen Franklin, the lead pastor of some megamart Atlanta church, also caught COVID-19 at one of these parties. I feel just terrible for everyone they unknowingly exposed to the virus through their carelessness.
South Carolina, the state you can blame for my existence, has not managed the COVID-19 crisis all that well. There are at least 278,055 confirmed cases so far. That's almost three times as many cases as Oregon with its tyrannical Democratic governor who wants to keep people alive.
McMaster has taken a more laissez-faire (French for "fucking stupid") approach. He was among the last governors to issue a stay-at-home order. (In fairness, when South Carolina was the first state to do something, it didn't end well.) He's also opposed a mask mandate in rank defiance of science: A study from October showed that a national mask mandate would save 130,000 lives by February 2021. But, hey, McMaster has his reasons. They're just real dumb.
"It is ineffective, it is impractical to have a mandate to have everyone wear a mask, because it is not enforceable," McMaster said during a news conference in June. "There's no power on Earth that can follow everyone in the state around to be sure that they are following the rules."
Republicans won't shut up about how Democrats want to "defund the police" (they really don't, you know), but McMaster apparently doesn't believe the police even exist and can enforce laws and regulations. Meanwhile, back in January, McMaster pressured the state Senate to pass a "fetal heartbeat" abortion ban, because presumably there is a power on Earth that can follow South Carolina women around and make sure they don't control their own bodies. Yet, when it comes to gently suggesting entitled white men cover their faces during a pandemic, McMaster actually said, "There's no way we can make somebody do something they just don't want to do." Although I've never been pregnant, I have worn a mask every day for almost nine months, and I gotta think that was easier.
If McMaster can count, he should know by now that most states with mask mandates have lower incidents of COVID-19 than states that don't. It's not cheating to copy their work. South Carolina and Georgia are both averaging roughly 5,000 cases per 100,000 residents. Oregon and Washington are averaging 2,278 and 2,811 cases per 100,000 residents, respectively. It's as if Democratic governors listen to doctors and not Newsmax.
Georgia doesn't have a mask mandate, either, and residents are just "strongly encouraged to wear face coverings as practicable." Most don't think it's “practicable," and are more likely to carry a gun inside a bar or restaurant than wear a mask. I love the Peach State, but Georgians aren't very good at quantifying risk.
Henry and Peggy McMaster are both 73 so this COVID's no joke. However, they'll have access to some VIP antibody treatments. Most people who can grasp “cause and effect" link a recent surge in cases to indoor holiday parties, but the governor's office stresses that the McMasters can't be sure where they got it. This either means they party all the time, which neither medical experts nor Eddie Murphy advise, or they are so clueless they think an indoor holiday party carries the same risk as picking up an eggnog latte at a drive-through Starbucks.
It's now two shopping days until Christmas. Baby, please stay home
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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."