Super Gambler Trump Loses America’s Shirt To The Coronavirus
Donald Trump is currently attempting the Candide defense for condemning Americans to mass death and economic ruin. The president insists that he did “everything right" in response to the coronavirus, and this is simply the best of all possible worlds. Sorry your aunt is dead and your small business is shuttered. There was never any other way, and according to Mike Pence, it's China and the CDC's fault that other ways didn't exist.
However, a source close to the White House coronavirus task force firmly and anonymously disagrees. The source claims that tougher measures implemented earlier “might have made a difference." Well, duh. While Trump was diddling around in January, the first confirmed COVID-19 case hit Seattle, Washington. Trump didn't ramp up testing but instead dismissed any dire warnings about the virus.
In February, Trump said something pretty stupid that we sort of shrugged off but it turns out it might've been an actual strategic decision.
DR. TRUMP: You know, a lot of people think [the virus] goes away in April with the heat as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We're in great shape though. We have 12 cases — 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.
What the hell? Did Trump believe the the virus was an Arizona snowbirder? What's strange is that, as someone who lived in Seattle for a while, I can confirm that it doesn't get exactly virus-killing hot in April. The average high is 58 degrees. It still rains a a good deal. The city can't really fool people — especially Southerners like myself — into thinking it's livable until July.
A Trump adviser working with White House officials on messaging for the pandemic response said Trump "took a gamble" that warmer weather would cause the virus to dissipate, siding with aides who were pushing back on the dire warnings coming from doctors on the coronavirus task force.
Yeah, no, Trump just chose to believe what he considered the most pleasant reality. That's not a “gamble." That's wishful thinking. The Trump adviser has libeled gamblers who make more intelligent decisions when placing far less expensive bets.
"He analyzed the data and opinions of experts and sided with the one that said warm weather will likely slow the virus," the adviser added.
We really need to know who the genius is who told Trump that the balmy Seattle spring would stop COVID in its viral tracks. Of course, now the coronavirus is spreading through the South like a keg at a frat party. Warm weather arguably promoted infection on Florida beaches during Spring Break. Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach were averaging temperatures in the 80s. As of last night, Florida had around 7,700 confirmed cases and 100 deaths. The coronavirus is likely to ravage southern states during the spring.
Oh yeah, his casinos went bankrupt five times.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."