Trump Just Gonna Give COVID-19 The Silent Treatment Until It Behaves Itself
Donald Trump planned to sail to re-election over the clear seas of a booming economy he'd inherited from Barack Obama. He was going to raise lynch mobs against congresswomen of color at his hate rallies while getting in a few rounds of golf every other day. Then COVID-19 arrived and ruined Trump's fun. It's also proven inconvenient for the 127,762 people who've died thanks to his administration's inept response.
Trump would like the coronavirus to just go away. He's offered it money like Ivana but it won't budge. This is a Fatal Attraction pandemic. However, the president has thought long and hard about the nation's public health crisis, and he's settled on a strategy that he revealed during a Fox Business interview Wednesday.
Mr. President, drinking bleach and injecting Lysol won't make it disappear. https://t.co/ZMchGWGX9W— Nancy Pelosi (@Nancy Pelosi)1593633117.0
TRUMP: We're headed back in a very strong fashion ... with a V.
Trump's referring to a “V"-shaped recovery, which is defined as “a sharp decline in economic activity that's then matched by an abrupt rebound." Former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen addressed this possibility in April.
YELLEN: A "V," which is what we're all hoping for, is a best-case scenario. If activity was able to resume in June and we'd be back to something more normal by summer, I think a "V" is possible, but I am worried that the outcome would be worse.
Activity did start to resume in June, but that was what infectious disease experts would call a fucking bad idea. States are pausing or even rolling back their reopening plans. Stores, restaurants, and gyms are shutting down as coronavirus cases surge, and workers are losing their jobs ... again. Guess it was all worth it because we're now on track for a possible 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day.
The Washington Post interviewed Randee Heitzmann, who returned to her bartending job at a Dallas-area cigar bar for a whopping five weeks. She risked her personal health to earn about 20 percent of what she used to take home prior to the COVID-19 shutdowns.
But on Friday, Heitzmann was cut loose again, hours before her shift was to begin.
"I don't have any savings left," the 28-year-old said. "I don't know how long it's going to be before I get a paycheck again."
Unfortunately, Trump doesn't know either. Yesterday, current Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell stressed that it's difficult for the economy to thrive when people are scared for their lives.
"A full recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to re-engage in a broad range of activities," Mr. Powell told a House committee, adding that a second wave "could force people to withdraw" and "undermine public confidence, which is what we need to get back to lots of kinds of economic activity that involve crowds."
So, we're not going to have a “V"-shaped recovery. There is no V. We won't have any real recovery until we manage this outbreak. Trump won't even wear a mask.
TRUMP: I think we're gonna be very good with the coronavirus.
TRUMP: I think that at some point that's going to sort of just disappear. I hope.
That's his plan? Hope. They mocked Obama for this, but he had actual policies and a triple-digit-IQ supporting that hope. It's also easier to inspire hope in others when you're not a fucking moron.
Sam Stein from the Daily Beast has kept track of Trump's tired excuses: In February, he said COVID-19 would go away in April. On April 26, he claimed we'd have no — as in ZERO — cases in a “couple days." On March 31, he was sure it would go away “hopefully at the end of the month," which implies he thinks March has more than 31 days. He said the coronavirus would just “leave" on 4/29, but we needed an exorcist by that point. A week later, he believed the coronavirus would "go away without a vaccine," an absurd theory he repeated on June 16.
Trump isn't David Copperfield, and the coronavirus isn't the Statue of Liberty. He can't make it “sort of just disappear," but if we work hard over the next four months, we can make Trump's presidency vanish.
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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).