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Donald Trump is already bored with all the social distancing he doesn't actually practice. According to Jonathan Lemire at the Associated Press, Trump misses his old hate rallies. He lies to Americans and insults reporters during his daily coronavirus briefings but it's not quite the same. Lemire shared the president's sorry emotional state with Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC Monday.

LEMIRE: He's frustrated that he's not able to run the campaign right now that he wants to, against Joe Biden. They thought they could unload their financial advantage to go after Biden to define him now, early in the campaign, like [Barack] Obama did to [Mitt] Romney in 2012, and Biden could not play catchup, and of course, he is missing the rallies and the road.

This doesn't seem like the kind of election where the opposing candidates need to “define" themselves. We know Biden is very old and not good with modern technology ... like a teleprompter. On the other hand, Trump is a deranged sociopath. That's the dynamic of the race. It won't change. We might as well just vote (by mail) today.

Now Trump is considering shutting down the shutdowns so his re-election campaign can focus on how great the economy is after millions of Americans have died in three months. The campaign ads film themselves. This might seem like a shocking disregard for human life — even from Trump — but he reassured everyone during his daily stock-market tanking presser that he totally gives AF whether we live or die.


Dr. Deborah Birx, whose credibility is in quarantine, mentioned that she had a low-grade fever over the weekend. It was probably just a "[gastrointestinal] thing," but she's “meticulous." She's a doctor, damnit, so she just ran down to the all-night drugstore where they sell coronavirus tests (not behind the counter or anything like Gillette razors). Her tests came back negative — apparently within hours, which is not how I thought this worked. She took Sunday off and now she's standing all of six infectious inches from the president. Mike Pence, next in line to the damn presidency, was so close to Trump they were practically humping. This is a Keystone Cops administration.

Dr. Birx treating the coronavirus like a bad spring cold keyed up Trump to propose relaxing social distancing restrictions all together. He's over it. He claimed we've “learned a lot" from having to spend so much time with our fucking family, but Trump thinks maybe we've learned enough. We're barely a week into this.

TRUMP: I'm looking at what's going on and life is fragile. Economies are fragile.

Trump contends that the mortality rate for the virus isn't an “astronomical number" because we're only hearing about annoying sick people, and there are probably people sitting at home right, bored out of their skulls, who don't even feel like they have the coronavirus. If we included all these perfectly healthy people, the mortality rate is under 1 percent ... so get back to work already. There's no science or data or anything behind this or anything Trump says. He just wants to save the economy in time for the election, with the ancillary benefit of generating significant growth in the mortuary industry.

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Trump doesn't understand why we'd lock ourselves in our homes like cowards while far too many of his innocent properties are suffering. He noted that more people die in automobile accidents than the coronavirus, and we don't ban cars. He just doesn't get that the exponential increase in coronavirus cases and deaths is the problem. Without social distancing, it's estimated that 2.25 million Americans could die this year. That's at least two times more than the 40,000 that die annually in automobile accidents. And a more apt though still irrelevant comparison would be if a specific automobile killed people at an exponential rate — even if you weren't on the road at all. Your stupid grandson drove Christine over spring break and now your lungs are jelly. They would immediately recall this devil car.

The president claims the “cure" of a prolonged shutdown is worse than the “disease," a sentiment he first expressed in a frenzied all-caps tweet Monday. It's also an argument more Republicans are starting to share. Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick told Tucker Carlson that no one bothered to ask him if he was willing to do die for the stock exchange.

PATRICK: No one reached out to me and said, “As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?" If that's the exchange, I'm all in.

That's grotesque, but I guess if Patrick really wants to play this game he can draw a pentagram on the floor in his own blood and some foul demon might rise up and make a deal with him. I keep hearing that America is exceptional, so maybe there's a way to avoid either total economic collapse or willingly murdering the elderly.

PATRICK: That doesn't make me noble or brave or anything like that.

No, it doesn't. Patrick also isn't just talking about himself personally dying to keep the flames of capitalism burning. He's talking about all old people. Candace Owens might willingly agree to bring slavery back if it would turn around the economy, but for the record, she's only speaking for herself.

Patrick claimed his heart was removed lifted by what Trump said, and just like that, it's turned into a partisan issue whether or not we should let old people and young at-risk people who'll never become grandparents die. The first, less aggressive shutdowns started in March. It is still March and we're already launching the weak and infirm out to sea. God only knows what April will bring.

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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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