“The Best Doctors in the World Around Him”
A telling thing happened today. In the midst of a major wave of coronavirus infections, the Trump team is still holding massive rallies throughout the battle ground states. On CNN, Alisyn Camerota asked the Trump 2020 press secretary, Hogan Gidley, this question: “Hospitals in WI are near capacity. Does that give you any pause about going there and holding a big rally?”. His response? “No, it doesn’t … the VP has the best doctors in the world around him”.
The best doctors in the world. Let that land for just a moment. Sit with it. Here’s what he’s really saying: the candidates will be fine. We just don’t care about the other people there. Depending on who you ask, there are 6,000–29,000 people at the rallies; there’s quite a variance there, but, nonetheless, thousands of people are showing up each time. Gidley told them in no uncertain terms: their lives simply don’t matter.
Trump was able to recover from the coronavirus with help from some of the most experimental treatments available; he bragged that we now have a “treatment”, but the reality is stark. Even if we had affordable healthcare in the United States that would allow Americans to have access to the exorbitantly expensive treatment, which we do not, there aren’t enough doses of it for everyone that needs it. Hospitals are rationing care because there aren’t even enough beds. He gets the VIP treatment that so many others are denied.
This was further embodied at a rally yesterday in Omaha, Nebraska, a place hitting record number coronavirus cases. They packed together, mostly unmasked, to hear Trump speak. Many of them traveled hundreds of miles to see him. But Trump is going to be Trump no matter how much his supporters do for him. As the rally ended, there were not enough buses to take rally-goers back to their cars. Hundreds of them waited for hours in freezing temperatures. Several ended up in the hospital. The candidate? He was already off to the next event. That’s quite a closing message. It wasn’t enough to hold the super-spreader events; they took it one step further to strand supporters in the cold and chaos while they take off. Literally.
There’s a moment where it isn’t even a metaphor any longer.
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 response from the Trump Administration has by abysmal; at the beginning, he seemed to break everything into “blue states” and “red states”. Because the “blue states” were hit hard first, there was very little impetus to help. As Jared Kusher supposedly said, “they’re on their own”. Then, as the virus creeped into “red states”, things were so far gone and so out of control that it would have been difficult for an administration with a deft hand to right the ship. This administration does not have a deft hand.
And, so, it crept closer and closer until it finally broke into the White House; Dr. Fauci referred to Amy Coney Barrett’s introduction as a superspreader event. The president. The first lady. The press secretary. The campaign manager. There was a seemingly endless list of infected people. The president spent the weekend in the hospital. It was a serious situation.
So, did they take it seriously after that? Nope.
The rallies started up again. They rolled the dice again with an unmasked swearing in of the newest Supreme Court justice. And then the freezing supporters were left to fend for themselves in Omaha. But, you know, it’ll be fine because the administration has “the best doctors in the world” around them. The rest of us? Not so much.
In the same interview, Hogan Gindley went on to say that the media’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has been “exorbitantly negative”.
I could use the same word for their care for the lives of Americans: exorbitantly insufficient.