Read next: An Open Letter to Maskless “Rebels.”
Want to know some more possible dangerous outcomes? Read this: October Surprise: Donald Trump Tests Positive for the Coronavirus—Here’s the Scary Part.
How the world is viewing the great American drama: A Non-American’s Take on Trump Testing Positive for COVID-19.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 2, 2020
I am not happy; no one should be.
He is a person before he is a despicable, narcissistic, racist, autocrat-in-the-making—but I am none of those. The temptation to say “it serves him right” is strong. But we are not him. I offer him my sympathy and I genuinely wish him well.
The fact is he did contract it. More importantly, he, in all likelihood, would be responsible for endangering others who came in contact with him over the last few days—his own White House staff, his campaign staff, his family, and worst of all his supporters.
Hope Hicks, one of his closest aides, tested positive for COVID-19 but he withheld this from the public, even though the White House knew when she traveled with the President aboard Air Force One.
Trump, when asked on “Hannity” about Hope Hicks’ coronavirus, blamed members of military and law enforcement for approaching White House staff. “They want to hug you and they want to kiss you because we really have done a good job for them. You get close and things happen.” pic.twitter.com/fZ0oz5ps8B
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) October 2, 2020
Also, despite knowing the diagnosis, White House officials did not alert the public and his supporters who had attended his Minnesota rally the day before.
But that isn’t the worst.
After knowing that he had been (not maybe, but surely) exposed to the deadly virus, he went on to attend the Trump National Bedminster fundraiser in New Jersey. As expected, only a few people were wearing masks. It was outdoors, but it was packed, with no social distancing measures.
Anyway, none of this is shocking. It was inevitable considering the rallies and fundraisers he’s been doing. Also, he genuinely believes he is invincible (a typical trait of narcissists), add to that that he is the most powerful person in the world (at least till America wasn’t the laughing stock of the world) with access to the best 24-hour medical care and daily testing.
But he is human.
And this could work in his favor.
The news is still developing and not much is known except that POTUS and FLOTUS are corona-positive, but media outlets and political pundits are already speculating the possibility that Mike Pence might also need to quarantine due to exposure from Trump, which means the Speaker will be in charge of the government (Oh, how I wish that would happen).
But this is wishful thinking.
Knowing Trump and the mathematical probability, this is highly unlikely. On the other hand, what is within the realm of possibility—sorry, I meant, a real possibility—is his sharp campaign team using this as an opportunity to connect with the voters.
Hold on, hold on. Hear me out.
Yes, you could argue that him testing positive would go against him; the media and experts are already saying: he exposed his supporters willingly; he downplayed it; he mocked Biden and called him weak for wearing a mask, see what happened…and it goes on. But tell me—when have his supporters paid attention, or believed the “fake news?”
If Trump gets through this asymptomatically or with mild symptoms (and, I wish him well, again), his campaign could twist this to show:
1. That he is like all of them—his supporters, his base, his fans. He stayed true to what he preached—no masks, having indoor gatherings, no lockdown. And they’ll get through it “TOGETHER,” as he tweeted. They’ll paint him to be one of them.
Since Trump is incapable of conveying this sentiment himself (he will always be the rich guy, best person, the best this, the best that—always above everyone else), but his campaign will surely use this to make him “connect” with the average American.
2. And then—one of the latest scandals before the tax info came out—the scandal that he downplayed the pandemic (essentially costing 200,000 American lives, but who’s counting)—will be spun to: He was right. It isn’t a big deal.
He got it, he quarantined, and he’s just fine (and he has Kayleigh McEnany and his Republican puppets to distract from the fact that the medical facilities he has and what the regular Americans have are not even comparable).
3. The sympathy wave: Donald Trump may not have an iota of empathy in him, but his constant whining and playing the perpetual victim has worked with his base. And now there is a real reason to sympathize with him. Even I have sympathy for him (for any suffering he may endure due to the virus), so there could be a sweeping wave of sympathy that might take him to the winning line. Possible? In Trumpland, anything is possible.
Well, there are many more possibilities that will emerge as we know more. But for now, let’s not rejoice that he’s been put in his place.
I’m trying not to be cynical, but as a realist and a keen observer of the last decade of American politics, I just see a big mess emerging out of this. And Trump thrives on chaos.
So what do we do?
Don’t be disillusioned, don’t give up out of disgust (yeah, I made myself watch the whole presidential debate), don’t back out. Go vote.
Also, this is not a joke nor a hoax:
Check out Elephant’s 31-Day Voting Guide.