The Reality TV game show host who is currently serving as president likes to criticize Joe Biden for staying in his basement, which hasn’t been true for many weeks. Donald Trump, however, canceled all of his scheduled public appearances and is now holed up in his figurative basement at Walter Reed Medical Center. All of the information coming from Trump, his doctors, or his White House staff is so utterly lacking in credibility that it inspired Michael Che of Saturday Night Live to point out that “It’s a bad sign for America that when Trump said he tested positive for a virus, 60 percent of the people were like, ‘Prove it!'”
Trump has abandoned his duties as both the president and a candidate for reelection. In a disturbingly incoherent four minute video that Trump posted on Twitter Saturday, he said that he was “feeling much better.” That’s consistent with his desire to always present himself as having a nearly divine invincibility (a ludicrous characterization that is supported and advanced by Fox News). But if that’s so, then it raises questions about why he’s still in the hospital and what he’s doing while he’s there? Prior to his contraction of the coronavirus, Trump spent much of his time watching Fox News and tweeting. He’s probably still glued to his State TV pacifier and the comforting adulation he receives from the network’s devoted Trump-fluffers. However, he has significantly scaled back his Twitter output.
Trump posted an average of 55 tweets per day in the month of September. But since his admission to Walter Reed Friday, Trump has posted a total of 14 tweets in three days. That would be understandable if he were suffering from the symptoms of a debilitating viral infection. But Trump is portraying his symptoms as mild and minimally constraining him from doing his job. The White House even posted photos of him allegedly working while still hospitalized. In the video (posted below) he made a point of discussing his commitment to being productive despite his grim diagnosis:
“I had no choice because I just didn’t want to stay in the White House. I was given that alternative. Stay in the White House. Lock yourself in. Don’t ever leave. Don’t even go to the Oval Office. Just stay upstairs and enjoy it. Don’t see people. Don’t talk to people. And be done with it.
“But I can’t do that. I had to be out front. This is America. This is the United States. This is the greatest country in the world. This is the most powerful country in the world. I can’t be locked up in a room upstairs and totally safe and just say ‘whatever happens, happens.’ I can’t do that. We have to confront problems. As a leader you have to confront problems. There’s never been a great leader that would have done that. So that’s where it is.”
WTF Trump he talking about? He is saying that if he were convalescing in the residence area of the White House it would be tantamount to being “locked in” to a place that he could never leave and never see or talk to anyone. Which, of course, isn’t remotely true. However, it is exactly what being confined to the private rooms of a military hospital is like. Trump is far more restricted at Walter Reed than he would be at the White House. It would be much easier for him to conduct business there, where he has ready access to communications, documents, the vast resources of governing and, of course, his Cabinet, aides, and other support staff.
How can Trump plausibly suggest that by exchanging the comfort and convenience of the White House for the sterile seclusion of a hospital that he is more “out front” or better able to “confront problems”? That makes no sense at all. If anything, it indicates a cognition failure that should warrant more serious examination. And in the end, that may be at least part of the reason he’s still hospitalized and refraining from his all-consuming Twitter habit. Which while curious and out of character, is a welcome relief from the relentless hostility, ignorance, and madness his tweets provoke.
UPDATE I: Late this afternoon Trump briefly left his hospital room to drive by the small crowd of Trump cult disciples worshiping outside of Walter Reed. He waved from the back of a limousine like the Pope blessing his flock. Some reporters suggested that he wanted to demonstrate that he was strong and healthy. But this was the selfish act of a malignant narcissist who craves attention above all else.
But none of that mattered to Trump. As a consequence of his contracting the coronavirus he had to cancel his cult rallies. So he needed some other way to soak up the admiring cheers from his most zealous devotees. He chose, therefore, to put the lives of his staff and secret service agents at risk in order to stage this political theater. It was reminiscent of when he deployed the military to assault peaceful demonstrators to clear his way to a photo-op in front of church.
In a video Trump tweeted prior to this dangerous stunt, Trump said that he had learned a lot about COVID-19. Obviously that’s just another lie. Trump’s ego is, as usual, running the show. And to hell with the welfare of anyone else.
UPDATE II: Trump’s Twittering has resumed. On Monday morning he unleashed 19 tweets by 8:00 AM. Although most (15) of them were single line lies about why his cult followers should vote for him. Not exactly the sort of thing that will change the strong trending of support for Joe Biden.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2020