Like most of you, I spend much of my day breathlessly consuming articles about the Coronavirus. I am by no means an expert on it, but I am preparing for the worst: 40-70 percent of the American population gets it, it’s mild in 80 percent of those people, and lethal in 2 percent of those people. It’ll be like The Leftovers, only those departing will be the very young, the very old, and the very compromised. I am hoping against hope that it does not come to pass, and it looks like a vaccine could arrive in the coming months. Until then, I expect school closings and sick kids, and we’re stocking up on a lot of pasta, coffee, and tissue.
What we’re not doing is listening to the President of the United States, who appears to be handwaving away a potential pandemic. Here’s a cursory overview of the White House response from last night’s Late Nigtht with Seth Meyers.
People have always worried about what Trump would do in a time of real crisis, and I feel like we’ve already had a few “real” crises, although they have all been on Trump’s own making. This is a real crisis that I fear Trump is making much, much worse, because if you have 40 percent of the country who get their news from Fox News and the President of the United States — who is delivering more disinformation than anyone — under the impression that the Coronavirus is NBD, then they are going to treat it like it’s NBD, and that’s how you get a pandemic.
Trump’s out here trying to keep the stock market in check in the short term, but he’s killing his long-term political prospects because you can’t hide a pandemic, or coordinate all the public responses to a pandemic through Mike Pence.
Did Don Jr’s unhinged response go through Mike Pence?
Don. Jr was just on Fox & Friends accusing Democrats of hoping coronavirus "comes here and kills millions of people so that they can end Donald Trump's streak of winning."— Lis Power (@LisPower1) February 28, 2020
Absolutely insane. pic.twitter.com/Fq5eAUIsnq
Don’t worry, though. It’s going to quickly go away!
Fox anchor Sandra Smith: "Obviously there's speculation it could get worse, some say, like the president, it could miraculously disappear."— Lis Power (@LisPower1) February 28, 2020
Fox News is going to get us into serious trouble when they just parrot the president's asinine statements about a global health crisis pic.twitter.com/3fFZGUfW2r
Anyway, while everyone else is actually worried about the Coronavirus, Trump spent yesterday with … Diamond and Silk.
Diamond and Silk: "Remove every Democrat by voting them out." pic.twitter.com/uKJm0eEmLL— The Hill (@thehill) February 28, 2020
Actually, that was part of a White House meeting on empowering African Americans. An NBC reporter, Hailee Jackson, was there. She’s pregnant, and after 90 minutes of standing, she left to go tape NBC News, and she informed the White House that if the meeting ran over, she’d have to leave. Nevertheless, Trump called her out. “She just left from NBC because it’s owned by Comcast, and they’re the racists.” WHAT?
Meanwhile, the White House firmly believes that the Democrats and the media are drumming up fears about the Coronavirus in an effort to damage Trump politically. In fact, Mick Mulvaney — the Chief of Staff — accused to media of covering the White House response to the Coronavirus instead of more important issues, like *checks notes* the President’s relationship with his son, Barron.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney criticized the news media for refusing to cover what he described as President Trump’s loving relationship with his 13-year-old son, Barron, the New York Times reports.
“He said Mr. Trump is in frequent contact with his youngest son, calling to check in on him and let him know of his whereabouts. But, Mr. Mulvaney said, ‘the press would never show you that because it doesn’t fit that image of him, the press wants him to be this terrible monster.’”
Melania Trump, by the way, has asked the press to respect the privacy of Barron Trump, which is what the press has done by not reporting on him.
Stay safe out there, folks, and stop touching your face.