More than 220,000 Americans have died from the novel coronavirus so far. An estimated 130,000 to 210,000 of those people could have lived if it wasn’t for the Trump administration’s fucked up bungling of the pandemic. It’s no surprise, then, that when Donald Trump and his surrounding team caught COVID, it felt like cathartic justice. It was satisfying and funny to see the White House perfectly enact the iconic sowing and reaping tweet as what seemed like the entire administration was diagnosed throughout the week.
When top Trump aide and Satan’s favorite son Stephen Miller got COVID, it seemed like possibly the most hilarious twist yet. I mean, let’s think about it. His wife got it a few months ago, and the fucking loser still didn’t manage to contract the virus until Trump did. But what happened next showed the limits of banking on a random disease to right the world’s wrongs even a bit. Unlike the president, COVID didn’t even force Miller into an entertaining stint in the hospital. No, he seems to have come out of the whole thing just fine, and completely unchanged.
Miller was even well enough to hold a press call on Wednesday during which he described a nightmare Purge-like scenario if Joe Biden were to win the election, where the U.S. border will become “overwhelmed” by “tens of millions [who] will come from every single part of planet earth.”
He continued by spouting off several conspiracy theories about child trafficking. From Talking Points Memo:
“Joe Biden would be the best friend that child smugglers and child traffickers have ever had in the White House,” he said, adding later: “My God, if Joe Biden were to get elected, how many millions of children and families would be forced into the hands of these vicious criminal cartels?”
“Within a week of that happening, there would be a rush on the border on a global scale unseen before in the whole of human history,” he added of Biden implementing his new policy. “It would be the largest gift to traffickers, smugglers and coyotes that you could ever possibly conceive.”
Miller also lied when asked about the hundreds of kids who were separated from their parents at the border in 2017, which seems to me like the silliest fucking thing to try and lie about, because everyone knows this shit happened!
The timing of the call seemed particularly pointed. On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal pointed out that the Trump campaign had let up on immigration messaging in 2020 in comparison to their 2016 campaign. Imagine being so furious that your employer is being depicted as a softie who isn’t a fucking asshole about immigrants every second of every hour of every day, that you break your coronavirus cone of silence to speak to the manager of the press about it!!
Miller’s anti-immigrant campaign didn’t stop there. According to a Wednesday report from The Guardian, Miller has “a drawer full of executive orders ready to be signed in ‘shock and awe’ style if Trump is re-elected.” Miller, ever the calculating bastard he is, reserved this part of his wishlist for Trump’s second term “because it included policies that were too unpopular for a president seeking re-election,” the report continues. Among his demands, from The Guardian:
Those items are expected to include attempting to eliminate birthright citizenship, making the US citizenship test more difficult to pass, ending the program which protects people from deportation when there is a crisis is their country (Temporary Protected Status) and slashing refugee admissions even further, to zero.
These policies are extreme, and yet even for Trump’s first term, they’re not — Miller’s slowly whittled away at them over the past four years. The Temporary Protected Status program has now turned into a ticking time bomb for hundreds of thousands of people, now insecure in what their lives will look like after the next six months. The Trump administration just capped the number of refugees to be accepted into the U.S. over the next year at 15,000, an all new low. They’ve tried to fuck with naturalized citizens by investigating them for “fraud,” and Trump explores fucking with birthright citizenship at least once a year.
A Biden administration will have difficulty trying to undo some of the things that Miller championed, and that’s only the stuff that the administration would commit to undoing (which is, so far, very little). Though we know what we’re getting with a Biden administration — human rights violations, but with a smile — Miller has caused so much violence and pain for so many people, and even if he didn’t create this fucked-up immigration system, he capitalized on it and made it far worse, in terms of actually causing suffering and pain as a tool to prevent migration.
As a result, people, children, have been physically harmed, and abused, and have died in immigration jails, because of him. And yet, here he is, a few weeks after his COVID diagnosis, well-rested and ready to continue terrorizing immigrants with his ghoulish white supremacist bullshit. It’s a shame that he’s not still laid up with a debilitating fever and chills, hacking out a lung, unable to cosign Q-Anon-follower talking points to the press.
Coronavirus, despite the insistence of many people, is not an equalizer. It is an imperfect arbiter of justice, and really, not an arbiter at all. It simply takes hold of the injustice done to people and mangles it all the more, killing marginalized people whose lives were already deemed unworthy of proper care in the first place. All we can really do is continue to hope that Stephen Miller will be held accountable for his many crimes, and even then, that hope, too, has worn thin.