On Friday morning, Fox News published an opinion piece from presidential daughter-in-law Lara Trump, in which the president’s son’s wife (who may or may not be being paid by her father-in-law’s reelection campaign) insisted that “every American can be confident that the president’s top priority is to keep our families safe and healthy” amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s a nice sentiment—the sort of thing you’d hope could go without saying during a time of national catastrophe. It’s also total bullshit. If we’ve seen overwhelming proof of anything since the coronavirus first appeared, it’s that Donald Trump doesn’t care if you drop dead.
Just hours before Fox published Lara Trump’s essay, the president himself had called into informal adviser Sean Hannity’s TV show to proudly proclaim that “I don’t believe” New York actually needs the tens of thousands of ventilators requested by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
In fact, not only does the president of the United States simply have a hunch that the state currently at the bleeding edge of this pandemic doesn’t “need” lifesaving equipment, but he’s actively dragging his feet when it comes to putting more ventilators into circulation — issuing legally dubious Twitter orders to General Motors to “invoke P” in order to start large-scale manufacturing of the devices, after having allegedly balked at paying a meagre $1.5 billion for them just days day earlier.
Keep in mind that Trump’s purported sticker shock at the cost of producing thousands of desperately needed ventilators comes as the federal government has passed a two trillion dollar coronavirus rescue bill full of corporate handouts including a $500 billion slush fund for big businesses.
Keep in mind as well that Trump has proudly insisted that he’d like the country “opened up” by Easter, well ahead of any safe timeframe offered by actual medical professionals whose job it is to actually, y’know, keep people alive. No, despite literally every doctor on Earth screaming about the absolute life and death importance of social distancing, Trump would rather see “packed churches” as a sign that America’s back, baby!!!
So, yeah, Trump doesn’t care if you die.
Which isn’t to say he doesn’t want you alive, either. In fact, he’d probably prefer it — especially if you’re in a position to do something for him.
“It’s a two-way street,” Trump said during an interview with Fox News this week. “[Governors requesting aid] have to treat us well, also.”
And here we get to the core of Trump’s entire…well…everything, really. Alive, dead, it doesn’t really matter to him, so long as he gets something out of the almighty deal. A global pandemic? Just an opportunity for the sort of transactional exchange that got him impeached in the first place. What matters above all, is that he feels good about himself through all this — something that, at least for now, he does, thanks to buoyant poll numbers he saw fit to crow over, while most state politicians were busy reporting their virus-related daily death tolls.
Rest assured, if dead people could answer calls from pollsters to say they’re “MAGA 4 LIFE,” Donald Trump would happily shoot them on 5th Avenue, and put a phone in the corpse’s hand himself.
There are those within the feverish pits of right-wing demons who would gladly see scores of human beings dead as a sacrifice to the invisible hand of the free market. There are even some who would happily chug that death cult kool-aid themselves for the sake “freedom” or “America” or something. Trump is neither. All that matters to him is him. If you’re alive, great. If you’re dead, well, just don’t drag his poll numbers (or bank account) down, and everything will be fine.
Screenshot: Fox News