Sean Yoes (Courtesy Photo)
By Sean Yoes
AFRO Senior Reporter
A little after 7 p.m. on Oct. 5, Donald John Trump emerged from Marine One, the presidential helicopter, plodded across the South Lawn of the White House, scaled the exterior stairs to the Truman Balcony, ripped away his face mask and spewed COVID-19 into the atmosphere.
There stood Trump, like an orange Mussolini desperately gasping for air for his clearly compromised lungs, barking out orders to photographers to capture that magic money shot as the sun set on the nation’s capital. But, Trump was not only gasping for air, he was grasping for images of strength to project to the legions of his American death cult. Yet, to any objective observer the weezing, corona president fell woefully short of the mark. Instead, what billions around the world saw was an obese, septegenarian White man straining to breathe. Just moments later, still standing on the Truman Balcony, Trump fell into his default position, lying through his teeth during a campaign video shoot.
“Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it,” said Trump, who has a team of world-class doctors at his beckon call around the clock and his own personal state-of-the-art healthcare facility within his residence. Also, he is apparently taking an anti-coronavirus regimen of drugs no one on earth has received, including steroids and experimental treatments not approved by the FDA. Trump gets all of that great Obamacare, and all he pays is $750 a year in taxes. What a great country huh? “And now I’m better and maybe I’m immune, I don’t know,” added the obtuse president.
To restate the obvious and the tragic; more than 211,000 Americans and counting have died of COVID-19 on Trump’s watch. And now this brazen fool tells us “Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it.”
Meanwhile, after he broke out of the Walter Reed Medical Center on Oct. 5, he returned to a White House that had become a coronavirus hotspot. About a dozen members of Trump’s inner circle and counting have been stricken by COVID-19. And the first thing he did upon his return to the White House was rip off his mask and expose everyone inside of the residence to the deadly disease. Just when you think he can’t go any lower Trump is absolutely Herculean in his ability to always burrow down deeper. There apparently is no bottom for this man. And he seems determined to drag the entire nation down with him.
“His response has been homicidal negligence,” said the legendary journalist Carl Bernstein on CNN on Oct. 6. It was Bernstein, who with Bob Woodward broke the Watergate story in 1972. Compared to Trump, many would argue (I am many) Nixon was a towering beacon of decency. “He has failed to protect the American people and rather to put his own interest in re-election and holding on to the office of the presidency, instead of the health and well-being of the American people.”
This “homicidal negligence” Bernstein alludes to is two-fold. As it has been argued in this column and by many others Trump’s ignorance and incompetence at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in America has probably cost tens of thousands of American lives. Although the United States represents about 4 percent of the world’s population the country has about 20 percent of the world’s COVID-19 deaths.
Further, there are major questions surrounding the timeline of when Trump was actually infected with the deadly disease. He officially tweeted that he and his wife tested positive for coronavirus around 1 a.m. on Oct. 2. But, when was he actually infected and when did he know about it? There are reports that Trump encouraged people not to disclose he had tested positive prior to his Twitter announcement.
Was he actually infected on Sept. 29 when he debated Joe Biden? He definitely had been exposed to Hope Hicks, one of his most trusted aides, who announced she tested positive on Oct. 1, the same day Trump attended a big-dollar fundraiser at his New Jersey golf club in Bedminster. And again, within seconds of his return to the White House Trump ripped off his mask with COVID-19 coursing through his veins and lungs and exposed all who were there to the deadly disease.
Beyond his coronavirus diagnosis, it seems clear Trump is a uniquely sick man.
Sean Yoes is the AFRO’s Senior Reporter and the author of Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories From One of America’s Great Imperiled Cities.