Trump hospitalized for COVID-19 changes everything

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Top photo created by Tim Forkes from CDC photo and YouTube screenshot of President Trump

“Proud Boys — stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what. Somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right wing problem.” So said the racist-in-chief, Donald J. Trump.

His acolytes insist the president was telling the white supremacist hate/terrorist group to stop their violence, but the Proud Boys celebrated the president’s shout out and instructions to stand by. Stand by for what? Well, we got some clues from Trump’s own mouth in the debate — really, was that a debate? 

Trump’s instructions to the Proud Boys and other fascist, right wing white supremacist terror groups: “… do something about Antifa and the left …” and, ““I am urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully, because that’s what has to happen. I am urging them to do it.”

Saw this on Facebook today: “The only time Trump has shut up this entire debate was when they asked him to denounce racists.” Trump didn’t keep quiet for long — we know he didn’t — and  denounce racists until two days later when pressed by his acolytes on Fox News. With little respect to the Liar-in-Chief, if he had to be forced to say it so grudgingly, then it wasn’t sincere.

As we learned on Wednesday, the Proud Boys wasted no time creating merchandise with the phrase, “Stand Back and Stand By” emblazoned on it. Good work Donny, you have given more hope to the racists of the nation.

He wants his armed followers to intimidate voters, in particular people of color, when these traditionally Democratic voters head to the polls on and before November 3.

This is part of Trump’s playbook: disrupt the voting process and when that doesn’t work, hope the U.S. Supreme Court over turns the will of the people and chooses him to serve another four years. The debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News asked both candidates if they would respect the outcome of the election, regardless of how many days it took to get an independently verified result. Biden said he would, Trump just rambled on, telling lies about mail-in ballots.

Trump continued his lies about the coronavirus, the prospects of an early vaccine and then he ridiculed Joe Biden for wearing masks and respecting physical distancing while campaigning. 

Now, two days after the debate we have learned that the Trumps and the president’s close aide Hope Hicks have tested positive — and are having symptoms of — COVID-19. All are quarantining and the president is being treated at the White House.

In a show of complete disregard for the people around him, the president went on campaign events after Hicks was found to be positive and feeling sick and then after he had been infected. People at a New Jersey fundraiser event said the president appeared sluggish and without his usual energy.

If you watched the debates you saw the Trump entourage, which included his family and close aides, few — if any — of them wore masks. White House reporters have been saying the entire Trump administration and his family defiantly resisted CDC guidelines about masks and physical distancing, to show their base just how tough they are! How defiant are they now? Chief-of-Staff Mark Meadows was out one the White House lawn briefing reporters without wearing a mask.

By the end of the day we found out so many others have tested positive for COVID-19, including two Republican senators, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah. Former Trump aide Kellyanne Conway was at the roll out for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett at the White House. Conway is now tested positive, plus three White House correspondents. That’s not even the complete list.

So many people have been in contact with the president, or the first lady, or any of his closest aides, flown with the president on Air Force 1; and we find out White House officials knew Hope Hicks was sick with the coronavirus and took the trip to New Jersey anyway, with that Ohio tool Rep. Jim Jordan on board. The government has to do contact tracing and testing on all those people, hundreds of people, all because the White House, the Trump Administration, was dishonest about the White House being a coronavirus cluster and super spreading location. 

Before I was finished with this the president was flown to Walter Reed Medical Center to be hospitalized. His condition, as relayed by the White House, went from him having mild symptoms to moderate symptoms. The thing is we can’t trust this administration to be honest. They never have during this pandemic. From the tapes of Bob Woodward’s interviews with President Trump we found out Trump intentionally misled the American public from the very beginning of the pandemic. We shouldn’t expect any transparency now.

In the recesses of our minds we knew something like this was going to happen, the way they flaunted the CDC guidance and safety precautions. People in the White House were getting infected all summer, especially Secret Service employees. Right under their noses Trump Administration officials saw the effect COVID-19 was having, not just in their close proximity, but around the nation and world. And yet they still flaunted the safety precautions. 

How will this effect the election? During the debate Trump and Biden were just 12 feet apart. Biden and his wife both tested negative, but he will need to take daily tests for at least a couple of weeks because the coronavirus has an 8-day incubation period, which could be longer, depending on the person.

Former Vice President Joe Biden at the debate
(YouTube screenshot

Biden doesn’t have the packed in super spreader events like Trump was having. Biden did an event in Michigan Friday in which he wished the president and Mrs. Trump well, offering prayers for them. He also said the president becoming sick from COVID-19 was a lesson that showed anyone, no matter how well tested and observed by medical staff, can get the virus. The Biden campaign also pulled all their negative ads, although the Trump campaign has not. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t, but the Biden campaign is taking the high road.

Trump is at the beginning of his illness, getting an experimental treatment that hasn’t been approved by the FDA yet. It shows promise and maybe it will have a good effect on Trump. The odds are in his favor to survive, but there are so many various outcomes. He is 74 years old and morbidly obese so there could be several long-lasting, maybe extremely serious after effects from the disease.

Nobody recovers quickly from COVID-19. Even very healthy people who get infected take six weeks or more to feel well enough to get back into the mainstream of life. Will Trump be well before the election? Can he even campaign from Walter Reed Medical Center? What will Vice President Mike Pence do in this campaign? Can he carry the load, or maybe, should he be campaigning as the presidential candidate?

This is uncharted territory. We don’t know how this will effect the campaigns and election. The good news is that President Trump is most likely to survive, but will he be capable enough to campaign, let alone execute the duties of his office? We don’t even know how this will effect the confirmation of the Supreme Court nominee. That could be off the table if more Republican senators become sick and need to quarantine. They have lost two so far.

Will people — voters — begin looking at the candidates differently now? Probably. How can we not? I’m voting for Biden and Harris anyway, but there are some, maybe 10% of the voters, who, for whatever reason remained undecided. If they understand the implications of the coronavirus and the Trump Administration’s willful disregard for the safety of the American people, due to their — mis-handling seems to be too soft a description because the president knowingly lied to us from the very beginning — will undecided voters decide marking their ballots for Trump and Pence is too big of a risk? We shall see. More will be revealed as Trump progresses through his infection.

Everything I intended to write is irrelevant now. It doesn’t matter what bullshit Trump spewed during the debate, his boorish and childish behavior, Begs the question: Why does his dedicated base think that makes him look and sound tough? How childish is his base?

Anyway, 7.36 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus and over 207, 000 have died. With over 20 states reporting drastic rises in coronavirus infections, with new clusters popping up in many places, this pandemic is about to get severely worse. As of this writing election day is less than 32 days away, although people have been voting early all over the country.

Maybe we should have extensive testing now and contact tracing of every member of Congress., Former Secretary of Homeland Security Department Jeh Johnson said the top five people in the line of succession to the presidency should begin quarantining now. That includes V.P. Pence, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, President of the Senate Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and two cabinet members, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin. 

This crisis gets deeper and darker by the moment. Wear a mask, wash your hands, stay away from large crowds, and whenever possible get tested. And get a flu shot. I just got mine. Getting the flu could be a terrible gateway to getting a severe case of the coronavirus. Stay safe. COVID-19 is not a hoax, it’s no joke. Anyone — anyone — can get infected.