File this one under, everything Trump touches dies!
The concept was first advanced by Republican strategist and Daily Beast contributor Rick Wilson, who wrote a book by the same title in 2018. Wilson, a “Never Trumper” who never changed direction, held that the former Democratic donor and reality television star Donald Trump was a disease that would destroy the conservative movement of which Wilson had been a part.
Unfortunately, as it turns out, Wilson was prescient.
In what has become the theme for an incompetent president’s reluctant battle with a pandemic, 2020 has turned out to be a year when Trump’s reverse Midas touch fouled Wilson’s conservative movement along with the economy, our freedoms, and, of course, the health of our population the world.
Since the first recorded diagnosis in Washington state on Jan. 20, Trump’s lack of a response to the novel coronavirus has been methodically killing us.
Trump’s first method of murder was benign neglect.
To date, COVID-19 has infected 4.3 million people in the United States, 2 million more than Brazil, which has the second largest number of infections. Just this week, California became the most infected state in the nation and Florida has added about 80,000 new cases. The contagion has killed almost 150,000 Americans.
Despite today’s stark numbers, things were much slower by the end of February when the disease had decimated Wuhan, China and ripped through communities in Italy and Spain.
In those days, Trump thought restricting travel from China would be enough to stop the spread of the disease, which he openly believed was created as some kind of bio-weapon. Where his China ban still allowed thousands from that region to come to our shore, Dumb Donald delayed on his restriction for European travel.
In January, he was warned by intelligence officials about the virus’ potential to spread globally, just two days after America’s first case was reported.
Trump was also informed that his friends in China were possibly withholding data on the disease, a fact that was later corroborated by former head of National Security John Bolton in his book: “The Room Where it Happened.”
Bolton also said Trump chose to hold back information on China’s reporting about the virus in the hopes of not fouling a trade deal the two nations were working on at the time.
None of those warnings mattered to the Trump White House, which was intent on claiming that the new virus was like the flu and would go away when the weather warmed.
Trump began his campaign to downplay the virus around the same time. He crowed that his administration had shut it down with its travel restrictions. Backed by sycophants like Kellyanne Conway and economic adviser Larry Kudlow, the American people were told the virus had been contained and there was nothing to worry about.
They continued to say warmer weather would stop the spread of coronavirus, and the president continued to hold rallies with large crowds.
In those days before COVID forced us to all shelter in place, the man with the Grim Reaper’s touch began what would be his unconscious tour of destruction.
On Feb. 23, he shuttled off to India to visit his friend, Indian President Narendra Modi. He toured the Taj Mahal as part of a 36-hour official visit to India, where he and First Lady Melania Trump were greeted like heroes.
He addressed an adoring crowd of 100,00 people at the Motera cricket stadium after entering the stage to songs from Elton John and the Village People classic, “Macho Man.” The visit came just before virus would shut down America and while cases in India were also low.
Both nations would soon fall to the Trump Touch.
At the time of Trump’s visit, India only claimed to have three cases of coronavirus, but things would change drastically during the two-week incubation period. Roughly two and a half weeks later, March 19, cases had grown to 173. Today, India is the third most infected place on earth with 1.4 million cases.
Trump returned to an America that was just beginning to come to grips with a force of nature — a highly transmissible contagion that would create a global pandemic.
The president issued guidelines on March 16 that set the tone by suggesting Americans avoid restaurants and bars and limit their travel and only gather in setting with 10 people or less.
As cases flourished, California, the site of several cases, officially closed down on March 19. Washington would follow on March 23, and as cases hit the densely populated tri-state area of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, governors in those states, too, would close down businesses, schools and public areas.
Certain portions of government were deemed essential, including grocery stores, hospitals, certain industries dealing with infrastructure, and others tied to law enforcement.
As the nation’s most populous places braced for what would be an unprecedented wave of sickness and death, the White House gave no guidance, but reluctantly followed suit and shut down.
With almost a three-month head start, America learned about coronavirus the hard way as those infected but showing no symptoms infected others, and those people passed the disease to still others. The world became dystopian as citizens fought each other for essentials like milk, bread, cleaning supplies, facial masks and toilet paper.
The White House, however, continued to ignore precautions from its experts and refused to social distance or wear masks in March 2020 when COVID-19 had “only” infected 115,000 worldwide and killed 4,000. Those numbers have now exploded, with the worldwide infection total estimated at 16.3 million and the death rate globally at about 650,000 yesterday.
As March came to a close, Trump suggested that he might rescind the guidelines and allow states to re-open by Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020.
During a Fox News virtual town hall, he said he hoped the reopening would serve as a kind of resurrection of the American economy, which was stunted by the pandemic. At the time, the United States had 53,000 known cases of coronavirus and some 700 confirmed deaths.
“You can destroy a country this way, by closing it down, where it literally goes from being the most prosperous. I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.”
Luckily, local officials pushed back and despite Trump’s urging, most business communities remained closed from March 16 until April.
In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp, a Trump supporter who reluctantly closed down the state after the March 16 deadline, was the first to reopen his state on April 24, earlier than even Trump expected. Largely due to coronavirus’ long incubation periods, Kemp was able to tout his success for about a month, and by late May, he estimated 41,000 Georgians had tested positive and 1,800 had died from COVID-19.
At the same time, the U.S. reported 1.1 million cases. Much has changed since May in the Peach State. At press time, Georgia had 168,000 positive tests and roughly 3,500 deaths from coronavirus.
The combination of hubris by leaders from places like Georgia and Florida, which was is also run by a Trump supporter, Ron DeSantis, combined with Trump’s benign neglect created a crossroads in June where some communities were following CDC guidelines to phase-in reopenings, while other openings were rushed.
The flashpoint hit on Memorial Day, June 25, when folks began gathering nationwide without social distancing or wearing masks. That holiday, which was also marked by the police murder of unarmed black motorist George Floyd, touched off weeks of protests in cities across the United States.
A reluctant Trump failed to call for the wearing of masks for all Americans and failed to issue any federal order mandating social distancing. Still in the passive phase of his destructive campaign, Demolition Donnie allowed coronavirus to spread like wildfire.
There was no better time for Mr. Death and Petulance to mount his horse of the apocalypse and jump start his re-election campaign with a “Death Tour” of the states.
Trump started his deadly tour, on June 20 in Tulsa, Okla., where he planned his first mass rally despite the growth of the virus there.
Teased for a paltry attendance of 7,000 in an area of about 20,000 people, Trump continued his Grim Reaper touch. At the time of the event, Oklahoma estimated nearly 10,000 people were infected with COVID in the state.
Since the Trump rally, cases have tripled to 31,285 cases of COVID, gaining 1,200 just yesterday after weeks of similar numbers. Deaths have also increased, from 370 on June 20 to 496 today.
But Donnie was only warming up.
After first visiting a mask production plant in May — and of course not wearing a mask — Dipshit Donnie, returned to the Grand Canyon state for a meeting of Students for Trump at the Dream City Church in Phoenix on June 23.
Packed with boisterous youngsters wearing MAGA hats, not social distancing, and, of course, following the lead of their hero by not wearing masks, Trump was again feeling his oats and preparing to spread his special brand of “magic.”
Touting the 3,000 attendees as “courageous warriors” against the Democrats who hate the country and “everything we prize as Americans,” Donnie worked the crowd into a frenzy and was on track again to push the reopening of the country and ignore the pandemic.
Because his “pimp hand” is strong, death and sickness exploded in Arizona. At the time of the June 23 event, Arizona tallied 58,000 coronavirus infections and 1,384 deaths. Today, after experiencing Donnie Darko’s touch, Arizona marks 162,000 infections and 3,305 deaths. In fact, Arizona in now the 8th most infected state in the country.
Still defiantly mask-less, Trump became the avatar for half a nation that refused to wear masks and sometimes resorted to violence to show their dissatisfaction with being instructed to do so. Politicized as a matter of personal liberty by Trump and his Cabinet, red state residents continued to infect public places with their presence, defiantly passing the virus to one another.
Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, Medical Director at Special Pathogens Unit at Boston University School of Medicine, reflected on the growing phenomenon during the July, 2, 202o edition of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“The biggest thing that we’ve seen as a hampering element, is that the president of the United States is not talking this pandemic seriously. He is not modeling the (correct) behavior. If he followed public health advice, we could make a big impact on the pandemic.”
Never one to miss an opportunity for fireworks, flyovers and the spread of coronavirus, Trump held his historic July 4 celebration the day before the holiday, in grand fashion, at the foot of Mount Rushmore.
About 7,000 people showed up with folding chairs to see Trump, the FLOTUS, and all the pretty fireworks in the South Dakota parkland.
In the wake of the South Dakota trip, cases in there also increased thanks to Donald’s anti-Midas touch. On the day of the super-spreader event, South Dakota marked 6,978 cases of COVID, with 97 deaths. Yesterday, 23-days later, that number had ballooned to 8,395 with 123 deaths.
Since his gala celebrations for Independence Day, something finally halted the Trump Death Tour — reality.
Late last week, Mr. Masks Are Optional was directed to change his tune and urge his supporters to wear masks in the midst of a surge in coronavirus cases nationwide. Republican leaders finally seem to be worried, not about the world leading 4 million infections in the United States, but also the sagging poll numbers that may lose them both the presidency and the Senate in November.
Donnie, who had been embraced for his “devil-may-care” attitude, is being rebranded as the guy who cares about you. The one who now wants you to play it safe, wear a mask, social distance and watch out for the “China Virus,” which he still says will magically disappear at some point in the future, thus proving that he was right all along.
With recently canceled dates in Wisconsin and Jacksonville, Fla., the public gathering portion of the “Trump Death Tour” may be on pause for now. However, with a continued push to get kids back to school, one can only hope it will not resume in the coming weeks at a school near you.