Trumplandia: October 3 — 10, 2020

A Pox On Our House Edition

APPROVAL ALERT AT PRESS TIME:
FiveThirtyEight Poll: 43.3% — down from 44.1% last week
Rasmussen Poll: 46% — same as last week

Pew Research Poll 2020, Oct. 9: Biden: 52%, Trump: 42%

Welcome to Trumplandia, a place where, with a bit of wit and snark, we keep the world caught up on all of the tasty Nuggets-O-Trump you may have heard about but were too busy to care. Because most of this minutia occurs just below the massive headlines about the POTUS, it’s in a land of its own. Here, an infusion of social media, video clips and print media meld with our outdated political views to make more delicious “Fake News” about our Commander-in-Chief.

So just like the president, we start it all with a little tweet like this:

The Tale of Typhoid Donnie

The week of our Trump — Oct. 3, 2020: It’s been a week since the nation took a collective gasp when Dumb Donald Trump, our president and the leader of the free world, was medevaced from the South Lawn of the White House to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center due to COVID-19.

Trump, who has largely ignored mask and social distancing rules throughout the pandemic, last week tested positive for coronavirus and had to be hospitalized. He was admitted to Walter Reed on the evening of Oct. 2, 2020, with a mild cough, a fever, nasal congestion and fatigue.

What has transpired since has been a mix of medical misinformation, obfuscation and ignorant defiance from the spreader-in-chief, who it appeared was coerced into a hospital stay only to try and leave the facility as soon as possible in out-and-out denial of his condition.

To make matters worse, the fully contagious Trump demanded to return the scene of the crime where he is thought to have infected at least 34 West Wing employees, cleaning staff and members of the Secret Service.

Continuing his own narrative that painted him as stronger than the virus, Trump spent his time in the hospital tweeting videos to his supporters to show them that despite having apparently infected the FLOTUS, presumably political adviser Chris Christie, aide Stephen Miller and at least two Senate Republicans, he was not going to let a little thing like a global pandemic keep him bedridden.

He urged the American people to not let coronavirus “dominate their lives,” and touted the course of drugs he was given to treat his illness, of course failing to note, as president of the United States, he would have access to treatments no one else in the world can get.

An estimated 7.8 million Americans have become infected by coronavirus since February, with 218,000 dying since March.

Despite his “triumphant” return, White House officials spoke of Trump as being almost symptom free. But the White House has refused to inform the American people of when the president last tested negative for coronavirus.

His doctor, Navy Commander Dr. Sean Conley, proclaimed Trump to be symptom free and miraculously able to return to normal activity although he was still being treated for COVID with a powerful steroid.

We may not know how long Trump has been sick, but reports said he was placed on supplemental oxygen last week before boarding Marine One. Hydroxychloroquine, the drug Trump touted to the country as a miracle cure, was nowhere to be found. Once at the hospital, macho man Trump was in bad enough shape to be given an experimental drug being developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals that is supposed to prevent serious damage from coronavirus.

Given intravenously and in the late stage of testing, the dose was administered under a “compassionate use” designation. Trump was also treated with the anti-viral medications remdesivir and dexamethasone, which is described as a corticosteroid, a class of steroid that has shown promise in the treatment of patients with serious coronavirus infections. The side effects of dexamethasone include mood swings, behavioral issues and cognitive effects. In Trump, that was served with a side of classic narcissistic and sociopathy.

As only the second president to visit the hospital for a health emergency, the morbidly obese former New York real estate mogul seemed to stage events during his treatment to fuel his base of supporters. After the first day, Donnie took a joy ride around the facility where he waved to adoring fans who had camped outside the hospital in a show of support for their fallen hero.

By the time the president returned to the White House just after sundown on Oct. 5 for a pathetic photo shoot on the balcony, the re-bronzed commander-in-chief appeared to be winded and gasping for air.

Was he drunk off an anti-COVID cocktail or just serving up more Trumpian bulls#*t even in his weakened state?

Last night, while a guest on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” he gave an update on his condition and again gave his own diagnosis:

“I have been retested and I haven’t even found out numbers or anything yet but I’ve been retested and I know I’m either at the bottom of the scale or free.”

No Debating It

Workers clean and install plexiglass for vice presidential debate. — Getty Images

While the public was fixating on the hoopla over Dumb Donald and his infection, a presidential election was brewing and the Trump administration’s handling of the novel coronavirus again took front stage.

Watching an outbreak at the White House infect more than 38 people with ties to the president, Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris squared off for a debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Taking place a week after the controversial presidential debate where President Trump may have been infected with COVID-19 and his family members all refused to wear masks, the vice presidential battle would be different. Held before a small audience at the school’s debate hall, all attendees were required to wear a mask and everyone had to be tested for the virus prior to the event. Harris and Pence were also directed to remain at least 12 feet apart.

The historic debate marked the first time a woman of color (Harris is biracial — Black and Eastern Indian descent), participated in a vice presidential debate for a major party. The debate was moderated by USA Today.

Despite being infected and/or around others in their immediate circle who have been infected, members of the Trump campaign had at first balked at the use of plexiglass shields to protect the candidates. “If Sen. Harris wants to use a fortress around herself, have at it,” said Katie Miller, Pence’s spokesperson.

Ironically, Miller’s comments came months after she was infected with COVID and just hours after her husband, White House aide Stephen Miller, was diagnosed as a victim of the outbreak at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The point was also echoed by Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short: “If she wants it, she’s more than welcome to surround herself with plexiglass if that makes her feel more comfortable. It’s not needed.”

Harris’ Chief of staff Karine Jean-Pierre said the barrier was being used to protect both candidates and all attendees. Jean-Pierre said it was “shameful” for Pence, who is the head of the White House coronavirus task force, to have opposed the safeguard.

Once the debate ended it was time for both camps to look forward to the next debate between the men running for president, but the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced yesterday that the debate set for October 15 between Democratic nominee Joe Biden and Trump was officially canceled.

The announcement followed a decision by the commission to hold the debate virtually in light of the president’s recent diagnosis with COVID-19. Trump, shortly after returning from being hospitalized, said he would not participate in the debate if it were virtual.

Meanwhile, Biden plans to hold a town hall event on ABC News that night in lieu of the debate. Trump plans to hold a public event at the White House today and a rally in Florida next week.

The final presidential debate is still set for Nashville, Tenn., on October 22, just days before the Nov. 3 election.

Fly Boy

You know your nation has plunged into the Seventh Circle of Hell when the largest takeaway from a perfectly good political debate is a housefly.

That’s right, while Harris and Pence were locked in a heated debate like grownups just weeks from an election, a nation strung out on petty Trumpian behavior and coronavirus chose not to focus on the issues or on the historic nature of the night, but on a common housefly.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, or like my older brother, still have no use for pay tv, the internet or a smart phone, a rather pedestrian housefly landed on Pence’s frosty pate, setting off a media frenzy for jokesters obsessed with poking fun at the Trump/Pence ticket.

The fly stayed on Pence’s head for about two minutes, but was the beginning of what would be a surefire path to stardom. Because in our trivial nation, the fly became the latest vehicle by which to bug the very serious Pence and his goofball running mate.

In fact, that little musca domestica became such a hit that memes, gifs and parodies flooded the internet and social media. Twitter users changed their profile names to things like TheFlyOnMikesHead, TheFlyOnPencesHead and TheFlyOnMikePence’sWig. The fly even was interviewed by the Washington Post, with opinion columnist Alexandra Petri dedicating space to an exclusive one-on-one with the insect.

The Biden camp immediately joined in on the fun by asking folks to pitch in $5 to his campaign. Team Biden even bought an internet domain: flywillvote.com, which redirects users to iwillvote.com, a voter registration site operated by the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

In a related story, the Biden camp sold over 35,000 fly swatters to get in on the buzz. Selling for $10 and featuring the slogan “Truth over Flies,” which is a play on Biden’s campaign slogan of “Truth Over Lies.”

Steve Schmidt, a co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, jokingly declared that the fly landing on Pence was a sign of pure evil:

“I don’t think it’s ever a good sign when a fly lands on your head for two minutes. That’s a sign although maybe you wouldn’t normally say this — it’s only safe to say this after midnight . . . but a fly, he who commands the fly is always seen historically as a mark of the devil.”

Schmidt, who ran the unsuccessful presidential campaign for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz). in 2008, co-founded the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump organization comprised of former Republicans. He and Trump engaged in a nasty Twitter battle in the days following the vice presidential debate, during which Schmidt described the president as “a splendid moron turned deadly clown.”

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