President Trump and White House Imperiled by Own Culture of Invincibility

President Trump and White House Imperiled by Own Culture of Invincibility by David Haggith for The Great Recession

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Throwing the Trump administration and campaign into turmoil, COVID-19 has struck the president, the First Lady, White House staff and key Republicans. The virus the president “downplayed” has imprisoned him for being a viral scofflaw. He can no longer attend rallies in person or shake hands or talk face-to-face with voters. He’s cancelled events.

The prime suspect for ground-zero infection of the White House is the Rose Garden ceremony last Saturday at which President Trump unveiled his new Supreme Court justice. This Saturday, we have learned the virus has infected others in the president’s inner circle, and it may have infected his nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

So far she tests negative, but it is simply too early to know for sure because the disease can take two weeks of incubation before it becomes detectable in some. Therefore, it is almost certain other names will be added to the list time goes on.

The who, what, where, when and how

All fingers point to the Rose Garden.

We know COVID-19 infected Trump’s spokesperson and advisor Kelly Ann Conway. We know it infected a handful of Republican Senators, some of whom sit on the Senate Judiciary committee tasked with approving or disapproving Justice Barrett. It infected Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, and another of the president’s spokespeople, Hope Hicks; and it infected the chair of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, who spent a great deal of time with the president. All this past week.

All are Republicans. Most, if not all of them, attended the Rose-Garden ceremony, making that event the prime suspect. Some of Trump’s critics are calling it a “super-spreader event” — the kind Trump has been warned about and chastised for many times.

Who could have suspected a political party that cavalierly flaunted its rebuttal against precautionary warnings about using masks and social distancing at major events and public rallies would suddenly find a swath of its key people infected at the most crucial time in an election year? Yes, everyone around the capitol and White House this week who were reported to have come down with the virus was a Republican who attended events in the past week, particularly the ones for the Judge Barrett.

Nearly all of these infected people sat hip-to-hip, hugged and mingled with guests, most with faces free of the black veil that has become so common under COVID. See the following video proof of just how extensively that was true:

While it can never be known if masks and social distancing would have prevented those who had the illness from sharing it with others or protected people wearing masks from contracting it, we do know widespread use of masks and distancing at these events would have improved everyone’s odds.

The president, himself, has ridiculed his opponent many times for wearing a mask. Yet, there is a reason doctors and nurses have all worn masks as standard procedure in surgery for more than a century. Masks DO help stop the spread of contagion, even if they are not perfect. Not wearing them in surgery could even be considered reckless or negligent.

Yet, they are usually not worn in the White House. Some staffers have said that is because wearing them is frowned upon by other staffers who seek to follow the president’s lead and to apply a little social pressure on those who do not.

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David Haggith

Knave Dave — vigilante against the false profits of The Great Recession Too many criminal CEOs still fill their porky bellies with the biggest taxpayer bailouts in the history of the world. These bailouts protect their reputations, saving them from the fall they should have taken. They continue to receive bonuses for having done an unparalleled job of destroying their companies! Many of their companies wouldn’t be making any profit at all if not for the interest they’re making off of nearly free government bailouts. Just this week Hewlett-Packard fired its CEO, but is still paying him a bonus of millions of dollars in exchange for a year of corporate wandering in the wilderness. Netflix’s CEO cost his company hundreds of thousands of subscribers and had to reverse his decision. Bank of America’s CEO launched a debit-card fee plan that was immediately stupid in the eyes of many, but greed an arrogance led him to think he could pass it by his customers, and he lost customers in droves and had to reverse his decision, as did the many major banks that followed him. Since these corporate leaders do things most of us can immediately see as being dumb, why are they rewarded with salaries a thousand times greater than many of us make?