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Date: 2024-05-20 Page is: DBtxt003.php txt00019633

The Trump Saga
HaHa ... he beat the Corona (Chinese) virus

After Donald Trump's deranged balcony address, we're all gasping together ... The president tells us he beat coronavirus like a man: the kind who takes all the best drugs and leaves everyone else exposed

Burgess COMMENTARY

Peter Burgess
After Donald Trump's deranged balcony address, we're all gasping together

The president tells us he beat coronavirus like a man: the kind who takes all the best drugs and leaves everyone else exposed


Donald Trump on the White House’s Truman balcony. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

A rare moment of unity in the US election, as Donald Trump marked his return to the White House by gasping along with his detractors. On Monday night, the president puffed up the front staircase of his residence, his face coated in several more gallons of paint than the front elevation of the building. “Don’t let it dominate your lives,” he panted of the virus, a bad case of which tends to dominate your death.

Yet there he was, this hideous kink in the arc of history, giving the most dangerous balcony performance since Michael Jackson had his baby crowdsurf off one. The American people are all Blanket now.

As for the optics, “deranged balcony address” is certainly a look – but not one that tends to end well. How might this version turn out? Unfortunately, it’s not a question Trump’s attention span equips him to answer. His reference points for the form are the occasional three minutes of historical documentaries he’s forced to watch while searching his stomach-folds for the TV remote. It feels like he switches over to Fox News before discovering how a whole series of 20th-century balcony stories ended.

Still: don’t call him Wussolini. He beat this illness – which he still very much has – like a man. One of the really manly ones, who takes all the best drugs and leaves everyone else exposed and misled and unprotected. Even so, early reactions to the gasping spectacle suggest the move could only have backfired more if Trump had ascended the front steps via a hastily installed stairlift carrying a pack of adult diapers.

Once he’d wheezed through the unpleasantries, all that remained was to remove his mask and set about infecting any remaining staff yet to be exposed to his droplets. Think of Trump as the 83rd Airborne, parachuting his deadly particles deep into butlers’ respiratory systems. He won’t give you a Purple Heart, but he might give you purple lungs.

Alas, it’s disappointing to find potential victims failing to feel grateful for the opportunity. One current secret service agent assigned to the first family’s detail expressed frustration, telling CNN: “We’re not disposable.” Two housekeeping staff have already tested positive for the virus. As the events of the past week show, the president’s respect for human life is so low that he is willing to send an entire army of servants into 14-day isolation or worse in order to keep up a steady stream of trans-fats being fed to him. Dying in the line of duty used to mean taking a bullet for the president; it could now involve taking him a Diet Coke. Thank you for your drinks service.


Donald Trump appears short of breath during maskless photo op at White House – video

As for how Trump spent the rest of his evening, I assume it was straight on to the monstrous leader’s WhatsApp to josh with the other bros about how they kill their underlings. RocketmanKim loves a firing squad, Vlad69’s a huge chemicals guy, but Trump just clears his throat while being brought his fourth burger of the day. Boom! “I cough on them like a bitch! When you’re famous you can do that.”

Face it, he’s absolutely bossing the likes of Kim and Xi and MBS in the fantasy evil-doer leagues. It’s not that the other guys don’t have lethal motorcades and abysmal interiors taste and balcony addresses and death cults and doctors who mislead the world. But doing them in a democracy – well, that makes it triple points.

Speaking of physicians who really need to heal themselves, what a striking misinformation campaign it’s been from presidential medic Sean Conley, who has been continually obfuscating about Trump’s condition since calling his symptoms “mild”, only for even the White House to contradict him. For me, that’s the new low. Of course, we now expect the president of the United States to lie as default – to tell us black is white, or up is down, or to claim he never said something he’s on camera saying. But for a professional and senior doctor to mislead apparently without remorse shows how necrotic the body politic has become, from the very top down. The lying, the reality-denying is not a one-off case – it’s the other epidemic.

In fact, it’s kind of amazing that conspiracy theorists have lined up so supportively behind Trump, when he’s really the most convincing proof yet of all their worst fears. The Man really is lying to them, he really is wicked, and he really does want to kill them. The damning evidence is right there in front of everyone. Only, instead of begging Oliver Stone to make a film about it, they want to give Trump a second term.

Like me, you probably hate to see a conspiracist wimp out of their beliefs just when it’s coming up roses for them. It’s as if the moon landing hoaxers were signing over their life savings to Nasa, or the flat earthers booking a round-the-world ticket. So come on, guys – back yourselves! After all, if not now, then when?

• Marina Hyde is a Guardian columnist
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Has Trump learned anything from Covid-19? Absolutely not Francine Prose
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