OK, You First, Mr. President

Friday, April 24th, 2020

Yesterday, at the daily White House train wreck press briefing on COVID-19, Donald Trump went on an ill-informed digression about light and disinfectants. From the official transcript:

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. So I asked Bill a question that probably some of you are thinking of, if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting. So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light — and I think you said that that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way, and I think you said you’re going to test that too. It sounds interesting.

ACTING UNDER SECRETARY BRYAN: We’ll get to the right folks who could.

THE PRESIDENT: Right. And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. So, that, you’re going to have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds — it sounds interesting to me.

That none of the “medical doctors” who were present rushed the stage to dispute this truly dangerous notion is but a sad footnote in the insanity that is Donald Trump’s presidency.

Thankfully, Trump’s hazardous ideas were swiftly condemned by the press, as well as anyone with even an ounce of goddamned common sense. Private businesses like Clorox and Reckitt Benckiser (makers of Lysol), as well as government agencies like the EPA and the Consumer Products Safety Commission, found themselves needing to issue statements warning the public not to ingest or inject bleach or other disinfectants.

Now, Trump is claiming he was being sarcastic, stating:

  • I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen.

Two things:

First, no. He very, very clearly was not being sarcastic. For my own mental well-being, I avoid listening to Trump shitting at the mouth whenever possible. In this case, though, the video is clear, and available for you to see with your own eyes.1 It’s just over a minute long, and it is entirely clear that he is not being sarcastic in any way. Donald Trump has such a poor understand of health, and how the human body works, that he believed these were solutions worth looking in to. That would be disturbing to hear from any adult. It’s truly horrifying to hear from the president of America.

Second, let us briefly, against all reason and evidence, accept this obvious lie. Let us temporarily accept the clearly false premise that Donald Trump was asking this question sarcastically, “just to see what would happen”. Is that a good use of time and energy? Is that what the leader of the nation should be doing, while Americans are stuck at home and businesses are closed, while hospitals are being overwhelmed, while people are dying?

Of course it is not. This presidency can’t end soon enough. I urge you to register to vote. I urge you to get your friends and family registered. And then I urge you to vote in November to make certain the Trump presidency ends on January 20th, 2021.


Footnotes:

  1. The video is archived here. ↩︎


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