Trump’s Got COVID-19 — That’s Not Good

Donald Trump

The big news last night was that Donald Trump has COVID-19. I know it’s easy to rejoice. “Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!” But it’s actually bad for a couple of reasons.

First, I don’t want Trump to get sick and die. And I don’t just say that because I think he should live long enough to be punished for his crimes. I don’t wish death and disease on him. I hope he’s okay.

(If he manages to win re-election or stage a coup, I am open to changing my mind about this.)

But I really think Trump is not the issue in this country. Roughly half of us voted for him in 2016. Everything that’s come out about him has only proven what was already well established. The worst things about him — his racism, bullying, and laziness — were not things that people didn’t know. They were reasons that so many Americans voted for him.

Beyond that, without the entire Republican Party protecting him, he wouldn’t have been able to do one-tenth the damage that he’s done. But they care more about tax cuts and destroying the regulatory state than they care about preserving at least a hint of democracy in this country.

Why Trump’s Condition Is Bad

But the biggest reason that it is bad that Trump has COVID-19 is because he is losing this election badly. The other day, David Pakman reported that the presidential election polls were tightening. He actually got me a little concerned.

So I went and checked out the Real Clear Politics averages. And yes, they are tightening — but exactly as we expect them to. Trump’s numbers have risen a small amount. Biden’s are rock solid. And most important: Biden is averaging about 50 percent in polls. That means there isn’t the possibility that Biden could lose because the undecided voters break heavily for Trump. (This is what happened in 2016.)

As a result of Trump doing so badly, chaos is his only hope. That’s what explained his absolutely disgraceful performance at the debate on Tuesday. It’s like the T-1000 at the end of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. After it falls into molten steel, it transforms into various forms, looking for something that will work.

And in a presidential campaign, you never know what’s going to happen. I don’t really think that Trump getting sick is going to cause Biden voters to feel sorry and change their votes. But Trump could get a political advantage from this. Anything that upsets expectations can do this.

Other Fears

Another concern is that Trump will not get symptoms. If that’s the case then there will be more bloviating about how there is nothing to the disease. Because obviously: if it doesn’t harm Trump, what does it matter?

This isn’t a big concern however because I’m not sure that there is anything else Trump can do along these lines that would make matters worse. It would just be annoying. But there is another thing that would be bad…

If Trump were to die of COVID-19, it would be terrible for the country. His base would develop a conspiracy delusion that he was murdered by the “deep state.” This would not only turn him into a martyr; it would add fuel to the dangerous QAnon conspiracy delusion. And I’m already worried what these people are going to do if Trump is defeated next month.

In a Better America

There was a time when you could depend upon Republicans. They lacked empathy. But if a Republican learned that their son was gay, they would suddenly learn the importance of gay rights. But we don’t live in that world that existed just 20 years ago.

If we did, the Republican President getting sick with COVID-19 would make the whole party stand up and take this pandemic seriously. But I’m sure they won’t. Trump himself will continue to minimize this.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope this causes a sea change. Regardless of who’s in power, we need to shape up when it comes to COVID-19. It’s killing large numbers of people. And it makes our country a joke on the world stage. And our economy continues to limp along, economically.

But all that will likely come out of this is more of the same. And that’s not so bad as long as Trump doesn’t benefit from a disease he most certainly deserves to get.


Trump image cropped from Donald Trump Official White House Portrait by Shealah Craighead in the public domain.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

9 thoughts on “Trump’s Got COVID-19 — That’s Not Good

        • As far as I know, no one can suspend the election. But then, there have been so many things that were out of the question before that have gotten at least some support on the Supreme Court. And for the last two decades, the Republicans have been putting ideologues on the Court who really don’t care about anything but pushing conservative “policy.” It’s interesting that for decades, Republicans talked about “legislating from the bench.” It was never really true. But now conservatives do it constantly and mostly the Democrats and media say nothing. It’s tiring watching one party engage in realpolitik and the other push some kind of idea of “fairness.” Does anyone think the Republicans wouldn’t have added DC and Puerto Rico as states if they were seen as Republican? Yet I recently heard a Democratic Senator say that he didn’t think we should add these states (which should have been done decades ago) because it wouldn’t be fair to the Republicans! Our electoral college isn’t fair to the Democrats! But because it’s been unfair for so long that makes it okay?!

  1. Vox had an interesting bit on right-wing politicians who poo-poohed the virus then got it. It didn’t affect their support in any way. Bolsonaro in Brazil, Johnson in England, nothing changed. (Althougb Bolsonaro has been expanding financial assistance to some poor Brazilians. Likely because a dethroned Brazilian dictator can face rather nastier consequences than a British or American one.)

    My favorite, though, was the thug president in Belarus, who claimed people could beat the virus with saunas and vodka. What I wouldn’t give to trade “inject bleach” presidents with “saunas and vodka”! Those have no health benefits, but at least they can make you feel better.

    Per the American election, I’m laying odds right now: we know Trump will contest the results if he loses, and make noise about not leaving; he’s said as much, repeatedly. But I’m putting it at -200 / +225 that he’ll do so right up to Inauguration Day, then resign and get a bazillion pardons from Pence at the last second.

    And then a Biden administration won’t go after his unpardonable offenses in the name of “unity.” But I do hope Biden goes hard after every crook and swindler who worked in the administration or got contracting dollars for bulls**t. (Except at the Pentagon, of course, a antimatter vortex where all known laws of space/time/accounting principles disappear into a corruption singularity of infinite density.)

    You can’t make Republicans not Republican, yet you can send a message that they, this is politics, we know tons of people are on the take, but at least do it legally, it’s not very hard.

  2. On Republicans who’ll acknowledge the humanity of gay people once their kid is gay: you have to kinda admire Dick Cheney’s consistency on this, he didn’t! Nor did/does another daughter of his, a staunch “family values” House member.

    A quick Wiki look tells me the House one tried to primary fight one of Wyoming’s Republican senators, didn’t win. She quit the race because of “family health issues.” That’s hilarious, as anybody who’s ever followed American politics knows that “family health issues” means sex scandal almost every single time. When Democrats do it, it’s usually sex with a minor or employee or something like that. When Republicans do it, it’s usually because somebody was caught solitciting gay prostitutes (arguably less immoral than pressuring an intern into sex, but worse image-wise).

    Am I suggesting Representative Cheney’s husband was into sweet cowboy lovin’? Well, as a sometimes e-published author who always tries to double-check his claims made in articles, I of course would never say such a speculative thing. Oh, wait… this is a comment thread. So yeah, I’m definitely suggesting that.

    (Now watch, I’ll get some angry email from somebody who knows the Cheneys telling me those “family health issues” were a very tragically stricken child, and I will feel bad. But not that bad. The worst thing I’ve ever written doesn’t come close to the worst Cheneys have done.)

    • I don’t recall any underage sex. I’m sure there’s been some. But if you mean interns, I think they are all 18. Can you clarify?

      The reason gay sex is particularly scandalous is because these are men who have always been fantastically anti-gay. If Pete Buttigieg had a scandal, it would just be that he was unfaithful.

      Republicans don’t stand for anything. They are making a big deal out of Cal Cunningham’s flirty texts with a colleague. Thankfully, he’s acting more like a Republican and staying in the race. The Democrats really need to focus on winning power. We treat it too much like it’s a morality contest. And the funny thing is that the mainstream Democrats doing this (rightly) complain when we on the left get hung on purity. But that’s calling the kettle black — and over really lame issues. I still don’t think Al Franken should have stepped down. Certainly a Republican wouldn’t have. And we lost one of the most eloquent voices in the Democratic Party.

      • I do remember Oregon governor Neil Goldschmidt was having sex with the babysitter (it didn’t come out until years after he resigned for “family reasons.”) But you’re right, that was one instance. It’s usually campaign staffers or sex workers (the latter being only barely a real issue so long as they’re well paid).

        I suppose if Buttigieg gets caught cheating on his husband, we can consider it progress in a strange way!

        • True! I hope it never happens. It would really take the earnest shine off him. On second thought, it might make him more popular!

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