Thursday, June 18, 2020


The portion of President Trump's interview with Michael Bender of The Wall Street Journal that's getting the most attention is this moment of extreme narcissism.
On race issues, Mr. Trump said a black Secret Service agent told him the meaning of Juneteenth as the president was facing criticism for initially planning to hold his first campaign rally in three months on the day....

Holding a rally on that day, particularly as racial protests continued throughout the country, was insensitive, African-American leaders told Mr. Trump. He eventually pushed the rally back a day to June 20.

“I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous,” Mr. Trump said, referring to news coverage of the rally date. “It’s actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it.”
Many people had heard about it, of course, but the president hadn't, nor had any of his usual sounding boards ("Mr. Trump said he polled many people around him, none of whom had heard of Juneteenth"). Therefore, Juneteenth practically didn't exist until he publicized it!

But Trump's take on the coronavirus is equally narcissistic.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal’s Michael Bender on Wednesday, President Trump caught himself.

He was boasting about the recent positive uptick in the economy, as measured by, among other things, improvements in the stock market.

“Nasdaq hit 10,000 for the first time, an all-time record,” Trump said. “Nasdaq, that was three, four days ago. In the middle of the pandemic, not in the middle toward the end of the pandemic.”

That’s where Trump would like to think the country is: at the tail end of the pandemic....

Later in the interview with the Journal, he again hinted that maybe the country had emerged from the woods.

“If I didn’t act, we would have had 3 million deaths,” Trump claimed. “And instead we’re at 110,000. And we could be heading to a number that’s, you know, higher than 150,000 to 2,000, it could be ending all now depending on how it goes.”
Trump said that we're "toward the end of the pandemic" and that "it could be ending all now depending on how it goes." In another interview yesterday, he said, "if you look, the numbers are very minuscule compared to what it was. It's dying out." Meanwhile California, Arizona, Florida, and Texas experienced record-high positive test results again today. This is now a daily occurrence in these states. Cases have been spiking recently in nearly half the states in the U.S.

But Trump says the pandemic is ending because it's ending for him. Under orders from the plutocracy, he's given up on trying to control the spread of the virus. And, personally, he's safe -- White House employees who might come in contact with him are tested every day, as are any guests he encounters.

I know Trump is doing what he usually does: selling an upbeat line of bullshit because that's his go-to move whenever he's at risk of failure. But he's also declaring the virus a thing of the past because, as far as he's concerned, he doesn't personally have to worry about it. He'll enjoy a dose of his favorite drug this weekend, a big MAGA rally; he had to temporarily quit MAGA rallies cold turkey because of the virus, but that's over now. So the virus is over, too.

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