It’s terrible to be sick.
Even when you have good health insurance and the best medical care. Even when you’re the president of the United States. Even when contracting this particular illness reeks of karma, of payback, of divine justice, the way it does for President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, who announced early Friday they have tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has killed a million people worldwide, including 206,000 Americans.
There will no doubt be a certain amount of gloating, of snide “thoughts and prayers” chortling. Guess that hydroxychloroquine didn’t do the trick after all, huh?
I can see why. Only Tuesday Trump was in full bore bullying mode at the first presidential debate in Cleveland, speaking over his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, insulting him and the rest of us.
“We’ve done a great job,” Trump said of his delayed, botched reaction to the pandemic, which he initially trivialized and ignored. The one thing Trump did do — haphazardly restrict travel with China — was again held up as if it had been adequate. He again pretended he was the one on top of the situation while his opponents dithered, Trump’s trademark move of blaming others for his own deficiencies.
“It’s China’s fault!” he complained, as if that matters. As if America’s response to the virus didn’t at least match their blundering, if not surpass it.
But the quality that ties one hand behind the back of Democrats in this fight is our ability to empathize with other people, even bad people. And in truth I have always felt sorry for Trump, clearly a broken man, his ego so damaged it must be constantly stroked. Living proof that you can be rich, famous, powerful and still a pathetic excuse for a human being who just can’t stop talking, mostly about himself.
“They give you good press,” he sniveled to Biden Tuesday. “They give me bad press.”
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