Trump’s clownery coming back to bite him is a cautionary tale for virus naysayers
OPINION: What happened to the Trump administration this week is a textbook example of how the pandemic works and what happens to people who think they are invincible.
There is a pivotal scene in the iconic hit VH1 reality show Charm School where comedic powerhouse-turns-host Mo’Nique gives the unruly class of former Flavor of Love contestants some sage advice: “See when you do clownery, the clown comes back to bite.”
Right now, the “clownery” is a sitting United States president who has repeatedly denied the impact of a deadly coronavirus pandemic — only to now be infected by the virus himself.
On Thursday night, Trump confirmed reports that himself and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19. This was shortly after it was revealed that one of Trump’s closest aides, Hope Hicks, also tested positive for the virus. New reports reveal that she found out her diagnosis as early as Wednesday night.
But such information only made the Trump administration reduce its human cargo and nothing major. In fact, Trump decided to still hold a very anti social distancing fundraiser at a golf course in New Jersey on Thursday afternoon where he could have exposed more people to the contagious virus.
In other words, Trump knew he could have been exposed to the virus and still went around potentially spreading it to others. The fundraiser reportedly included a raffle, meet-and-greet with the president, lots of mingling, picture taking, and unmasked speaking. After the president’s newly revealed health status, that means everyone at the fundraiser has been exposed and should now self-quarantine. Because now the president of the United States has officially become a vector of the very virus he once described as a “hoax.”
I’m not one to wish bad things upon people at this magnitude. Knowing all of the things I know about coronavirus (you know, reading and listening to health professionals, experts and scientists) I wouldn’t want that trauma for anyone. As a Black millennial, I know so many people in my community and network who have disproportionately been impacted by this very fatal virus.
Over 200,000 people in this country have already lost their lives due to COVID-19 in just a few months. This virus is a very explosive situation for the Trump family and his administration. One would hope that he takes this very seriously and takes the necessary precautions to ensure he returns to good health.
But with that being said, Trump’s clownery over reducing the scale of the pandemic has created the very pandemonium that got him to this point in the first place. By not wearing masks constantly since the beginning of the virus’s outbreak, holding large scale rallies, not practicing social distancing, the president set a bad example for the American people. He derailed the advice of experts within his own camp, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, who had to constantly fact-check the misinformation Trump spewed during press conferences.
It was this kind of reckless behavior that inspired many throughout the country to continue to go about their daily lives without taking any of this seriously and jeopardizing the health of their neighbors, coworkers, and family.
What happened to the Trump administration this week is a textbook example of how the pandemic works and what happens to people who think they are invincible. The ‘Rona’ doesn’t care how rich, powerful, and doubtful you are — you don’t wash those hands, wear a mask, and social distance, and it will still get you.
Let this be a cautionary tale to anyone who thinks they are above science and common sense. Even the president of the United States, in all of his ego and self-righteousness, couldn’t avoid contracting COVID-19 among a sea of special security and routine testing.
While some are already trying to entertain mindless conspiracy theories suggesting that this diagnosis might not be real or that Trump might be trying to distract the American people — my advice would be to try using your head more and still keep wearing a mask and washing your hands. Whether he gets out of this in good health, the Trump campaign is impacted by this for sure.
The president and first lady will now have to self-quarantine for two straight weeks, which means no public appearances, fundraisers, rallies, and travel for half of the final month before the election. This is a pretty big damn deal and one that can prove fatal for a presidential campaign that’s been losing badly in the polls as of late.
There is a strong possibility of more COVID-19 positive cases affiliated with the Trump administration/campaign that may come out in the next few days. This will only get worse before it gets better. And for those who were in doubt about the pandemic that killed nearly a quarter of a million Americans, I pray that you don’t find out like the president.
Ernest Owens is the Writer at Large of Philadelphia magazine and CEO of Ernest Media Empire, LLC. The award-winning journalist has written for The New York Times, NBC News, USA Today and several other major publications. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and ernestowens.com.