An Ever-widening Circle

Today is Tuesday October 6th. Kia ora katoa.

I guess we all (or many or us) hoped that Trump would take the coronavirus seriously once he was infected himself. But no. How stupid, really. I used to think that if Ivanka were infected he would be truly sad, but I doubt even that now. He has shown, and continues to show reckless disregard for not only his own health, and the US government, but for everyone around him. Recently I checked my phone often to see who next had recorded a positive test, just as before the 2016 election when women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct.  Mike Pence continues to hold rallies; the vice-presidential debate is to go ahead this week as scheduled, and apparently Trump is thinking of going ahead with the next presidential debate. What a thoroughly unpleasant person he is.

He has taken/is taking a cocktail of drugs, some of which are known to make 30% of recipients delusional. The steroid drug he’s been given is only given to patients on ventilators. He wishes to discharge himself from hospital. It’s reported that wanting this is common amongst delusional patients. Then there’s the joyride, as it’s now being called, another example of insanity, where two security staff accompanied this infectious patient on his car trip. There continue to be conflicting reports on his health: how long has he had the virus? how often did his blood-oxygen levels drop? what is the state of his lungs? What drugs is he still on? What kind of monitoring will be continued?  How long will he be considered infectious? At what point is he incapable of running the country, i.e. of being president? There is already confusion as to the timeline of his testing positive to being treated for Covid 19.

Trump’s behaviour contrasts with that of Vladimir Putin. He has claimed that Russia has a vaccine, to which my rejoinder would be to ask how effective it is, and how accessible it is, given that everyone who sees Putin has to self-isolate for 14 days beforehand, and take a Covid 19 test. Putin himself is in isolation, continuing to run Russia from his seclusion. Russia doesn’t have anything to crow about with respect to the virus, but their death rate at 21,475 is a fraction of US deaths at 215,000, a shocking statistic.

Meanwhile, at the White House, there is no effort to contact people who may have been infected. A CNN journalist who has tested positive has confirmed this. As has been pointed out, all people who came into contact with staff at the White House have families and networks of contacts and friends. Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press officer (3rd or 4th?)  has tested positive, which surprises no one.  Her two deputies have also tested positive.

While Trump and Americans are seemingly obsessed with his health, there remain very serious issues about what’s happening in the rest of the world, and about security, on many levels. There’s the threat from white supremacy, which seems to be active in many countries, and particularly in the US. There’s the matter of Trump’s personally guaranteed debt, as well as the fact that he’s paid little or no income tax, and it a lousy businessman.  There’s threats (foreign and domestic) to the coming US election, and the likelihood that other countries could take advantage of the current vacuum: does anyone trust Pence or Pompeo to handle international affairs?

This is ghastly. I’m so glad we’re not there. I’ll stop here. Nga mihi.

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