The Entire Presidency Is a Superspreading Event Down in the polls, high on steroids, and clinging to good health while endangering everyone else’s.
Oct. 9, 2020
Art: Eric Fischl
WN: The article highlighted is tragic recounting of an incredibly sick man on every level–and an administration trying desperately to keep the four-year con-job going . . .
Donald Trump was on the phone, and he was talking about dying. It was Saturday, October 3, and while his doctor had told the outside world that the president’s symptoms were nothing to worry about, Trump, cocooned in his suite at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, was telling those close to him something very different.
“I could be one of the diers,” he said.
The person on the other end of the line couldn’t forget that unusual word the president used: dier. A seldom-said dictionary standard, it was a classic Trumpism, at once sinister and childlike. If being a loser was bad, being a dier was a lot worse. Losers can become winners again. Diers are losers forever. But aren’t we all diers in the end? Donald Trump, the least self-reflective man in America, was contemplating his own mortality.
He said it again: “I could be one of the diers.”
In the hospital, Trump’s world shrank overnight in a way it hadn’t since he arrived in Washington from New York to be sworn into office nearly four years ago. Contagious and isolated from his family and closest aides, he was accompanied by Dan Scavino, the social-media director who had first been his caddie and had survived at his side longer than anyone who wasn’t blood, and Mark Meadows, his highly emotional chief of staff, who slept in a room nearby, and was attended to by a team of camera-conscious doctors. In this sterilized confinement, he tried to distract himself from his illness. He plotted his escape, planned public-relations stunts, watched TV, and took calls from friends, members of his staff, and Republican lawmakers. But he remained consumed by what the doctors told him about his chances of survival. It wasn’t a sure thing.
Nine months into the pandemic and one month away from Election Day, the president considered for the first time that the disease killing him in the polls, threatening his political future, might just kill him, too. On the phone he remarked sarcastically, “This change of scenery has been great.”
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