I’m sure I’m not the only person waking us this Sunday morning and watching that new Donald Trump video with a regretful degree of scepticism. I want to think good things about his recovery but how can you when you know you’re being played?
First, the video was released alongside pictures of the President working on paperwork. I’m a big watcher of American news and I can honestly say that I can’t recall a single picture before this of Trump working on paperwork that wasn’t some Executive Order he was holding up for the cameras alongside a cheesy grin. Trump is notoriously lazy regarding his duties (every account of his presidency makes this point) and has no interest in the hard work of the presidency. This was staged and, as has been pointed out repeatedly, clearly staged using a photographer in the room with him, potentially putting that photographer in danger.
Second, he looked and sounded bad. It reminded me of Johnson in the first week of his illness, trying to deny that he was badly affected. It’s pure strongman bravado; the kind of nonsense we’re used to seeing with Putin and Bolsonaro. I understand, of course, that the President of the United States is a position that comes with certain responsibilities. The moment the President got ill and was sent into the hospital, America’s military stuck it’s planes into the air as a warning to other nations not to take advantage. But still, Trump is acting now like he acted before. He didn’t use his address to tell Americans to wear masks. He didn’t even thank the people who were wishing him well. It was “me, me, me”. Pitiful.
Notable yesterday, for example, was the way the Biden campaign took down negative ads attacking Trump. There’s been no such response the other way. So does Biden respond and attack Trump? It would make sense, yet then would some see him attacking the President when he’s sick? It’s a tough call. Steve Schmidt, one of the former Republican strategist behind the Lincoln Project, says that he should. I can’t decide what I’d advice. Biden is in a strong position. Perhaps he’s even in a strong enough position to take the high moral line. Proves he’s not Trump and is a better kind of politician.
Last, I guess, is the science. Trump hasn’t reached the dangerous stage, which is apparently going into the second week when this virus does one of two things: it either backs off and you recover or it digs in deeper and sends you to the critical care ward. His doctors need to be more open about what’s going on because the speculation doesn’t help anybody. They shouldn’t help the White House spin the President’s condition yet, thus far, I’m not sure I’ve heard a thing I feel I can believe. When they were talking about his important numbers, yesterday, the doctors cited perfect scores every time. Perhaps they were telling the truth but, in this age of Trumpian gaslighting, every single number felt like a fabrication. The only “truth” I heard was when his doctor called him “slightly overweight”, which struck me as both an understatement and (in Trump’s eyes) probably a sackable offense.
Today I’m resting some more. I’m still feeling exhausted. Still running around doing my usual jobs but no work for myself once I finish this blog post. I’m going to watch the match tonight, follow some of the new info due to emerge about the PS5 (yes, I get excited by all console news), and I intend to finish Episode 3 (the last one for the moment) of The Long Dark. Episode 3 has been fun but a much harder grind than the previous two. Food is rapidly running low and I have a big plot point to reach, which I’d praying there’ll be more resources.
In more personal news: my mum did a short walk today and is genuinely (touch wood) sounding much like her old self. Again, sorry to dwell on this for the past week, though obviously it’s consumed all my energy (probably too much energy, if I’m honest… I’ve rarely felt this wiped out.) It does, however, feel like my actions were justified in going around the GP, who I think would have been happy to attribute my Mum’s confusion to old age and wouldn’t have done a thing to help lift it.
It’s sad world when you can’t even trust the doctors…