Normally, a president who fell ill, and with the very illness that is punishing the entire planet no less, would be a figure of enormous sympathy. Normally, even a decent percentage of people from the other party would feel unconflicted sympathy. Normally, also, that president would behave with grace and humility—and transparency, well aware that the credibility of the United States of America before the eyes of the world was at risk.
But this is Donald Trump we’re talking about, and, as ever with him and his retinue of blackshirts and droogies, nothing tracks. Trump was given a drug that is reserved for COVID patients with serious cases, and yet, he’s doing great and he may be released today! And he does this bizarre drive-by Sunday evening, endangering Secret Service agents, so he can drink in the adoration of a “crowd” in a city where he’s going to be very lucky next month to win 12 percent of the vote. At least he wasn’t holding an upside-down Bible. It’s all lies to get through a news cycle, which is all it ever is with this crowd.
Trump will not get that unconflicted sympathy, and he won’t get it because he doesn’t deserve it. He’ll get sympathy; most people are decent people who wish any sick person a recovery, as indeed I did in my last column. But it will be deeply conflicted sympathy, because most of America agrees that he’s a vain madman who doesn’t care who he got sick at Bedminster and who will happily put the credibility of this nation through a sausage-grinder before he’ll tell the world the full truth about this.