President* Trump,

I know it doesn’t matter exactly which US COVID cases you and Melania represent, but perhaps you’re #7,499,990 and she’s #7,499,991, the latter being the current (as of this minute at 7:04am PST) figure on the Worldometer site. Or maybe she’s #7,499,990 and you’re #7,499,991 since perhaps this is the one time in your life you’d rather not elbow your way ahead of someone. Regardless, you both have it and you’re now officially among the millions of Americans and tens of millions worldwide who have contracted COVID. Brings it right down home, front and center doesn’t it?

I hope Barron doesn’t get it. Did you all think to have him tested? Your four adult children were mentioned in the news articles this morning but nary a word about Barron. My guess is that he’s probably pretty safe from infection since you all don’t seem like a tight-knit fam. But who knows, maybe you and Melania still (if you ever did) hang out with him in the evenings while he does his homework and you read your briefing books. Hah! Or maybe you all watch Fox together before kissing him good night. Things are pretty opaque when it comes to Barron so it’s hard to even guess how at risk he is, but I do hope he manages to stay well.

You know, you coming down with COVID poses all sorts of moral quandaries for me and likely for other kind hearted liberals who most days reluctantly edge right up to the line of hating you. I don’t want to be happy that you or anyone else is sick and I don’t want to feel sorry for you or worry that you might suffer and die from it. I absolutely think the world would be better off without you, but I still can’t bring myself to let loose and do a happy dance that you’re ill (with the very thing you’ve refused to take seriously and that’s killed more than 212,000 of us [according to Worldometer again]).

There’s an HP article by Ron Dicker this morning recounting how Carl Bernstein told Don Lemon that your positive COVID status puts the US at DEFCON 1. I had to look it up because it’s hard to keep track of whether lower numbers mean more or less dire, but DEFCON 1 is the highest level of threat (cocked pistol, maximum readiness, immediate response stuff) on a 4 level DEFCON scale. Obviously Bernstein is not the arbiter of official threat determination, but boy howdy, nothing like a full tilt alarmist ringing the bell as loudly as he can on national television.

The part of the article that I found the most noteworthy (and cringe worthy) was at the very end when Bernstein is quoted as having said:

“We don’t know what his health is going to be. It’s going to totally upend the election campaign. So every aspect of our national life, in terms of stability, is now affected in waves that we could never have envisioned a day ago.

Surely “waves” is a typo and they meant “ways” but either way (or wave), it’s ludicrous to think that no one was envisioning scenarios where you were felled, or at least sidelined, by COVID. Even in your deliberately obtuse administration someone must have been gaming this out. And if you all refused to deal with this very real possibility, you know the military people and corporate leaders have been preparing for when/if you got sick with it. I have no idea what plans they might have developed but surely not everyone was living in La La land assuming you were invincible.

And, I must say that including this bit in his statement and the HP copyright editor having missed the typo does a nice job of defusing Bernstein’s DEFCON 1 grenade. “…..we could never have envisioned a day ago.” Seriously?

Coming back around to you and Melania, my wish for the two of you is that you get ill enough to be miserable and that you are miserable enough to spark some empathy and that your newfound empathy compels you to stop being such a heartless dick about this horrible disease.

May we be safe from heartless dick leaders.
May we be willing to grapple with our moral quandaries, at least some.
May we wear our masks and social distance like we’re supposed to.
May we accept that the chances of our POTUS sprouting some empathy are still zero to none.

Tracy Simpson

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