The big flap in the media this week—surprise—was in response to a comment made by the President. This time, it was his declaration—apparently a surprise to many of his closest aids—that he is taking hydroxychloroquine as “another layer of protection” against the coronavirus. This, despite the fact that there’s no scientific evidence that the drug works for this purpose.
Why is he saying this? What lies behind the President’s proclamation, which was made with a kind of sinister macho smugness, as if to say, “All you fake media types criticized me for my persistent claims about the benefits of this drug. I’ll show you!”
Both pundits and political opponents have questioned whether he is actually taking this unproven remedy for coronavirus. But, if he is, it begs an obvious response: Really? What’s he trying to prove? That he’s smarter than the doctors? Tougher than the soldiers (us) he has enlisted in his army to fight the pandemic? Remember, this is Commander Bone Spurs we’re talking about.
It’s all so exasperating! Following, as it did, speculation that injecting disinfectant could be a cure for the virus, his most recent snubbing of the nose to science and medicine is—let me be clear—scary. To have such a powerful person behaving so erratically on behalf of all Americans is bone chilling. What’s more, he compounded his arrogance by claiming that “many, many” front-line workers are taking the drug. There is no evidence of that either. Why does he so often feel compelled to stretch the truth to the point where it is a clearly refutable lie? What is he thinking?
The timing of his announcement is curious. He has just fired the State Department’s Inspector General for investigating whether Secretary Mike Pompeo acted illegally in declaring an “emergency” to bypass a congressional freeze on arms sales to Saudi Arabia. If we “follow the money,” there are billions of dollars at stake, so anything that looks suspicious should be explored. Were Pompeo’s actions illegal? Unethical? Politically unwise? Hmmm. Better shut down this investigation by firing the investigator! And then, change the subject.
Or, is it just the President’s insecurity that prompts him time and again to assert how he is smarter, tougher, stronger, cooler than anyone else—especially his predecessors? And especially Barak Obama (who made headlines this week with his not-so-subtle castigation of the current administration’s handling of the pandemic). This continued childish behavior has become beyond embarrassing. He’s the President, for crying out loud! How can his enablers continue to be supportive of destructive behavior so totally untethered to truth or common sense?
And, when asked what evidence supports his taking of hydroxychloroquine as a preventive step against the virus, he defiantly said, “Here’s my evidence: I get a lot of positive calls about it.” Wow. Does correspondence with the President really influence his behavior? If that’s true, then perhaps he’ll aggressively seek more letters endorsing this reckless behavior. And that could create a silver lining to this whole episode: maybe it will inspire him to rethink his position to defund the Post Office.