Wednesday, April 22, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He asked for pity.

This morning, Trump tweeted this:

It wasn't a passing thought, either. Hours later at today's press conference, Trump repeated the sentiment: "We're taking very special care of our nursing homes and our seniors, other than me. Other than me. Nobody wants to take care of me. But other than me, we're taking care of our seniors."

It's not clear what Trump meant by "safely coming back," but Trump's claim to be a uniquely victimized senior citizen is completely false.

Like Americans in general, most senior citizens in the United States still cannot get tested for COVID-19 until they are very sick—and huge spikes in unexplained deaths are showing that many are still dying without ever having been tested.

Trump, by contrast, is surrounded by people who are given mandatory rapid tests, not widely available to the public, in order to screen him from any potential carriers of the disease.

This is possible in Trump's case because he lives in the White House. Many senior citizens live in nursing homes, and at least 10,000 Americans have died in those facilities as a result of the coronavirus so far. The Trump administration has refused to allow the federal government to track or release outbreaks in nursing homes.

Trump also continues to enjoy the services of a government-provided personal physician (a perk he's had for his entire life, and which he used to good effect during the campaign and while he was avoiding military service in Vietnam). 

Most senior citizens, of course, don't have concierge medical services. But many seniors who did serve in the military rely on Veterans Administration hospitals, which are run by the federal government. The VA has run critically low of personal protective equipment (PPE), although the Trump administration has denied it.

So what?

  • Even by Trump's standards, this is pretty whiny.