Empower Wisconsin | Oct. 7, 2020
By Victor Davis Hanson, National Review
Once it was announced that President Trump had COVID-19, the media almost immediately talked of all the people in the “Trump orbit” who fell ill from COVID-19 — including many on his staff, U.S. senators, and at least three White House reporters.
The surreal subtext was not that the toxic Trump had been infected by someone else. Apparently reporters, in their Trump-obsessed universe, believed in some mysterious Aristotelian concept of spontaneous generation, by which his self-spawned coronavirus germs had sickened all within his deadly circuit. Or perhaps Trump was guilty of catching the germ from one of his staffers, who in turn would never have been sickened if they had never been close to Trump in the first place. The possibility that the White House “positive” reporters might have been careless at times or might’ve infected others was never entertained.
Within a few hours, the usual camps and suspects weighed in. Former Clinton and Obama staffer Zara Rahim prayed for Trump’s demise and celebrated his infection with a terse “I hope he dies.” The Washington Post hastily took down an official Twitter feed automatically posting an op-ed column expressing a similar hope for a dead president: “Imagine what it will be like to never have to think about Trump again,” on the realization that running such a headline while Trump was sick “rendered it tasteless”— as if it was not tasteless when he was well. Write that after swapping the name “Obama” for “Trump,” and the FBI would have shown up at their doors.
Within hours of news that Trump had COVID-19, the liberal media were off to the funeral games. They gushed about the inevitable cancellation of the upcoming debates, the necessary delay in the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, the likelihood of a soon-to-be acting president Mike Pence, and the possibility/hope of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s stepping up, as third in line for the presidency, to save the ship of state as our new president. No sooner had the president entered the hospital than the ecstatic media enthused that COVID-19 would certainly not disappoint, perhaps the same way they’d hoped that Robert Mueller (doddering as he proved to be) would save them from Trump. Or, as comedian Chris Rock put it: “President Trump’s in the hospital from COVID, and I just want to say my heart goes out to COVID.”
During the initial press conference with physicians from Walter Reed, reporters seemed crestfallen to hear the news that, after 24 hours or so of fever, the president, as soon as Saturday morning, was reacting well to his cocktail of medicines and natural vitamins and supplements and that he was for a while at least fever-free. And they were shocked that the president was actually a patient who, like all other patients, retained some right to privacy about his own medical strategies and treatments. I don’t recall any of the media asking exactly what pharmaceuticals Joe Biden might be taking, and whether they have had any side effects given Biden’s frequent lapses of cognizance.
As a result of the good news on Trump’s condition, reporters were left to fixate on “oxygen,” repeatedly yelling the same question about whether the president still “was on oxygen” — in their drill-bill style of “are you a white supremacist?” Their implication was that the White House was hiding the truth that Trump surely was nearly spent and in some sort of Woodrow Wilson–like coma, given that he might have had some oxygen before entering the hospital.
In the end, disappointed reporters were left to grumble that Trump’s use of two experimental or off-label drugs was reckless, or revealed a privilege not afforded to hoi polloi, or proved he was in extremis. They could not determine whether Trump the unscientific dunce was surrounded by quacks, or whether, given his laxity in wearing a mask, he didn’t deserve the top care he was receiving.
Read more at National Review.