I was sure that the holdup on the mask recommendation was because Trump didn’t want to wear one. Sure enough. “Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens – I don’t know. Somehow, I just don’t see it for myself.” Erratic his judgment may be, but his narcissistic vanity is unwaveringly consistent.
It’s not as if he’s got a steady stream of dignitaries coming through the White House these days. But it could happen. And one wants to look one’s best for the dictators of the world.
Seems to me it would’ve been a great opportunity to start up a cottage industry in red MAGA masks. Put your MAGA where your mouth is. A counterpoint to all those pussy hats that infuriated him so.
He soothes his annoyance at being talked into allowing the mask recommendation by firing a couple of inspectors general. Rooting out disloyalists always makes him feel better.
The language on the Strategic National Stockpile website was quickly changed to reflect the nonsense that Jared was spouting about “our” stockpile. And people say that this administration isn’t efficient.
Here in Alabama the governor finally issued a stay at home order. I don’t expect to see her wearing a mask either. Her explanations for waiting were pretty vague. “We’re not California. We’re not New York.” Quite true. But we could be! Give it another week or so. She was one of the last holdouts. Even the governor of Georgia beat her to it and he had the excuse of not knowing asymptomatic people could be contagious. When he found that out on Tuesday of this week, he said it was a game changer and issued the order. Then yesterday he overruled some of the local jurisdictions and re-opened the beaches. He’s confident people will follow the social distancing guidelines. Of course. Because that’s so obviously what people have been doing in the absence of the stay at home orders.
I completely understand that in the press of their daily lives many people don’t have time to keep up with the latest expertise on this fast moving crisis. Alexandra Petri does an excellent job of explaining why so many people are willing to believe Trump’s statements that he always knew this would be a pandemic and he was just trying to give people hope. There’s a lot going on in our lives! But I’d’ve thought (speaking of hope) that a governor would’ve been paying enough attention to what the public health experts were saying two months ago to know a little more about the mechanics of the spread.
Now that Trump has undercut his own recommendation I don’t expect to see a lot of mask wearing down here. That’s the whole point of leading by example, but he doesn’t quite get it. You can tell that the people around him have been trying to feed him the right lines, get him to make the right gestures. Exercise leadership in a time of crisis. And he tries. But the words don’t feel right in his mouth. It’s an effort for him to say that Cuomo’s latest comments were “okay.” But he can’t keep himself from saying, “But they weren’t gracious.” It enrages him that some of the governors aren’t as appreciative as he feels they ought to be.
We had drinks over FaceTime earlier today with our friends in Cyprus. We had bloody marys before brunch while they were having wine after dinner. They go out twice a week now for groceries and essential healthcare. They need to text the local authorities to let them know they’re leaving and where they’re going and when they’ll be back. Imagine how that’d be received here. There’s a vocal subset of Americans, particularly here in the South, who are already screaming about the unconstitutional assault on their civil liberties. The luxuries of ignorance.
Have no fear. Your President will not force you to wear a mask. He’s made sure that the gun shops are essential services. He’s still encouraging people to go to the churches next Sunday. Other than that, he’ll leave it to the governors.
If I were the praying kind, I’d just as soon do it from home. A church full of evangelicals with guns scares me much more than the coronavirus.