Is Donald Trump Trying to Catch the Coronavirus to Get Out of Doing His Job?

Illustration for article titled Is Donald Trump Trying to Catch the Coronavirus to Get Out of Doing His Job?

Donald Trump’s Tulsa rally was probably only a fraction of the death-cult meet-up it might’ve been, had the president not been bested by a group of cool as hell K-Pop stans resulting in roughly a third of the expected audience showing up. But that doesn’t mean that holding a massive gathering in a closed auditorium in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t risky–especially considering that much of Trump’s Secret Service detail may have already been infected with covid-19.


The Washington Post reports that shortly before the rally, “at least six advance staffers who helped organize the trip had tested positive for the virus, including two Secret Service employees.” Though the staffers were taken off the event, and ordered to quarantine for 14 days, they had been in contact with many of the people who went on to staff the rally: “The entire team should have been switched out,” an anonymous and likely terrified insider told the Post. “They were all exposed.”

After Trump returned to D.C., two additional staffers tested positive for covid-19 and join their colleagues in self-isolation. A spokesperson for the Secret Service declined to inform the Post how many in its employ have tested positive for the coronavirus, only stating that the agency has more than enough people left standing to provide security for all events. Still, with Tulsa County seeing what its health director called “steep upward trends” of coronavirus cases, it’s a little worrying that the 74-year-old president, the oldest person to hold executive office, chose to gather his own super-spreader event. Is he OK? Is he trying to get out of a second term? Donald, tips are open. [Washington Post]


There’s a video of man-sized meat-turd Senator Tom Cotton testifying before Congress that Washington D.C. should not be a state because of a galaxy-brain set of logical leaps amounting to little more than the fundamental un-trustworthiness of the city’s (Black) residents, current (Black) mayor, and former (Black) mayor. And while it’s unnecessary to link to this drivel since it’s currently making the rounds of political news sites and liberal Twitter and will certainly be subject of many fact-checks by tomorrow’s news cycle, it’s really great that New York Times decided to publish this man’s opinions, which are clearly given little amplification, and rarely represented anywhere outside of the Gray Lady’s op-ed desk.

  • In cool and normal news the number of covid-19 infections is 10 times what the Trump administration has reported, according to the CDC. [Gothamist]
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Corey Booker have opened an investigation into the reportedly shoddy actions of meat-processing plants during the pandemic. []
  • Yes, that was Sen. Mitch McConnell calling Black people “illiterate.” [Yamiche Alcindor]
  • The IRS–wait, let me sure I’ve got this—purposefully sent stimulus checks to more than 1 million dead people? [Politico]
  • An extremely white part of Oregon has dropped a mask exemption for people of color after it, duh, turned real racist. [CNN]
  • You about to lose your job...

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The IRS–wait, let me sure I’ve got this—purposefully sent stimulus checks to more than 1 million dead people?

I don’t think anyone is a fan of pretty obvious government waste, and sending money to dead people is pretty obviously government waste. But at the same time, this whole process, from drafting the legislation to actually getting the payments out, was rushed, and I don’t envy the people responsible for parsing the legislative language (which was probably sloppy) to figure out what they were and were not allowed to do. These sorts of stories are always used by small government conservatives to complain about how the government can’t be trusted to do anything right. At the end of the day, these stimulus payments were a pretty important (if wildly insufficient) lifeline, and the amounts sent to dead people constituted a miniscule portion of the total stimulus payments. And I also can’t find it in me to be all that upset that some people may have gotten an extra $1,200 in the middle of a pandemic-fueled economic crisis.

You about to lose your job...

It’s June.  Trump is in a pretty shockingly bad position (and Biden in a shockingly good position), but there is still enough time for even a 10 point lead to shrink to where Trump is competitive, or even wins comfortably.  Remember 5 months ago?  There were no lockdowns, and it was increasingly looking like Bernie Sanders, of all people, was the favorite to win the Democratic nomination.