It's Donald Trump vs. Numbers Apparently

Illustration for article titled Its Donald Trump vs. Numbers Apparently
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP (Getty Images)

Numbers. Where did they come from, and what do they want? No one knows for sure, which is probably why Donald Trump is having such a hard time with them right now.

The president first came head to head with numbers, also known as “integers” in certain parts of the Midwest and south-central Canada, during a phone call on Saturday with Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger. During the call, Trump urged the Republican official to “find” more votes so he could take the state win away from president-elect Joe Biden, The Washington Post reports.

There’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, um, that you’ve recalculated,” Trump said in the call, trying to reassure Raffensperger.

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“Well, Mr. President, the challenge that you have is, the data you have is wrong,” Raffensperger responded.

“So look,” Trump fired back, taking a much-needed stand against how numbers work tyranny. “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.”

Perhaps furious at his inability to make numbers do what he wants, Trump then set his sights on even more numbers: the United States’ covid-19 death toll, which currently stands just shy of 350,000 per the Centers for Disease Control data.

On Sunday, the president tweeted that this death stat is “far exaggerated,” which prompted everyone from surgeon general Jerome Adams and leading infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci to jump in and shut him down, Politico reports.

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“From a health perspective, I have no reason to doubt those numbers,” Adams told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an appearance on State of the Union. 

Fauci echoed Adams’ debunking on NBC’s Meet the Press: “All you need to do...is go into the trenches, go into the hospitals, go into the intensive care units and see what is happening. Those are real numbers, real people, and real deaths.”

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That all makes sense, but it still doesn’t explain what numbers are or what they want. To be continued, I guess.....

Freelance journalist (GQ, Esquire, Out, elsewhere), here on weekends

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DISCUSSION

buriedaliveopener
BuriedAliveOpener

So, I mean, it goes without saying that it is very bad that Trump is soliciting fraud, and issuing vague threats, in an attempt to essentially stage a coup. But for some reason I can’t really articulate, it somehow makes me angrier that he’s so fucking bad at it. Like, even if Raffensperger (who is a piece of shit asshole in his own right, but whatever) was like “Yeah, sure, we’ll find you the votes, you win Georgia now,” Trump would still lose, just by a few less electoral votes.  It’s like if someone robbed a store at gunpoint, but all they took were a bunch of gift cards that didn’t have any value added on them yet.