‘Corona Trump’ Is the Most Dangerous Version of the President Yet
All hyperbole aside, Donald Trump leaving the hospital while battling the coronavirus is the most dangerous version of this President the country could face right now. His misinformed beliefs about the virus will be codified by his personal experience, putting Americans more at risk than they have ever been.
When Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus, we, the American people, thought maybe this would be his chance to realize the error of his ways during the pandemic and begin to take the issue more seriously. We already know he only cares about things if they personally affect him, 210,000 American lives be damned.
It took just 48 hours in the Walter Reed Medical Center for us to realize that change was never going to come. A brief joyride around the hospital perimeter to wave at his adoring fans was a keen and straightforward insight into Trump's mind and priorities, and proof he learned nothing from his hospitalization.
The dream we had that Trump would come to realize how bad the pandemic is quickly turned into a nightmare where the President begins to verbalize dangerous, ignorant talking points to the whole country.
One of the foundational reasons we see echo chambers persist on social media and individuals sharing skillfully crafted misinformation videos that go viral is primarily due to a psychological principle called the Dunning-Kruger effect.
Postulated and theorized by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger in 1999, the Dunning-Kruger effect explains the cognitive bias experience where individuals with low ability or understanding vastly overestimate their ability or understanding.
I’m sure you have seen this happen in your everyday life. A friend of yours watches a documentary. In just two hours, your friend received easily digestible, generalized, and sound-bite friendly pieces of information. They proceed to passionately and confidently tell you about the documentary’s subject matter as if they have studied it for years or decades and are a foremost expert.
Even worse, if you didn’t know any better, you would be inclined to believe your friend because they are a) self-assured and speaking confidently, and b) they cite a source that they believe is legitimate. If you are not careful, you may have just been recruited into their army of Dunning-Kruger; thanks to a documentary that hasn’t been checked for accuracy and, even worse, was not wholly understood beyond surface-level, simplified factoids.
The principle can also be applied to those who share and disseminate misinformation, conspiracy-laden Youtube videos, and Facebook posts. They believe they are critical thinking, educated people, who would never be duped into believing something exaggerated, manipulated, or patently false. The creators of this content hinge their entire process on the knowledge that there are millions of people out there vastly overestimating their cognitive abilities.
There is no better example of Dunning-Kruger right now than Donald Trump. After experiencing coronavirus symptoms for a few days, he believes that he is the expert on the virus and is ready to share his experience and his advice.
Reminder, he is still not an infectious disease doctor. Or a doctor. Or studied medicine. Or took a class on human anatomy; unless you count Stormy Daniels. Although, in that instance, I’m sure he barely squeaked by with a double D.
On Monday, after being discharged from Walter Reed… Hold on. Discharged is not the right word choice. Trump demanded he be allowed to go back to the White House. The doctors at Walter Reed most definitely would not have been on board to release him. Ultimately, the Commander-in-Chief does as he pleases, against all expert advice he may receive to the contrary.
After returning to the White House, Trump released a short video to his Twitter account. I published the transcript of the video as well. In it, Trump lays out the most damning and idiotic thing he’s ever said about the pandemic. One 86 second video may be one of the most tone-deaf posts of his entire presidency.
The video opens with:
“I just left Walter Reed Medical Center. And it’s, really, something very special. The doctors, the nurses, the first responders. And I learned so much about coronavirus, and one thing that’s for certain: don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re gonna beat it. We have the best medical equipment. We have the best medicines.”
Will someone please explain to the President that the average American does not get 12 doctors and an entire floor of a hospital dedicated exclusively to their personal health and well-being. Donald Trump is so aloof, so disconnected from reality, that he honestly believes that how he was treated is exactly how all Americans are cared for within our health care system.
And because of his personal experience of receiving the best care taxpayers could pay for, Trump believes that the virus is totally beatable. It took less than a week for him to definitively declare the coronavirus as ‘no worse than the flu.’
The President continues:
“I went, and I didn’t feel so good. And two days ago I could have left two days ago. Two days ago I felt great, like better than I have in a long time. I said just recently, better than 20 years ago. Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t let it take over your lives. Don’t let that happen. We’re the greatest country in the world.”
Again, Donald Trump uses his own anecdotal experience to confidently tell the American people that they have nothing to worry about regarding the coronavirus. Because of his personal experience, you have no reason to be afraid of it. And therefore, you have no reason to protect yourself against it.
The messaging here is so dangerous. If he wasn’t the President, he could be prosecuted for encouraging individuals to harm themselves. He is knowingly expressing a position in which he has no valid training or education to have, which could result in thousands or millions of new infections from supporters and other Americans letting their guard down.
“As a leader, I had to do that. I knew there’s danger to it, but I had to do it. I stood out front, I led. Nobody that’s a leader would not do what I did. And I know there’s a risk, there’s a danger but that’s okay.”
This section of the video logically makes no sense. He is saying here, which we know is entirely false, that he needed to get sick with the coronavirus. Trump had to do that? Did he intentionally infect himself? Somewhere in his bronzer-leeched brain, he believes his fight with the coronavirus is him leading by example.
He is now on the front lines. The President is your knight in orange armor, showing the country that you too can defeat this plague. Everyone has the same health care, right? For the first time in his life, he has taken part in something. Unlike the draft or his taxes, Trump could not dodge COVID-19.
The President finishes with:
“And now I’m better, maybe I’m immune, I don’t know. But don’t let it dominate your lives, get out there. Be careful. We have the best medicines in the world, and there all happened very shortly, and their all getting approved. And the vaccines are coming momentarily.”
What?… He is immune? That is… impossible. He contracted the virus less than five days ago. We know the virus has a life cycle of at least 10–14 days. He is in the middle of fighting off the virus. Immunity occurs afterward. This may be one of the dumbest things the President has said concerning the pandemic, even considering the injecting of disinfectants.
Again, Donald Trump had access to the best medicines. The American people don’t. And they also don’t have access to some of the best socialized health care in the world that the President has access to. He really stretched that $750 this year.
Trump’s treatment and care while fighting the coronavirus are uniquely presidential. Any other observation is invalid and a waste of time. No American citizen should take his experience as evidence of anything other than a perfectly legitimate justification for why we need Medicare-for-All.
Dunce on the Throne
Every day we wonder if Trump has hit rock bottom. And every day we are proven there's a new depth in which the President can sink. He is the bottomless pit, the abyss, the Mariana Trench of American Presidents.
If you are an American, you now know how important it is to elect Joe Biden on November 3rd. We have exhausted all excuses for why Donald Trump should remain President. Defending him now only proves how corrupted his Matrix has become.
Joe Biden isn’t the answer to our problems. He is a comma, a semi-colon. He is the break in the sentence so we can collect our thoughts and choose a new path.
We find ourselves in a time where we are being led by a rudderless narcissist who genuinely thinks his personal experience is equal to the average American. Unlike Trump, the average American is living paycheck to paycheck, with no savings, no assets, wondering if or when they might be able to go back to some sense of normalcy.
As long as Donald Trump is President, we must assume that normal is unachievable. Above all else, remember these words:
“And now I’m better, maybe I’m immune, I don’t know.”
Donald Trump is lacking in every way. He just told you exactly how much you should trust him when talking about the coronavirus, the economy, the country, or the people. The answer is zero. The President does not know.
Will you finally listen to him?