Donald Trump has admitted being addicted to the bleach he recommended as an antidote to the corona virus. After convincing himself it was the best protection against the deadly COVID-19 which has already claimed over a million lives worldwide, it is a double irony that he has not only caught the virus himself but has also become addicted to the one thing he thought could save him.
On February 27 he made the claim that the outbreak would be temporary: “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle—it will disappear.” Then, on numerous occasions he declared “Coronavirus numbers are looking MUCH better, going down almost everywhere,” and cases are “coming way down.” And again that the pandemic is “fading away. It’s going to fade away.” (June 17) and “99%” of COVID-19 cases are “totally harmless.” (July 4).
It is well documented that regular consumption of bleach causes chronic delusional optimism, a kind of unconscious whitewashing of the facts and a compulsive airbrushing of inconvenient truths out of history. White House doctors are now asking whether the president’s addiction predates the pandemic and might have started in late childhood when these symptoms were first noticed. This predilection with what is now called “fake news”, combined with a total lack of empathy, are thought to be the main propellants of his phenomenal success in the business world.
Trump is seventy-four years old this year, overweight and in the group most vulnerable to COVID-19. Millions of people the world over, from hardworking middle class liberals to foreign presidents, are secretly praying this will be his last year and that the virus, heaven sent or otherwise, will end his post-truth ‘reign of error’ once and for all.