Donald Trump Jr. put the perfect exclamation mark on his father’s Covid-19 awkwardness

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“I mean, give me a break, Laura, the reality is this… if you look, I put it on my Instagram a few days ago, because I went through the CDC data because I ‘was hearing about new infections, but I was like,’ Well, why don’t they talk about dead? ” Oh, oh, because the number is next to nothing. «

The number is 1,004. As in, 1,004 Americans died from the coronavirus on Thursday. These are 1,004 people with families, friends and colleagues who will never be able to talk to them, hug them or see them again.

That Donald Trump Jr. doesn’t seem to grasp this reality – or doesn’t care – is, in his own way, perfectly fitting. Since the start of the pandemic, President Donald Trump has deliberately downplayed the threat posed to Americans by the virus, pushed for quack remedies, insisted – against the facts – that the country was “turning the corner” on the disease and promised a vaccine that has not yet arrived.

On Thursday, hours before his son made his own callous comments about the virus’ death rate, the president himself did the same.

“You know the bottom line, though? Trump told a rally crowd in Florida. “You will be better. You will feel better. If I can get better, anyone can get better. And I improved quickly. (Read this for all the reasons that aren’t true.)

And it all comes the same week as this exchange between CNN’s Alisyn Camerota and Trump campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley:

Camerota: Well, let’s talk about acting responsibly. I mean, again with Wisconsin, are you at all concerned given that there has been an outbreak in the vice president’s orbit around him and currently there is an outbreak – I want to say, Wisconsin hospitals are nearing capacity. And so is there – does that give you a break or the vice president a break to go and have a big rally?

Gidley: No, this is not the case. The vice president has the best doctors in the world around him, they obviously traced the contacts and came to the conclusion that it was good for him to be on the electoral trail.

Right.

Gidley added, “The American people have a right under the First Amendment to assemble peacefully as well. ”

It’s an administration that sees the whole virus through the prism of the president’s political fate. A majority of the country thinks he has mismanaged Covid-19 and therefore, in order to win, President Trump needs people to think less about the virus. And he (and his team) thinks the way to do that is to minimize the number of deaths while making false promises about the current state of the virus.

(To be clear: we are not “turning the corner” on the virus. As of Thursday alone, more than 88,000 cases were reported in the United States – the highest number of cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic in the United States.)

The problem with the argument put forward by the president and his son – besides being patently bogus – is that it puts Americans at risk. Because if you only listened to Donald Trump and Don Jr., and there are people who do, you would have the deeply mistaken impression that Covid-19 is not a real threat to you and that, even if you get sick, you will just be better.

And you could! In fact, you probably would! But more than 228,000 Americans have not improved. And dismissing their death as “next to nothing” is not only deaf, it is heartless.

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