Is that the medicine? Donald Trump’s messages from quarantine cause ridicule. They mainly show a president dealing with fear.
Where do you start at the end of this crazy week in Washington?
In the White House? The virus is raging in the power center, President and first lady, speechwriter, favorite adviser and press officer, even the man who carried Trump the suitcase with the codes for the nuclear missiles: incapacitated for work. The president himself, through his stylistic negligence, shot one of the best-protected fortresses in the world ready for corona.
Photo series with 13 photos
During the election campaign? Upside down: Joe Biden, who has been reluctant to leave home for months, flies across the country, Trump is desperate to be under house arrest.
Or is it patient number one? Flown and dropped off in a hurry, if we really want to take his word for it, a miraculous recovery.
“I would die for this man”
No, let’s start where a few photos burned into my head this week. Maryland, Highway 355, just outside the Washington city limits. Two to three hundred people lined the road in front of Walter Reed military hospital, where Trump had been taken.
Trump flags, USA flags, hand painted signs. Supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory, but also according to the poster “Informed women for Trump” many on camping chairs. A cardboard cutout of Melania, car parades, horn concerts, from the speakers the song on which the patient Trump usually takes the stage: “God Bless the USA”.
This is what it looked like:
It would be wrong to simply call these people Trump voters or supporters. You are part of a cult. The more divided the country, the greater the respective desire for community. As the highly contagious Trump drove past the Secret Annex on his infamous tour, one of them shouted, ‘God bless our President. I would die for this man! ‘
Kill or Trump! In times of Corona, the sect has even more strange features. The Messiah is grateful when someone promises to wade through Covid-contaminated water to make his cross for him (another image that is hard to get out of your mind).
From here, Trump began the grand staging of his comeback. Take off in the helicopter for the flight home to the White House, just before dusk and prime time on television, live on all channels.
He had immediately cut a triumphant video of his arrival, as if he had just won a war. However, he had just released himself from the hospital, had had enough of the steroid dexamethasone, the antiviral remdesivir, an experimental antibody course.
Production of an autocrat
A staging as a monarch or autocrat. Many scoff, many others will certainly tackle it. But those who have to give strength with all their strength are usually weak. And that applies Donald Trump this week more than ever.
The president brought his personal physician to say only what he nodded. This was toned down, kept still, distorted. There’s still a lot we don’t know: when Trump was infected, how bad he was, who he infected. The president keeps it under lock and key.
Molière once made us laugh at the conceited sick man, a hypochondriac, obsessed with being sick. This week they made people laugh or cry about Trump, the sick conceit, obsessed with not being vulnerable. Who gasps violently as he is performed on the Truman balcony. And for those who begin the doctor’s letters with sentences like this: “This morning Donald Trump says, ‘I feel great.'”
His signs of life came through tweet and video clip, and very bright. “Feel better than 20 years ago!” He wrote. “Hello, you might recognize me, it’s me, your favorite president,” he said. The opinion medium Twitter quickly agreed: these are the drugs! The man is on steroids! Common side effects are euphoria, restlessness, mania.
Shameless and painless
But Trump certainly doesn’t need a dexamethasone to pump himself up and float a little above the ground. No, I saw the Trump, who we have known for a long time, even though we suppress him once in a while: shameless, painless and unable to change course.
The disease actually provided Trump with an opportunity to change the tone of the coronavirus. But the president remained his own prisoner and happily played out a virus that had forced him to the oxygen machine. “Don’t be afraid of it!”
On Thursday night, Trump called his favorite presenter Sean Hannity’s program on Fox News and said two things: He turned out to have viruses (“very few”), but he wanted to campaign again in the country on Saturday and Sunday. In between, his voice failed twice. He already has the correct certificate from his personal doctor.
To make matters worse, the president gave one brutal poll after another this week. CNN saw its competitor Biden nationwide by 16 percentage points ahead – a record lead. Even at the conservative Rasmussen Institute, whose polls Trump likes to distribute, it was 12 percentage points. Biden’s values are also on the rise in the important states of Florida and Pennsylvania. Most retirees voted for Trump in 2016, and Biden is now 20 percentage points ahead of them, according to two surveys. That’s why Trump immediately sent a video message to ‘my favorite people in the world’ – they are exactly retired now.
Some call it manic – I found it increasingly desperate.
As you know, I don’t like writing about surveys, a) because there are more important things in this election and b) because we all remember 2016 too well. But these numbers show why Trump is at risk with Corona: Turbo recovery, new miracle cure promises, new voter gifts should raise his bad values on the subject.
The house of cards could then collapse, just not before November 3.
A personal doctor who announces, prescribes, and hides what Trump wants. A Covid patient whose obsession with not showing weakness trumps all. A president with his back to the wall. And a sect whose members follow the president everywhere. This is the line-up for the final sprint. 25 days until the election.