Day 1,193: Trump’s ego is causing 1,000 cadets to return to West Point and self-isolate for 14 days

Donald Trump’s ego strikes again.

A torrent of negative news related to the coronavirus and how his administration has totally bungled the response, coupled with a number of recent embarrassing gaffes, has the White House looking for a soft landing spot for a Trump field trip and good press.

Enter the military, which Trump has exploited for years to prop himself up.

This time around, according to a New York Times report, Trump abruptly announced he would give the commencement address at West Point, despite the graduation ceremony having been postponed while the academy reviewed their options.

That was news to everyone, including officials at West Point, according to three people involved with or briefed on the event. The academy had been looking at the option of a delayed presidential commencement in June, but had yet to complete any plans. With Mr. Trump’s pre-emptive statement, they are now summoning 1,000 cadets scattered across the country to return to campus in New York, the state that is the center of the outbreak.

“He’s the commander in chief, that’s his call,” said Sue Fulton, a West Point graduate and former chairwoman of the academy’s Board of Visitors. “Cadets are certainly excited about the opportunity to have something like the classic graduation, standing together, flinging their hats in the air.

“But everyone is leery about bringing 1,000 cadets into the New York metropolitan area for a ceremony,” she added. “It’s definitely a risk.”

As for the cadets, upon returning, they will be tested and socially isolated for two weeks.

General Williams said in a telephone interview that returning seniors would be tested off-campus for the coronavirus. Those who test negative will then be sent to the school, where they will be monitored for 14 days before graduation. While the campus has enough dormitory rooms for the 1,000 seniors, General Williams said that he was still deciding whether seniors would share bedrooms on their return.

“All 1,000 of them will not intermix,” he said. “They’ll be in their rooms. They’ll have their masks on. Groups will be segregated in the mess hall when they eat.”

To stroke his own ego and have a few photos snapped, Trump announced he would give a speech at an event that might not have happened at all considering the current climate. As a result, 1,000 cadets will now have to travel to the epicenter of the coronavirus and spend 14 days living and eating alone while wearing masks.

1,193 days in, 269 to go

Follow us on Twitter at @TrumpTimer