Day 1,278: Trump undergoes absurd mental gymnastics to make mask-wearing suddenly okay
Donald Trump has been anti-mask for months, turning an apolitical issue into a hyperpartisan one. Even as COVID-19 raged across the country and infected millions of Americans. Even as experts begged people to wear masks. Even as the death count crossed 10,000 and 25,000 and 50,000 and 100,000.
He dipped a toe in the water when 134,000 died, and his campaign — in an obviously orchestrated event — celebrated him donning a mask for an hour like it was the most heroic moment in American history.
A combination of vanity and machismo led to his war on masks.
With poll numbers tanking in large part due to his handling of the pandemic, and positive tests in the U.S. nearing 4 million, Trump needed a reason to make wearing masks great again and to try and show some type of leadership. The latter came in the form of an announcement that daily White House coronavirus briefings would start anew. (They previously ceased after Trump suggested that Americans consume household cleaners to kill the virus.)
The former came via tweet, with a sudden Trump approval of face coverings in certain circumstances. But the reversal came with enough mental gymnastics to give Albert Einstein a headache and Simone Biles two pulled hamstrings.
Trump alleged “many people say that it is Patriotic [sic] to wear a face mask…[and t]here is nobody more Patriotic [sic] than me…”
His excuse could literally work for anything using the ridiculous generalization “many people say.”
Take, for instance: “Many people say that it is selfish to not wear a face mask…[and t]here is nobody more selfish than me…” or “Many people say that it is foolish to ignore experts…[and t]here is nobody more foolish than me.” In other contexts it’s just as mealy-mouthed and disjointed: “Many people say California is the best state and nobody loves California more than me.”
Trump even needed a buffer to come out in favor something virtually every expert is recommending.
- pro-mask = patriotism
- patriotism = me
- therefore, pro-mask = me
Trump’s words are obviously a sham of the highest order. If it is patriotic to wear a mask, and Trump claims to be a patriot, then there’s no excuse for him waiting months to put one on.
1,278 days in, 184 to go
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