Terry H. Schwadron
Oct. 9, 2020
It suddenly has become a curious time of knowing when it’s necessary to disclose communal information, when actually to force information on our neighbors and when to hold back altogether.
So, seemingly important medical details are out, unless it is politically advantageous, and rotten information about one’s opponent is in, even if it is demonstrably untrue. Making it easier for people to vote apparently is wrong. Telling Americans you won’t participate in a remote debate set up to protect those who would gather is somehow seen as a strong position.
We seem to have things inside out. Ah, politics.
It’s this week’s version of Winning, of course.
In the time of Donald Trump, image is everything, and our citizen rights to know about the president’s actual state of health or about why it is necessary to put others at risk of contagion just so Trump can appear to be strong and at work in a sprayed down Oval Office apparently necessarily come in well behind the political needs of Dear Leader.
So, even those who may be newly coming into contact with Trump are being told that they have no need to know when he last tested negative for coronavirus.
Doctors are being reminded that Trump had forced them to sign non-disclosure agreements. And little effort is under way to warn those with whom Trump had contact over the time of his possible contagion.
But how would they know if the basics, like last negative test, are not shared.
Why Hide The Tests?
It’s been left to news reporters to try to chart who was where and when.
The White House has refused to say when President Trump last tested negative for coronavirus, leaving open the possibility that he potentially exposed dozens before the announcement of his positive test last week, perhaps including the presidential debate against Joe Biden, a campaign rally and a fundraiser.
The press office only said Trump has been tested “regularly,” and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows cited privacy.
But The Washington Post said two officials familiar with the situation said Trump has not been tested daily in recent months. Only rarely has Trump been tested on a machine other than the one produced by Abbott Laboratories, which provides rapid results that have a lot of false results.
But based on Trump’s self-perceived need for burnishing an image as a strong man who has conquered disease as easily as he fixed the economy with a tax cut serving the wealthy, there is no need for people to know — or even to ask.
There is no reason to ask why the White House declines to follow its own CDC advice about facemasks and physical distancing, or why Trump is promoting another experimental drug as a “cure” for coronavirus or why Trump would put hundreds who work in the White House at risk by insisting on working in the Oval. Trump told aides he thought the country needed to see its president working, though exactly what that means for a president who normally spends hours a day watching pundits talk about him on television is unclear.
Or demanding a physical debate this week while he is still contagious.
Wait, Look Over Here
At the same time, White House officials — and Fox News — are peddling a story that they say the media ought to be promoting in which newly released documents are said to have promoted an investigation in 2016 of ties between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives bent on interfering with that election.
It’s just one of several efforts to get reporters to look elsewhere than the effects of pandemic and 212,000 American deaths, and Trump has been tweeting about it and demanding four more years in office as some kind of reparations.
The thing is, however, that the documents being declassified and released by National Security Advisor John Ratcliffe are not plans by Hillary Clinton to demand a false investigation into Russia ties; even Ratcliffe told Congress he has no idea about their provenance. Rather the documents are summaries of the kind of Russian disinformation efforts that were underway to inveigle Clinton’s involvement in causing trouble.
But you wouldn’t know that from social media posts circulating the findings of such interference as if they were true.
We have the White House willing to weigh in on support for charges against Black Lives Matter protesters, but crickets on an actual FBI arrest of 13 right militiamen moving to storm the Michigan state house, kidnap the governor and blow up the building.
So, by contrast with information that we actually need from the White House, we’re getting distracting propaganda that reflects some kind of wishful evidence for political sympathy for a Donald Trump who looks increasingly vengeful and politically motivated as he is losing in national polls.
Put it on the pile with Hunter Biden probes and reinterpretations of the Mueller Report.
Dear Leader, stop treating us like idiots: Make America Grow Up.