This is a bit of a tricky one on a number of levels, because although I am writing this just a few hours before it is due to appear, by Sunday (or Thursday if you’re reading this in the digital edition) the situation could have changed considerably. But here goes regardless…
My first reaction to the news that Donald Trump (and some of his advisors) has tested positive for Covid-19 was something I’m not proud of despite my extremely low opinion of him. In fact, had I written this column on Friday I would most likely have felt a bit ashamed of myself by the time it was posted online.
The second thing that came to mind was a not exactly genuine sympathy for First Lady fembot Melania – who has also tested positive – if she ends up having to isolate with him (or more likely gets left half inflated next to an unused foot pump in a White House closet for weeks).
Then the suspicion began to creep in and that has only been compounded by the blatant dodging of questions about whether the president had required oxygen (it was eventually confirmed on Saturday evening that he had been given oxygen at some point) and conflicting statements being put out by Team Trump over the first 48 hours with doctors saying they were pleased with his progress one minute then soon after The White House Chief of Staff issuing a statement saying the next few days would be critical.
Maybe it’s the conspiracy theorist in me, but was that actually a masked Trump walking across the White House lawn towards the presidential helicopter Marine One on Friday? I have to say I’m not convinced because the signs at the moment would indicate that either the illness is being talked down because of the possible effect on the upcoming election (the thought of Mike Pence becoming president for the rest of 2020 is almost as frightening as a fully functional Trump) or it’s being talked up for possibly the same reason.
Considering his dismissive attitude towards social distancing (even to the point of mocking Joe Biden for wearing a mask earlier in the week) the idea of the president catching the coronavirus at all will leave his blue collar support of messianic Covid-denying rednecks in a bit of a quandary.
A critically ill Trump on the eve of the election becomes the Republican Party’s biggest ever political crisis on a par with Democrat President Woodrow Wilson’s debilitating stroke in October 1919.
On the other hand, a miraculous recovery from the jaws of death makes him the president Covid couldn’t kill – a Chuck Norris figure who doesn’t read, he just stares at pages and they instantly give up all their information.
Yes, I am suggesting that the whole thing could be a ploy to manipulate the swing vote.
I certainly think some of Trump’s crazier collaborators are capable of such a thing.
My thoughts are with the virus at this difficult time.
A juvenile mistake
I am in complete agreement with England manager Gareth Southgate’s decision to leave Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden out of the squad to face Wales, Denmark and Belgium.
The young Manchester United and City stars were sent home from the last national get together in Iceland for a breach of social distancing rules, which is a diplomatic way of saying they smuggled an Icelandic model into their hotel room.
Being chosen to represent the national side is an honour and as good as they are, these two players obviously need to do a bit of growing up before that sinks in. Not only did their antics show a complete disrespect for Southgate and the England set-up, but it also could have put their fellow professionals at risk of getting coronavirus.
Hopefully these silly little boys will learn their lesson from this as they are both talented prospects.
Stupid TV quiz answer of the week:
Do I really need to say where this came from?
Q: How many of King Henry VIII’s wives were called Anne?