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Dr. Trump can’t resist looking foolish on Coronavirus
Dick Polman

In case you feared that the looming Supreme Court fight would distract everyone from Donald Trump’s culpability in the deaths of 200,000 Americans, fear not. Trump can’t resist making a fool of himself.

Monday in Ohio, addressing another sea of credulous saps, he actually babbled this about the virus: “It affects elderly people, elderly people with heart problems and other problems. That’s what it really affects. In some states, thousands of people – nobody young. Below the age of 18, like, nobody. They have a strong immune system, who knows? Take your hat off to the young, because they have a hell of an immune system. But it affects virtually nobody. It’s an amazing thing.”

Actually, what’s amazing is that he told Bob Woodward precisely the opposite. He said, on tape, that the virus affected “plenty of young people.” He said, “Now it’s turning out it’s not just old people, Bob. Just today, and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old, older.”

True that, Sherlock! Last month, his own beleaguered CDC released a study that charted hospitalizations of youngsters under the age of 18, found that one in three infected children requires treatment in an Intensive Care Unit, and concluded that “Children are at risk for severe COVID-19.”

Despite Dr. Trump’s quack pronouncements, it’s well established by now that maskless, asymptomatic young people potentially infect others in their vicinity. Last month, a World Health Organization official reminded us that “people in their 20s, 30s and 40s are increasingly driving the spread.” Another new study, this one at Mass General, said that even little kids can “have high levels of virus in their airways during the first three days of infection despite having mild symptoms or none at all – suggesting their role in community spread may be larger than previously believed.”

Last month, even more ominously, Dr. Anthony Fauci, our top infectious disease expert (remember him?), voiced this warning: “In individuals who are young and otherwise healthy, who don’t require hospitalization but do get sick and symptomatic enough to be in bed for a week or two or three and then get better, they have residual symptoms for weeks and sometimes months.” 

“These are people that supposedly recovered from COVID-19,” Fauci said. “I’ll guarantee you if we have this conversation again, six months to a year from now, we’ll be reviewing the literature about talking about the long-term deleterious effects of non-hospitalized patients.”

Translation: Contrary to the demagogue’s latest fake assurances that the virus affects “virtually nobody” who’s young, the reality is that affected young people may wind up with infirmities for the rest of their lives. Or as we call them, preexisting conditions.

So let’s connect all the dots:

Trump and his death-cult party members continue to drag their feet on a second stimulus bill, refusing to help the millions laid off in the midst of Trump’s pandemic...while they’re rushing to install a new Supreme Court justice who will cast a pivotal vote to abolish Obamacare in the midst of Trump’s pandemic...thus screwing the COVID-19 survivors, young as well as old people, who will have preexisting conditions for the rest of their lives thanks to Trump’s pandemic...because Obamacare is the law that best protects coverage for people with preexisting conditions.

I’ll simply pose a rhetorical question:

If any president, through sheer ignorance and negligence, had allowed terrorists to kill 200,000 Americans – the equivalent of 67 9/11s and 50,000 Benghazis – with the prospect of killing many more, and wounding still more for life, would that manifestly failed individual even have a prayer of getting re-elected?

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at Email him at