President Trump is back in the White House — sleeping in his own bed, as he greatly prefers — after a bout with COVID-19.
But it’s worth taking a look back at the media’s absolutely gleeful coverage of the president contracting a virus that can be deadly for people older than 70.
The mainstream media wasted no time hammering Mr. Trump, who has often bristled at wearing a mask (remember, a mask isn’t to protect the wearers, just the people around them, but the MSM doesn’t care about that little fact).
To many “journalists,” Mr. Trump simply had it coming.
“I look at this as a drunk driver who injured himself in a wreck, and killed the oncoming sober driver,” MSNBC political analyst Rick Tyler said Saturday on the network’s “Politics Nation” show, according to a great list compiled by NewsBusters.
“Donald Trump has injured himself, and injured, and 200,000 people, other drivers, have died due to the coronavirus. So I don’t have sympathy for Donald Trump. He put himself in the situation,” Mr. Tyler said.
CBS “This Morning” co-host Anthony Mason said Friday: “The president seemed to be flirting with the coronavirus by not wearing a mask and going to big rallies.”
Senior political analyst John Dickerson then chimed in with this: “The president has downplayed the virus, he’s mocked mask wearing as recently as in the debate. And yet, the pandemic is relentless and does not care where it goes … it keeps that issue right at the center of the campaign, and the president’s response to it, which is not something that he wants at the center of the campaign because the polls have consistently shown that the country is disappointed with his handling of the issue.”
Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley weighed in Friday on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” saying “it has to be a humiliation for this president who’s been … almost mocking the mask wearing public and here he is hobbling to the hospital on Marine One having to wear a mask. And in many ways, you know, it will be part of the narrative, this sort of grand medical humiliation he has had.”
Ah, a “grand medical humiliation” for the president. All Americans can cheer that, right?
It was the giddiness that was most glaring. Remember, this is the president of the United States we’re talking about — and last time I checked, we’re all Americans, whether we voted for the president or not.
“The president has been saying that he’s going to keep Americans safe and at this point he hasn’t been able to keep himself safe,” MSNBC contributor Yamiche Alcindor said gleefully Friday.
Said Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame, appearing Saturday on CNN’s “Newsroom”: “His response has been homicidal negligence. He has failed to protect the American people and rather to put his own interest of re-election and holding on to the office of the presidency in front of the health and well-being of the American people. And what we are seeing in this last week is the same thing. This willingness, this negligence, even as he himself has become stricken with this horrible disease, [has put] his interest in front of the country’s for purposes of his election.”
One “journalist” went so far as to say Mr. Trump is likely responsible for the death of 160,000 Americans.
“Had the president treated this pandemic the way, for example, [Chancellor] Angela Merkel did in Germany, we could have as few as 40,000 deaths right now had we taken this seriously. We didn’t take it seriously largely because the president of the United States didn’t take it seriously,” said HuffPost White House Correspondent S.V. Date.
But these weren’t even the really bad ones. Others went further. “I hope he dies,” Zara Rahim, a former Barack Obama administration official who also worked on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, wrote on Twitter after the news emerged that Trump had tested positive.
Writer Alex Blagg went further in a Twitter post about Mr. Trump and one of his campaign aides Hope Hicks, who also contracted the virus.
“Just a quick note of support for Hope Hicks and President Trump. I hope they both die.”
Film director Michael Bonfiglio tweeted: “I hope Trump’s diagnosis wakes his supporters up to the reality of the pandemic and also that it makes him suffer and die.”
When word emerged Monday that Mr. Trump had been successfully treated and would be returning home to the White House, there were few words of encouragement offered by Mr. Trump’s critics. Instead of rejoicing that the president did not die, most stayed mum.
But Mr. Trump himself told Americans in a Twitter post Monday that he was “Feeling really good!” as he offered some advice.
“Don’t be afraid of COVID. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!” he wrote.
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @josephcurl.
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