The wisest fool in Christendom.
Henri IV, referring to James I of England.
At first blush it seemed like nothing more than a coincidence. And the first reaction was to think he had not even thought of it since he is not a religious man. Sober reflection and awareness of the high esteem in which he holds himself, repeatedly assuring us that few, if any, are, or have been, as brilliant, selfless and talented as he, however, gives rise to the thought that it is more than a coincidence. It is deliberate, symbolic, and comports with his view of himself, a view shared by his devoted followers who cheer for him at rallies, and his devoted disciples, such as Mike Pence and Ben Carson, who stand behind him at press conferences gazing admiringly at their beloved leader. And here it is.
The same day that Christians the world over will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the trump has decreed that he, like Christ, will be celebrated throughout the United States—Christ for religious reasons and the trump for ending the mandatory quarantining in the United States that was designed to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 in the United States. Just as Christians resume normal activities after celebrating Christ’s resurrection, the people in the United States will be able to resume all their normal activities, thanks to the inspired leadership of the trump and his proven ability to solve what, to lesser mortals, seem like intractable problems.
The trump can see the similarity between himself and Christ as he stands at the podium and makes statements about how quickly the pandemic will be over. Of course there are a few non-believers standing next to him who contradict him when he finishes speaking, but the trump and his disciples all know that the trump knows best. The trump is not, nor should he be, offended by comments made by the non-believers standing next to him any more than Christ was offended by those who crucified him. Indeed when considering those who publicly contradict him, it might serve the trump well to recall Christ’s words when he said: “Forgive them father, for they know not what they do.” Those in need of forgiveness are those who rely on science rather than the trump’s optimism.
The trump has many reasons to be satisfied that by ending the quarantine on Easter Sunday he is doing what is in the best interests of his people. As he observed, the number of deaths that may be caused by the pandemic in the United States is nothing when compared with the number of people killed each year in car accidents in the United States. In the United States, 90 people die every day in car accidents. Three million people are injured of which two million have permanent injuries. As of the date the trump was explaining why the country should reopen on Easter Sunday, fewer than 200 people in the United States had died from the coronavirus. On March 23 he told a gathering that: “You look at automobile accidents, which are far greater than any numbers we’re talking about. That doesn’t mean we’re going to tell everybody no more driving of cars. So we have to do things to get our country open.” And he’s absolutely right that no one is suggesting that cars be banned to save lives. Viewed in that light the pandemic is, as the trump knows better than the scientists who stand behind him at his daily briefings, there is no reason to continue to keep the country shut down.
And if the comparison to car deaths is not enough for the trump, he brings up another reason that the country must reopen. If the lockdown continues, as the trump explains, “You’re going to lose more people by putting a country into a massive recession or depression. You’re going to lose people. You’re going to have suicides by the thousands.” At another appearance he said: “I’m talking about where people suffer massive depression, where people commit suicide, where tremendous death happens…I mean it definitely would be in far greater numbers than the numbers that we’re talking about with regard to the virus.” Of course he’s right. As of March 25, at an estimated 928 victims of CoVID-19 in the United States have died from this virus. By comparison, in 2017, 47,173 American died by suicide and that figure goes up annually.
With less than two weeks until Easter Sunday, believers and non-believers alike can look forward to that day. Believers, of course, may have more reason to rejoice since their belief has sustained them throughout their lives and they can find joy in celebrating the event that took place many years ago. Non-believers should not become too excited about the prospects for celebrating on Easter Sunday. The trump is no match for Jesus, contrary to what he may believe, and there is an outside chance that none of what he has promised will happen.