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The Pandemic and the Trumps

Eric Trump arrives as US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump participate in a wreath-laying and deliver remarks at the New York City Veterans Day Parade on November 11, 2019.

Eric Trump arrives as US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump participate in a wreath-laying and deliver remarks at the New York City Veterans Day Parade on November 11, 2019. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

That which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualified in, and the best of me is diligence.
—Shakespeare, King Lear

They were revelations. And they were revealed in the space of three days.  And both were a total surprise.   
 
First, we learned that eric trump, someone who has often been mocked on Saturday Night Live as being the lesser bulb of the older two, fairly dim bulbed trump sons, is not, in fact,  as dull as he is made to appear on the popular show.  
 
On May 15, in a Fox News interview, eric provided insights into the coronavirus pandemic that NOONE else in his daddy’s administration or anyone else in the world, had seen.  The entire pandemic thing ALL OVER THE WORLD, he informed the world, is nothing more than a hoax, the goal of which is to help democrats defeat his daddy in November. 
 
Eric’s daddy had, of course, been saying for some weeks that the pandemic would come to an end by the end of 2020 and that a vaccine would be available by then, but he had never suggested that the entire pandemic was nothing more than a scheme to block his reelection.  Eric tread where angels feared to tread,  pronouncing the entire thing a “cognizant strategy” that would magically vanish in November following the presidential election.  As he explained:  “You watch, they’ll milk it every single day between now and November 3.  And guess what, after November 3, coronavirus will magically, all of a sudden, go away and disappear and everybody will be able to reopen.”  
 
Eric’s pronouncement was a slap in the face of Saturday Night Live, and proved once and for all that he is not the dullard he is often portrayed to be.  Now, all we can do is await his next interview in which he will presumably explain how it is that the democrats have been able to mobilize the entire world to participate in this hoax, and how he will explain the deaths of hundreds of thousands of apparent victims of the virus world-wide as a result of this democratic hoax.  Those who have participated in treating and burying the victims of this hoax and those who have lost loved ones,  will eagerly await his explanation.  Given the brilliance of his first observation about the reason for the promotion of the virus, his second explanation will undoubtedly be equally prescient. 
 
Of even greater surprise than eric’s pronouncement, however, was the news from his father explaining that he is not to be outdone by his son in addressing medical issues.  
 
Two days after eric let the world know that the whole pandemic thing is a hoax, his dad told the world that he is protecting himself from the hoax by taking the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine.  He is taking the drug notwithstanding a lack of evidence that it does any good in protecting the user from the virus, and notwithstanding warnings that it can have serious side effects such as death. 
 
In April an analysis of the medical records of 368 male patients at VA hospitals was conducted.  Twenty seven percent of those  treated with hydroxychloroquine died, whereas only 11.4 percent of the patients who did not receive the drug died. Although that would suggest to the casual observer that the hydroxychloroquine was not helpful, the trump explained why he was able to ignore that evidence “Here we go, you ready? Here’s my evidence.  I get a lot of positive calls about it.  The only negative I’ve heard was the study where they gave it-was it the VA with, you know, people that aren’t big Trump fans gave it.” So much for cogent explanations and medical science.
 
In discussing his decision to take the drug he told some reporters that he “had so many letters” from people who support his use of the drug.  He said that:  “I want the people of this nation to feel good.  I don’t want them being sick.  And there’s a very good chance that this has an impact, especially early on.” The trump is not, of course, the only world leader who has been promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine.  
 
President Jair Bolsonaro is the president of Brazil.  Brazil is the country that is enduring the greatest suffering of any country in the world as a result of the coronavirus. On May 15, 2020, Brazilian Health Minister, Nelson Teich,  resigned from Mr. Bolsonaro’s cabinet.  The day before he resigned Brazil had more than 200,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and a total death toll of 13,933.  Mr. Teich was the second person to resign from that post within the preceding 30 days.  He and his predecessor left their posts because of disagreements with Mr. Bolsonaro over guidelines on reopening state economies within the country, social distancing rules, and because of Mr. Bolsonaro’s insistence that the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the virus be expanded. 
 
Commenting on Mr. Teich’s departure from the administration, Alessandro Molon, a member of the Brazilian Socialist Party, explained Mr. Bolsonaro’s actions saying:  “Bolsonaro does not want a technical minister, he wants someone who agrees with his ideological insanity, like ending social distancing and using chloroquine.” Mr. Molon was not talking about the trump.  He could have been. 
 
Considering the beliefs and actions of the two trumps and Mr. Bolsonaro, one can come to only one conclusion: great minds think alike.

Christopher Brauchli

Christopher Brauchli

Christopher Brauchli is a columnist and lawyer known nationally for his work. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Colorado School of Law where he served on the Board of Editors of the Rocky Mountain Law Review. He can be emailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu. For political commentary see his web page at http://humanraceandothersports.com

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