Friday: Hili dialogue

October 2, 2020 • 6:30 am

We’ve rushed through a chilly week in Chicago, making it to today: Friday, October 2, 2020. It’s World Farm Animals Day, so you must go vegan until tomorrow. It’s also National Fried Scallops Day, World No Alcohol Day (fuggedaboutit), National Denim Day (I’m wearing mine), and International Day of Non-Violence, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

It was a three-bun morning, as I saw three Eastern cottontails on my way to work. And there was a full moon; perhaps that brings them out?

I have a couple of appointments today, so posting may be light. As always, please bear with me.

News of the Day: The big news, which I just discovered upon waking up, is that both Trump and Melania have tested positive for coronavirus.

From the NYT:

During late-night conversations, aides to Mr. Trump were discussing whether he should give an address to the nation on Friday from the White House or find some other way for him to reassure the public. But the aides were still in a state of shock as they absorbed the news, and there was no immediate word on how far the infection may have spread among senior White House officials, who generally do not wear masks in deference to the president’s disdain for them.

“The president and first lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence,” Dr. Sean P. Conley, the White House physician, said in a statement, adding: “Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments.”

Other aides to the president would not say whether he was experiencing symptoms, but people at the White House noticed that his voice sounded raspy on Thursday, although it was not clear that was abnormal for him, especially given the number of campaign rallies he has been holding lately.

He’ll have to quarantine, which means the debates are off, and it can’t do his fortunes any good, especially because he impugned mask wearing, so it’s ironic as well.


In light of the above, this may be moot. Frank Bruni is at odds with the consensus of New York Times editors. His new editorial, “For the sake of democracy, cancel the Trump-Biden debates“, calls for the Presidential debates to end because because Trump “will use these showcases to subvert democracy.” That’s over the top, and I agree with the main editorial, “A debate that can’t be ignored“, in which the Times‘s editorial board calls for the slugfest to continue:

As the dust settled, there were calls for Mr. Biden to skip the rest of the debates. That is an understandable reaction; Mr. Trump’s behavior makes it essentially impossible to have a civil, substantive conversation.

But that is the exact opposite of what needs to happen. Mr. Biden will show up for all of the remaining debates, and Americans should too. Donald Trump is their president. They need to face him, and the reckoning he has brought on the Republic.

Indeed, I may not be able to stomach watching all the rest of the debates, but it will be a record of the man’s behavior. And on Wednesday Kamala Harris squares off against Pence.

Speaking of the debates, after the debate commission said it was working on changing the rules to ensure more harmonious Presidential debates, the Trump campaign said it’s opposing any changes in the format. As CNN reported:

Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller told reporters that the campaign “(does) not want any changes to what has already been laid out and what has been agreed to for the second and third debate, period, point blank.” He said Trump “fully plans” on participating in the remaining debates, as does Vice President Mike Pence.

If nothing changes, the remaining two debates won’t be worth watching. But given the news about the President’s infection, this is probably irrelevant.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 207,699, an increase of about 900 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll remains at”1.0 million +.”

Stuff that happened on October 2 include:

  • 1187 – Siege of Jerusalem: Saladin captures Jerusalem after 88 years of Crusader rule.
  • 1528 – William Tyndale publishes The Obedience of a Christian Man, which advocates the divine right of kings.
  • 1789 – The United States Bill of Rights is sent to the various States for ratification.
  • 1919 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson suffers a massive stroke, leaving him incapacitated for several weeks.
  • 1967 – Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first African-American justice of the United States Supreme Court.

This is an adorable photo (Marshall was apponted by Lyndon Johnson):

02 Oct 1967 — Thurgood Marshall gets a last minute check from his wife, Cecilia Suyat, before his swearing in at the Supreme Court in 1967. Marshall was the first African American justice in the Supreme Court’s 178-year history. Marshall is wearing the robe he used when he was judge in New york City’s Second District Court of Appeals. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS
  • 1996 – The Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments are signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton.
  • 2002 – The Beltway sniper attacks begin, extending over three weeks.

The snipers were John Allen Muhammad (aged 41 at the time) and Lee Boyd Malvo (aged 17 at the time); they killed 17 people and wounded ten others. Muhammad was executed by lethal injection in November, 2009, while Malvo is serving six consecutive life sentences.

  • 2006 – Five Amish girls are murdered in a shooting at a school in Pennsylvania, United States.

Notables born on this day include:

Say what you will about Gandhi, he is a hero of mine, owning almost no goods save his glasses, staff, bowl, sandals and false teeth. He was completely dedicated to India’s freedom:

Here’s the entirety of what he owned (save his choppers) when he died:

  • 1890 – Groucho Marx, American comedian and actor (d. 1977)
  • 1897 – Bud Abbott, American comedian (d. 1974)
  • 1904 – Graham Greene, English novelist, playwright, and critic (d. 1991)
  • 1917 – Christian de Duve, English-Belgian cytologist and biochemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2013)
  • 1933 – John Gurdon, English biologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1945 – Don McLean, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1948 – Donna Karan, American fashion designer, founded DKNY
  • 1949 – Annie Leibovitz, American photographer

Here’s Leibovitz’s 1980 photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono:

  • 1951 – Sting, English singer-songwriter, bass player, and actor
  • 1970 – Maribel Verdú, Spanish actress

I’ve been smitten by Verdú ever since I saw her in the fantastic Mexican movie Y Tu Mamá También, which you must see. A scene:


Those who stopped living on October 2 include:

  • 1803 – Samuel Adams, American philosopher and politician, 4th Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1722)
  • 1968 – Marcel Duchamp, French painter and sculptor (b. 1887)
  • 1973 – Paavo Nurmi, Finnish runner (b. 1897)
  • 1985 – Rock Hudson, American actor (b. 1925)
  • 1987 – Peter Medawar, Brazilian-English biologist and zoologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1915)
  • 1998 – Gene Autry, American actor, singer, and guitarist (b. 1907)
  • 2005 – August Wilson, American author and playwright (b. 1945)
  • 2016 – Neville Marriner, British conductor (b. 1924)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili comments on the pandemic and the divergent views about it:

Hili: Times are changing.
A: Undoubtedly, but people see it differently.
In Polish:
Hili: Czasy się zmieniają.
Ja: Niewątpliwie, ale ludzie różnie to widzą.

From Charles, Ruben Bolling’s view of Trump’s America (click to enlarge):

Also from Charles: the importance of punctuation.

A sexual selection meme from Nicole:

From Titania. Have a look at the tweet she’s highlighted:

From Sarah Cooper, taking the part of both Trump and interviewer Laura Ingraham discussing Trump’s call for drug testing before the first debate::

From Simon: The Banksy of Asia does a lovely mural:

Tweets from Matthew. First, quokkas are an appreciative (and adorable) audience. Sound up.

Matthew loves crinoids (“feather stars” a kind of echinoderm); in fact, a video of one is pinned at the top of his Twitter feed. Here’s another (there’s music):

This one comes from an architecture critic. Matthew notes, “Check it out, there are 73 pics of this mansion in all. Starts boring and gradually gets crazier and crazier… ” You have to click on the house in the tweet to see the photos.   I’d buy it for the wine cellar!

Kitten on a leash!

Did you know that dung beetles can squeak. Sound up if you want to be convinced:


122 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. Trump is old, and obese and high-risk. A question for constitutional scholars or lawyers: What happens if tRump dies this close to an election?

    1. With less than a month to go and mail-in voting already taking place, the only rational option it seems to me is to leave the GOP ticket on the ballot as it is, with everyone understanding that should the GOP ticket win, Pence will become POTUS and then nominate a different veep “tbd”.

        1. You assume loyalty to his family after Trump is dead. I expect pretty much the opposite; that the GOP establishment will throw the entire clan to the curb if/when they are no longer useful. Considering the reactions of all the conservatives who have decided not to run, or left the administration, etc., there seems to be zero love lost between Trump and practically every conservative who doesn’t need his support.

          1. There is some merit to that POV but they may have a problem with keeping the Trumpists on side if he dies. What percentage of GOO support would disappear without Trump? I think enough to make elections problematic.

            1. Yeah but I don’t think the cult of personality extends to his daughter. I’d agree that Pence would get lots of mileage out of rhetoric like “we will continue his legacy…”, but I don’t think the rabid Trump fans are going to be no-shows unless Ivanka is picked. It’s not like the Proud Boys and Dominionists want a woman and a Jew as veep.

  2. The only thing that comes to mind is predictable, maybe inevitable that Trump would get it. Ignore all the science at your own risk. Regardless, I was in favor of canceling the debates, if that is what we are going to call them. Many election years we have not had debates and they are not mandatory. Professions in psychiatry also agree, that more of this display should be eliminated.

    1. I told my kids the news this morning, then added that he wouldn’t have to do any more debates. Their immediate response was that the Liar in Chief was just saying that so that he wouldn’t have to do any more debates. I think that is kind of a win for him, since he doesn’t like being told what to do, and so won’t be shackled by the new debate rules. He also gets sympathy from some voters. Then he can later claim that he beat the virus, and that he has the best immune system.

  3. I wish both him and Melania a speedy recovery, followed by an overwhelming election loss in November.

    …senior White House officials, who generally do not wear masks in deference to the president’s disdain for them…

    I actually derive more shaudenfreude from this than from Trump getting it. As POTUS, his official duties pretty much require him to be in contact with a lot of different people, so the risk was always going to be pretty substantial even had he practiced good habits. However, for his advisors not to wear masks in order to curry favor…that’s a risk that is completely self-inflicted. They rolled the dice for their own personal gain. Enjoy your bed.

    He’ll have to quarantine, which means the debates are off

    On the contrary, Pence-Harris now became a lot more important.
    I think you’re right about the Presidential debates being cancelled, but to quibble, they really don’t have to cancel them, this is a choice. Probably made by Trump. If Trump’s camp really wanted to hold more debates, they could offer to do it remotely and I’m sure something could be worked out. I’d bet money they won’t push for that, but if the debates was something they really cared about, they could.

    1. I’m not hoping for a speedy recovery for the Donald. About 6 weeks on a ventilator, in a coma, would be my preference. Look at it this way – the prez has this wonderful opportunity to model for the nation, what anti-science can do.

      1. When he awakes from his coma, he will be informed, a la reality TV, in front of the news media, that he is no longer president, and that charges have been filed in New York. The look on his face…

      2. I’m with you on that. I don’t want him to die, but a Scrooge-like life-changing experience, a close brush with death like that of Boris Johnson, is the only thing that will get him to would save many lives. This is the guy who is indirectly responsible for more killing more Americans than all the US’s enemies in all recent wars put together, just for political gain and science denialism.

    2. You beat me to it. Trump better not die, or even go into a coma. He needs to lose fair and square with no excuses (other than his usual 10 million that only koolaid drinkers will buy).

      1. Also, he needs to survive to stand trial for crimes. The nation needs to be able to establish clearly that laws apply to everyone.

        1. If that were true our jails would be filled with politicians and rich people. But even if he survives and some state charges him, he will not spend one day in jail. This is the US, with rare exception (and then only for the most violent of crimes), only “little people” are imprisoned.

          1. Only amongst Republicans does one find the idea that “If the President does it then it is legal” has adherents. Until a criminal president is held to account this poisonous notion will encourage ever more corrupt leadership.

  4. “find some other way for him to reassure the public”

    The best way would probably be an announce that Trump is retiring from politics.

    “I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties”

    Does that means he could play golf even after being tested positive for covid?

  5. Trump has no-one but himself to blame. I hope that Biden’s OK after spending 90 minutes indoors near the Covidiot-in-Chief. Shouting is a good way of spreading the damn bug, too.

    1. Yes, my first concern was for Joe Biden. He had to stand in the vicinity of that orange expectoration machine for ninety minutes.

      I hope Everything Trump Touches Dies doesn’t become Everything Trump Comes Within Six Feet Of Dies.

  6. It will be interesting to see which highly virtuous observers express schadenfreude over the misfortune of people afflicted with a potentially serious disease.

    1. Sounds like someone is experiencing shaudenfreude at the thought that other people might be experiencing shaudenfreude. Which they oppose as immoral. Except for theirs.

      1. I doubt it, any more than, say, an epidemiologist experiences Schadenfreude when people are infected by the illness under study. But it’s easy to be a mind-reader, I suppose, if one has the talent.

  7. Am I the only one who’s skeptical that tRump has Covid-19. He lies so often I have a hard time believing anything he claims without independent confirmation.

    1. No you are not. It’s entirely possible he’ll appear at the next debate as fit and healthy as ever and say “see, it’s no big deal”.

      Another possibility that I made up have heard is that the test result was faked by his staff who have concluded that the debates and the rallies are damaging his chances of getting elected.

      1. Yes, we can’t rule out the possibility that he’s faking the positive test. If he’s faking it, he can avoid the remaining debates. In addition, when he displays no ill effects from his supposed infection he can claim that: (1) coronavirus is no big deal, and/or (2) he has proven that taking actually hydroxychloroquine works, and/or (3) he’s some kind of superman.

        Given the fact that he has been shamed for not wearing a mask and not social distancing, the fact that he just came right out and announced his purportedly positive test (rather than keeping it a secret) is itself suspicious. It’s incredible to think that he could actually be running this scam, but Trump’s dishonesty is simply bottomless.

      2. Doesn’t seem possible he could contract the ‘Rona, given the strict regimen of prophylactic hydroxychloroquine he took.

        Wonder if he’s interested in pursuing a course of treatment involving the internal use of ultraviolet light and disinfectants.

        1. I think Ken is on to something! During Trump’s 2016 campaign, he promised to eliminate the national debt. I think we could accomplish that if we auctioned off the right for some lucky bidder to administer internal disinfectants and internal UV lighting to poor Mr. Trump, and if we televised that process on pay-per-view.

        2. If he is interested, I would be amenable to introducing a solar photo emitter into Trump’s duodenal zone.

          By which I mean I’d be happy to shove a sun lamp up his arse.

    2. POTUS & FLOTUS have the virus? How long have they had it and who gave it to them? Who get the to blame for letting that one untested carrier infecting him?

      Is this his diversion to distract from: his Debate performance? (Some of Frank Luntz’ focus group of undecided voters focus group described Trump as a ‘crackhead,’ ‘arrogant’ and ‘unhinged.’”) The Proud Boys gleeful public support of him? His released income taxes?

      Is anything that comes from this team of con artists and grifters to be taken at (maskless) face value?

    3. POTUS & FLOTUS have the virus? How long have they had it and who gave it to them? Who get the to blame for letting that one untested carrier infecting him?

      Is this his diversion to distract from: his Debate performance? (Some of Frank Luntz’ focus group of undecided voters focus group described Trump as a ‘crackhead,’ ‘arrogant’ and ‘unhinged.’”) The Proud Boys gleeful public support of him? His released income taxes?

      Is anything that comes from this team of con artists and grifters to be taken at (maskless) face value?

  8. If nothing changes, the remaining two debates won’t be worth watching.

    On the contrary, if by some miracle they aren’t cancelled, I’ll be keenly interested in watching the first 5 minutes or so, to see whether Trump’s family and he himself are wearing masks or taking other social distancing measures. If not, then frak the whole lot of them for intentionally and knowingly exposing others to the virus.

  9. Annie Leibovitz took some good pictures of Hitchens too. At this link you can see one portrait, which is a cover on one of his collections of essays:

    And here’s another, of Hitch with his wife, Carol Blue, on their wedding day I think: In fact, I think Leibovitz took many photos that day; the Times caption says the photos were a wedding gift.

    The first picture, too, was on the wedding day, late at night during the reception (hence the fag and the glass-laden table!). Actually, yes, it was, as I’ve just confirmed; he talks about the book cover and Leibovitz from here: until about 5:56.

  10. “It’s World Farm Animals Day, so you must go vegan until tomorrow.”


    Real cream in my coffee, real butter and real eggs in my biscotti, real cheese on my sandwich.

    And my farm animals are just fine, thank you. They are well taken care of, and don’t have to look for food, water, shelter, or health care.


  11. I believe that tRump is much sicker than has been publicly admitted. He has absolutely no regard for the well being of others and would not admit that he was stupid to avoid masks.
    If well enough to function, he would continue to set up rallies. We may well have a very sick pumpkin as president. The fact that the White House has announce that Pence is ready to take over supports this theory. tRump would never approve this sort of announcement unless there was no other choice!

    1. I believe you have gone too far down some rabbit hole. He is positive for Covid 19 as of yesterday. If he tried to go to a rally no one would go. Not even the cult is that stupid.

      1. Let’s wait and see what happens. I believe that if he could function well, this announcement would never have been made.

      2. “Not even the cult is that stupid.

        Really? They may not appear for a Pence, but if Donald tells them to show, they will.

        Maybe not the mildly pro-Trumpers, but Cult members, absolutely..

    2. Yeah, have to agree with Randall on this one. Trump was clearly “well enough to function” as recently as Tuesday night because he was live on TV doing his regular bombastic act for 90 minutes during the debate, so you’re just wrong about that.

      Now, the virus has an incubation period of up to two weeks, so it’s possible he’s had it for a while and just been asymptomatic up until recently. Though even believing that would require some conspiratorial thinking, as IIRC POTUS is given tests for it every day. I can’t imagine the absolute PR catastrophe if it came out that Trump and Trump’s advisors all knew he and Melania had the virus before the debate, and yet they (and their entire family) showed up for it without masks anyway.

  12. Odds are Trump won’t get sick at all. IIRC, some estimate that up to 80% of the some populations may not be susceptible to illness from this coronavirus.

    Back tracing Trump is going to cause all sorts of mayhem with the political scene. Hopefully derailing the SC nominee hearings?

    1. He might or might not develop severe symptoms. At this writing, he’s reported to be showing mild symptoms.

      As for “IIRC,” no you didn’t or else you’re purposefully obfuscating to further some agenda. Trump is 74, and therefore, on that score alone in the high-risk category. He’s also obese and has blood pressure problems — and who knows what other health problems that would increase his risk of developing severe symptoms.

      1. I believe you are missing my point. There appears to be a very significant percentage of people who can be exposed, can deliver a positive titer test, might even be contagious, but who will not develop illness from COVID-19. Regardless of their age and co-morbidity.

        I got this info from watching conversations with European physician epidemiologists.

        We know now Trump is unlucky – he has developed symptoms. Now everything you say applies.

  13. So the President is a victim of a terrible disease now. So when the President recovers by November 3rd, it will display invincibility.

    Someone must have looked at life-threatening episodes in the first-term Presidencies, and their predictive value in re-election. Was Reagan’s attempted assassination in the first term? Did FDR’s polio factor at all in the first term?

    1. Regarding FDR’s polio, the media kept most of it away from the public. He was never photographed in the wheel chair and he had these heavy leg braces he wore so he could stand to give speeches. And no television in those days.

    1. Yes! And my debate question for him would be “Will you pardon The President” in the event he ______________”?

  14. I’m worried about Joe Biden. If Trump tested positive yesterday, he would have been contagious on Tuesday, and he shared the same enclosed space with Biden while doing a ton of shouting and yelling sans face mask.

    Atheist equivalent of thoughts and prayers for Joe (and Jill, and other Biden supporters in attendance, and Chris Wallace, who may have been a weak moderator but does not deserve to get COVID).

    PS I do not wish any harm to Agent Orange, as much as I despise him, but I did laugh out loud when someone posted online, “I’m starting a GoFundMe: Bleach for Donald!”

    1. Exposure for ALL the debate attendees is a concern, since Melania (+ Trump’s family) showed up, sat in the front row, and none of them wore masks.

      One possibility I haven’t heard people talk about is that Trump might have been exposed to it AT the debate. That would still imply Biden is at high risk, but not “from” Trump.

  15. That tweet Titania is reacting to is really quite something. Leaving aside the deep unpleasantness (to put it mildly) of approving death threats against someone simply because they hold different views to one’s own, I wonder if the tweeter is aware how extraordinarily stupid the tweet makes her look?

    1. Is it anyone in particular? Or is it just a random unpleasant person from Twitter?

      I find Titania has been picking some low hanging fruit recently. If her point is that there are jerks on the internet, well colour me unsurprised. If her point is that the liberal-left don’t care about death threats made against people with whom they disagree then I’d argue it requires more to back it up than a comment from a single random Twitter user.

  16. Hopefully more people will get tested now, especially in THOSE states. An Elvis Effect – that time when Elvis got vaccinated.

  17. I would never let my hatred of anyone to trump (pun intended) my total abhorrence of the death penalty. To wish death on anyone is wrong.

    That said, I would not be concerned if Trump were to suffer quite badly for a while and then recover, it may just get through to some of his idiot supporters that Covid-19 is not a joke disease.

  18. In solidarity with No Alcohol Day I shall refrain from consuming any isopropyl alcohol, methanol or ethylene glycol.

  19. That house is both jaw-droppingly tasteless and outrageously fun. It has its own telescope! If it wasn’t for that one discrepant detail I’d think it was Trump’s Spanish-flavoured getaway.

  20. More evidence to support (what I suggested in 12 above) that he is more ill than admitted. His infection status was not released first by the White House, but by a reporter who got a tip. Also Mark Meadows refused to comment on what treatment tRump was receiving (bad sign for his health).

  21. Pence is a seemingly rational, in control religious nut that might win back disaffected Republicans and the ignorant undecided. The best case scenario I see, is that tRump gets very sick so he can’t stir up as much trouble before and after the election and loses votes. I’m thinking positively here!

  22. Ken — Trump promised to eliminate the national debt if he was elected. I’ll bet we could do that if we auctioned off the right to administer the “internal use of ultraviolet light and disinfectants.”

  23. Trump seems to have the constitution of a cockroach. I expect he’ll survive.

    And I can see him spinning it to his advantage, especially if it’s a fairly mild case: “See, told you it wasn’t so bad!”

  24. There is the distinct possibility of Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, getting COVID. Twitter has shown her maskless and in close contact with several people who have now tested positive. And what does it say about her judgement and independence to go maskless during a pandemic. Surely she doesn’t share the need to put up a macho front like the rest of Trump’s sycophants.

  25. Some worry that Trump will be largely asymptomatic and recover quickly, after which he would crow, “See? I told you it was no big deal. Not even as bad as the flu.” That’s my worst case scenario. … Hopes and prayers.

  26. Maybe I’ve been watching too many horror movies, but in the world of Trump and Covid, it’s freaky that this is actually a possible scenario:

    Epidemiologists have said it’s entirely possible Biden was exposed to COVID from Trump during the debate.


    Trump gave COVID to Biden.

    Trump has a relatively mild case, sails through, says “see no problem” and is right back in the campaign.

    Biden at 77 dies of COVID.

    Trump goes on to take the election.

    This would be the ultimate horror movie scenario. The physical fruition of Trump’s character manifest: The culmination of his own disdain for science and the welfare of others ends in Trump actually killing his opponent, then reaping the rewards yet again.


      1. 2020 has been a big manifestation of Murphy’s Law for humanity in general. We just cannot get a piece of good luck these days.

        1. Just because Biden’s negative now doesn’t mean that he’s in the clear. He needs more tests because it takes time for the virus to multiply to the point where it’s detectable in a test.

      1. I’d want to see the test repeated every five days until January 20th, 2021.

        Sullivan’s piece last week would point precisely to such a result and argue to seriously beware of such a one-off feel-good outcome.

        1. I’m not sure how to reconcile Trump’s outwardly caviler attitude to COVID with all the reports he’s actually something of a germophobe.

          I mean, I can certainly see the political expediency of him playing down the seriousness of the virus (at least in regards to how he thinks politically).

          But it was more than that: he personally continually flouted precautions. Weird for a germophobe.

          The best I can come up with is that he felt protected enough by all his and his staff’s testing.

        2. I’m sure they’ll repeat the test every day or two for the next couple of weeks. Can’t imagine the Dem advisors around him recommending anything else.

      2. Unfortunately, far too soon to be sure. At the earlier time of the debate tRump may not have be a vector for spread.

    1. One need not refer to anything but Shakespeare – obtain thee a copy of Andrew Sullivan’s “Yes, this is the face of a tyrant” from last Friday.

  27. Various scenarios and their possible effects:

    01. Trump gets mild case of COVID-19.
    He uses this to say the virus was never a big deal to begin with, covers himself in glory before the election as a survivor, and redoubles his efforts to prevent mail-in/remote voting. Encourages his base to treat the virus cavalierly.

    02. Trump gets bad case of COVID-19 but survives.
    Starts taking the disease far more seriously? Lessens efforts to prevent mail-in/remote voting? More bullish on stimulus and helping disease victims?

    03. Trump is incapacitated or dies from COVID-19 before the election.
    Pence takes over, and as a more controllable and “respectable” Republican he might appeal more to low information voters, moderates, anti-Trump conservatives, etc. He would therefore stand a considerable chance of winning the election, especially if he gets a sympathy vote after Trump’s death (in the way that LBJ derived political capital from JFK’s death).

    04. Trump is incapacitated or dies from COVID-19 after the election.
    Pence takes over, with hard to predict results. His previous career suggests he will not do a good job in office and will alienate many people, but it’s hard to imagine him being as much of a loose cannon as Trump. The Republicans therefore will likely get behind him. But if the Democrats take the Senate, his hands will be tied.

      1. The Guardian is a shadow of its former self, but Marina Hyde and John Crace are both usually worth a read for their less-than-serious views on current events, though their focus is pretty UK-centric.

  28. Is everybody certain that Trump really *does* have COVID? It’s certainly possible that he does. But, I’m skeptical of everything that comes out of the White House these days. I certainly would not be surprised if Trump’s diagnosis were a hoax.

    Possible motives:

    (A.) Trump plans to take Hydroxychloroquine [God, I hate typing that word] and miraculously “recover” in order to boost his investments.
    (B.) Trump wants a convenient excuse to avoid the next debate without losing face.
    (C.) Trump expects to lose the election and wants a convenient excuse.
    (D.) Trump plans to recover miraculously so he can say, “See, COVID is nothing. It’s just a flu bug.”

    1. This all came out after reporters learned of Hope Hicks’s infection from non-tRump sources. And all of the hapless additional cases that have surfaced (like Notre Dame president and others) all looks terrible. And if tRump cares about anything it is how he looks. I don’t expect we’ll see any video of him again unless he makes a full recovery and has his hair coiffed and face makeup all in place.

  29. Trump’s been shipped off to Walter Reed “for a few days.” This information was withheld from the public until after the stock market closed but the actual transfer may have happened as early as 10AM via helicopter.

    1. I’m thinking that this allows them to keep his true condition a secret. Making this move now, when he presumably has few symptoms, will not raise much alarm. Doing it a week from now would tell everyone his condition had become very serious.

      1. Equally plausible though is that he’s been concealing symptoms for a few days and they’ve now progressed to the point where they’re quite serious and impossible to hide.

        I can’t be sure what to think. There are so many possibilities and the untrustworthiness of many of the parties involved only complicates things further.

        1. He supposedly met with supporters yesterday so I imagine his symptoms were not that apparent then. Maggie Haberman of the NY Times said that his voice sounded a bit rough.

      2. Sounds very plausible. I suspected that the whole “working as usual” thing would go belly up, just like it did for “Boris” Johnson earlier.

    2. My prediction: he’ll be dead by Election Day. Not the outcome I want because I want him to have his day in court. And prison.

    1. Of the several ( ” Trump had been administered
      a Regeneron polyclonal antibody cocktail and
      has been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine,
      melatonin and a daily aspirin ” ) thus,
      “fa·mo·ti·dine (fə-mō′tĭ-dēn′) n.
      A histamine antagonist, C8H15N7O2S3, that
      inhibits the secretion of gastric acid and
      is used to treat duodenal and gastric ulcers
      and gastroesophageal reflux disease. ”


  30. NEWS-FLASH!!!!

    Evangelical preacher claims Covid killed Trump — thoughts and prayers brought him back to life!

  31. So Jason Miller does not want any changes to “what has been agreed to for the second and third debate, period, point blank.”

    The expression is “period, paragraph.” Just one further example of the illiteracy of this cabal.

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