Donald Trump’s truly ugly coronavirus agenda

Nadine Dorries is one of the most awful human beings you’d ever happily want to avoid meeting. That she’s a Tory politician ought to be enough reason by itself, but she’s so bad she once even got booted from her own party. That alone ought to tell the story. She was suspended from the Conservative Party when she was a back-bencher MP for the safe Conservative seat of Mid-Bedfordshire, for appearing in 2012 — without permission — on “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here,” a British survival reality television show.

That a politician would consider themselves a celebrity at all I find personally disgusting by itself. Politicians ought to be public servants first and last. But her disgrace didn’t prevent her from later rising to the front bench with this latest Trumpian Boris Johnson government and becoming Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. It’s a position of considerable responsibility under the current coronavirus pandemic. Ironically, on 10 March 2020, Nadine Dorries became the first British MP to test positive for COVID-19.

This is the background against which, on Wednesday night, Donald Trump, while gasping for breath and looking like he was on life support himself, announced that all of Europe is to be barred from entering the United States — except the United Kingdom. Trump went on to criticize the European Union for its alleged mishandling of the coronavirus crisis. Trump didn’t specify precisely what the EU did wrong, probably because the answer is damned little. The European Union’s response has in fact been exemplary. Its response compared to the Trump White House has been almost perfect.

Trump’s problem with the EU, and his raison d’etre for fashioning coronavirus policy, is clear. He cannot keep his own bigotry out of the picture, even when it comes to coronavirus. His hatred of the European Union (which, of course, mirrors Vladimir Putin’s hatred of the European Union) is the same for all bigots here as well: those brown, non-English foreigners have too much power. They shouldn’t be allowed to tell white folk what to do.

But that doesn’t apply to Britain, oh no, not good old white Britain, home of America’s ancestors. Never mind that its very own health minister has tested positive for COVID, a fact that Trump would bitterly employ against any EU member had it happened to any one of them, especially the browner, Southern European ones.

This ought to remind you of Trump’s Muslim travel ban. Recall that of those nations on the original ban list, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, Saudi Arabia — home of nearly all of the 9/11 terrorists — was conspicuously missing. Trump’s significant business interests in Saudi was the reason. Trump never allows the interests of the American people (or what, in his warped reckoning, he perceives to be the interests of the American people) to interfere with his bigotries or business interests.

While Donald Trump looked pale and sickly behind his orange makeup, while he gasped and wheezed for breath, while he soullessly parroted the words on the teleprompter without understanding or empathy, as though he couldn’t wait to get out of there, no doubt his MAGA hat-wearing, cretinous acolytes gazed dreamily upon him like the tower of strength and purity he is most emphatically not. This is the farce that we have come to. A bigot enunciates policy for a corrupt and bigoted purpose at a time of crisis — policy that isn’t even questioned any longer by a weary and scandal-inured mainstream media. This must end. November is our final hope.

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