Welcome to the Trump-DeSantis horror show in Central Florida.
It can make you sick and kill you, but Floriduh dunces love these COVID-19 deniers.
Supporters see President Donald Trump’s narcissism and couldn’t-care-less attitude as a sign of strength.
They see the governor’s reckless behavior — mingling with crowds without wearing a mask, high-fiving people, then wiping his nose in the middle of a pandemic — as anything but what it is, dangerous.
It’s gross, and grotesque, too.
Beware South Florida: The potentially superspreading Trump rally is moving on to Miami.
On Thursday, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are expected to descend on the COVID hot spot armed with smoke and mirrors to create the illusion that coronavirus doesn’t matter.
Rallies are the last thing we need after Gov. Ron DeSantis prematurely opened the state to high-capacity crowds and took the teeth out of local mask ordinances.
Trump rallies could be the double whammy that sets us back to spiking levels of infection.
In his boisterous I-beat-COVID campaign run through Florida, Trump and disciple DeSantis are putting politics over Floridians’ health and dishonoring the more than 15,500 dead from COVID-19 in the state.
“I went through it. Now they say I’m immune. I feel so powerful. I’ll walk in there. I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women,” Trump shouted to thousands gathered Monday at a Sanford airport rally.
People cheered and basked in the display of demagoguery.
But what about the thousands of us who may never kiss our mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, sons and daughters? A lot of the suffering was preventable if only elected officials like Trump and DeSantis hadn’t botched the early response to the novel coronavirus — and if they weren’t still doing so today, knowing the risks.
They simply don’t care if they spread this deadly and infectious disease.
But here are some sobering facts: While they’re acting like teenage spring breakers on holiday in Florida, scientists confirmed the first case of an American being twice infected with the coronavirus, a 25-year-old Nevada man. Another vaccine test subject has become seriously ill, and a second company has paused testing, another sign that a safe vaccine is far from ready.
There’s nothing yet to celebrate in the fight against COVID other than the heroic health care workers on the front lines who haven’t retired in frustration or succumbed to the disease.
But there’s plenty to condemn about the way tone-deaf Trump shamelessly shows off his apparent health.
For one, health experts say it’s not true that he’s not contagious.
There’s no way to know so soon after a COVID-19 diagnosis, doctors say. Especially not when neither the White House nor his doctors have disclosed complete information about his treatment or his clinical status.
They won’t even confirm whether he has tested negative or reveal when he got infected.
Boosted by early aggressive in-hospital treatment, supplemental oxygen and the steroid dexamethasone that most COVID patients don’t get, Trump didn’t even quarantine for the minimum 14-day period recommended, much less the 20 days the CDC says is a must for serious cases.
The president is not only traveling but also not adhering at his rallies to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols for social distancing and mask wearing.
This is basic stuff to most of us, seven months into COVID, 10 months if you count from when Trump and his circle knew about this disease in January.
But in Florida, Trump’s moral corruption is aided and abetted by his generals, all Republican elected officials like Fort Walton Beach Rep. Matt Gaetz, often ridiculed as the kind of Florida man that gives the state its rube reputation.
DeSantis just won’t listen to doctors calling for him to avoid another serious COVID spike.
In Florida’s epicenter of Miami-Dade, hospitals are already seeing a slight uptick of about 50 new patients a day and a new increased demand for testing.
As of this writing Tuesday, there are 738,749 known cases of infection in the state.
In one way or another, the novel coronavirus has touched every family in Florida.
Disease, unemployment, separation from a loved one, the death of a loved one, just to name a few of the most obvious.
When an infected Trump was airlifted from the White House to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, I felt sadness for him, for his family and for the nation.
For the first time since he became president, I felt compassion for Trump.
He feels none for Floridians — or he wouldn’t dishonor our dead and put our lives at risk for the sake of politics and his fragile ego.