Why We Should Not Celebrate Trump’s Coronavirus Infection
I woke up this morning, Swedish time 06:45 to Breaking News flashing on my TV that Donald and Melania have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been self-quarantined.
As people of the United States were still in bed hours away from waking up to this news, I went to Facebook and Twitter to check if the news has spread among my peers.
Every few scrolls, I saw messages like these —
“Fu*k yeah! Take that sucker! Waiting for good riddance!”
“And that’s for downplaying the pandemic you pathetic clown!”
“Finally! Been waiting for this since March! Just die already!”
I was left shocked and disappointed.
Shocked because I didn’t have an idea that there was so much toxic rage against Trump around the people I know. I knew there was anger, and I have my own share of that mountain, but I had no clue the hatred was profound enough to celebrate, with words and pictures, the physical demise of Trump.
I was disappointed because I know a lot of these people to be vocal about burning issues that can never get too much attention.
Climate change, racial and social injustice, sexual misconduct, and anything along the lines of ‘needs attention’ — these are my friends and acquaintances I’ve found to consistently be the first ones to speak up.
I’d never expect these people I look up to for shaping the future to act so naive, myopic and violent.
Even if we assume Trump ends here, who has won?
At the age of 74, the POTUS surely falls in the high-risk category when it comes to COVID-19 infections, and that apparently gives a lot of people hope that this is the end of Trump.
#TrumpHasCovid is the top trending hashtag on Twitter while I’m writing this, and the wishes for his death piling up rapidly are anything but subtle.
I’ve had my doubts regarding the truthfulness of this update, and I’ve speculated, like several other newscasters who have asked interviewees this morning if it’s simply an election tactic.
Putting all of that aside, let’s assume he drops dead two weeks from now — what will have been achieved by it?
Will this change American democracy?
If anything, this would be the perfect fuel to the fire of extremist republicans who will adopt the new slogan Trump didn’t die for nothing! and solidifies opportunities for Trump’s children to capitalize on My father died serving this country rhetoric.
It will only be a matter of time the next best thing to Trump emerges.
This will not have changed the minds of people or the venom in the society that keeps spreading like wildfire at every opportunity it gets.
This will not have brought justice to the tax evasions, sexual misconduct, spreading misinformation and hundreds of other violations Trump has committed throughout his life and during this tenure.
The point isn’t that justice wouldn’t probably be served anyway, but that this steals focus away from what’s right and wrong and towards hatred and division.
The ramifications are concerning
Already after the announcement of Trump’s infection, U.S. and European equity-index futures have fallen sharply. Oil futures have taken a tumble as well.
Assuming they were exposed to the infection through Hope Hicks, a close advisor to Trump who also reported having tested positive just earlier, we are unaware as of yet how far the virus has spread within the office.
As he remains in quarantine and investors around the world keep a keen eye on the dwindling confidence in the U.S. economy, markets are sure to be more destabilized, worsening a situation that’s already bad following the pandemic.
I’m worried all the celebration is failing to realize that drawing a line between the man and the position isn’t always as easy as it seems. The chair of the U.S. President is more than a person, even when the toxicity of the person goes far beyond the chair itself.
Wishing for death is joining Trump’s club
If educated, environmentally, socially and politically aware youth can’t keep their wrath aside for two minutes and focus on fairness and justice, on changing outcomes from within the system, then the future looks bleak.
You can’t stand better when you stoop down to their levels.
When you’re celebrating that “the m*therf*cker finally got COVID!”, as deserving of this as you think Trump is, you’re essentially joining the club of the same hate-mongering, violent people you’ve been raising your voice against for years.
Rather than worrying that Trump may as well end up surviving COVID-19 and coming back stronger, probably it’s more worthwhile pondering over why Biden is the best the Democrats could do, and what kind of leadership the United States will need to salvage what is increasingly looking like the sinking ship of modern democracy.