Trump calls Fauci an ‘idiot,’ says rallies are ‘BOFFO’ while coronavirus rages on

As hospitals fill up with COVID-19 patients in Wisconsin and Chicagoans face a second surge of coronavirus cases that could lead to new shutdowns, President Donald Trump is calling medical professionals “idiots.”

As most states across the country face rising coronavirus numbers and hospitalizations, the president effectively says he’s “tired” of it all.

Of course he didn’t use the first person. He always puts his own gripes in the mouths of others, pulling a page from the narcissist’s playbook, as he can’t imagine anyone thinking differently than he does.

In a call with his campaign staff Monday, Trump said: “People are tired of COVID. I have these huge rallies. People are saying whatever. Just leave us alone. They’re tired of it. People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots.”

Ah, “people.” Those “people” who just say “whatever” about a deadly virus that has claimed more than 220,000 American lives and left millions with, at best, a preexisting condition and at worse lingering health issues.

Those “people” who say “leave us alone” without acknowledging their own health affects everyone they’re around, young and old, weak and strong, friend and stranger.

Those people are certainly out there. They’re the ones showing up maskless at Trump rallies and acting like COVID-19 is much ado about nothing while sneering at “people” like me and saying, “Get out of your mama’s basement, coward.” (Fun fact: Thanks to the virus, I, like millions of Americans, haven’t been able to see my mama all year, much less hang out in her basement. And when it comes to a pandemic, I am very much a coward. And proud of it.)

But hey, Trump and the people he’s using to channel his own childish, “I DON’T WANNA DEAL WITH THIS MEAN PANDEMIC ANYMORE!” attitude are tired of it all.

Well, let me find someone to play a sad trombone sound for them, one that can be heard from coast to coast. Because guess what? I’m tired of it too.

I don’t think there are any Americans who aren’t tired of COVID-19 and the pandemic that has thrown our lives wildly out of whack.

But rather than whining about it, denying science and wasting time deriding those who share best practices to slow the spread, many in this country are wearing masks, avoiding crowded gatherings and bending over backward to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe.

But it’s not enough. There are too many adopting the president’s “I’m SO over this” attitude.

Don’t take my word for it. Listen to people like Melissa Resch, a registered nurse who works in a coronavirus medical unit in Wisconsin. She told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this week that she’s seeing patients ranging in ages from their 20s to their 90s.

“This doesn’t discriminate against age,” Resch told the newspaper.

She asked people to stay home, social distance and wear masks so she can avoid having to help families FaceTime with a loved one “as they take their last breath.”

“It’s real world. And it’s here,” she said. “And we as individuals can help prevent it. Please help us save lives.”

In that same Journal Sentinel story, Matthew Heywood, CEO and president at Aspirus, which runs a number of Wisconsin hospitals, said of his health care workers: “I think the thing that’s most painful for them right now, and most challenging for them, is while they’re working their butts off — and they’re working hard — it’s the fact that they don’t know if the community sees how serious this is. They see the politicization of it, and then they see the repercussions of what’s happening when they do their job every day. And they’re watching people die.”

Reading those words, it’s clear that feeling “tired of COVID” is a luxury to which no one is entitled.

In Chicago, the city’s public health commissioner said Monday the average daily number of new cases in the city may exceed 600 by week’s end. Already we’ve had a week of more than 500 new cases a day, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot said there has been a “worrying” increase in hospitalizations.

“Make no mistake,” she said. “We are in the second surge.”

That means we’re in a moment that requires vigilance. And patience. And a respect for both science and other human beings.

But Trump is out dancing about at his rallies. On Monday he referred to his tour of potential superspreader events as “BOFFO.”

And he’s calling Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, and other public health officials “idiots.”

Trump has routinely mocked Fauci, a key member of the president’s coronavirus task force, for not recommending masks in the early stages of the pandemic. Fauci has explained that decision, telling the Washington Post in July that there was initial concern about having enough masks for health care workers and uncertainty about how the virus spreads: “We didn’t realize the extent of asymptotic spread … what happened as the weeks and months came by, two things became clear: one, that there wasn’t a shortage of masks. … Secondly, we fully realized that there are a lot of people who are asymptomatic who are spreading infection. So it became clear that we absolutely should be wearing masks consistently.”

If you’re unsure whether to trust Trump or an expert like Fauci, who on Monday received the first-ever Presidential Citation for Exemplary Leadership from the National Academy of Medicine, I’m not sure I can reach you.

But the bottom line is this: Americans are dying, every day, and the number of cases is rising as we enter the winter months, just as experts like Fauci predicted.

We need to stay strong and smart. Committed and unified.

Trump may have stopped caring about the coronavirus, but I have news for him and anyone following his lead: The coronavirus doesn’t care about your feelings.


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