Who Really Believes the President is Taking Hydroxychloroquine?

You know and I know Donald Trump isn’t really taking hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria and lupus fighting drug he hails as a coronavirus game changer. For starters, can you fathom any physician — least of all the president’s doctor — prescribing for the patient-in-chief a drug that has been linked to deaths in certain patients and, potentially, could end this particular patient’s life and the physician’s career in one smooth swoop? Sure, the White House doctor publicly may give Trump some air cover. But deep down, you know this claim is false like any number of the daily untruths that effortlessly part the president’s lips.

President Trump tells reporters he’s taking hydroxychloroquine to protect himself from coronavirus

Even if Trump convinced a doctor to write the prescription, can you imagine Trump taking a potentially lethal dose everyday? I don’t see it; that’s too much risk for old Donald John.

Trump doesn’t take risks. The risks he appears to take are fake ones that shed any semblance of peril once you pull back their veneer.

In business, Trump may look like a risk taker. But that’s only because business risks aren’t so risky when stiffing your contractors is your norm and bankruptcy is a viable business practice as it has been SIX TIMES for him.

He’s a risk taker in marriage for sure if you define risk as infidelity. It’s really no risk at all when someone approaches marriages as transactional and disposable as Trump has appeared to.

Friendships are risky with all their emotions and vulnerabilities. But Trump lacks the real emotional and empathetic tool kit one brings to a friendship. Furthermore, he’s disloyal to a tee, conveniently tossing loyal associates beneath the bus at the absolute first sign of trouble. Turning on friends is classic Donald Trump and proof that friendship is loyalty-free and risk-free in his world.

He’d risk your life before he’d risk his. That thousands of his supporters might blindly follow their leader and emulate his apparent recklessness matters not to him.

The risks Donald Trump takes aren’t truly risks at all.

Real risks, life and death ones like going off to war, are nonstarters for folks like DJT. It’s one thing to chance losing a presidential election when merely running for office builds your brand. Conversely, there’s no recovering from death on the battlefield. That sort of permanent, life-altering or life-ending risk is not the kind he takes. He’d take a bone spur before he’d take a bullet.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with that; relatively few of us own the fortitude to make target practice of ourselves. However, most of us also don’t have Trump’s ponderous compulsion for fake bravado.

Trump’s counterfeit bravery is sufficient to make the implausible claim he’s taking a drug that in the very real sense could end his life. But death, we know, would all but guarantee no second term. And that‘s a risk he’ll never take.

Built for the Distance, When Arm’s Length Becomes Normal

Processed with FocosI fear I’ve become a bit too comfortable with social distancing. In many respects, I’m rather built for it. That secretly introverted part of me finds a certain solace in ratcheting down the volume and keeping everyone at arm’s length. Truthfully, I probably got a head start on social distancing all the way back in January when I stepped away from Facebook just for “a week or two,” which turned into a few weeks, which grew into several weeks, which morphed into a couple months as distance felt increasingly normal and being away seemed to make natural sense.

Even now as I return to social media from a longer than expected FB/IG hiatus, I do so not as much because it’s the right time to be back as it’s like the wrong time to be away. If the raft of welfare inquiries puddling in my messaging is any indication, now’s the least opportune time for invisibility. Daily, the pace of friends and associates whose minds I’d crossed accelerates – people who hadn’t seen any recent posts from me, who “just wanted to know you’re okay.”

Wondering whether someone’s alive and well is neither perfunctory nor impolite in our novel, COVID-19-infested conversation. Now more than at any time, folks just want to know you’re healthy because – well – you just as easily might not be. In our new fell circumstance, you just as easily could be – well you know.

With more than a million Americans infected and nearly 80 thousand dead, the likelihood is that you or someone you know personally has been touched by the Coronavirus. I have been too.

My sister-in-law, Gwen, passed away last month. She was battling back from some prior health concerns when COVID-19 came calling, and her compromised system couldn’t put up much fight. The end came almost as swiftly as it arrived.

Gwen was a kind and optimistic soul. She was intentional about maintaining relationships and often inquired as to my whereabouts and wellbeing these many decades after I left Brooklyn and evolved from the terrorsome little boy she once babysat into an adult. “Hey brother-in-law,” I hear her saying in her native Pittsburgh accent. “I’ll tell your brother you said, hi!”

My brother, Henderson, and Gwen were in their 48th year of married life.

That’s my Coronavirus tale. No doubt, you have one of your own, or, if nothing else, have read one or dozens of the countless, heartrending stories that daily update history’s account of the most devastating global event of our lifetime. It’s no wonder that even as we long for human interaction – to touch, to hug, to dap, to kiss – a little distance, social or otherwise, gives us just enough space to breathe and digest it all. We assemble for connection and comfort; we stay distant to remain vital.

For clarity’s sake, I’m not advocating isolation. Days on end of aloneness and loneliness are so not the human design. The human spirit is built to be sustained and watered and nurtured by one another. Deprived of that, we become enervated, depleted – in the extreme, dead.

Still, in a world crowded by chatter and clustered thinking and jostling for the next inch of physical space, who’s to say a spot of distance may not indeed be therapeutic. It could be a great moment to rediscover our individual selves.

From a distance, the world looks different. Like astronauts peering back home from 239,000 miles away, our perspective changes; we see the universe and our place in it differently. If this dreadful disturbance can yield any good, perhaps it may be that we are changed when we return to Earth, when we walk shoulder-to-shoulder once more among God’s people.

The Arsonist-in-Chief. Send Him Back.

You’re standing in the woods watching a fire. It’s neither massive nor minuscule, just an ordinary fire that will duly run its course and burn out. Along comes a man who tosses three big logs into the fire. What do you conclude?

You safely can conlude the man intends to promote the fire from what it was to something greater than before. You wouldn’t say he started the fire. However, you rightly could acknowledge that he caused the already burning fire to burn hotter and longer and potentially become more dangerous than before, endangering the health and wellbeing of those in its proximity. That’s what Donald Trump has done.

He has tossed kindling into and kerosene onto a raging fire and brought it precariously close to growing out of control. And that’s no less worse than starting this fire itself.

Only so long can you shout hatred and racial intolerance from the rafters and not realize an effect. Only so long can you call Mexicans rapists and murderers and not expect someone to believe you and to act on that. Only so long can you stoke bigotry toward and fear of Muslims before their mosques become targets. Only so long can you call journalists horrible people — indeed the “enemy of the people” — and not place them in somebody’s gunsights. Only so long can you vilify, dehumanize and ostracize black and brown American congressmen and congresswomen, shading their districts as “infested,” their constituents as sub-human and suggesting that no human being would want to live where they live — the very places you and your family have slumlorded over them — before your followers find license to extinguish the “others.”

You urge on your feeble-minded disciples in chants of “SEND HER BACK” when back is HERE, Mr. President. Donald, they are Americans — as American as you and me … well certainly as American as me.

And they have followed his lead: 29 dead in fewer than 24 hours at the hands of two enraged fanatics. Almost three dozen innocent people dead, in two American cities, mere hours apart. Coincidence? I dare think not.

It is useful and necessary to see the forest fire that has become of this brushfire and admit now who made it so. See the fire and call out he who fans the flame; give credit where it appropriately is due. And know that whether he ignited the fire or prolongs it, we are through with having an arsonist in the Oval Office.

-Jonathan Clarke, August 4, 2019

(C) Copyright 2019, Jonathan Clarke, All rights reserved