The Absurdity and Arrogance of Trump
I have been writing these posts during the COVID-19 global pandemic and much of my content has been negative. I have confronted those in power and have said some important things about the lack of early response that made this crisis worse. But today, I want to tell you a story.
My friend Barney had been feeling tired and lifeless for about the last year. He had a pain in his stomach after eating. He was told by friends that it was probably his medicines causing the stomach pain. He changed his meds, but the pain persisted. He finally consulted a gastrologist who did an endoscopy, which showed no problem. The pain and fatigue continued for the next five months. Then the gastro doctor recommended a colonoscopy.
The results were not good. The doctor found a cancerous growth in his intestine. Barney always said he respected doctors, but he made an appointment with his financial advisor and told the money guy what he was going through. The financial expert suggested Barney buy stocks in medicines. He bought tons of stocks in emerging “game-changer” virus vaccine pharmaceutical firms and he went home feeling much better. In a few weeks, he was feeling badly again. He talked to his landscaper about his stomach pain and the gardener suggested some remedies for cancer he found on the internet for his father. The landscaper sent the links to Barney and he read the ideas with great interest.
One of the ways the internet said to cure cancer, what to rub poison ivy all over your body. The theory was that the rash from poison ivy would make the cancer dissolve. Barney, having deep respect for the way his landscaper killed the aphids on his plants, always followed his advice on chemicals.
Finally, at the urging of three of his doctors, Barney decided that he would have the surgery to take the cancerous mass out of his body. Before deciding on a date though, he consulted his astrologer, Hermione. She told him that the pain would go away when the moon was in Jupiter. When he probed her about the cancer, she said that he shouldn’t worry about anyone with the Cancer sign. Barney put off the surgery.
I’m sad to say that my friend Barney passed away last Sunday. Ironically, he was watching Donald Trump on the coronavirus task force briefing. If you’re thinking about how foolish my friend Barney was, consider what happened to someone as smart as Steve Jobs when it came to disease and the cure one buys into.
You see, the obvious point I am trying to make with this little piece of fiction is that intelligent people always get experts who know best to advise them in business and in life. What we witnessed Sunday night during the press briefing was an incredibly embarrassing and disheartening display of ignorance and abuse of power. The President of the United States stood before us and kept pitching a medicine for COVID-19 that was developed to treat other ailments. Trump admitted that he’s not a doctor, but he “thinks” it could help people, especially someone who is at death’s door. Then he uttered one of his most obnoxious phrases ever, “What do you have to lose?”
The famous TV legal expert Dan Abrams has a web site called LAW AND CRIME, and his headline caught my eye today, “Major Producer of Hydroxychloroquine Once Paid Michael Cohen Hefty Sum for Access to Trump” The meat of the story says, “One of the largest manufacturers of the drug, Novartis, previously paid Trump’s now-incarcerated former personal attorney Michael Cohen more than $1 million for healthcare policy insight following Trump’s election in 2016. The Swiss drug maker signed a contract that paid Cohen’s newly formed limited-liability corporation Essential Consultants $100,000 per month in February of 2017.”
Surprise, surprise! Novartis is certainly getting their money’s worth on that deal. And because the supply of the drug is so low, Trump called the Prime Minister of India asking him to produce more of the drug for export to America. Currently, PM Modi has a ban on exports of that drug to the United States. Let’s see if he submits to Trump’s will.
Hydroxychloroquine is a drug that counteracts diseases like malaria that are caused by mosquito bites. It has never been tested to determine its effectiveness with COVID-19. Trump doesn’t understand how drugs work or their interactions with other meds. He is not a doctor and should NOT be on TV telling people that this drug could be a game changer. Is it at all possible that Trump’s pitching on this drug is based on the money that was funneled to him from the manufacturer?
Would pure financial gain push Donald Trump to risk lives and hock unproven drugs just to give people hope, or worse, to help the manufacturer make more money through drug sales? Was he giving people a stock tip or medical advice? He can’t be trusted on either point. Just last week, he made oil prices soar by lying that Russia and Saudi Arabia (OPEC) had a deal to slow the flow of oil. By the way, that action would make our gasoline prices rise.
What do we have to lose? We have science to lose. We have lives to lose. We have trust in government by the citizens of this country to lose. As I said the other day, half the people in this country don’t believe Trump at all. The other half are praying he knows what he is doing. If he’s wrong, we have more death. Why not listen to the doctors, Donald? I wouldn’t let Peter Navarro cut my grass or do my taxes. Why would the president seek advice about what drugs to take from a half-baked radical economist? Trump said he was thinking about taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent getting the virus. Maybe he should drink a whole bottle, you know, just to be sure.