One weird thing that burbled up through the miasma of the coverage of a virus-shedding President Donald Trump releasing himself from Walter Reed Medical Center to go forth and infect others is a literal – as in what the word “literal” means – desire by some of Trump’s most fervid fanatics that they be healed by his blood. As fucked up as this sounds, it’s not hyperbole. It’s not interpretation. It’s what they fucking said.
Truculent doom gnome Ben Shapiro tweeted, “You think 2020 has seen its biggest twist? Wait until Trump develops the anti-covid serum using his own antibodies like Will Smith in ‘I Am Legend,’ and then wins 50 states,” although he later claimed he was joking (which is what every conservative says whenever they realize exactly how deranged and dumb they sound, so kudos to wee Benjamin for his self-awareness). Donald Trump, Jr. came out of his coke-and-shame bender long enough to post a meme on Instagram that read, “Imagine this: Trump gets all better and donates his plasma to develop a corona treatment. And then all liberals will have to get vaccinated with Trump’s blood.” And there are other examples of the Trump blood cult revealing itself. Sure, an air of facetiousness, another tiresome “own the libs” trope, threads through them, but there’s no way to separate the responses from what is an ever-growing worship of Donald Trump.
A fetishization of his bloated body and his manicured, bronzer-coated masculinity is prevalent among the MAGA faithful. You see it in those homoerotic images with Trump’s head on the body of Rocky or Rambo or some other super-soldier or a bodybuilder. (I’m not gonna link to them. You can google that shit if you need it poisoning your brain.) And you see it in the way in which the premature celebration over Trump’s supposed defeat of COVID-19 is placed into a context of toxic masculinity: he is a man’s man because he overcame a disease that can kill you.
The fact that he hasn’t actually beaten it yet and remains contagious and sick doesn’t figure into it. The fact that it could leave him with long-term lung and other damage doesn’t figure into it. Trump beat the virus, motherfuckers. He’s the man. That’s the message in MAGA minds. It’s like screaming and shaking your dick at the heavens in triumph that your flight arrived on time and safely before you’ve landed and before you know if your luggage made it. Put your dick away and go back to your seat, sir, and put on your goddamn seatbelt. (It’s not even a good analogy because if flying killed one out of 1000 people – which is where we’ll be by the end of the first COVID year in the United States – no one would fuckin’ fly.)
Look, the vast majority of people who get COVID will be fine. That obviously doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous. It is ten times more deadly than the flu. But it does mean that Trump’s not special. See, when I recovered from coronavirus back in March, I didn’t howl like a deranged ape at how mighty I am. I felt fortunate as hell that the roulette wheel of death and suffering didn’t land on my number. I was humble because shit could have gone south easily.
Trump has made this whole fucking ordeal worse by degrees for the country because he sees sickness as weakness and mitigation as some kind of pansy-ass, feminine bowing to the virus. Wearing a mask? That’s for pussies or, as Tomi “I Pointed a Gun at My Vagina to Own the Libs” Lahren said about Joe Biden wearing his badass black mask, “Might as well carry a purse with that mask, Joe.” And some heinous New York Post troll on Fox “news” said, no, really, “It’s incredibly selfish of older people or neurotic people who are timid and afraid and won’t come out of their basements to confine children and young people to miss out on the most important part of their lives.” Someone ask Rupert Murdoch to shake hands with Trump and see if he’ll do it.
Along those idiotic lines, Trump keeps saying that we have to get on with our lives and that “we are learning to live with COVID.” That might be worth a discussion if we had national health care, extensive testing available everywhere, funding for schools and businesses to properly keep people safe, assistance for people who have to quarantine, child care assistance, and so very much more. If we had a compassionate society, it might be possible to live with COVID because we actually would be actively attempting to live with it, understanding that the alternative is overwhelmed emergency rooms and hospitals and greater death and suffering.
But that’s not what Trump is saying we need to do. He’s not telling us to live with COVID. He’s telling us we’re just going to have to live with tens of thousands of more deaths and hundreds of thousands more sick with symptoms and who knows how many more spreading coronavirus to keep the spiral going, probably until some point in the future when we have a vaccine. In fact, today, by shitcanning any further discussions of a relief package with Democrats in Congress, Trump is assuring that we’re going to have to live with death. Fuck you if you’re poor and can’t be given the experimental treatments he’s gotten. Fuck you if you have a business on the verge of dying. Fuck all of us unless we reelect him.
And you know what? I’m sure we’re going to be treated to commentary about how Trump the man really showed that Nancy Pelosi bitch who’s in charge. And it will become the next sacrament in the tastelessly-decorated church that the MAGA morons are constructing so they can pray to his diseased blood, his failing body, and his deranged mind. They can gather in their parking lots of worship with their red hats and blue flags to show their devotion. They can stand below his balcony and watch him wheeze in pain and believe that he is doing it for them when he is really doing it all, all, all for himself.
Editor’s Note: This essay originally appeared on October 10, 2020 on The Rude Pundit, a website featuring commentary by Lee Papa. It was reproduced here with the consent of Mr. Papa.