Originally posted on September 10, 2020
By now the story is all over the news – Trump apparently knew that the Coronavirus was airborne and that it was a great deal deadlier than even the worst modern flu. Since he was recorded saying these things he hasn’t tried to lie his way out of it by denying that he ever said them.
Instead, he has tried the line that he didn’t want to “panic” everybody. Most of us (at least the adults among us) know that panic is most prevalent when there is uncertainty. There’s a problem, but you don’t know what to do, so you panic Most of us understand that Trump’s actions would do the exact opposite of what he claims he was trying to do. By denying (to most of us sentient beings) the fairly obvious conclusion that this virus was a nasty one, he added to the confusion.
But why? While he might have in fact thought that his assurances would lessen panic (especially in the stock market) I suspect there’s something else at play.
- Trump is a known germaphobe. I have to believe the virus had him in some sort of personal panic.
- Trump is convinced his personal traits are universal – that everyone else (aside from suckers and losers) is just like him. This leads him to do a lot of projection, accusing others of doing just what he is doing.
- It then follows that he would think that all of us are just as afraid of viruses as he is. That we are all subject to the same “panic” that he is.
- Trump apparently doesn’t really understand the difference between telling the truth and lying. Dan Coats is quoted by Woodward in Rage: “To him, a lie is not a lie. It’s just what he thinks. He doesn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie.”
- So maybe he was trying to calm his own panic, kinda like whistling as you walk past a graveyard.
Unfortunately, that graveyard arguably includes tens of thousands of American who might still be alive except for Trump’s extraordinarily generous character flaws.