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The Life of a Wrong and Wayward 'War-Time' President


Pack those churches, make that cash, lives be damned!

Earlier this week, I found myself agreeing with Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney and Senator Lindsey Graham, and as I gaze out my window typing this, I just noticed there were pigs flying by.

Cheney and Graham both balked at Trump's rush to open the U.S. economy up quickly, with Cheney articulating correctly that the economy won't function if the hospitals are overrun.

The president has been signaling his impatience with this "invisible enemy" (we'll get to that in a minute), and suggested that he's going to kick-start the economy sooner, rather than later, by sending people back to work, back on subways and buses, back to crowded offices, restaurants and bars, etc. etc. etc.

After all, his theory goes, lots of people die from the flu, and car accidents, so why not let a bunch of old people kick the bucket from the coronavirus so that his friends -- and more importantly, his family -- in the hospitality business can open up the doors and let the money roll in as soon as possible.

Trump's zest for money trump's Trump's care for our lives, except his life which trumps all of Trump's cares.

To Trump, the cure is worse than the problem. The problem with that is we don't even know what the problem is all about? How far will the virus spread? How long will it take for the virus to spread? Who, exactly, is most affected by the virus? We hear the elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions are more prone to contract the virus, but now, young people are too. How does this disease really spread? How long does it last on surfaces? Does it survive in high temperatures? Testing has been woefully behind, how do we catch up? This paragraph could go on forever, so feel free to insert all of your questions right here, because that's the problem, there is no cure to a problem we know very little about.

Four months ago, no one had this virus. Think about that. And now nearly 400,000 people in the world -- that we know of, and there are countless more -- are sick, and nearly 20,000 have died. These numbers surely are not fully represented. And these number continue to soar, and the count here in the U.S. has just begun.

This disease is brand new. We have no natural immunity. Thus, everyone is at risk for getting sick. There are no vaccines. No cures. Not enough equipment to address the sick. Not enough hospitals to handle the sick. Hospitals in New York and New Jersey are compared to war zones. This paragraph could go on and on, because the virus continues to befuddle, confound, and bewilder.

Not enough medical personnel are available to treat the sick. And with inadequate equipment, medical professionals are at high risk to be infected. What happens when they start getting sick and there's no one to treat the sick? Does all this sound like the cure is worse than the problem?

New York governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that a medical professional told him a day ago that the virus was a freight train that was headed across the country. The doctor changed his mind the next day. The virus is coming at us like a bullet train, and any description with the word "bullet" in it should scare the hell out of us. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday locked India's 1.3 billion people down for 21 days. On the same day, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, aka-Trump lite, put Britain on lockdown for 21 days as well.

Doesn't this all sound like a living hell created by something that is stone-cold real? Is this an "invisible enemy"? We see the massive destruction, devastation, sickness and death it's creating all around the world. To call it the "Chinese virus" and "invisible" makes Trump look petty and puny. And this very visible enemy must feel empowered and emboldened against such an ignorant and insolent foe.

Oh, how beautiful it will be, according to Trump, perpetrated by Fox News, to have all the churches full on Easter Sunday. Have those churches PACKED. Yes, he said full and packed. To hell with social distancing. And the next day, open up the economy and let his invisible enemy start to infiltrate with a vengeance.

And, as Trump reminded us so despicably on Wednesday, the media is rooting for the virus instead of Trump because all of the scribes and reporters are out to get him. He never misses an opportunity to pat himself on the back, uttering astoundingly, "It's hard not to be happy with the job we're doing, that I can tell you," he said. My Facebook feed is filled with vile for what he's saying at these useless daily press conferences. "Un-f**king believable" is an oft-repeated term.

Nineteen days from now. India and England will still be shut down. Italy and Spain will still be trying to stem the tide. And, here in the U.S. we'll likely be in the process of being run over by a bullet train. We can't even begin to imagine, fathom, predict or speculate the damage done by Easter Sunday, or the mutilation that will still lie in front of us on Sunday, April 12.

Coincidentally, that date will mark the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt's death. He was a war-time president. A damn good one, and a wildly successful one. He calmed the fear of fear itself. Spoke eloquently, passionately, and clearly about what was at stake, what was ahead and what the risks would be for America. He had a plan. He put America's workforce 100 percent behind our battle and made sure that America was fully protected. It strained our economy and cost millions of lives, but in the end America and freedom were saved.

Trump has labeled himself a war-time president. He yearns to be a war-time president. Hungers for some kind of legitimacy for his errant presidency. He will be the conquering hero, the vaccine against the virus. The instigator of a roaring economy. He will save lives and make all our hopes and dreams come true. Make us all rich. He will win this battle as a war-time president.

Right, when pigs fly.

For someone with a bone spur, he has no idea what a war is all about, no idea that there is no such thing as an invisible enemy, no idea how to calm a frightened country. No idea how to articulate a plan, no idea what he's facing. He thinks he knows what's ahead because he's a "smart guy." Well, all the real smart guys, the doctors, researchers and scientists have no idea what's ahead, so, how can he?

Go ahead, open up the economy on a dreamy post-Easter Monday. Pack full those churches, offices, subways, buses, restaurants, and bars in 19 days. The experts be damned. Use Fox News to promulgate your hallucinations about conquering your invisible enemy. And let's see how great your booming economy works when hospitals and health care systems get pulverized, more people get sick, more people die, and sadness rules the day.

Such is the life of a wrong and wayward war-time president.

JohnCasey is a PR professional and an adjunct professor at Wagner College in New York City, and a frequent columnist for The Advocate. Follow John on Twitter @johntcaseyjr.

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John Casey

John Casey is a senior editor of The Advocate, writing columns about political, societal, and topical issues with leading newsmakers of the day. John spent 30 years working as a PR professional on Capitol Hill, Hollywood, the United Nations and with four large U.S. retailers.
John Casey is a senior editor of The Advocate, writing columns about political, societal, and topical issues with leading newsmakers of the day. John spent 30 years working as a PR professional on Capitol Hill, Hollywood, the United Nations and with four large U.S. retailers.