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On Tuesday, we had a grim coronavirus update via White House press conference. It was serious for a reason because the outlook for the country is stark. If you've been having sleepless nights about this pandemic and its consequences, you are seemingly in the majority.
Yesterday's dire press conference made me almost long (that's how warped these quarantine days are) for the circus-like events that carnival barker Trump has been leading for the last few weeks. I've received a few emails about online petitions to have the networks stop covering Trump's Barnum & Bailey spectacles, and my social feeds are full of profanity-laced comments about the daily briefings.
And there have also been many journalists and pundits -- and some Trump supporters -- who also loathe the less than serious nature of these bizarre cartoons.
If you like sports radio, or you're a sports fan, or you listen to the radio in lieu of technology or podcasts, then you are well aware of Mike Francesa. He's a New York -- and national -- talk radio legend.
On Tuesday, he went after his favorite politician, Donald Trump, chastising the president for his management of the coronavirus. He almost pleaded with the president, saying that police, firefighters, health care workers and other first responders "don't have the supplies they need" to combat the public health crisis. They also get zero recognition and appreciation from the president. We're suppose to thank Trump. And thank the altruistic CEOs, who are getting the kudos, gratitude and a chance to sell. Francesa specifically took umbrage with a guest Trump featured at Monday's press conference:
"Don't give me the MyPillow guy doing a song-and-dance up here on a Monday afternoon when people are dying in Queens," Francesa said.
Why was this pillow shuckster given the podium during a coronavirus task force press conference update? Americans -- heck, the world, are watching these daily updates for information, any morsel of news, any flicker of warning, any gust of guidance.
But on Monday, the only gusts they received were the wind that whipped up the president's hair, which he assured us is his -- the very urgent data we are thirsting for -- and blowhard from the pillow guy who slobbered over a sleeping Trump and fluffed and puffed about his wonderous president and cushions.
If you had any doubt that the president is snoozing through this monster of a crisis, that he has no inkling of the anxiety, fear, and impoverishment of an insomniac country, then look no further at all the pillow talk from the parade of CEOs who claim to be "all hands-on deck," helping combat this virus. Selfless persons or self-serving peddlers?
Trump has been giving free air time to a bunch of multi-millionaire fat cats for the last week, who float into D.C. for these vital press conferences, triumphantly trump Trump and their businesses, then climb into their private jets, are whisked back to their estates to lay their heads on silk pillow cases in king-sized beds and sleep soundly at night.
While America paces sleeplessly.
All of these corporations are "doing their part" and maybe they are, but are they the real heroes? And when they get up to talk about what they are "donating" (they are not donating, they're being paid by the government for their services), then they feel the need to slather their fellow wealthy, out of touch leader, with outlandish adulation. But none did it better than the "pillow" CEO and Trump chum, Mike Lindell.
Lindell asked whether it would be OK to read something he'd written "off the cuff." And in case you missed the vital information he shared as it pertains to people getting sick and dying in droves, he offered the following:
"God gave us grace on November 8, 2016, to change the course we were on. Taken out of our schools and lives, a nation had turned its back on God...I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the Word, read our Bibles and spend time with our families.
"Our president gave us so much hope. Where just a few short months ago, we had the best economy, the lowest unemployment, and wages going up, it was amazing. With our great president, vice president and this administration..."
I'm going to stop there. Lay your head on that for a minute.
The real winners of this coronavirus are corporate America -- the big "great" companies Trump continually boasts about and wants to bail out. The ones that "you can't wait to get back to work for..." The ones that have hoarded cash all these years for moments like this.
But big companies don't really want you. Labor drains budgets, sucks out profits, and lowers stock prices. When those CEOs come up before America, they don't represent you, the workers, as much as they represent who Trump is really rooting for during this national emergency. He's tone deaf, his ears covered with pillows, while America screams to see leadership, Trump balks and illustrates governance via a dog and pony show of corporate titans.
Want to see true leaders? Check out the plethora of doctors, nurses, ER physicians, EMTs, health care workers who are Skyped, Zoomed, Ciscoed into newsrooms across the country, begging for gloves, masks, scrubs, gowns, equipment -- anything -- and most importantly, tests (ones that work too) and ventilators.
These true titans of selflessness are risking their lives day in and day out, working double and triple shifts, watching patients writhe and victims die. Superhumans who see and feel so much pain, exhaustion, and heartache. Most of them living paycheck to paycheck, just like most of us.
Most of whom will never meet the president, and never become a wealthy CEO, never fly on a private jet or sleep in luxurious beds. More than most are going home to their small houses and apartments, and maybe sleeping for an hour -- or not sleeping at all. A problem no perfect pillow can solve.