Citizen Donald J. Trump has perpetrated an offense against the reputation of the President of the United States of America. On Thursday, the 23rd of April, while addressing the media, this person has suggested that injecting disinfectant and exposing sunlight holds (“tremendous”, “pretty powerful”) faculties that could potentially cure the COVID-19 virus patients. By doing so he has put in danger the health and safety of people who put their trust in the authority of the institution of the President of the United States of America. Therefore, he must be held responsible.
Same as the millions of people around the world I was speechless while watching the press conference. This is not the first time that the statements made by this person attack the foundations of what the institution of the US President should entail. What makes this time so different is that it transcends the bipartisan breach upon which he has been building his audiences so far. Despite his intentional effort to turn the COVID-19 pandemic into (just) another source of ideological division, the exhibition of utter disregard for facts has exposed him beyond the point where some conspiracy theory could come into his rescue.
The expression on the face of Dr. Deborah Birx, sitting next to Trump, during the press conference, said it all. By reading her body language, one can tell she was experiencing strong emotions. From the 0:36 timeline on this video, the point where Trump starts talking about the disinfectants, her head drops. She holds her breath. Her feet move with the nervous twist while hearing Trump’s ‘home recipe’ for COVID-19. From the moment when Trump switches from the quick ‘sunlight’ fronton with the ‘Yes-man’ expert, hidden behind the stand, she realizes it is her turn to be the ‘Yes-man’. From the first mention of disinfectants, her eyes get fixated on to the infinite. Into some black hole where she probably wished to have been transported in that awkward moment. Shame and shock. She experiences and expresses the same feeling as surely most of the US citizens must have felt at that moment.
There it was. He did it AGAIN and same as in so many other cases his words initiated the damage control mode in the White House. It was now up to his PR team to deal with it. They did their best by using the same methods as before and immediately stated that Trump’s words were taken ‘out of context’. Perhaps this worked with the hardcore, unconditional Trump followers, but they all know that these are not enough for him to get reelected. They soon realized that this was no longer the damage control but the waste management issue. They realized that there is waste that is so toxic that it can’t be recycled. Despite their great narrative and communicative skills, there was no way to transform Trump’s words into anything organic. It stinks to bad and eats through any type of containment means.
Alone. Angry. Deep into the night, Trump is zapping the news channels and sees that even the media that supports him doesn’t buy the ‘out of context’ story. He fires back. Instead of confessing an ‘honest mistake’, he tells the world that he was being “sarcastic”. Decides to hold on to the “it’s better to go too far than not far enough” strategy. And there he is. At the same place as the man who first defined this strategy. Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin. There he is. Citizen Trump. Far away, waiting for the ‘alternative facts’ to build a more ‘favorable context’.
What is ‘out of context’ is Donald J. Trump’s ability for a responsible excercise of presidential functions. Citizen Donald J. Trump has perpetrated an offense against the reputation of the President of the United States of America. He must be held responsible. He must be taken out of the context of the institution of the US President.