I am quite sure that Donald Trump and I are the same height. I am (to use a technical term) a smidgen over six feet, perhaps half an inch over. To be entirely metric about it I am (according to my doctor) 1.84 meters. Trump claims he’s 1.9 meters (about 6 foot 3) but he isn’t, and I reach this conclusion by comparing photographs of Trump standing next to people of a known height. People caught on camera standing next to Trump who are actually six foot three, like former Yankee shortstop Alex Rodriguez, are clearly substantially taller than Trump. Barack Obama, who is six foot one, looks the same height as Trump when standing next to him. But when you factor in the half inch lifts Trump wears in his shoes then you get one half inch over six feet. QED.
I’m somewhat less sure about Trump’s claimed weight, but I’ll go with what he says, 242 pounds, or 110 kilograms. Given Trump’s propensity for untruths that’s almost certainly a lie of understatement, of course, but it’s harder to be sure because people carry weight in different ways. Whatever the case, it means that Trump probably has a BMI of at least 32. According to common medical metrics, a BMI over 30 means Trump is obese.
So, we have an obese president who will be 74 years old next month, whose diet is a calamity of junk composed of greasy hamburgers, french fries and fried chicken, food bereft of anything like fresh vegetables, who abuses drugs and never exercises — giving medical advice. Specifically, he is once again advocating taking hydroxychloroquine. He takes it (or so he claims) and he’s not dead and he says he tests negative for coronavirus so it must be good stuff, right? Also, there are no uncaged wild lions roaming the streets of Washington DC so, by the same logic, routine hydroxychloroquine use also prevents uncaged wild lions.
Trump confirmed that he was taking hydroxychloroquine during a Monday night press briefing. Fox News host Neil Cavuto interrupted the briefing to stress that hydroxychloroquine can and will kill you if you take it. It is a documented fact that taking hydroxychloroquine has killed people with medical conditions. In response, Trump retweeted a tweet from Bill Mitchell who states categorically that “CAVUTO IS AN IDIOT. THIS DRUG DOES NOT KILL PEOPLE.” So there you have it, science by simple contradiction via tweet. Welcome to the deadly modern world.
The problem is — and it really does give me pain to write this — that because Trump is a tyrant he appeals to other tyrants, and men (and occasionally women) who are in Trump’s thrall and hold tyrannical sway over their families will now begin to systematically murder their families with hydroxychloroquine. The connection is inescapable. Look for deaths from hydroxychloroquine soon. In a world where “more is better” among the ignorant, look for overdoses of the stuff too. Because that’s how things work in the Information Age.
Since my personal incarnation on Twitter (@RAHarrington), I have gained a better and more intuitive feel for how truly toxic the giant manbaby in the Oval Office is. I follow Trump with alerts, and he is on Twitter all day every day, and it appears he does little else.
His claim that he’s working hard night and day to defeat coronavirus is given the immediate lie of experience. His tweets shoot across my iPad screen with the predictable regularity of Halley’s Comet and the frequency of an obnoxious, interrupting drunkard. His tweets are almost always full of hate and bad information. He whines a lot via tweet, whines about how unfairly he’s being treated by the “lamestream media.” Yes, he actually uses that sophomoric term.
Trump excoriates people he doesn’t like on Twitter with the chilling consequence of putting their lives in danger by so doing. His tweets are so nasty and so toxic and so dangerous that many people are terrified of crossing him, because people who love him and follow him on Twitter routinely carry rocket launchers into sandwich shops and AR-15s down the street, and other handy murder weapons everywhere they go, and they don’t, unsurprisingly, have a sense of humor.
Trump is, in short, the most awful and most unlikely and most ignorant and most hateful person I have ever known to attract so huge a following. Ordinarily a thing called “charisma” is involved when bad people hold the masses in the palms of their hands. Not so with this obese, obnoxious, delinquent, toxic, vindictive and spiteful old drug addict. He is worshiped on twitter and Facebook alike, all across social media and all across America. It’s uncanny.
Why his Twitter followers don’t seem to mind that he’s incessantly on Twitter and incessantly tweeting and therefore cannot, by definition, be engaged in any real work is likewise a mystery. Do they surrender to magical thinking to the extent that they imagine Trump multitasking, giving powerhouse commands while simultaneously conducting teleconferences with one hand and tweeting with the other? Perhaps. But I think what’s likeliest of all is they just don’t think about it. Thinking, in case you haven’t noticed, isn’t their strong suit.
Not content to murder 90,000 American through neglect and encouraging people to protest against the coronavirus lockdown, Trump has found another way to murder them through bad medical advice. This is why Donald Trump must go in November, and why we need to be monolithic in our resolve to depose him with our votes. Lives are at tangible and palpable risk, and any ideological differences we may have absolutely must wait. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.