Actor and British humorist Ricky Gervais once tweeted, “The fact that there are warnings like ‘Do not drink’ on bottles of bleach makes me realise that Donald Trump can become president.” The prescient part was that Gervais tweeted that on the 6th of March, 2016.
Dr. Rick Bright’s only transgression was doing his job at the wrong time. When Dr. Bright made the error of warning people against the use of hydroxychloroquine, he happened to do it at a time when Trump was promoting it as his favorite and most recent crackpot cure. If only he’d waited. By the time Trump was recommending injecting disinfectant (or almost literally, as Ricky Gervais put it, “drinking bleach”), he had moved on from hydroxychloroquine. Bright could have come out against it then and Trump wouldn’t have noticed. Trump had found a new distracting toy.
But Bright was fired from his job as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for telling the truth at the wrong time. The truth was that there was no medical evidence whatsoever that hydroxychloroquine could be used as a treatment, much less a cure, for COVID-19. There was some evidence that it might be dangerous. Further study was needed. Trump didn’t want to hear that, he wanted a cheap and easy and quick solution so he could take the credit for being a “genius,” win re-election and get back to his golf game. And he didn’t mind in the least using the American people as guinea pigs for his experiment.
Once the results were in and hydroxychloroquine was clinically proven not only to be dangerous but of absolutely no medical help against COVID-19, Trump dropped it and pretended like he’d never picked it up. But it meant he desperately needed a new miracle cure, and it led him into one of the biggest, most politically suicidal decisions of his life. When Trump recommended injecting disinfectant as a cure for COVID, it was finally GAME OVER for a lot of voters. Suddenly some of the slowest among them finally realized that Donald Trump is an idiot.
But the fact remains that not being loyal to Donald Trump is still a fatal disease in the executive branch of the government, and Rick Bright has paid the ultimate price. Bright recently went on 60 Minutes to explain why, back in January, he was deeply concerned about the Trump administration’s lack of preparedness for what he saw clearly as the coming coronavirus pandemic. He saw Trump’s promotion of hydroxychloroquine as the last straw, and vigorously spoke out against it. That was when he was fired. And that is the price you pay for working for the people. Make no mistake, when you are in the Trump administration you work for Trump and no one else.
The irony is Trump has always had a way to look like a genius, even though he most emphatically is not one, and that way has been to follow the science. In everything so far science has been right. Science was right about global warming, science was right about the need to keep EPA regulations in place to protect Americans from industrial pollutants, and science has been right about the best way to approach coronavirus. But Trump doesn’t trust science because Trump is stupid, and hence he has missed every single opportunity to appear like a “genius” throughout his misbegotten presidency.
This is why Trump must go. Trump wants to prove science wrong, to demonstrate to the world that he is smarter than science. That he is not is obvious to us. Now we must do what we can to make it obvious to the less clear-thinking among us between now and November, to lead them by the hand and show them why we must defeat this child-raping, murdering monster. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.