Saturday Night Live used to do a “Celebrity Jeopardy” send-up in which the gag was that the contestants were all too stupid and clueless to get even the most basic matters correct. One category simply asked them if “hot tea” was hot or cold, and none of them knew.
I was reminded of that particular gag yesterday when I was watching Donald Trump’s press conference. He expressed shock that antibiotics don’t work on the coronavirus, because as he tells it, antibiotics used to work on everything. Most observers interpreted this to mean that Trump mistakenly thinks antibiotics are supposed to work on viruses. But I think he’s in an even dumber place: he still doesn’t know that the coronavirus is a virus.
A couple weeks ago, Donald Trump said this at one of his press conferences: “You can call it a germ. You can call it a flu. You can call it a virus. You can call it many different names. I’m not sure anyone even knows what it is.” At the time, it sounded like he truly didn’t know if the coronavirus was bacteria or a virus. Now he seems to think that antibiotics should be working on it, which suggests he really does think the coronavirus might be bacteria.
Donald Trump doesn’t know if the coronavirus – which has the word “virus” in its name – is a virus. He’s that stupid, ignorant, and unwilling to educate himself. He probably doesn’t know whether “hot tea” is hot or cold either.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report