There’s a temptation in politics to want to believe that anyone you oppose is automatically an idiot. Of course we can point to plenty of examples where that’s not true. But when it comes to Donald Trump, his near-total lack of intellectual curiosity may be the biggest thing working in our favor; he’s not nearly as smart as he thinks he is, which is why he screws himself so often. Now we know that Trump is somehow even dumber than we thought.
This latest tidbit comes courtesy of Bill Gates of all people. He’s met with Donald Trump twice since the election, in the hope of getting Trump on board with’ various charitable efforts around the world. Last night MSNBC aired footage of Gates explaining that Trump asked him two different times if there was a difference between the HIV and HPV viruses. This is nothing short of stunning.
We’re not sure what percentage of people out there are fully aware of what HPV is. But we’re willing to guess that, at the least, most people don’t think HPV is HIV. In other words, Donald Trump has the dumbest and most ignorant view possible when it comes to these two distinct diseases. He’s now been the (supposed) President of the United States for more than a year. He’s made major decisions about health care, medical research, you name it. He picked the Surgeon General. Yet he hasn’t taken five minutes to get up to speed on the very basics of the most prevalent viruses that Americans face.
There are almost no words for how embarrassing – and dangerous – this is. Not only is Donald Trump completely clueless about this basic issue, he’s so comfortable with his ignorance that he admitted it to Bill Gates. Then again, it’s not surprising that Trump doesn’t know the difference between HIV and HPV. After all, Trump thinks Dr. Oz and Dr. Bornstein are real doctors.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report