Over the last 24 hours, the Trump family has engaged a new tone. Yes, the presidential pivot you’ve been longing for has finally happened. And not a moment too soon. As American deaths hover around 151,000, the president of the United States has finally embraced his conspiracy theory-loving Boomer self and gone full coronavirus misinformation-spreader, a drama that culminated in the president’s large adult son having some features on his Twitter account locked.
Of course, Junior’s spokesman tweeted a provocative explanation for this expulsion: “Big Tech is the biggest threat to free expression in America today & they're continuing to engage in open election interference—full stop.”
But that’s not actually what happened. What actually happened was that according to Twitter, “Tweet requires deletion because it violates our rules (sharing misinformation on COVID-19), and the account will have limited functionality for 12 hours.” But that narrative would not feed a conservative outrage cycle the way “big tech trying to silence us” would, and so…
But this insane news cycle really got started when religious minister and pediatrician Stella Immanuel gave a speech, bafflingly on the steps of the Supreme Court, where the Republican-funded Tea Party Patriots hosted a “White Coat Summit” that included a handful of doctors who are coronavirus skeptics.
Her speech was incredibly stupid and dangerous, but like all incredibly stupid and dangerous things in Trumpworld, Immanuel’s speech went viral. It featured a doctor falsely declaring hydroxychloroquine to be a "cure" for coronavirus and saying "you don't need masks." “Hydroxychloroquine” trended on Twitter, as Immanuel’s video was embraced by the Trumps, conservative student group Turning Point USA, and pro-Trump personalities like Diamond & Silk.
Trumpworld had finally found a doctor it can love, a real medical authority, not like that tacky scene-stealer Anthony Fauci with his fancy degrees and his actual medical experience treating pandemics. Sorry, Fauci, there’s a new doc in town, registered physician and founder of Fire Power Ministries Stella Immanuel, and she, like all serious virologists, operates out of a strip mall next to her church in that birthplace of medicine, Katy, Texas. It was her viral video that ultimately was the cause of junior’s Twitter timeout.
And then Monday night things ratcheted up even more, as Fox News’ worst coronavirus misinformation-spreader, Laura Ingraham, hosted spy novelist turned coronavirus “contrarian” Alex “the deaths are overcounted” Berenson. And so at some point Monday night the president of the United States tweeted out doctor Stella’s medical rant, which was not as crazy as some of her other rants, like her theory that “they found the gene in somebody’s mind that makes you religious, so they can vaccinate against it,” Just to be clear, she said this disapprovingly, right, like the Godless libs are trying to do this. But Stella’s rant was still so not particularly medically solid that even Facebook removed it. Imagine how bad it must have been for Facebook to have removed it!
America is being ravaged by coronavirus. In some parts of Texas the sickest are being “sent home to die.” Americans still wait days for their coronavirus tests to come back. The Sunbelt is filled with hospitals at capacity, and now Fauci warns the Midwest could be next.
And Trumpworld itself hasn’t been spared. On Monday, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien tested positive for the virus. Recall the previous weeks: the Marine assigned to Trump’s chopper tested positive, Don junior’s girlfriend and Gavin Newsom’s ex-wife Kimberly Guilfoyle tested positive, and Katie Miller, wife of the terrifying Santa Monica Goebbels, Stephen Miller, tested positive.
But even more baffling is that Trumpworld continues to obfuscate even as there are members of Trumpworld who are actually very sick from the virus. Two days after attending Trump’s Tulsa rally, the co-chair of Black Voices for Trump, Herman Cain, was diagnosed with coronavirus. He has been hospitalized for more than three weeks (though oddly, he still tweets). And then there’s the man who seeded Turning Point USA and “discovered” young rightie phenom Charlie Kirk, Bill Montgomery. He was in the ICU in an induced coma near death battling COVID-19 until actually, as I was writing this, Bill slipped this mortal coil and died.
Meanwhile back in March Charlie Kirk was banned from Twitter for saying that “hydroxychloroquine had proved “100% effective” in treating the virus (it had not), and that Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, had threatened doctors who tried to use it (she had not).”
I don’t understand how Trumpworld can continue spreading misinformation while it loses its older members to the very virus it’s denying the existence of. It’s perverse, it’s strange, and in some ways, it’s truly one of the biggest mysteries in Trumpworld. Just because you don’t believe in the virus doesn’t mean it won’t kill you.