Greg Gutfeld must surely win the Most Ridiculous Spin Of Donald Trump’s COVID-19 award for his claim that Trump got coronavirus because he is bravely leading America through a threat.
Media Matters caught Gutfeld making his ridiculous argument, with a straight face, on The Five today:
GUTFELD: To the point about the script being flipped, the reason why it flipped, and maybe it's a flaw of Trump, is that he didn't hide from the virus. And the reason why he didn't hide from the virus is he didn't want America to hide from the virus. If he was going to ask America to get back to work, right? To get back to work and experience a risk, he was going to do the same thing. He was going to walk out there on that battlefield with you, and not sit somewhere in a basement and tell you how, you know, how you got to get back to work but not go out himself.
So, I think he put himself on a line -- on the line, and the flaw being that as an optimist, as somebody who's trying to convey a message that we're going to get through this, and things are going to be better, he had to walk that walk. He had to do that. He could have scared the crap out of everybody, but he refused, and it goes back to his original point about trying to make sure the positive attitude is maintained along with a sense of concern. So, he took the risk, he got the virus, but it's because he was the -- he was -- he was doing it for us.
You may notice that, other than Trump getting sick and going to the hospital (while his administration works to take away health insurance for millions, in the middle of the pandemic) Gutfeld didn’t name a single thing Trump actually did to put himself on the line for America.
But Mike Pence’s recently departed homeland security adviser, Olivia Troye has come forward with specifics and they paint a completely different picture than Gutfeld's:
From The Washington Post:
- She directly blames Trump and his administration for the size of the outbreak and the number of deaths, which now total nearly 200,000. She points particularly to Trump’s unwillingness to embrace mask-wearing — which advisers have “repeatedly begged” him to do — and to his preoccupation with the economy. Troye says Trump demonstrated a “flat-out disregard for human life” because his “main concern was the economy and his reelection.”
- She describes an often completely unengaged Trump who spends task force meetings focused on other issues and going off on sometimes-lengthy tangents. She said he once spent 45 minutes complaining about insufficiently Trump-friendly Fox News hosts. “He spent more time about who was going to call Fox and yell at them to set them straight than he did on the virus,” she said.
Troye also says in a video for the outside group Republican Voters Against Trump that he once said, “Maybe this covid thing is a good thing. I don’t like shaking hands with people. I don’t have to shake hands with these disgusting people.” She said the quote stuck with her because it defined Trump’s approach to the virus.
The Post also quotes a former top aide at the Department of Homeland Security, Elizabeth Neumann:
Neumann, who was assistant secretary for threat prevention and security policy, offered criticisms similar to Troye’s. She said that existing pandemic plans were disregarded and that “from January until March 11, what you saw instead was a number of good public servants attempting to do their job and the president telling them to stop, because he didn’t want the economy to tank and he didn’t want a distraction from his campaign.”
So who you going to believe, a guy who gets paid to shill for Trump or the two former insiders whose stories match up with the guy we heard say about the rising American death toll, “it is what it is?”
You can watch Gutfeld’s BS below, from the October 2, 2020 The Five via Media Matters.
(Gutfeld image via screen grab)
Like many an adolescent, Gutfeld confuses courage with uncalculated risk-taking, recklessness, pride, overconfidence, and devaluation of life. The personally risky, courageous thing—as it happens, also the thing that would be best for the country—would have been for Trump to have confronted the pseudo-libertarian element of his base about their nanny-state obsession as it applies to masks.
Explaining how they operated on the boys they were making eunuchs, he picked up two bricks and banged them together. “Oh no,” cried the visitors, “That must be agonising!” “Not at all,” he replied, “It’s painless. You just have to be careful to keep your thumbs out of the way.”
How about that the Pence White House refused to acknowledge the reality of a raging pandemic for months, and that Mike Pence’s gutting of key departments like the CDC led directly to tens of thousands of avoidable illnesses and deaths? How about the part where Pence’s childish spokesman knowingly and deliberately endangered thousands of people every time he inflicted one of his super spreader gatherings? How about the reality that this situation, where a growing number of COVID victims can thank their infection to the Pence White House’s malfeasance, is less a heroic gesture than one of dangerous incompetence?
I must be in a particularly pessimistic mood but I don’t believe we’ve seen the last of the likes of the hand puppets on Fox(not)News. They may have to take a pay cut but they won’t be disappearing any time soon. McConnell has already placed enough judges in the land to let them get away with anything so long as it serves the interests of Trump’s GOP.
If the real GOP folks don’t get their act together …
Ladies and gentlemen, let us pray.
- I could have gone on and on and on with that list, but, well, you know.