His latest ruminations: All by itself, Bill Bryan's deathless presentation was tedious enough.
Bryan had explained that disinfectant can shorten the lifespan of the virus which causes Covid-19. He also described the way sunlight, heat and humidity effect the virus when it's on various surfaces.
When Bryan finished, President Trump decided to share his own deep thoughts.
He started by pretending, as he sometimes does, that he's a true intellectual, with deep thoughts and bright ideas. This was his full rumination
TRUMP (4/23/20): Thank you very much. So I asked Bill a question that probably some of you are thinking of, if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting.Because he's "totally into that world," this nephew to a super-genius uncle wanted to share his own scientific musings. He mused about the possibility of bringing ultraviolet light inside the body—"whether through the skin or in some other way."
So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous—whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light—and I think you said that that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way, and I think you said you’re going to test that too. It sounds interesting.
BRYAN: We’ll get to the right folks who could.
TRUMP: Right. And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks [the virus] out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. So, that, you’re going to have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds—it sounds interesting to me.
So we’ll see. But the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute, that’s—that’s pretty powerful.
He asked if Bryan was going to test such ideas. Presumably, Bryan felt forced to say that "the right folks" almost certainly would.
After that, the disinfectant! Since disinfectant can kill the virus on a hard surface, why couldn't it do the same thing inside the human body?
"It gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs," the scientifically literate commander in chief lucidly said. "So it would be interesting to check that."
So it went at the start of yesterday's oddball musings. A few minutes later, Jonathan Karl decided to bring the eternal note of sanity in:
KARL: The president mentioned the idea of a cleaner, bleach and isopropyl alcohol emerging. There’s no scenario where that could be injected into a person, is there?Already, Trump had rethought his approach. The treatment wouldn't be done through injections, he now said, even as Bryan was (presumably) forced to pretend that somebody else might be exploring such matters.
BRYAN: No, I’m here to talk about the findings that we had in the study. We don’t do that within that lab, at our labs.
TRUMP: It wouldn’t be through injections. We're talking about almost a cleaning and sterilization of an area. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t work, but it certainly has a big effect if it’s on a stationary object.
Later, Trump joined a reporter in speculating that it might make sense to fight the coronavirus by spending a lot of time outside when it's hot. That led to the later disaster in which Dr. Birx was put on the spot.
As often happens at these sessions, it started with a wiseguy question from the Washington Post's Philip Rucker. Just like that, the embattled commander took charge:
RUCKER: Mr. President, after the presentation we just saw about the heat and the humidity, is it dangerous for you to make people think they would be safe by going outside in the heat, considering that so many people are dying in Florida, considering that this virus has had an outbreak in Singapore, places that are hot and humid?Trump was forced to cut Birx off, but this wasn't new to him. He'd already heard a rumor!
TRUMP: Here we go. Here we go. The new headline is “Trump asks people to go outside. That’s dangerous.” Here we go. Same old group.
You ready? I hope people enjoy the sun, and if it has an impact, that’s great. I’m just hearing this, not really for the first time. I mean, there’s been a rumor, a very nice rumor, that you go outside in the sun, or you have heat, and it does have an effect on other viruses.
But now we get it from one of the great laboratories of the world, I have to say. Covers a lot more territory than just this.
[Addressing Bryan] This is probably an easy thing, relatively speaking, for you. I would like you to speak to the medical doctors to see if there’s any way that you can apply light and heat to cure. You know? If you could. And maybe you can, maybe you can’t. Again, I say maybe you can, maybe you can’t. I’m not a doctor. But I’m a person that has a good you know what.
Deborah, have you ever heard of that? The heat and the light relative to certain viruses, yes, but relative to this virus?
BIRX: That is a treatment. I mean, certainly fever, is a good thing. When you have a fever, it helps your body respond. But not as—I’ve not seen heat or light as a—
TRUMP: I think it’s a great thing to look at. Okay?
At that point, and to his credit, Rucker refused to quit.
As an obvious East Coast elitist, Rucker knew he had to pretend to be concerned by the president's talk about hearing a rumor. For his trouble, he was dispatched in the manner shown:
RUCKER (continuing directly): But respectfully, sir, you’re the president. And people tuning into these briefings, they want to get information and guidance and want to know what to do. They’re not looking for a rumor.For ourselves, we don't have the slightest idea whether sunbathing could ever defeat the virus.
TRUMP: Hey—hey, Phil. I’m the president, and you’re Fake News. And you know what I’ll say to you? I’ll say it very nicely.
I know you well. I know you well. Because I know the guy. I see what he writes. He’s a total faker.
So, are you ready? Are you ready? Are you ready? It’s just a suggestion from a brilliant lab by a very, very smart, perhaps brilliant, man. He’s talking about sun. He’s talking about heat. And you see the numbers.
So that’s it; that’s all I have. I’m just here to present talent. I’m here to present ideas, because we want ideas to get rid of this thing. And if heat is good and if sunlight is good, that’s a great thing as far as I’m concerned.
Gargling with Lysol and light-bulb colonics are also foreign to us. But we said we'd show you what was said, and we've now kept our word.
This sort of thing is being aired in prime time every night. It's long past the time when network executives need to say, in public statements, what they actually think about all this.
Also this, very strongly:
Is something wrong with President Trump? We have recommended pity for the damaged souls of the earth. But it's long past time for upper-end scribes and the people who hire them to start asking this question out loud.
Is something wrong with President Trump? There are respectful ways to pursue that question. But will our upper-end "news" executives ever be willing to ask?