TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2020
Also, Paul Butler does it again: Commander in chief Donald J. Trump is surrounded by The Crazy.
He's surrounded by true belief. He's surrounded by fractured logic and by crazy dissembling.
Meanwhile, his family and his closest advisers refused to wear masks at last Tuesday evening's debate. Their conduct bordered on the obscene. For that reason, we think it's worth memorializing:
DAVIS ET AL (10/3/20): A little more than two days before she reported testing positive for the coronavirus, first lady Melania Trump—as well as the president’s sons, daughters and several guests—violated safety protocols at the first presidential debate by taking off their masks after being seated in a live studio audience in Cleveland.
Several in the president’s entourage continued without masks after an official from the Cleveland Clinic, which co-hosted the debate, offered them masks in case they didn’t have any, according to debate moderator Chris Wallace. “They waved them away,” Wallace said on Fox News on Friday morning.
It was a violation of rules that both campaigns agreed to, Frank Fahrenkopf, head of the Commission on Presidential Debates, said in an interview with The Washington Post.
Everyone had agreed to these rules. Upon arrival, the Trump camp declined to honor this agreement.
As Davis continued, he described the refusal in more detail. We think his account is worth recording:
DAVIS ET AL: By the time Melania Trump entered, minutes before the debate began, all of the Trump guests had taken off their masks.
The Cleveland Clinic health safety official, wearing a white lab coat, soon approached the Trump group, according to Wallace.
The official “offered them masks in case they didn’t have them, and they were waved away,” Wallace, a Fox News anchor, said Friday morning in an interview on the network. “And people in the hall noticed.”
“That actually violated the rules of the Cleveland Clinic,” Wallace said.
Wallace’s account echoed that of NBC reporter Marianna Sotomayor, who tweeted: “I witnessed a Cleveland Clinic doctor remind Trump’s guests to wear a mask, even offering them surgical ones on the off chance they didn’t have one. None of them put on a mask. The doctor looked frustrated as she stepped away, prompting a staffer to say, ‘That’s all you can do.’ ”
This account of what occurred relies on observations by Wallace and Sotomayor. That said, we've seen no one dispute this account.
We were especially struck by the description of the doctor's frustration, followed by the staffer's statement:
"That's all you can do."
Our society's ongoing disintegration has been producing a vast anthropology lesson. Again and again, we get to see what human beings, and human functioning, can be or are actually like.
We humans! At times of major tribal division, there's nothing so dumb that we may not believe it. There's nothing so inappropriate that we may not end up doing it.
This sort of behavior isn't restricted to people in other tribes. In his latest column for the Washington Post, we'd have to say that Paul Butler has done it again. (More on that tomorrow.)
This incident at the Cleveland debate has an ancient feel. Within days of their remarkable conduct, several members of the Trump party had been diagnosed with the virus.
Other people had been put at risk—put at risk of painful death. Luckily, Barron Davis apparently hasn't been infected. Given the astounding behavior of his parents, it would seem that he's been spared solely due to chance.
After the commander was diagnosed, Dr. Sean Conley took center stage. To his credit, he has been amazingly unskilled at the task of dissembling about Trump's condition and about the history of Trump's diagnosis.
This suggests the possibility that dissembling isn't Conley's constant habit. In fairness, we've also seen no real attempt to define the strictures of patient privacy by which Conley was bound.
Meanwhile, we'll take a wild guess. Everyone at Walter Reed was thrilled to see Trump go.
That incident at the Cleveland debate has a certain Old Testament feel. The behavior was vile beyond belief. Within a matter of days, some offenders were smote—struck down.