I’m guessing there’ll be fewer than 1.7 million deaths in America as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, unless something unexpected happens *. At this early date, the CDC estimates 160-240 million Americans will catch the bug and 200,000 to 1.7 mill will die from it.
[ * “Unless something unexpected happens”: That’s the most dangerous thing to say regarding such a fluid and unprecedented state of affairs. Hell, COVID-19 itself was something unexpected as recently as last Fall. Anyway, as I was saying…. ]
A good bettor’s policy is always to choose the most prudent option. Wagering on either of the tapering ends of a bell curve of probabilities is a sucker’s game, usually resorted to by someone on a long losing streak hoping to recoup his losses in a single strike.
So, yeah, I’m going (right now) with fewer than a million fatalities in the United States, prob. somewhere around 750,000. That’s horrifying enough but it’ll be a welcome outcome after these days and weeks of scary headlines.
And if things should play out that way, Pres. Trump, who’s getting battered by critics right now, will declare himself responsible for saving nearly a million lives. Oh, you bet he will! He’ll trot out the CDC charts and point to that 1.7 million figure and say, “That didn’t happen and it’s all because of me!” Of course, everything is because of him or can only be fixed by him. His bizarrely loyal base, natch, will eat his words up, something they’ve been doing since he descended that golden escalator in 2015 to declare his candidacy for President of the United States of America. For chrissakes, if Li’l Duce‘s words had calories, his base’d be 100 percent morbidly obese by now.
Who knows if more people than just President Gag’s base will buy it? People act and think funny when they’ve been scared to death. It may appear to some that this public health crisis will be the downfall of the Trump presidency. OTOH, it just may get him reelected.
And wouldn’t that be a horrifying outcome.
Trump On A Shrink’s Couch
BTW: Via a comment thread started by my pal, Jeff Isaac, professor of political science at Indiana University, I caught wind of a very compelling, recently published book entitled The Strange Case of Donald J. Trump: A Psychological Reckoning. Authored by Northwestern University professor Dan P. MacAdams, the book is a series of his essays written over the last four years peering into the psychological makeup of (my words) the most whacked-out M-Fer ever to sit behind an Oval Office desk.
Trump, McAdams asserts, may be the rare person who lacks any inner story, something most people develop to givetheir lives unity, meaning and purpose.
A life story provides a moral frame of reference because it grounds your experiences in basic values and beliefs, according to McAdams, a narrative psychologist who pioneered the study of lives.
Trump, McAdams argues, can’t form a meaningful life story because he is the “episodic man” who sees life as a series of battles to be won. There is no connection between the moments, no reflection and no potential for growth when one is compulsively in the present.
Donald Trump is a “truly authentic fake,” writes McAdams, professor of human development and social policy at the School of Education and Social Policy. “Trump is always acting, always on stage — but that is who he really is, and that is all he really is. He is not introspective, retrospective or prospective. He does not go deep into his mind; he does not travel back to the past; he does not project far into the future. He is always on the surface, always right now.
“In his own mind, he is more like a persona than a person, more like a primal force or superhero, rather than a fully realized human being,” McAdams adds.
Sure enough, right now Trump sees the COVID-19 situation as an assault on him, as evidenced by his continually referring to himself in newsers on the outbreak as well as his blatant statement, “I don’t take responsibility at all,” when he was pressed by reporters on why there are so few available tests in this country. Any other effective leader would at least give lip service to taking responsibility for everything that happens on his watch, but not the poor, aggrieved Victim-in-Chief.
I don’t blame Trump for the COVID-19 crisis. I only blame him for being himself.