Donald Trump Jr. had a meltdown on Fox this week, ranting — as usual — about the media.
We have to laugh. It beats crying. But seriously, ask yourselves what else the Trumps can talk about when Donald Trump's failures have left our country looking all week at record rises in cases of COVID-19. When his lack of leadership is now resulting in cases surging in states all over the country?
But, no, Don Jr. says that's the media's doing. The real problem, he says, is that the press won't level with you about how low the death rate truly is. The media refuse to celebrate this towering achievement. After all, "they" are all out to get his father.
"I went through the CDC data, because I kept hearing about new infections, but I was like, 'Why aren't they talking about deaths?' " Trump Jr. whined to Fox News host Laura Ingraham. "Oh, because the number is almost nothing. Because we've gotten control of this thing, we understand how it works. They have the therapeutics to be able to deal with this."
That's what he said: "Why aren't they talking about deaths? Oh, because the number is almost nothing."
Hold this thought — 229,141 Americans dead of COVID-19 since February is "almost nothing."
In Junior's eyes it's a win. An achievement. A feather in the cap of his father, the president.
The tragic 9/11 attacks claimed 2,977 lives. By that measure, we've seen roughly the equivalent of a 9/11 disaster about every three days since February.
Or, as others have pointed out, this "almost nothing" number is almost four times the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War and almost double the number of Americans killed in World War I.
This is an accomplishment?
The same day Junior was ranting to Ingraham — Thursday — another 1,063 Americans died of the virus and more than 90,000 additional Americans were diagnosed with it. Just that day. Since February, almost 9 million of us have been sickened with COVID-19
Don must the night before have stayed in one of those hotels that lets you wake up a stable genius.
Or maybe it is the media's fault. The rant, after all, followed an earlier segment on CNN when Sanjay Gupta — a real TV doctor — advised President Trump's supporter not to attend his rallies, and if they did, to later self-quarantine.
Why? Because in 14 of the 17 counties where Trump held rallies between Aug. 17 and Sept. 26 health officials have seen increased coronavirus cases within one month. That's 82 percent of them. The infection rate in those counties had also climbed at a faster clip than the overall rate for their respective states, CNN reported.
That seals it. Why don't we just start calling COVID-19 the Media Virus — instead of the "China Virus" as Daddy Trump dubbed it.
And, hey — who's the victim here? All those sick and dead people? Not in Trumpview.
In Trumpview, the virus is only seen through the lens of Donald Trump's political future. After all, they've said, they both had the virus and it was no big deal. Never mind that President Trump was hospitalized and provided the Cadillac of treatments. It's true that any president should be treated with the best treatments, but those treatments haven't been and won't be available to the other nearly 9 million and rising COVID-19 patients.
As for the deaths, in saying they are "almost nothing," Don Jr. summed up his father's whole approach to both virus control and his entire presidency.
Like his father, Don was flippant and callus about 229,141-plus families whose lives will never be the same.
Every day, the Trumps make a better case for why Donald Trump — who said in February he liked playing down the deadly virus — should be voted out of office on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
No one can know how successful a President Joe Biden will be in managing this virus, but at least we know he'll try.
We know he has a well-detailed plan — building on a blueprint he and former President Barack Obama put in place and Trump later scrapped — to scale up a robust federal effort. Trump has made some photo ops signing some papers, but basically done nothing other than leave virus control to the hap-hazard patchwork of state governors and health departments. Biden understands this needs leadership, not obfuscation.
Biden won't lie about what we're facing, and he won't mock experts' advice or common-sense precautions like masks and social distancing.
Trump is right when he says he says he can't control the virus. But a real president could.
That real president is Joe Biden.