As the White House remains the most notorious coronavirus hotspot in the U.S., a still-infected, down-in-the-polls President Trump is trying to have it both ways. He’s attempting, sometimes in the space of a single tweet, to paint himself as a tough guy whose superior immune system whomped a lethal virus into submission with a chair in half the time it usually takes to recover but also as a breezy pharma spokespresident who’s used his first-hand experience of the virus to personally test every half-researched miracle “cure” on himself — and hey, look under your chair, America! Everyone gets an antibody cocktail!
Trump — who, let’s remember, may still be infectious — is also reportedly complaining to aides that he wants to do rallies as early as Friday, and on Thursday refused to take part in the second presidential debate after it was changed to a virtual format due to COVID safety concerns. As Stephen Colbert noted in his monologue on Thursday, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien — himself among the more than two dozen people infected as part of the White House cluster — insisted that this is fine, actually, because it will be fine.
“Stepien claimed the new format is unnecessary because Trump ‘will have posted multiple negative tests prior to the debate.’ That’s not how any of this works!” said Colbert. “You can’t put all your faith in something that might happen down the line when the potential consequence is death. That’s like saying, ‘Look, I know your parachute isn’t working now. But I have full confidence that we’ll get it up and running before we reach terminal velocity. Hand me that scotch tape.'”
Trump gave his first official interview after his diagnosis to Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Thursday morning, and among the 55-minute ramble gave the following description of how the awesome experimental drugs he was given were extremely unnecessary but also definitely awesome: “I call them cures. I don’t call them therapeutics, you take it — the antibody drug. You take it and it beats the hell out of it. … It made me better. I will tell you right now, I walked in, I didn’t feel great. I think I would have done fine without drugs. You know, you don’t really need drugs. I stopped — I don’t take them anymore. No, I don’t take them anymore. I think I’m taking almost nothing.”
“So these drugs are great,” Colbert said, trying to parse the president’s line of argument. “But he doesn’t need them. But they cured him right away. And he’s going to fast-track them. But he would have been fine without them. So he’s not taking them.
“Why is it that he took the experimental drug and we’re the ones experiencing dizziness, confusion, and nausea?”