If the superspreader in chief insists on holding his yahoo rallies until the merciful arrival of next Tuesday, could he and his rogue regime at least start taking names of the reckless, clueless people who attend them?
Beyond the obvious assistance in contact tracing after some of them inevitably get sick, it would be useful for relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and others to know the identity of those who are either too stubborn or too dumb to appreciate that they are risking contracting a potentially fatal disease by standing cheek-by-jowl with mostly maskless fellow Trump supporters.
By sheer geographical proximity, there is a statistical chance that you or I could come in contact with some of those who attended Sunday’s rallies in New Hampshire and Maine. It would be nice to know who these people are so we can avoid them, at least until the vaccine arrives, which, by the president’s best estimate, is sometime in the next seven days.
Four years ago, Hillary Clinton infamously, and to her great detriment politically, dismissed Trump supporters as deplorables. Not a good move on her part. There was an unmistakably snide, derogatory component to that assertion, which did her no good when she was ostensibly trying to convince a healthy majority of Americans that she would be a president for all people.
But while it is often merely opinion to call someone deplorable, it is an incontrovertible statement of fact to note that those attending Trump rallies while not wearing masks or social distancing are either selfishly defiant or willfully ignorant.
That’s not a put down, just an observation, based on all the available medical science.
At his rallies in New Hampshire and Maine, Trump did all the essential things one needs to do when trailing badly in the polls a week before the election. He signed a pumpkin. He complained about fake ballots. He called the former president he is not running against —but is obsessed with — Barack Hussein Obama, launching his peeps into fits of hysteria because, you know, that middle name makes Obama sound, like, you know, Muslim.
Not for the first time, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, a Republican, had the good sense to stay away from a Trump rally in his state. Sununu’s been open about why. He doesn’t want to get sick.
Senator Susan Collins, another Republican, didn’t attend the rally in her native Maine, concerned that she may lose her seat next week due to illness, in that many voters are sick of her.
For all his efforts in New Hampshire, Trump is trailing by 10 points there, and the state’s biggest and historically conservative newspaper, the Union Leader, just endorsed Joe Biden, the first time in more than a century that it has endorsed a Democrat for president. Bill and Nackey Loeb must be rolling in their graves.
Trump arrived in Bangor and headed out to a nearby apple orchard the day that Maine reported its biggest spike in COVID-19 infections since May, just as the United States set a record for new cases on consecutive days.
Trump’s robotic insistence that the virus is about to go away, when all the epidemiological data show the virus is, in fact, spreading with a vengeance, makes him as willfully ignorant or selfish as his followers. They were made for each other.
At least Trump’s latest chief of staff, Mark Meadows, was being straight when he said his administration cannot control the pandemic, and is no longer really trying to. It was a shockingly honest admission of defeat, that the virus is not going away, as his boss claims, that the virus has, in fact, won.
Meadows cried uncle while the president continues to act like everybody’s crazy uncle at those big Thanksgiving family gatherings that won’t happen this year.
Trump predicted a red wave coming next week. He was only wrong about the timing. The red wave is already here. It’s the map showing most states going in the wrong direction when it comes to COVID-19. That’s a fact that can’t be masked.
Kevin Cullen is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at email@example.com.