We’ve been talking a lot about COVID here, but this is a podcast (and blog) about current events and that’s kind of dominating the news these days.
One of the biggest stories right now is that the virus has finally hit the White House. In many ways it was inevitable because the virus is a) spreading like wildfire, and b) we all know the White House has been lax about taking precautions.
But this raises some questions.
Will the Trump administration start taking the virus more seriously? We’re getting mixed messages so far.
Pence has indicated he still plans to be at the White House on Monday, so no self-quarantining for him. That’s confident of him. But Trump is apparently a bit more hesitant to be in contact with people.
The rhetoric out of the White House right now is still all about opening up the economy. But if they are having to close down the White House that is going to be a hard argument to make. We’ve asked before on Twitter who would get to rhetorically construct the virus and how, and that question may have just become even more pressing.
In everybody’s favorite show The West Wing, we watch the POTUS deal with health issues throughout the series. There are a lot of people that are angry with him because he kept his illness from them – they thought it was a kind of betrayal. But nobody ever thought it was his fault. If people in THIS West Wing start falling ill how will people feel? Will they blame the administration? How will this affect politics? Who will suffer not just from the virus, but from the ire of the polis?
This is both a medical and a rhetorical problem for the President. We’re curious to see how he handles it.