Subscribe to the IHARE Blog

State of American History, Civics, and Politics

The Coronavirus Is Not AIDS: Do Trumpicans Know That?

The Hollywood cast anti-vaccine successor to Fauci

The coronavirus is not AIDS. There is more to a disease than simply the disease itself. Another factor is the human reaction to the disease, the cultural perception of it. For example, lung cancer tends not to generate much sympathy except perhaps from the immediate family. Lung cancer often is viewed as a preventable occurrence if the afflicted did not engage in the disgusting habit of smoking. By contrast, breast cancer generates waves of sympathy for the innocent victim. There are walks for finding a cure, runs for finding one, and ribbons. The vibe is quite different. A celebrity can affect how a medical condition is perceived from Lou Gehrig to Michael Fox who have the condition to Jerry Lewis who did not.

The same circumstances applied to AIDS when it appeared back in the 1980s. There was a lot of fear about who could get and how it was transmitted. Eventually it was determined that three groups were most at risk:

male homosexuals
needle-using drug addicts
innocent victims of infected blood transfusions.

It was the third group which generated the most sympathy. The first two were victims of their own actions. These actions were considered to be disreputable if not outright sinful by sections of the American public. Real, that is, decent Americans had nothing to fear from this non-contagious disease. Celebrities who had the condition and celebrities who befriend those who had it helped change public opinion. Tom Hanks was connected to that condition too. Still, there was no denying that the perception of a disease affected the reaction to it and therefore the action We the People should take collectively through our government and with our tax dollars.

I was reminded of this scenario when I heard the President of the United States announce that so far no one in West Virginia has tested positive for coronavirus (a status that is no longer true). What was the purpose in making such a statement?

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there, has it made a sound?

If a person is infected with the coronavirus and has not been tested, is there an epidemic?

So on one hand, there is a simple explanation for the comment by our inept, incompetent, ignorant, immature child President. He lacks the mental necessities to understand the correlation between testing and the number of people infected. He was not capable of understanding that in part due to his failed leadership that wasted weeks into months of time, we simply had not conducted enough tests to know what the actual infection exposure was in the country.

But I also realized that there was more to this comment than to dismiss it as something said in passing. The context of the comment was that real Americans like the people in West Virginia who voted overwhelming for him were less likely to be infected by the Chinese invasion than were the Democrats = disloyal people in New York who had not voted for him. My general comment is that Trumpicans would not take the coronavirus seriously unless they started dying in droves, something that so far has not happened.

This insight seemed to be substantiated by subsequent actions. Polls indicate that Trumpicans were less likely to take the coronavirus seriously than non-Trumpicans. Take for example, the gas-mask photo-op by House frat boy Maculate Conception Gaetz (see his Chris Cuomo interview to understand this nickname). His action expressed the sentiment being championed both by multiple Fox talk show hosts save Tucker Carlson and the Very-Stable-Genius whose uncle was a super-genius. The coronavirus was something that was happening in Washington State, California, and New York as if it were targeting “those” people and bypassing the real Americans who were immune.

This attitude continues to this day. Trumpican governors and Lt. Governors in Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas have belittled the need to take action against the coronavirus. By contrast, Democratic governors, most famously in New York, and Republican governors in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Ohio, have acted.

Here we may observe a continuation of actions in other areas. It would be interesting to compare the governors who have not acted against the coronavirus with those who have not chosen to extend Medicaid. It would be interesting to compare the people who reject the idea of climate change with those who reject the idea of a coronavirus in their state. Finally, it would be interesting to compare the people who are anti-vaccine with the people who would decline to take a coronavirus vaccine should one be invented.


The internet is really amazing. I knew I wanted an image for this blog of photogenic Hollywood-cast Jenny “anti-vaccine” McCarthy as the successor science advisor to 79-year old Anthony Fauci. Even if she doesn’t replace him when he is shoved aside, there is an excellent chance that the replacement will be an unqualified loyalist just as we have seen with the two individuals appointed and nominated to be director of national intelligence. Professionalism is never a factor in appointments compared to loyalty.

But during the search for a photograph, I came across unexpected information. The famously germophobic President had a previous connection with the anti-vaccine movement in the United States. In fact, he donated $10,000, which is real money, to an anti-vaccine charity operated by Jenny McCarthy. He had observed her success in spreading her conspiracy theory just as he had had about the foreign-born Moslem president. The newly elected President in November 2016, even met with leaders of the anti-vaccination movement.

McCarthy has had real success in convincing people not to vaccinate their children. It became a problem in multiple school districts. The concept of the right of people to play Russian roulette with the lives of others was spreading. It had not reached the point of allowing people to drink and drive but it had reached the point of allowing unvaccinated kids to mingle with vaccinated ones. Despite the herd immunity theory, the number measles cases rose.  That reality convinced even the President of make-believe to support vaccinations.

One presumes then that when the now-past due miracle for the discovery occurs, he will support its usage. There are two caveats.

Suppose the vaccine is discovered in China.

Suppose he is no longer president.


There is a legitimate discussion to be had about when we will be free to move about the cabin. It is quite reasonable to suggest the proportion of infected Americans will remain much lower than initially expected. Here in New York, the epidemic epicenter, it is hard to imagine even 10% of the population, approximately 2,000,000 people, becoming infected in the next few weeks. But we should wait and see.

Unfortunately, no such discussion about high, medium, and low infection rates at the county level will be held. The decision already was made probably by Tuesday when he mentioned earlier this week in a Fox town hall. From that point it was only a matter of waiting for it to become official. Trumpican governors will be encouraged to free their people as long as they don’t travel to states that are under lockdown. How exactly that will work out remains to be seen but it will back to normal for real Americans.

Why the fixation on Easter and churches full of people? He is not a religious person and does not attend church. I was thinking about why he so admires Queen Elizabeth. As it turns out his mother did and she passed that admiration on to her son. I wonder what Easter was like in the Trump family when he was growing up and what it meant to her mother. Just a thought about why the Easter date is so important to him.