With deference to David Letterman, I now present tonight’s TOP TEN list–April Fools when it comes to dealing with a global pandemic.
#10: Every right-wing Trump sycophant who a la Sean Hannity said, “This program has always taken the coronavirus seriously and we’ve never called the virus a hoax,” nine days after saying, “They’re scaring the living hell out of people and I see it again as like, ‘Oh, let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax.’”
#9: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp who claimed he did not know the coronavirus could be transmitted by asymptomatic carriers until March 31. Either Kemp is an idiot, lying or, in contrast to most of us, turned off the television after Trump’s daily comments before Anthony Fauci and Deborah Brix took the podium to provide accurate and useful information about the pandemic.
#8: Eduardo Moreno, the railroad engineer who intentionally derailed a train in hopes of disrupting operations on the USNS Mercy, a hospital ship sent to Los Angeles to handle overflow from area hospitals. Moreno told law enforcement officers he believed the vessel “had an alternate purpose related to COVID-19 or a government takeover.” Who says no one takes Alex Jones or Rush Limbaugh seriously?
#7: Texas-based Evangelical preacher Kenneth Copeland who urged believers to place their hands on their television screens to be cured of the coronavirus. In what should have been a parody of Flip Wilson’s trademark “the Devil made me do it,” Copeland claimed, “I’m not the sick trying to get healed. I’m the healed and the devil is trying to give me the flu… or whatever else kind of thing he’s trying.”
#6: Not willing to cede his standing in the Evangelical community, Liberty University president Jerry Fallwell, Jr. encouraged the school’s 5,000 students to return to campus after spring break. “I think we have a responsibility to our students — who paid to be here, who want to be here, who love it here — to give them the ability to be with their friends, to continue their studies, enjoy the room and board they’ve already paid for and to not interrupt their college life.” Within three days, 12 students had symptoms of the virus and all students were asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. Even agnostics have to admit, if there is a God, she does work in mysterious ways.
#5: Jim Hoft, head of the conservative media outlet The Gateway Pundit, claimed the coronavirus is “a man-made biological weapon that was created by globalists and other nefarious actors in an attempt to depopulate the planet.” Hoft is way beyond “gateway.” He is clearly taking much more potent drugs.
#4: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who ironically chose April 1 to announce a state lock-down. However, he gave Floridians 36 hours to host one more Coronavirus Party at the nearest sand bar before the effective date of midnight Thursday, April 2.
#3: Governor DeSantis earned another Top Ten by making “Attending services at churches and synagogues” the first exemption listed under essential activities not subject to the shutdown. One cannot help but appreciate the irony this action was taken on April 1, a day that, in 2003, was declared National Atheists Day by a federal judge in response to a suit filed by the ACLU to have the federal government declare a non-religious holiday for atheists and agnostics.
#2: Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick who said, “No one reached out to me and said, ‘as a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?” When asked if he was ready to set an example for other senior citizens in the Lone Star State, Patrick presented a letter from his doctor saying he could not serve as a model for others because he had bone spurs.
And the NUMBER ONE April Fool when it comes to dealing with a global pandemic is Donald J. Trump, who on April Fools Day said, “I think also in looking at the way that the contagion is so contagious, nobody’s ever seen anything like this where large groups of people all of a sudden have it just by being in the presence of somebody who has it.”
If only we had non-contagious contagions, as Louis Armstrong would say, “What a wonderful world this would be!” Not to mention if we did not have to tolerate these and other April fools.
For what it’s worth.