Let's take one of those magical trips down memory lane, way back to 1939. One of the popular tunes back then was "Wishing (Will Make It So)." "Wishing will make it so, Just keep on wishing and care will go." It was sung by Vera Lynn, among others, and covered by the likes of Glenn Miller, Bing Crosby and now, 80 years later, by Donald Trump and his Bootlicker Chorus. In his version, the lyrics have been revised to reflect the coronavirus era: "This is going to go away without a vaccine, It's going to go away, and we're not going to see it again, hopefully, after a period of time."
He'd better hope so. The coronavirus has already breached the White House complex, infecting Secret Service agents and a few key people thus far who have been in close proximity to not only the president, but to his obsequious vice president, Mike Pence.
If both got ill it's feasible that the duties of the chief executive would pass down to the third in the order of succession. Who would that be? None other than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. If that ever happened, there would be chaos as the lawyers would come out of the woodwork. Of course, there is already chaos in Washington these days.
To the Trump faithful, Pelosi for even a short time as acting president would be a bigger disaster than the devastation of COVID. Donald Trump is advocating a "reopening" of America in spite of the fact that the danger is increasing, not decreasing. Most of the governors are wilting under the political pressure, even though public health officials predict almost unanimously that they are courting a national disaster. Meanwhile at the White House, Trump is being a role model.
A role model for bad behavior. Normally when someone is exposed to the coronavirus in the way President Trump has been, he would self-quarantine, isolate himself so he wouldn't be contagious. Even Mike Pence decided to stay away from the White House for a couple of days. But not POTUS, who continues to refuse to wear a mask. He is now focusing not on COVID but getting re-elected in November and all about somehow repairing the economic collapse. He and his accomplices are more than willing to accept the deaths of thousands of Americans to deflect blame for the mind-boggling joblessness. Of course, the Trumpsters make the point that the pandemic was not caused by him.
But the slow reaction by his incompetent administration was his fault, particularly when the president wasted several critical weeks belittling the danger. Also his fault was the daily line of self-serving balderdash that he handed out at the task force briefings. He used his time not just for self-promoting but fouling the air with misinformation. Meanwhile, the problems piled up. The U.S. was and still is way behind on the tests that offer minimal advance notice of COVID.
And we're only now catching up on the tools of the trade that heroic medical providers and other first responders need. Instead, we get Trump's wishful thinking. By the way, "Wishing Will Make It So" was nominated for an Academy Award in 1939. But the winner was "Over the Rainbow," sung by Judy Garland. Donald Trump's version makes it clear he is in way over his head.
Bob Franken is an Emmy Award-winning reporter who covered Washington for more than 20 years with CNN. (c) 2020 Bob Franken Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.