Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin has been consistently critical of President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis. This week in her column, the Never Trumper asserts that Trump and his loyalists in the Republican Party will gladly encourage others to put themselves at risk during the pandemic but won’t take such risks themselves.
“This is the natural consequence of a cult of personality in which the leader’s ego and survival are paramount,” she writes in her column titled: “The party of grotesque selfishness.”
“Both ‘Fox & Friends’ host Brian Kilmeade and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos say life is full of risks; so, send your kids back to school no matter what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say,” Rubin observes. “President Trump has been jetting around, greeting visitors and talking to his supporters — albeit fewer than planned — without wearing a mask in public until Saturday. His cult naturally adopted his contempt for this basic health measure. It was only when the pandemic socked red states that many Republican officials became terribly dismayed that ‘some people’ had politicized masks.”
Rubin goes on to note that more Republicans are declining to attend large GOP events where they would could be infected with COVID-19 — for example, the GOP convention in Jacksonville, Florida — even though they won’t come out and say that such events could be dangerous.
“What about the risks imposed on Florida’s retirees who will be more likely to contract the virus if thousands flood into the state; on airline travelers exposed to delegates often contemptuous of mask-wearing; on employees of the hotels and venues they will frequent; on those with autoimmune diseases; and on first responders who will have to turn out by the hundreds — if not the thousands — to secure the event?” Rubin writes. “Oh, no never mind. As for their own health and safety, however, a growing list of elected Republicans are not showing up.”
Rubin wraps up her column by stressing that for Trump’s loyalists, the top priority is not public health — it is serving the president’s political needs at any cost.
“The Republican Party is lockstep with him,” Rubin asserts. “Republicans have not only abandoned truth, their oaths of office and concern for democratic values…. elected Republicans also have jettisoned concern for the health and wellbeing of others. What matters is to keep Trump — no matter how crazy and irresponsible — mollified. And if others are harmed? Republicans are more than willing to consign those unlucky souls to the risks of illness and death. Life is risky — for other people.”
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