[Commentary] These Are The People Team Trump Doesn’t See As People
When you read about Donald Trump from those who know him personally, like Mary Trump and Michael Cohen, you’re given an image of a man who doesn’t see value in other people, except for whatever way they may serve as useful to him. The people who have been closest to him don’t describe him as a caring, empathetic person. If you’re watching the way he and his campaign treat the people around him, you’ll get the same impression.
Here’s an example. Before Trump’s diagnosis with COVID-19, he attended a fundraiser at his Bedminster, N.J. golf course. After his diagnosis, the New York Times reports, the campaign provided the New Jersey Department of Health with a list of people to contact, so that they could be alerted they might have been exposed to the virus. The list, which only had email addresses for contact, rather than phone numbers, did not include staff working the event — only guests, or to put it another way, donors.
CNN‘s Daniel Dale called out another example on Twitter. Trump’s campaign manager, Hogan Gidley, excused Trump for taking off his mask outside the White House, only days after his COVID-19 diagnosis, still breathing heavily, because, he said, there were no people nearby. Yet, as clearly seen in the image here, and as pointed out by Dale, there’s a photographer right by the president.
Trump campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley just claimed on Fox that Trump was “alone on the balcony outside” when he was maskless.
He was not alone. There was a photographer right behind him. He then walked inside, and there were at least two other people visible near him there. pic.twitter.com/HbG6PcdzNj
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 6, 2020
I consider that photographer a person. You probably do. If that photographer has a spouse, kids, parents, siblings — they all look and see a person. Strangers at the grocery store look at that photographer and see a person.
But the Trump campaign? They’re telling us there were no people nearby.
Here’s another case.
The president, anxious to leave the hospital, is permitted to pull off a brief drive-by rally for his supporters outside the hospital. He loads up in a vehicle, with driver and Secret Service protection, and takes off. A few minutes later, he’s back in the hospital. When there is a public uproar because he just sealed two human people (who have very little choice about whether to follow the president’s orders) into a closed vehicle with an infected person, for a medically unnecessary joyride, Trump lashes back.
It is reported that the Media is upset because I got into a secure vehicle to say thank you to the many fans and supporters who were standing outside of the hospital for many hours, and even days, to pay their respect to their President. If I didn’t do it, Media would say RUDE!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2020
Check out the words he uses in this tweet to assure us it wasn’t a bad idea: the vehicle was secure, the fans and supporters were paying respects. So yes, he was safe from attack in the vehicle, and the fans outside were protected from viral contagion — but what about the people sealed into the vehicle? (Meanwhile, Melania said she wouldn’t travel to visit her husband in the hospital, because there was no need to put drivers, Secret Service, and hospital employees in additional danger.)
A reporter for Yahoo News asked Trump, after his hospitalization, how many members of his staff were sick. He was ignored.
I asked President Trump how many of his staffers are sick and whether he is a supespreader. He ignored me and simply said, "Thank you very much everybody."
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) October 5, 2020
Even before Trump caught COVID-19, he said in an interview that he wasn’t worried about it being passed around at his rallies — because he stays far from the crowd, so he figured he was safe from catching it.
Service staff at the White House are reportedly concerned, not sure if going to work will equal bringing home a deadly disease to their children. The Associated Press reports that a memo to staff ordered anyone who thought they might be ill to go home to their families, and contact their own private doctors, rather than seeking help from the White House medical unit. Note that well — Donald Trump has access to the best doctors, and the people he’s putting at risk are told to go home and figure out their own medical care.
There’s no regard shown for the many regular people — cooks, housekeeping staff, groundskeepers, aides, tech staff, security, and so on — who work in and around the White House. There’s regard for supporters only to the extent of their cheering and praise — there’s no sign Trump was concerned that rallygoers would find themselves sick after leaving his event, or even that wealthy donors would get sick, as long as they signed their checks first.
Everything in Trump’s behavior regarding COVID-19 outlines the image of a person who does not care about endangering others, and doesn’t even seem to register others as people, except if they’re personally benefitting him at that given moment.