Dear Supreme Leader Trump’s Health, Soviet-Style

A marvellous article by Tom Nichols (The Lincoln Project) on the official public portrayal of Trump’s Covid affliction. There is an uncanny sense of deja vu for those of us who watched the decline and demise of Brezhnev, Andropov and Chernenko in the times of the Soviet Union.

The White House and Walter Reed Hospital Doctors’ briefings on Trump’s Covid19 contagion are so reminiscent of how the news of the health of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was conveyed to the Russian public on the Central Television of the USSR. Unerring similarities: the obfuscating briefing about the actual state of health of the Supreme Leader; the contradictions in defining the timeline; the standing line up of doctors, dutifully and sycophantically endorsing that the Leader was well on his way to recovery (Dr. Conley: “…he’s, met or exceeded all hospital discharge criteria”); the unrestrained self- praise of the ‘new’ indigenous treatments used; and, of course, that the Leader was well enough to continue to work hard on matters of State.

Both the Soviet and the current US Administration’s strategy share a self-defeating delusion: The Soviet theatre presented to the public made known the facilities available to the Supreme Leader for dealing with a medical emergency, which was not available to them. Kremlinogists at the time attributed this overt display of social inequality on CT to the beginning of the fall of the Soviet Union. Does the Trump team recognise that the same applies to Americans as 215000 dies, 50000 are infected per day – and they become aware that the medical care and comfort their President commands are not available to them? Dr Conley’s comment that he had given misleading information earlier about Trumps’s condition was “to reflect the upbeat attitude of Trump and his advisors” adds to the American angst.

This episode, more than anything else, might mark the end of the Trump Despotism presiding over democracy dying, American-style. But then, to paraphrase Twain, predicting Trump’s political death might be premature.

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#Trump, #Soviet Union, #Covid