American people, your president has a message: Can we all agree to forget this happened?
Except, of course, for the deaths, which he guesses you may not be able to instantly forget. Except for that small detail, it would be much nicer for the country if we could forget that all of this happened. As we have always said after tragedies in this country’s past: Never Remember.
It would be best if you could just remember that, for a brief shining moment during the months of March and April, the president appeared on TV every day and got wonderful ratings for no reason at all. It was just that what he was saying was, in his own words, “incredibly interesting.”
It had nothing to do with the deaths (which he guesses you may not be able to instantly forget) or the fact that the things he was saying were causally linked to how many more deaths there would be. It was just that he was such a compelling speaker. “I’m sure people are enjoying it,” the president said (we can decide whether or not to remember this). It was a dark subject, he admitted, but people “can’t get enough.”
Speaking of things people cannot get enough of, we would like very much for you to forget the unavailability of testing, as well as the inaction between, let us say, January and March that caused it. That should be the second or third thing you forget, right after the president saying he took “no responsibility at all” for the failure, or his remarks at his rallies in February calling the news around the coronavirus a “hoax.”
Lock that deep in your memory, in the most secure part, where it can only escape in confusing dreams in which you are being informed, repeatedly, by all kinds of experts, that there is a pandemic for which your country has the opportunity to prepare yet you are doing nothing.
Please forget, also, that the Trump administration decided that the states should have just spontaneously been stockpiling their own emergency stores of medical equipment and protective gear instead of laboring under the misapprehension that the central government stockpile was for them. Yes, a strange time to reevaluate the entire concept of federalism — please forget that. Forget that states had to bid against one another for key goods, driving up prices and forcing us to reinvent from the ground up the rationale for being a single nation comprising 50 states rather than 50 states acting separately. Lock that tightly in a vault and let no light penetrate!
Forget, of course, how inexplicably invested (metaphorically for sure, but maybe also literally?) in an unproven treatment for the virus the president was, mentioning it all the time and leading to shortages for people who needed it for something it was already proven to treat.
Also please forget the president’s exhortation that the country open back up by Easter, a beautiful date. Please forget all the hospital staff going to work in improvised personal protective equipment made from garbage bags. Forget the potter’s field near the Bronx full of freshly dug graves. As Abraham Lincoln said after Gettysburg: The world will note and long remember what we say here, but it must forget what they did here.
Sometimes the best way to deal with an unpleasant reality is to ignore it and hope it will go away. Why, if the states had not gotten together to remind the administration, the government would even have pulled its support from testing sites around the country by Friday!
So choose to remember, if you like, how the president, every day, said he was doing a wonderful job, but — please do not remember why.
Think about the future, when we will be able to forget all the nastiness, and how much more nicer it will be. The president is starting to live there now! On Tuesday, he will announce the Opening Our Country Task Force.
Because (except, of course, for the deaths, which may take some time) this will all soon be forgotten. The president is forgetting already.
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