Officials downplay COVID-19, then proceed to get COVID-19

President+Trump+removing+his+mask+in+front+of+cameras+on+the+White+House+balcony+three+days+after+being+diagnosed+with+COVID-19.

Courtesy of the New York Times Instagram

President Trump removing his mask in front of cameras on the White House balcony three days after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Wyatt Golla, Staff Writer

President Trump and others catch the coronavirus – was it ironic or inevitable?

With all the turmoil going on in day-to-day life, it’s difficult to find humor in some situations. 

In normal situations, White House staff and the president themselves getting sick would not even skim the ironic barrier. But these are not normal situations, are they? So it might be acceptable to have a little chuckle at this prospect.

Just to recap, 45th President Donald J. Trump hosted a reception at Rose Garden on Sept. 26. This event was to announce Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court pick, Amy Coney Barret. Unbeknownst to him, this would not be the focus of the event in days to come.

There were about 100 attendees at the event,  and several of them were  seen hugging, talking at close distances, and kissing. Only a few people wore masks, and they rarely stayed on. Several high ranking people in the Republican party were in attendance such as governors, senators, secretaries, and other dignitaries.

Maybe having most of the country’s leaders in one spot while the country is in the middle of a pandemic might not have been the best course of action.

When the main event was over, Trump, Barret, and other high ranking officials went into the White House for some chit-chat and revelry. 

This little after-party had even less social distancing measures, and with some of the most important people in the country all inside the Oval Office, something was bound to happen.

In total, the President of the United States, the first lady, a U.S Supreme Court candidate, the candidate’s children, and several senators were in a 816.2 square foot room. Sounds completely secure and totally not a super spreader occasion.

It’s no surprise that at least 11 people tested positive for COVID-19 after the event. Several of Trump’s aides caught it, as well as two senators,  White House press secretary Kayliegh McEnany, and Trump’s wife Melinia both tested positive.

 Most prominent among the people diagnosed was Trump himself. If only there was some way this unavoidable faux pas could have been predicted to happen. Nobody could have seen this coming, right?

On one hand, anyone getting sick is unfortunate. On the other hand, this is the same guy who downplayed COVID-19 and spread disinformation. He said the coronavirus would be over by Easter, and he constantly questions the effectiveness of masks. So one might be forgiven for thinking this is a little ironic. This seems more like a case of “I told you so” rather than irony, but in order to discern that we need to fully understand what irony is.

“There are three types of irony: verbal, dramatic, and situational,” Cal High English teacher Theresa Pacheco explained. “I don’t see the President contracting Covid as ironic. He held rallies and many meetings without wearing a mask. Contracting Covid is a reasonable result.”

So it seems that Trump getting COVID-19 was not a matter of if, only when. That’s what happens when you pack your rallies like a can of tuna and downplay the effectiveness of masks during a global pandemic. 

During these trying times where everything is so stressful, it’s hard to find joy in the world. Sometimes we just need to have a laugh at someone getting his comeuppance.