It's been a wild year (err, month) for one person on Team Trump — the man who has inspired a thousand memes. Just days after the public was made aware of his COVID-19 diagnosis, Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s lawyer, has announced that his symptoms are “pretty much” gone and that he’s “doing fine.” Giuliani contracted the virus after spending the better part of the last few months flouting public health guidelines and traveling the country — maskless — in his futile attempt to bully state governments into overturning the election results.
It’s possible that Giuliani’s reckless behavior has put more than just his own health at risk — he could end up being a one-man superspreader. Giuliani was seen asking a witness to remove her mask during last week’s Michigan hearing on voter fraud so that people could hear her better. And Mellissa Carone (aka the viral Conspiracy Karen who testified alongside Giuliani last week) says she has no intention of self-quarantining. Following that hearing, in which Giuliani appeared maskless, the Michigan House of Representatives is being accused of violating COVID-19 restrictions.
While the Trump lawyer and veritable walking gif may be feeling better, or in his words "mild," millions of Americans are still being impacted by the pandemic in the worst way. While Giuliani was promptly admitted to the hospital and given the same treatment President Trump received when he was ill, thousands of Americans are being denied beds because ICUs are full, or being transported to other states in order to receive care because their own hospitals are overwhelmed. More than 100,000 Americans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 complications and more than 282,000 have died. That number will only grow.
While Giuliani and his ilk have traveled the country like a virus-infected barnstorming operation, insulated from the consequences of their disregard for public health, the people who have paid the price are the most vulnerable and marginalized Americans: immunocompromised people, working-class people who cannot afford to stay home, people working service jobs who have no choice but to go into work every day, and first responders who are on the frontlines of the pandemic.
Health officials say that mask-wearing is an act of care, something you do for fellow humans to protect them from contracting a deadly virus. Politicians are people we hope choose to enter their job because they care deeply about the American people and want to help enact policies that keep us safe and make our lives better. The blatant carelessness of the people in the highest levels of the Trump administration, the way they continue to actively endanger the lives of the people they are tasked with serving, has shown that they not only believe themselves to be invincible, but that they do not regard the rest of us as worthy of protection.