COVID Update December 5: There’s a common real estate expression Trump is very familiar with called “other people’s money.”

It means if a bank lends you their money, you can take any risk you want.

Trump’s presidency has been guided by the principle “other people’s lives.”1/
Want to build a risky casino or golf course? Borrow money. If it works out, great— & you’ve had to put up little of your own money.

And if it fails, that will be the bank’s problem. Don’t pay. Declare bankruptcy. 2/
The bankruptcy laws have allowed Trump to ruin something & walk away over and over.

Put up the drywall & didn’t get paid? Plumbing? Your time was just other people’s money to him. You get nothing. 3/
“OPM” have been the rules Trump was born into & lived his entire career by. It’s his version of hardball.

If you were stupid enough to lend me money or do a service before payment, you knew the risk you were taking. 4/
Some describe this as “You win, I win; you lose, I still win.” It’s like playing poker & getting your money back if you lose a hand.

In Trump’s world the odds are in his favor.

But this all only works if the only person you care about is yourself. In other words, perfect. 5/
When he came to be president & was told in January that a lethal bug was coming here, he understood it full well as he explained to Bob Woodward.

What we’re seeing now. Full hospitals. Massive death. Completely halted way of life. He was informed. 6/
But as was his custom he was playing a different game. So he took a gamble. Well he took many. 7/
Let’s not prepare
Let’s lie about it
Let’s not build testing so we don’t know
Let’s deny it’s happening
Let’s minimize it

If he’s right, he wins. If he loses, other people’s lives. 8/
Part of the philosophy is a mock toughness that this is what business people do.

Part of it is a thrill ride of betting big, getting publicity and narrowly escaping. 9/
It’s where you believe you can negotiate your way out of anything. And when you believe being a con artists who scams people is the same thing as being a deal artist, you’ve just justified every casualty. They’re just losers. They’re bad business people. 10/
Great business people understand a few things— great products & design, strategy, R&D, building trusted relationships.

Trump is not a great business person. He’s a shady marketer who understands the dark arts of leverage. And he thinks that makes him a good business person.11/
I think about all those times when he called himself a great president. And I thought...does he really think so?

And the answer is yes. Because he believes his own spin. 12/
And he believes the crowds. Those who yell & scream maskless for him. They show their love by all being willing to be part of Superspreader events. 13/
Trump has few ideas of his own. His method is a modern day populist. He tries lines out on Twitter or in crowds & counts likes & applause. If they clap those are the best ideas. 14/
This may be a way to sell ties, but it’s the worst way to manage a pandemic.

-confusing perception & reality
-keeping far from bad news
-believing you can will it to be so

and if you’re wrong...

It’s ok because you’re only gambling with other people’s lives. 15/
Getting COVID himself? All part of the thrill ride. Something he can spin. 16/
The worst thing that happened with Trump this year is not being responsible when 300,000 people died.

It’s being a loser in the election. He didn’t put nearly the fight into the pandemic he is in avoiding humiliation (while humiliating himself). 17/
In both cases, he took the same path. Rudy Giuliani & Scott Atlas are the same guy. People who will say anything to protect him, bend the reality his way & don’t care if anyone really gets hurt. 18/
In the fall, when the FDA & CDC had had enough, they did the one thing he couldn’t tolerate.

They ignored him.

When he wasn’t in the news he would make up stories about himself & call the papers. The addiction to be noticed fuels him. And it will certainly in losing.

Being ignored is the one thing he won’t tolerate. 20/
He has big loans coming due in the next few years. These are debts he plans to use his fake grievances to raise money & pay off. And as long as he can collect other people’s money, he will.

He knows his donors & followers are suckers & losers. Same with those who died. 21/
Old, poor, sick, BIPOC.— losers. To him these people have always been losers. Anyone who doesn’t survive physically, mentally or financially, doesn’t have his respect. They’re not him. 22/
Trump has gambled away this country— our people, our health, our respect, our relationships with other countries, our morality.

But none of those were his to begin with. And so he lost nothing. 23/
Now he has to turn losing the election into a win— more money, more fame, more following, more power. If he does, it will be just like any bankruptcy. 24/
But one-term president and winner are rarely in the same sentence. (Except here)

Mass slaughter isn’t a great look for a legacy. 25/
Trump is now counting on something else. There were parts of the country that until recently flew the confederate flag high.

In many of those places & on many of those same polls is now a Trump flag. 26/
The flag isn’t about a person as much as it is about an attitude.

An attitude that says other people’s problems are for losers & suckers. /end

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More from @ASlavitt

8 Dec
COVID Update December 7: The first tranche of Joe Biden’s health team was announced today.

The picks have been roundly cheered by everyone in health care. They send several key messages. 1/
The Department of HHS is housed in a building named for a Minnesotan & former VP, Hubert Humphrey— a man who believed the true character of the country was how we cared for the old, the poor & the sick. 2/
But for the last 4 years, HHS has meant health for only a few & forgetting our humanity to all. 3/
Read 22 tweets
7 Dec
COVID Update December 6: I understand how hard it is to want to believe in an unpleasant reality.

I really do. 1/
Sometimes I will stare out my window and think to myself “I wish I wish I wish there was no Coronavirus.”

Then I will go outside, put on a mask & stay away from others so I don’t get sick or infect others.

But the fantasy was nice for those few minutes. 2/
When I was a kid, I used to imagine I was a Major League Baseball player, hitting the ball over the fence with the bases loaded & a roaring crowd to win the game.

But then I would hit the ball off the tee & slide with style into first base. 3/
Read 29 tweets
4 Dec
VACCINE APPROVAL NEWS: The Pfizer vaccine was approved in the UK. Expect the Oxford/AZ to be approved next week in the UK.

This is significant for some obvious and not so obvious reasons. 1/
The obvious first.

This is one of the biggest wins for mankind & science in my lifetime certainly. 1.5 million people have died. That won’t be 3 million or 4 million. If we do it right, it won’t be 2 million. 2/
Second— for anyone who wonders whether US politics is playing a role in approval of these vaccines, this should be extremely reassuring. In fact, I hope this is case closed.
Read 6 tweets
4 Dec
COVID Update December 3: Not enough attention has been played to the villainous role of Mitch McConnell and the Senate in this pandemic. 1/
With 100,000 people in the hospital & 2500 people dying in a day, things are about to get worse. 2/
There are a lot of reasons for this. Number 1, the virus itself does this and number 2, we have had no public health strategy & practices. 3/
Read 23 tweets
3 Dec
NEW: Co-chairs for Biden pandemic response named. There aren’t 2 better people that could have been named. 1/
The first is @vivek_murthy, who will be the next US Surgeon General. Vivek served in this role during the Obama Admin along with me. The role is even more important now. 2/
Vivek brings the clinical, scientific & public-facing communication needed for the job. But Vivek us also a special human being— thinking about the whole person, mental health, loneliness. 3/…
Read 8 tweets
3 Dec
COVID Update December 2: There’s only so long you can be indifferent to people dying before people figure out you’re an asshole. 1/
In a public health emergency, you don’t need a bad guy. After all the pathogen is the real problem. 2/
And there’s a legit discussion one could have about the wisdom of lockdowns, the cost on the economy, on isolation, and on the fatigue of the public. 3/
Read 20 tweets

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