Donald Trump is bored. As usual, he's going to make that everybody else's problem.
As reported by multiple outlets, Donald Trump has announced his intention to deliver the commencement address at West Point, an especially savored prize because it combines Trump's love of all things military (except serving) with hearing himself talk (at length) in front of an audience that is explicitly barred from booing him. There is a problem with this, however: Because of pandemic dangers, the graduating cadets were already sent home.
You know what's coming next, right? Yep. West Point is now ordering their graduating class to return, during the pandemic, despite the risks of travel, because President Tide Pods demands a military audience.
As reported by The New York Times, the new orders by their "commander in chief" caught academy officers by surprise. They had been working to determine just what ought to be done about graduation—for example, delaying it—when Dear Leader burped out on April 17, in response to a question about Mike Pence's upcoming trip to speak at the Air Force Academy commencement, that well he would be speaking at West Point. And he didn't want any of the social distancing nonsense that had graduates spread out to avoid cross-contamination, he wanted the audience "nice and tight."
Rather than writing it off as yet another rambling aside from the Embalmer in Chief, another little something that they could all pretend not to hear and later scold reporters for even mentioning, West Point and White House officials took Trump seriously. Tear up the old plans: Now graduation will be held live, with the pretzeldent himself speaking, on June 13.
This turns out to be a very big deal, because despite Trump’s ego we are indeed still in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, shelter-in-place orders are still commonplace, and New York is currently among the hardest hit areas of the country. For the cadets involved, it's going to be a full-fledged Trumpian bullshit nightmare.
The Times reports that the 1,000 re-summoned graduates will be given off-campus COVID-19 tests. The ones that pass will be quarantined for 14 days in their dorms, in relative isolation, to further ensure they do not infect each other or Dear Leader. The Defense Department will have to grant waivers to the current travel ban for military personnel to allow the graduates to return in the first place. It's likely that the cadets will need to self-quarantine upon their arrival back home, as well; whether or not they had been exposed to COVID-19 before this, flying to and back from New York, a current pandemic hotspot, will be risky for not just themselves but for their communities.
Doesn't matter. Trump wants an audience. Trump wants a "tight" audience that looks good on camera, and not one that reminds viewers of his ongoing deadly-drug-boosting bleach-injection-promoting no-plan no-test megafailure, and that means assembling one from among the only people in the country who can be ordered to attend.
Thanks for joining our military, kids. Let this be your initiation into the world of Republican leaders not giving a flying damn about your actual welfare, so long as you are properly able to carry out your duties as background prop.
Posted with permission from Daily Kos.