President Trump began the first of his three rallies in Pennsylvania on Monday with just more of the usual shameless lies and groundless attacks.
The Thug-in-Chief then uttered a threat that proved he can still outdo himself. And it was all the more disturbing because the people likely to suffer the consequences most keenly if Trump followed through on it included the thousands who were cheering him on.
The immediate target of Trump’s petulant ire was Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, who had shown the temerity to suggest last month that the Trump campaign should cease holding mass gatherings that largely ignored the state’s emergency mandate regarding masks and social distancing.
Trump had, of course, continued with a big rally in Harrisburg on Sept. 25 and would have come back sooner had he not been infected.
“I’ll remember it, Tom. I’ll remember it.”
— President Trump
His visit on Monday began in Allentown, where he announced to the crowd that Wolf would suffer the consequences for daring to suggest the Trump campaign save lives by obeying a lawful order and following proven precautions.
“I’ll remember it, Tom,” Trump said. “I’m going to remember it, Tom.”
That brought a big cheer from the supporters. Trump continued with a mocking imagining of Wolf on the phone to him.
“‘Hello, Mr. President. This is Governor Wolf. I need help. I need help,’” Trump said.
Trump did not have to say that Wolf would only call the White House seeking assistance in the event of a disaster beyond the state’s means to handle on its own.
The lesser GOP thugs from former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s crew had once seemed to establish a new low by seeking revenge against a political opponent by shutting down a bridge at rush hour. Some said at the time that this was literally a bridge too far.
“You know what, these people are bad.”
— President Trump
But that was nothing compared to Trump on Monday. The self declared law-and-order president proved to be a flat-out gangster by declaring himself willing to place the lives of who knows how many Pennsylvanians in jeopardy.
“You know what, these people are bad,” Trump then said.
Trump seemed to be speaking of Wolf’s crew, who prominently include Secretary of Health Rachel Levine. She happened to be holding a COVID-19 briefing 83 miles away in Harrisburg at the very moment Trump issued his threat. She said she remained optimistic even though the state had recorded its 21st consecutive day with more than 1,000 new cases.
“Despite what has been reported in the last day or so, we can control Covid-19,” she declared.
She did not need to say that she was referring to what amounted to a surrender when White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told a Sunday TV news show, “We’re not going to control the pandemic…because it’s a contagious virus.”
Levine now added, “It’s important not to give up on our public health responses. We need to use all the tools in our toolbox in order to work to control the spread of COVID-19.”
Those tools prominently include wearing masks and observing social distancing and avoiding large gatherings—all of which were being ignored at that moment by the Trump rally in Allentown. Levine made it all the more clear that she was concerned about public health and not politics when she suggested that even small family gatherings for the holidays pose a danger.
“We need to rethink those gatherings,” she said. “We need to think about more and more gatherings being virtual, or with just your family you live with and are exposed to all the time. I think that’s a sacrifice, but I think that sacrifice can mean that people don’t get sick in your family and your community, and that’s worth it.”
Meanwhile, Trump was proving he is happily willing to sacrifice the health of his followers, along with the rest to the country if it means he gets re-elected. He continued a pandemic-long effort to minimize the virus that has now killed more than 225,000 Americans.
“We’re rounding the turn,” he said. “All they want to talk about is COVID.”
Trump suggested that the COVID-19 warnings from Wolf and other “bad people” were just part of a Democrat hoax to keep him from getting a second term.
“By the way on Nov. 4, you won’t be hearing so much about it,” he said.
He further suggested that Wolf was conspiring to rig the vote tally. Never mind that the results are tabulated by election officials in each county.
“This is the guy that’s counting our ballots?” Trump asked the crowd. “It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. So be vigilant and watch.”.
All of that was just more of the same. But then out of the slagheap of Trump’s unending lies and slanders came that nakedly thuggish threat.
Talk about bad people.
Remember it in the voting booth.