Hi, has Anyone Ruined your Schadenfreude today?

Fortunately for you and unlike the Pandemic, I am not viral.

It’s been rather fun counting the White House Covid cases. So far we have Chris Christie, Kellyanne Conway, Thom Tillis, Mike Lee, Ronna McDaniel, Kayleigh McEnany, Stephen Miller, Hope Hicks, Melania Trump, AND the Trumpmeister himself. Given these people were belittling and mocking the hundreds of thousands who fell ill it is just so satisfying to watch them and their conspiracy spewing mouths fill up with the plague.

To be entirely honest, I’m sort of flummoxed as to which one I’m most thrilled to hear is sick. I mean, my momma taught me better than this, but honestly, we’ve got a septuagenarian who is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths largely but not exclusively from his own generation, a woman who all but delighted in separating young immigrant children from their parents, a woman who manipulated her way to the top, a racist best compared in all manner to Joseph Goebbels, and a woman who just flagrantly lies at every opportunity. And I bet you’re not entirely certain which of them those descriptions match to because they’re kind of all terrible.

I swear to you, SOMETIMES history is actually subtle. This just doesn’t happen to be one of those times.

It’s great. Right? These people who irresponsibly pillaged the halls of power for their own personal little nepoticracy (or ineptocracy if you prefer) are now fighting the very disease they helped spread throughout the populace. One could not ask for a more perfect karmic retribution. If this were a Noh play these people would all be wearing circular patterns on their kimono and on the verge of turning into snakes.

Kellyanne Conway and Kayleigh McEnany giving a joint press conference. (source)

But okay, so you’ve had enough joy in your life up to now and it’s time for me to just destroy everything cheering and satisfying you may have built up in the past few days.

Contagious disease has vectors. And disease doesn’t really care if you’re rich or poor. I mean, it does, because the more biological stress you have the more likely you’re going to catch something when briefly exposed or have a serious reaction to a disease you are exposed to, but your chances of being infected are roughly the same regardless of who you are. It’s just the outcome that changes. There are caveats to even that. For example if you’re working as a programmer you can work from home, but if you’re a garbage collector you have to be out and about so the chances of catching it do rise.

So, we have now been told about the various Executive and Legislative Branch Republicans who have caught this bug and we’ve been able to bask in the the glow of I-told-you-so, but we only know about them because they’re infamous. But okay, so you probably live in a house or an apartment and if you’re doing well maybe you can hire a maid to come in and clean up once a week. You probably take care of your own cooking and I very much doubt that most of my readership have round the clock security. I mean, maybe one or two of you, honestly, I have no idea but probably most of you don’t. So you’re exposed to in your daily life assuming you’re isolating at home your family, maybe one or two people at the supermarket if you go there anymore, and possibly a delivery guy. That’s it.

So anyways, yeah, this is a layout of the White House’s ground and top floors.

The Ground Floor and Third Floor of the White House rendered by Peter Sharkey (Source)

I initially discovered these plans were a thing that exists when I decided it would be fun to recreate the White House in a Sims game because shut up, of course I did that. But my point is if you look at these floorplans you’ll note there’s a room for the secret service, a curator, a library (relatively) open to the public, a doctor’s room, a housekeeper’s office, a carpenter’s shop, a chocolatier, a florist, and there are actual multiple offices with their own bathroom on the very top floor.

I mean, in my Sims game that’s just a garden and a place for the massive cupcake machine and microscope, and my plan also includes an underground nightclub and vampire’s lair, but the thrust here is the White House by necessity houses a lot more people than just the first family.

Probably the chocolatier is not strictly necessary for the maintenance of the White House, but the porters, cleaners, groundkeepers, kitchen staff, and security almost definitely are. These are the people stripping the bed and cleaning the sheets every time Trump has an accident. No matter how careful they are, if he’s gotten the virus, they’re going to catch it as well.

And we already know they have. In regards to just the housekeeping staff there are multiple articles out showing just some of the extent of the outbreak within the White House itself. For the Secret Service even though they try to keep things a bit under wraps because in the words of Selina Meyer, “Secret as in shut the f*** up. And service as in you work for me, okay? So why don’t you shut the f*** up?” there’s still a lot of public evidence showing that an outbreak rages in their ranks as well and it’s due to Trump’s own carelessness.

The political and governmental staff of an administration changes every four to eight years, but Secret Service and many of the White House staff stay on for the entirety of their careers. It is not uncommon for White House staff to have served four or five different Presidents before retiring. And the entire reason they get to stay at the White House is that they are professional and courteous regardless of who it is. Many of them do not have spectacular salaries and whilst they might be able to expect a relatively comfortable retirement package, you have to actually serve a number of years before you become eligible for that.

These are the working people who Trump is directly impacting. He can be flown out to Walter Reed in Marine One almost on a whim, but for the White House Staff, if they test positive they cannot work and they have to pursue care in the same manner as anyone else. They might be sent to an overcrowded hospital or they may even be turned away.

So I’m rather enjoying that these high ranking Republican operatives all got a taste of their own medicine as it were, but I’m deeply concerned for the staff they subsequently infected. We as voters have a lot of housekeeping to do.

Anyways, the Lincoln Project as always totally beat me to it, so I’ll just let them play us out here:

Doctor of Palaeopathology, rage-prone optimist, stealth berserker, opera enthusiast, and insatiable consumer of academic journals.

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