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6 Apr, 2020 21:41

Hating Boris: For US liberals, the Covid-19-stricken UK PM is a proxy for Trump

Hating Boris: For US liberals, the Covid-19-stricken UK PM is a proxy for Trump

After British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to intensive care due to coronavirus complications, a number of Democrats in America saw it as yet another excuse to bash US President Donald Trump.

Johnson, 55, tested positive for the coronavirus on March 27 and was hospitalized over the weekend after his symptoms worsened. Downing Street confirmed on Monday he was moved to intensive care, but denied he was on ventilators yet.

Also on rt.com UK PM Boris Johnson moved to INTENSIVE CARE suffering from Covid-19

While reactions to the news in Britain have mostly been along the lines of “Pray for Boris” and supporting the prime minister during his crucible without regard for political orientation, across the Atlantic Johnson’s plight became just the latest opportunity for Democrats to express what has euphemistically been described as “Trump derangement syndrome” (TDS).

Absent an actual tweet from the president, who is presumably in meetings with the White House coronavirus task force, his daughter and adviser Ivanka sent thoughts and prayers to Johnson and his family – receiving a torrent of abuse in the replies that has to be seen to be believed, much of it thoroughly unprintable).

This sort of behavior wasn’t just the province of twitter trolls with a handful of followers – many blue checkmarks followed along the same lines.

“Honestly I think Boris Johnson dying would be somehow funnier than Trump dying,” quipped Ben Geier, a finance journalist and self-described “Brooklyn trash.”

“Trump should visit Boris Johnson in ICU… it’s the right thing to do,” tweeted William LeGate, a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur and outspoken anti-Trump activist.

“Why isn’t Trump on the phone to Boris Johnson, telling him to chug a fish tank?” wondered David Waldman, who hosts a podcast for the Daily Kos called ‘Kagro in the Morning.’

This was a reference to the infamous story about an Arizona couple poisoning themselves with fish tank cleaner, supposedly after Trump praised the effects of the drug hydroxychloroquine – which later turned out to be more media malpractice, aka fake news. Waldman, once praised as “one of the foremost strategic legislative minds in the blogosphere,” didn’t seem to care about that fact.

One common thread on the left has been the assumption that Trump hasn’t been taking the virus seriously, and that Johnson’s predicament may change that. It is widely shared, from mainstream figures such as Clara Jeffery, editor in chief of the Mother Jones magazine...

… to Bill Palmer, a Twitter conspiracy theorist with 300,000 followers railing about “for-profit scams” Trump is allegedly running by “promoting untested miracle drugs.”

Mind you, these same people have been denouncing Trump as anything from Russian agent to the second coming of Hitler since 2016 – but are now clamoring for him to declare a dictatorship, all in the name of combating the virus. So logic doesn’t seem to be their strong suit. 

How did such a broad section of American society come to be so self-obsessed, so devoid of basic human empathy? Political polarization isn’t enough of an excuse. Love him or hate him politically, Britons of all stripes appear to be coming together in at least not wishing death upon their prime minister, while the examples above suggest millions of Americans would cheer were Trump to get infected.

As calamities tend to reveal people’s true nature, this sort of talk is – to put it mildly, and in terms they prefer – problematic. But don’t take my word for it; listen, instead, to famous British comedian Richard Herring:

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.