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The Rose Garden Experiment

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I can understand the argument that we don’t have to be afraid of COVID-19, that it shouldn’t run our lives, and that in the past six months, the nation’s scientists have invented an armamentarium of medications that can cure anyone who gets infected. I’m not sure any of that is right—but I can understand it as an argument. What I can’t understand is the idea that returning from the hospital after dispatching this non-alarming and very mild flu is worthy of a movie suggesting that the patient must have had the courage of Achilles to face it down. Have you seen the video of President Donald Trump’s triumphant trip back from Walter Reed? You would think the man was returning from liberating Europe, not getting a steroid shot in Bethesda. I should make a movie about the time I went to urgent care for a UTI.



a statue of a sunflower


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The Rose Garden Coronavirus Experiment

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Back at the White House, more and more staffers, including some of the below-the-line workers, are testing positive. The Residence has hired a “‘well-being’ consultant,” whom “staff members can speak to anonymously, specifically to focus on mental health concerns.” Line forms to the left.

Throughout his ordeal, the president has been fully transparent. What happened was, he didn’t feel so good. And when it came to going to the hospital, he’d had no choice. He couldn’t just stay in the White House, couldn’t just stay upstairs and not go anywhere—because that’s what they wanted: “Don’t see people. Don’t talk to people.” But that was impossible. He had to be out front. He couldn’t stay locked up in a room, totally safe. Couldn’t just say, “Hey, whatever happens, happens.” This is the most powerful country in the world, and as a leader, you

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