Several Thousand Words on Irresponsibility (Updated)

No masks, no distancing, no caution.

Source: White House photographer

The following are from the official White House Flickr page:

President Trump Nominates Judge Amy Coney Barrett for Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
President Trump Nominates Judge Amy Coney Barrett for Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
President Trump Nominates Judge Amy Coney Barrett for Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
President Trump Nominates Judge Amy Coney Barrett for Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Not to mention:

And inside:

President Trump Nominates Judge Amy Coney Barrett for Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
President Trump Nominates Judge Amy Coney Barrett for Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

I saw video (or maybe a still) or what appeared to be Barrett shaking hands in a inside receiving line, but I cannot find it now (please share if you do).

Update: Thanks to commenter Monala, here is the photo I was thinking of:

The irresponsibility is stunning. And the blame belongs to leadership, i.e., the President. He has set this tone from the beginning of the pandemic.

As of this post persons linked known to have Covid-19 (the top eight were at the event for sure, I am not sure about McDaniel and Stepien–update: a more careful reading of the NYT piece linked below indicates only 1-8 were at the event):

  1. President Trump
  2. First Lady Melania Trump
  3. Hope Hicks
  4. Kellyanne Conway
  5. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)
  6. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC)
  7. Rev. John I. Jenkins, the President of the University of Notre Dame.
  8. Chris Christie
  9. Ronna McDaniel, RNC Chair
  10. Bill Stepien, Trump campaign manager

Plus three journalists.

To see the web of connections, check out the NYT: Tracing Trump’s Contacts Before He Tested Positive for Coronavirus.

FILED UNDER: COVID-19, Donald Trump, Photography, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Mikey says:

    One other thing that’s immediately apparent in these photos is how horribly Melania Trump fucked up the Rose Garden.

    As the saying goes, beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone.

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  2. Michael Reynolds says:

    Responsibility requires respect for social mores like duty, or a capacity for empathy, preferably both.

    Trump has neither.

    Staying out of situations like the Rose Garden super-spreader event requires strength of character. Republicans don’t do character, they do craven.

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  3. Monala says:

    Here’s a tweet with the image you’re thinking of: Link

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  4. Scott F. says:

    That’s AG Barr violating social distancing with confirmed vector Kellyanne Conway. I’m a little disappointed in myself when I reflect on how badly I want to see Barr added to your known infected list.

    Speaking of disappointed in myself, I could help but see potential for a demented game of Battleship in these crowd pictures. Put a marker on the faces of those who have tested positive. First person to complete a full row wins the prize.

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  5. gVOR08 says:

    I read somewhere that medieval philosophers liked to talk about proximate cause and ultimate cause. Why is the road wet? Proximate cause – it rained. Ultimate cause – God, in his infinite mercy, waters the fields of the just and unjust alike.

    The proximate causes of this are an arrogant belief the virus only happens to the little people, a need to suck up to Trump, as George Lakoff teaches a conservative reluctance to think through causation, general ignorance, innumeracy that hampers realistic assessment of probabilities, and on and on.

    The ultimate cause, as is all too often the case – cuz they’re stupid.

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  6. mattbernius says:

    Perhaps my favorite tangential story about this:

    Notre Dame launched a site for students to snitch on each other for COVID-19 violations.Instead, they awesomely have used it to report the university president for shaking hands and not wearing a mask at the White House, demanding his resignation.— Andrew Goldstein DEEP CANVASSING GETS VOTES (@AndrewMakeTweet) October 2, 2020

    I’m not sure of Notre Dame’s specific rules for student gatherings, but if they are similar to those at other colleges, and Rev. John I. Jenkins was a student, he would probably be facing suspension or expulsion for participating in an event like this one.

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  7. Herb says:

    High ranking GOP supporters must be de-motivated and unlikely to work to elect the President, assuming that he is able to run.

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  8. Kurtz says:

    From Politico:

    The less-inhibited MAGA crowd put it in blunter terms.

    “You’ve never seen him sick. You’ve never seen him without energy,” Brenden Dilley, a self-described “MAGA life coach,” told his viewers on his radio show Friday. “[He’s] not walking around with weak-ass, p—- f—— genetics. He ain’t got those liberal genes. These are, like, god-tier genetics; top 1-percentile genetics.”

    Wishful thinking abounded, as well: Dr. David Samadi, a urologist and commentator for Fox News and the conservative Newsmax outlet, set the goal posts by pointing out that while Covid-19 patients over the age of 70 had a 94.6 percent recovery rate, patients ages 24 to 49 had a 99.8 percent recovery rate. “I would put POTUS in the 20-49 category due to his strength and stamina,” he tweeted.</strong

    Further afield, Trump’s most fervent supporters could hardly accept that Trump caught the disease in the first place, with some suggesting the Democrats — or perhaps the “deep state” — were somehow to blame.

    “Does anyone else find it odd that no prominent Democrats have had the virus but the list of Republicans goes on and on?” tweeted DeAnna Lorraine, a former congressional candidate who has backed baseless theories from the QAnon conspiracy movement, going on to blast masks as a Democrat-backed lie and questioning whether China had technically made an “assassination attempt” on the first family.

    Irresponsibility…

    I think that includes a licensed physician deciding a 74 year old should be considered in the 20-49 age category because of “strength and stamina.” I think I’d have Anton Chigurh flip a coin before I ever went to Dr. Samadi for medical advice.

    And then there is the Q person. Why is the list of infected Republicans so much longer than infected Democrats? It must be a conspiracy! It obviously has nothing to do with following the advice of public health experts…

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  9. dmichael says:

    @Scott F.: You are in good (or is it bad) company. I immediately felt the same way when I saw that picture of Barr and Conway.

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  10. Gustopher says:

    The party of personal responsibility.

    Personal responsibility means not caring about the people near you, who should be personally responsible for themselves.

    How many there have read Ayn Rand? Because this is Objectivism in action. Perhaps not idealized Objectivism, but the 70% reading comprehension version that is usually practiced.

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  11. dmichael says:

    By the way, is that Deborah Birx, she of the colorful scarves, sitting in the last picture (not video) sitting in the second row without a mask? Inquiring minds want to know.

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  12. Gustopher says:

    The indoor room has wallpaper of the outdoors on it. How were these people to know it was indoors? It was a trap!

    (That is a hideous room… is that in the White House? How long has it been that way? It that some fancy painting of the wall and not just tack wallpaper? Ugly as fvck either way…)

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  13. de stijl says:

    In September I went to grocery store and grocery store. In August I went to grocery store 2 or 3 times

    In July I went to grocery store, cell phone provider store, Target, grocery store and grocery store.

    You will never guess where I went in June! Walgreens and also grocery store two or three times.

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  14. JohnSF says:

    @gVOR08:
    The rain it raineth on the just
    And also on the unjust fella;
    But chiefly on the just, because
    The unjust hath nicked the just’s umbrella.

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  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kurtz:

    “You’ve never seen him sick. You’ve never seen him without energy,” Brenden Dilley, a self-described “MAGA life coach,” told his viewers on his radio show Friday. “[He’s] not walking around with weak-ass, p—- f—— genetics. He ain’t got those liberal genes. These are, like, god-tier genetics; top 1-percentile genetics.”

    We are watching MAGAts drinking the Kool-Aid and dying, as they worship the man who has brought on their deaths. Partisanship?

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  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    I’ve been to CVS three times and the bank twice. In 30 weeks.

    The saving grace has been that I never before had a house with as much usable exterior. And it’s SoCal, so the pool has become my new home. I bought plastic glasses so I could drink cocktails poolside. It’s funny how soothing 83 degree water, 100 degree air, 2 PM sativa and 4 PM happy hour can be. Most places I’ve lived – actually, every other place I’ve lived – I’d have lost my fucking mind.

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  17. Teve says:

    @Kurtz: it was baller when Carl Zimmer popped up and replied to him, ‘there’s no such thing as god-tier genetics‘.

    I know a little of Brenden Dilley’s history and… he is not a smart man.

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  18. Kurtz says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Touché…maybe. 😉

    I see it as evidence of the primacy of partisanship.

    Trump broke with many long-standing positions of American Conservatism–you provided a laundry list awhile back. Some of them were, as I pointed out at the time, a source of tension between the preferences of the elite and the rank-and-file.

    For me, Trumpism is one side of a battle fought over who defines Conservatism in America. It couldn’t exist without both sides of the Republican coin–wedge sociopolitical issues and unfettered markets.

    The fact that enough Republicans were willing to adapt their ‘ideology’ to maintain their identity as Republican shows the power of partisan attachment.

    In other words, when faced with a choice between identities–conservative or Republican–they chose the latter.

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  19. grumpy realist says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Alan Nourse wrote a collection of SF short stories placed out in a civilisation located in the asteroid belt. One of the stories dealt with a “suspiciously high death rate” of potential immigrants from Earth. Turns out that there was no heinous plot by evil Belters–it was simply that the Belters weren’t continually protecting the Earth immigrants from the consequences of stupidity. People would get warned and trained, then sent out into the Belt. If they chose to do stupid things afterwards, that was their own problem…..

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  20. JohnSF says:

    “The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand.”

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  21. Kurtz says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    2 pm sativa…I wish I had a choice of strain here.

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  22. JohnSF says:

    @Kurtz:
    Maintain an even strain.

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  23. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Michael Reynolds says:
    Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 16:00

    @de stijl:
    I’ve been to CVS three times and the bank twice. In 30 weeks.

    My experience from March 13 to July 5th was exactly like yours. On July 5th, I drove to Utah and spent the next 10 weeks working there and in Montana. I spent at least a week in Salt Lake City, Park City, Missoula, Bozeman, and Helena. I wrote at how stunned I was at the lack of social distancing and mask wearing when I arrived. By the time I left Sept 14, many more people were wearing masks and many more places were closed due to Covid.

    But… I drove everywhere by myself, even though the company gave me the option of driving. And, most importantly, I kept every one six feet away – at all times. I move away if anyone even starts getting too close. It’s become second nature. Now that I”m back in LA working at Warner Bros, it’s the same. Additionally, after wearing my KN95 for the last 15 weeks 10-15 hours per day, I feel weird without it on. It’s strange how easily we can get used to things that were not normal just 8 months ago.

    I can’t control alot. But I can control two things: 1. Who gets within six feet of me? Since March 13th, that’s been only my wife. 2. Where and when I wear a mask? Which is almost always, inside and out if I’m in an area where there are people, and always indoors, regardless if I’m alone or with people. Only time it comes off is in my car and in my house.

    Overkill? Maybe. But when this thing started in January, I was certain, due to age, stress, and other factors, truly expected to catch it and die from it. It still might happen, but I’m doing what I can to control what I can control.

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  24. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I hate your smug Marin County bliss. 🙂

    I spent two weeks in Sonoma. It smelled like … I don’t know.

    It smelled like a fancy candle named Sonoma Dawn in a hipster candle shop. Eucalyptus maybe? Wild sage? Besides grape vines what grows there?

    Actually I do not mind change of seasons. A Mediterranean always spring would bum me out. Give me all 4. Although winter into March is uncool.

    I am getting true Autumn now. Red and orange up and down the streets. A week or two until peak color.

    I hope you and yours are not impacted by wildfires. CA is having a bad fall. 2020 is the worst year ever.

    My friend is fairly big into cosplay. She does an office job plus the cosplay. She is going nuts. All of her go to stores besides Home Depot and Lowes are closed.

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  25. de stijl says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Except for Helena those are fantastic towns. Even Helena has its charms.

    I have friends in Bozeman and maybe might retire to Missoula. You had a better summer than me.

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  26. de stijl says:

    Since April 15 besides groceries I went to the bank once. Walgreens. Cell phone store, and Target. And Target barely counts – it was across the street from Boost Mobile. It would have been irresponsible not to go. It’s right there. I can see it.

    It was a good Target run. Less than $250. Target is like crack but with shelves.

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  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    This might be considered off topic, but for those seeking alternative facts to those of the current administration, Yahoo reports President Trump, at ‘serious risk’ of COVID-19 complications according to experts, takes experimental drug

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  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: And related to the Twitter video of him from the article, when I was younger we would have said that Trump looked like “death warmed over.”

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  29. Bill says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I’ve been to CVS three times and the bank twice. In 30 weeks.

    Other for doctor’s appointments, I have been out of the apartment complex 5 times in 6 months. Two times to get hair cuts, one time to BJ’s, one time to the UPS store, once to Shake Shack. Dear wife accompanied me on 3 of those trips.

    Most places I’ve lived – actually, every other place I’ve lived – I’d have lost my fucking mind.

    I haven’t lost my mind says the author of dung beetle fiction.

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  30. Teve says:
  31. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    To quote from Drum: “Was no one in the White House willing to stand up to Trump and insist that he cancel events and issue a press release?”

    Maybe someone was. But so what? Trump doesn’t listen to advice, and he does what he wants. Short of physically restraining him, how do you control him?

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  32. JohnSF says:

    @Teve:
    Kevin Drum:

    What in the everlasting fuck is wrong with these people?

    Good question.

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  33. Teve says:

    I’m so fucking tired of idiots who think that a single anecdote refutes wide statistical facts. This conversation I just saw on Twitter, I’ve seen a version of it 1000 times:

    A: The Dems aren’t getting Covid outbreaks as much because they wear masks and follow science.
    B: No way! My second cousin Becky got Covid and she wore masks!

    If I never saw that form of ignorance again I’d be happy.

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  34. JohnSF says:

    @Teve:
    “anecdota data” as I’ve heard an epidemiologist call it.

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  35. An Interested Party says:

    The Trump Era seems to be little more than a continuing cycle of schadenfreude…speaking of which, the conservative tears about how gleeful many are with Trump’s illness taste quite delicious…hilarious that those who belittled and demeaned others as snowflakes have now turned into snowflakes themselves…

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  36. Unsympathetic says:

    Since Drumpf doesn’t “have those liberal genes,” then how did he get the covid?

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  37. Paine says:

    In tonight’s South Caroline Senate debate Jamie Harrison brought along his own plexiglass barrier to put up between him and Lyndsey Graham. Smart man…

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  38. Jax says:

    @Paine: I think it would be wise for Kamala Harris to do the same, given the current track record of the GOP for infecting everybody in their paths.

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  39. Teve says:

    Trump personal assistant Nick Luna, come on dawn! You’re the next contestant on the COVID-19 game show!

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  40. “Does anyone else find it odd that no prominent Democrats have had the virus but the list of Republicans goes on and on?”

    I don’t know if she made up this response or heard it somewhere, but when my daughter saw this she said, “Yeah, and why are all these chainsaw jugglers being injured more often than mattress testers?”

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