“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” How many times have we heard that one? It’s an assurance that the sins in Sin City won’t follow you home. Unfortunately, it’s also true that “What happens in Henderson definitely doesn’t stay in Henderson.”
Henderson, Nevada, is basically a suburb of Las Vegas, about a 20 minute drive away. It’s where President Donald Trump decided to have an indoor rally, attended by about 5,600 of his supporters. They were jammed together in a manufacturer’s auditorium, most of them not wearing face masks. They were willing to take a life or death chance with catching the sometimes lethal coronavirus, and Trump was willing to let them risk everything — to the point that he flouted Nevada’s crowd limitation rules.
When Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, charged him with taking “reckless and selfish actions,” the Trumpster responded in an interview that “I’m on a stage and it’s very far away, and so I’m not at all concerned.”
“This is typical Donald Trump,” the governor shot back on MSNBC. “He’s not concerned about all the folks who were there and who are going to go home. And their kids are going to go to school. He’s only concerned about his own health, not the health of anyone else in the state of Nevada.”
To put it mildly, this was another Super Spreader Event where, after screaming their devotion to Donald Trump, more than 5,000 people left and went home to their families and friends, some of them carrying Covid with them. As for Trump, he simply left and continued his campaign swing through the west, leaving behind his campaign spokespeople to respond to the accusations of selfishness.
And respond they did: “If you can join tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets, gamble in a casino or burn down small businesses in riots, you can gather peacefully under the 1st Amendment to hear from the president of the United States.”


Speaking of the Constitution, ,Trump speaks repeatedly of doing away with the 22nd Amendment, The one that limits a president of the United States to two terms. Again, in Nevada: “Fifty-two days from now we’re going to win Nevada, and we’re gonna win four more years in the White House. And then after that, we’ll negotiate, right? Because we’re probably — based on the way we were treated — we are probably entitled to another four after that.”
How does one “negotiate” with the Constitution? Does Trump envision undoing the 22nd Amendment, which is a difficult process? Or does he have some sort of emperor fantasy? Maybe it’s some version of the Facebook Live ramblings of Michael Caputo, who was recently brought on board at the Department of Health and Human Services to improve the administration’s pandemic image. Caputo has been caught in a scheme to dilute the dire reports of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about Covid. That apparently set him off on Facebook: Scientists at the CDC were guilty of “sedition,” and there would be a left wing coup, so “if you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get.”
Caputo apologized for his outburst two days later and has taken medical leave, but his rant is an extension of the president’s suspicion of science and expertise. Trump was in California discussing the devastating West Coast forest fires and was confronted with the proposition that they were partially due to global warming. His rejoinder? “It’ll start getting cooler; just you watch.” When reminded that most scientists disagree, Trump shot back, “Well, I don’t think science knows, actually.”
Look at Trump’s coronavirus response. He rejects public health officials who disagree with whatever he says and relies on his “gut” for most decisions. That’s why he decided to hold his rally in Henderson. He might have thought that because he was in Nevada it was all right to gamble with the entire nation’s health.

© 2020 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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