It started when Melania had commented that he didn’t quite look like himself.
She didn’t often comment on his appearance because she had long ago given up, as had he. She took an odd solace in entertaining that many women end up with their fathers. She certainly had, with this stout, stubborn man who even wore a tie like her Dad did. Well, her Dad could eat crow for all she cared because he did not wake up every morning in the White House.
Donald was feeling fantastic, as he was revealing to his audiences every night. He felt virile, happy, energetic; far from the beat-down man he’d been just weeks ago. He had tried many different ways to play down the Chinavirus to the American people, and he had been roughly criticized for it, but he had just been trying to assuage the nation. I’m a patriot, Donald told himself as he peeped in the mirror, preparing for his hour or so of ablutions that would include the fine mist powder that gave him that healthy glow he enjoyed and the meticulous hair styling.
He swore he saw some bumps there. But he did not have time to worry about a little acne that was probably the result of his treatments.
Marine One had transported a terrified president to the hospital that day; he was feeling every wretched symptom that he’d heard about, the shortness of breath, the fatigue, the congestion, the heart palpitations. There were even weird ones he hadn’t heard about. His fingers tingled. He kept feeling like he had to shit real bad. Not to mention that while on the chopper, he hallucinated a long conversation with former wife Marla. He was in a bad way, real bad, and he thought he was a goner.
Publicly, Donald’s treatments were reported to include an experimental cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies, a treatment that had only faced a single, small clinical trial; remdesivir; and dexamethasone, a corticosteroid that mitigates inflammation in the lungs and tempers the patientâ€™s immune system. What was not publicly reported was that there was an additional treatment that Donald was receiving, even more highly experimental than the antibody treatment, a full infusion given once every three days. This treatment had just been discovered the previous month and so had received no clinical trials whatsoever. But Donald felt fantastic.
Newly energized, this Commander-in-Chief would let noting stand between him and reelection. “I want a rally a night for the next 20 days, folks,” he told his staff. Some expressed worry about this plan, of course, and suggested a safer approach. After all, the suggested quarantine period for a person actually hospitalized with COVID was 20 days.
“Nonsense,” he said. “I feel great. I feel like a billion dollars. I have to go out and see the people.” He would add that he was quite the opposite of contagious. He would insist that he had achieve immunity, a kind of glow. And yet, sometimes if they caught him in the right light, it seemed that his face was changing.
He had brought on a new adviser regarding the pandemic, one he’d seen on the TV, one who espoused a “herd immunity” approach. As more tenured medical professionals got squeezed out into the corners, the herd immunity guy got more of Donald’s ear. He in fact began to reference it in interviews and touted his own fresh vigor to his audience: “I feel so powerful,” he told his supporters at one rally. “Iâ€™ll walk into that audience. Iâ€™ll walk in there, Iâ€™ll kiss everyone in that audience. Iâ€™ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women â€“ everybody.” *
He continued to have rallies, continued to pack Americans closely, as it was discussed in the most secluded of back rooms; if herd immunity is the key to resolving this issue in the United States, then the president can help achieve this for us and reclaim the stage at the same time. It seemed like a boon to his team, who had now been convinced that herd immunity should be the actual policy.
The next day, Donald gathered with his medical staff for his next infusion. He had taken off his jacket, he was preparing to remove his tie, but he noticed that the nurses were not prepping the formula. His doctor took a stool in front of him and said, “Mister President, there’s something we’ve got to tell you about this treatment.”
“As you know, this treatment we’ve been giving you has not even been tested via clinical trial. Now, usually, a clinical trial is done to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the drug. Due to your insistence and your persuasiveness, sir, we administered you the drug.
The thing is, sir, there is a rather clear side effect, one we believe you are suffering. You may have noticed changes to your appearance, sir?”
Donald replied that he had, and that he had written it off as a bit of acne due to the treatments.
“Here’s the thing. We’ve discovered that this treatment can severely alter one’s appearance. You’ll notice some bumps beginning to protrude from above your temples. Your face will elongate, and your nose will become longer. You will begin to resemble, well, sir, let me show you a mirror.”
Donald took the mirror and examined his face. For the first time in a week he really paid attention, and he realized that he was looking back at a goat.
Donald Trump had a face like a goat, one of the most primary herd animals on the planet.
He made a braying noise as if to say NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
But the transmission was complete. Donald’s “herd mentality” mentality would continue to direct his thinking for the rest of his life.
Melania patted his head.
*An actual quote from Impeached Preznit Carnage Superspreader