"Will Americans feel pity, and turn such into sympathetic votes for Trump a month from now?"


It would be un-Christian to not wish POTUS and FLOTUS, that is, Donald and Melania Trump, speedy recovery from the coronavirus that has infected them.

But it would be hypocritical of this writer to not state that Trump had it coming, just like Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, whose disdain for wearing a face mask during the pandemic’s rise in his country, and whose crazy exhortations, similar to the American president’s, has multiplied the effects of the COVID-19 scourge in their countries many, many times over.

As this article is being written early Sunday morning, 7.4 million Americans have been infected with the virus and 212,000 have died, the death rate eerily similar to that of Brazil, with 4.9 million cases of which 145,000 have died, both a bit lower than 3-percent mortality rates. The United States leads the world in the number of cases, and Brazil is third. India, with a population of 1.4 billion, close to five times more than the US and seven times more than Brazil’s population, has half the mortality rates registered by the two other COVID world leaders.

Our grandparents who lived through the dying days of the Spanish colonial period and throughout the American and Japanese occupations have a term for what has happened to Donald Trump 32 days before Americans troop to the polls: “signos.”

Signs, derived from what was supposed to have been a vision of the Emperor Constantine, where he saw a cross above the sun, and the lord Jesus Christ telling him that “with this sign, thou shalt conquer”—“in hoc signo vinces.” In Tagalog, they say, “masamang pangitain,” as when the sun suddenly disappears and a dark cloud covers it, just as the farmer begins to plant his crop. The Bisaya, whose language is peppered with more Hispanic words than the Tagalogs’, also refer to these as “signos.”

Donald Trump of New York City is likely to lose his bid for re-election come November 3, to the rather colorless Joseph Biden of Delaware. The surveys before their debate had placed an average nine point margin in favor of Biden. The debate, inarguably the worst of its kind since American televised presidential debates started with Kennedy versus Nixon, was so low principally because the irascible Trump could not repress his mad-dog instincts, forcing the otherwise gentlemanly Biden to respond in anger.

Even pro-Republican analysts were saying that Trump failed to convince the undecided voters, particularly in the swing states of Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin where Biden now leads, to vote for him. And then this personal catastrophe, of an American president who openly flaunted all preventive measures that medical science prescribed, testing positive to the coronavirus, along with his beautiful Slovenian-born first lady.

As we write this article, Trump has been given an experimental polyclonal antibody cocktail, whatever that is, and Remdesivir which is supposed to temper the effects of the virus on the organs, and at his demand, the experimental drug Regeneron. Many doctors say the medication given to Trump are dangerous because they are unproven. The next 48 hours are deemed “critical” for the POTUS.

Will Americans feel pity, and turn such into sympathetic votes for Trump a month from now? Or will the main issue, which the Democrats keep pushing—the mishandling and mismanagement of the pandemic by the world’s supposedly wealthiest and most medically advanced country, do Trump in?

On the day both POTUS and FLOTUS were flown to Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland, the unemployment statistics were announced. The number is 7.9%, the highest since 2004, reversing what the Republicans had believed was their “trump card” in these elections, an economy that had recovered mainly through their president’s trade wars, principally with China. All because COVID-19, which began in China, ravaged the US of A far more than it did the country of provenance, thanks to the mismanagement and hubris of Donald Trump.

The signs show that Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris will be the next president and vice-president of the United States. And Donald Trump’s declaration that he will not concede is getting less and less a real threat because Biden is expected now to come up with a commanding lead, well over the 270 electoral votes that he needs to be declared winner.

Unless the “signos” are reversed in a scant period of 28 days.

* * *

Meanwhile, in our House of Representatives’ “OK Corral,” the battle for the speakership is getting muddier and muddier, while leaving the eventual outcome of the 15-21 compromise, more and more muddled.

The way it looks, Marinduque’s Lord Allan is hanging on the ropes, with only another presidential intervention giving him a lifeline from Speaker Alan Peter’s diabolically brilliant maneuvers last Tuesday.

If my sources are correct, even if their leanings are with Alan Peter, the President impressed upon both the need to pass the 2021 budget as quickly as possible, knowing that the time frame given the Senate’s tight guarding is perilously shortened, and the bicameral conference committee deliberations will be bloody.

And so an 18-18 adjustment, as this writer predicted in last Monday’s column (When pigs fly), was proposed, and the President approved. But the Lord Allan insisted on the original Magellan formula, the adjustment being only until October 14.

Speaker Alan Peter and his supporters regrouped right after the Monday audience with the president, and he came out with his tour de force the following day in the plenary session where the budget was being deliberated upon.

Then Spox Harry Roque waded in, stating that the president was now “hands off” the matter, leaving it to the congressmen to go figure and decide their “internal issue.”

“Kung walang numero si Lord, wala akong magawa,” the spox quoted the president.

Lord Alan and his supporters now accuse Alan Peter of having no word of honor. But then again, all is fair in love and war. And politics is often “war.”

Abangan ang hindi nakakatuwang mga kabanata.

Topics: Lito Banayo , ‘Signos’ , US President Donald Trump , Melania Trump , coronavirus , COVID-19 , Jair Bolsonaro , Brazil
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