I just want to thank you. This has been the best year a young virus could have wished for. And it’s all because of you.
You believed in me. Even back in the Wuhan days, when the death toll was climbing exponentially, you couldn’t hide your admiration. You told Bob Woodward I was one badass virus, high praise coming from you.
But looking back, I think what you really admired was the death toll. That, and the marketing challenge. It was the start of a beautiful relationship.
I fully expected you to stop me, or at least slow me down. Instead, you started doing me favors. Little things at first. Discouraging social distance. Making fun of masks. Hawking quack remedies.
It was sweet of you to force open the meat-packing plants, but really, you shouldn’t have. I was doing fine without that, but you were proactive about it — you went out of your way to make it easy for me to meet people.
What was that about? Were you bored with golf and grifting? Were you hungry for a new challenge? Or were you looking for ways to monetize me? To bring me into the business? To make me part of the Trump brand?
Whatever you were thinking, nobody has ever treated a pathogen this cordially. You undermined your own disease guys, just for me. You mocked Dr. Fauci when he tried to pull that science stuff on you. You shut out the CDC when they dared to imply they knew more about epidemiology than you.
They just didn’t get it, did they? They refused to understand the marketing implications of a target audience of 350 million Americans, all of them logical prospects for my product.
And you were thinking product tie-ins all along, weren’t you? Palliatives, vaccines, fake cures, disinfectants, masks, ventilators, PPE, sanitizers, Plexiglas, bodybags — all the hot-sellers you’d expect from a global pandemic. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that, right Donald?
But those scientists just wouldn’t get on board. They wanted to control the disease. They wanted to cut me off just as I was hitting my stride. Did they not know what that would do to the ratings?
You always saw the big picture. You always knew that customer ignorance was key to the success of my brand. And I couldn’t have found a better pitchman to make that case.
You were amazing. That you could actually spread so much misinformation so quickly, through such a huge population, was the marketing coup of the century. Even I was impressed — and I do viral for a living.
It was especially clever downplaying me. It was a superb head fake, the perfect message to your cult followers. It told them it was safe to come out. They could take the kids to school. They could get a few thousand bikers together to share viral loads. They could all party like it’s 2019.
Marketers call these people "low-hanging fruit." I’m picking some off the tree as we speak.
Then there were the rallies, those big beautiful mask-free rallies, where you introduced me to all kinds of interesting people. Herman Cain was my favorite.
And things are still moving along. At this point, Donald, you’ve become such a disease vector yourself, my opportunities are virtually limitless.
I’ve been out there most of a year, I’ve toured most of the world, and there’s no question which countries give me the most trouble. They’re all social democracies, more or less. They all have leaders who know how to get stuff done and aren’t looking for a fast buck. They all have populations that trust those leaders to have their back. It’s hard for me to get traction in places like that.
But I make up for it with the autocrats. If a dictator’s running things — or even a dictator wannabe — I know that country is hot to trot.
Bolsonaro in Brazil, Modi in India, Putin in Russia — these guys are numbers two, three, and four on my scorecard. They have each been more than friendly to my brand.
But first prize goes to you, Donald. Most cases. Most hospitalizations. Most deaths. You are the undisputed champion of my world.
You’ve single-handedly made Covid great again. I’m now looking forward to a fabulous winter, filled with unmasked people in tight indoor spaces with iffy ventilation — all singing at the top of their lungs. It’ll be my best season ever.
And I owe it all to you, Donald. It’s been a relationship I will always cherish, no matter how it ends. Every day it seems I’m getting to know you better, and I feel now that we’re closer than ever. It’s almost like I’m living inside you.