[guest post by Dana]
This strikes me as yet another indication of how upside-down things are right now. We are in the midst of a pandemic where a highly-contagious disease just won’t quit, yet at Melania Trump’s Rose Garden speech this week, with 70 guests spaced about 2 feet apart, the White House only administered coronavirus tests to the guests seated “in the rows near the President and vice-president”. Further, the White House did not take guests’ temperatures before entering the premises nor require them to wear masks. Playing fast and loose with the virus is normal with this administration, and it becomes more significant when contrasted with Trump’s demand that Biden take a drug test before the debates…as a precaution:
President Trump says he will call for drug tests for both former Vice President Joe Biden and himself before the first candidates’ debate on Sept. 29. In an Oval Office interview Wednesday, the president expressed suspicion at what he said was a sudden, marked improvement in Biden’s debate performance during the Democratic primary season and suggested that he believes the improvement was the result of drugs. The president offered no evidence to support his speculation.
“Nobody thought that he was even going to win,” Trump said. “Because his debate performances were so bad. Frankly, his best performance was against Bernie. We’re going to call for a drug test, by the way, because his best performance was against Bernie. It wasn’t that he was Winston Churchill because he wasn’t, but it was a normal, boring debate. You know, nothing amazing happened. And we are going to call for a drug test because there’s no way — you can’t do that.”
When asked what he thought was going on, Trump responded:
“I don’t know how he could have been so incompetent in his debate performances and then all of a sudden be OK against Bernie,” Trump answered. “My point is, if you go back and watch some of those numerous debates, he was so bad. He wasn’t even coherent. And against Bernie, he was. And we’re calling for a drug test.”
Apparently, there was no basis for Trump’s claims other than his own um, knowing eye:
“All I can tell you is that I’m pretty good at this stuff,” he said. “I look. I watched him in the debates with all of the different people. He was close to incompetent, if not incompetent, and against Bernie, he was normal … and I say, ‘How does that happen?'”
“Go back and watch his performances in some of those debates,” Trump continued. “He didn’t know where he was. And all of a sudden, he was not good, he was normal, and I don’t understand how. I don’t know if there is or not, but somebody said to me, ‘He must be on drugs.’ I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I’m asking for a drug test. Both candidates. Me, too. I take an aspirin a day.”
Trump did not say what sort of drug test he wanted, nor did he name any specific drug, or make any suggestion about who should administer the drug tests.
As a reminder, Trump made the same request of Hillary Clinton in 2016:
Donald Trump suggested Saturday that his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, has been “getting pumped up” with performance-enhancing drugs and challenged Clinton to take a drug test before the final debate next week.
Trump argued that Clinton was more energetic during the beginning of their debate last Sunday, but lost her steam by the end of the debate. He offered no evidence to back up his wild claim.
“I think we should take a drug test prior to the debate,” Trump said during a rally here. “Because I don’t know what’s going on with her, but at the beginning of her last debate, she was all pumped up at the beginning, and at the end it was like, huff, take me down. She could barely reach her car.”
Obviously, no drug testing was administered in 2016, nor will it be in 2020. This move by Trump is yet another pre-emptive strike in case he loses the debates bigly. First, remind people that Biden is old and too feeble-minded to come out the winner in a debate unless he has taken some unknown, unnamed performance-boosting drug. Then,
if when Biden comes out the winner, Trump can blame his loss on Biden’s drug use as well as pointing to it as proof that it’s a “rigged election”.