Covid-19 has unmasked the true nature of Donald Trump and Trumpism | Jonathan Freedland

The pandemic has exposed the hollowness of this presidency – and senior Republicans suspect their party could pay the price

Just in case you were about to feel an unfamiliar spasm of sympathy for Donald Trump following his contraction of coronavirus, this week has provided a helpful reminder not only of his morally repugnant character but also of the danger he poses to the United States and the wider world.

Firmly in the first category is his attempt to blame his infection on the grieving relatives of slain soldiers, citing Gold Star families’ tendency to “come within an inch of my face”. Speaking to Fox Business on Thursday, Trump said, “They want to hug me and they want to kiss me”, and so perhaps it was them who had made him sick. Clearly keen not to keep all that viral load to himself, Trump later told Fox News – in between coughing bouts – that he plans to host a rally in Florida on Saturday and another in Pennsylvania. He’ll doubtless repeat the gesture he premiered in his bargain-bin Mussolini performance on the White House balcony on Monday night, ripping off his mask with a flourish – as if to prove that nothing and nobody will stop him shrouding his devotees in a cloud of his contaminated breath.

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