In an alternate reality where Covid-19 is practically nonexistent or is not as harmful as scientists clearly state, a party celebrating an election win that never happened squares perfectly.
Last week while Joe Biden whittled away Donald Trump’s initial electoral-college lead, staff members of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel “threw a victory party in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building,” serving drinks and making toasts in honor of a fantasy second Trump term, according to a Thursday report by CNN.
The report goes on to say that Trump feels “dejected” over his loss to President-elect Biden, so his staff “feel obliged to continue their work and even celebrate Trump’s perceived victory.” Staff are acting as though a second Trump term is an actual thing, budget plans for federal agencies are ongoing, and staffers were told “to stay put, even though nearly everyone knows the gig will end eventually.”
Both CNN and The Wall Street Journal are reporting that Trump is eyeing a 2024 run and that he’s left his “aides to determine what he could accomplish” with the time that remains in his current term.
But Trump’s refusal to concede could have deadly consequences. The Daily Beast spoke to multiple senior officials on the federal government’s coronavirus team, and they have warned that the president’s actions could delay “getting the vaccine out to the American people.”
The health of Americans, however, has never really concerned Trump, and the lame-duck president’s focus remains on maintaining his odd brand and telling his most staunch supporters what they want to hear. One White House official told The Wall Street Journal that Trump is using election legal battles and 2024 rumors to raise money and keep his base loyal.
“It gives him an off-ramp to show his supporters, ‘I’m still in the game for you,’” the White House official said, adding that Trump’s motives are to send the signal to his supporters: “I’m not going anywhere.”