Thursday, December 10, 2020

While working to overthrow the U.S. election, Giuliani's 'celebrity' status gets him special COVID treatment

Greg Sargent, writing in the Washington Post Plum Line, explains how Giuliani’s vile admission perfectly captures the ugliness of the Trump era.

What’s the admission? That he got the same special drug treatment as did Trump. Why is that? Because he is a “celebrity” - a have not - who gets special treatment because of his association with Trump.

Before continuing, let’s clear up something. I do not begrudge the President of the U. S. for getting first rate medical attention that is beyond the reach of us average blokes. We want our presidents to be healthy. (However, I do hold it against Trump because of his horrific incompetence and cavalier approach of the many thousands who have died because they drank Trump’s political Kool Aid.) My complaint here is that there exists a subgroup of sycophants in Trump’s orbit who are getting such treatment. Why Rudy? Why Chris?

Onward.

Several weeks before Donald Trump’s victory in 2016, videotape surfaced in which Trump was heard boasting of committing sexual assault. As he candidly observed: “When you’re a star, they let you do it.”

Four years later, with Trump’s presidency coming to an end, his lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani has now offered a similarly blithe admission — one that’s just as wretched, but also just as revealing.

Giuliani, who was recently hospitalized with the coronavirus, has acknowledged that he received special access to scarce drugs that Trump himself received during his illness, the New York Times reports. And Giuliani described his good fortune this way:

“If it wasn’t me, I wouldn’t have been put in a hospital, frankly,” Mr. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, told WABC radio in New York. “Sometimes when you’re a celebrity, they’re worried if something happens to you they’re going to examine it more carefully, and do everything right.”

Emphasis mine. In an important sense, these two quotes perfectly bookend the Trump era. Just as Trump rejoiced in his ability to abuse people with impunity, Giuliani is celebrating the fact that he’s had special access to treatment for the coronavirus that countless other sick and now-dead Americans have not enjoyed.

This, at exactly the moment when Giuliani is working to help Trump steal the election — that is, trying to ensure that Trump avoids accountability for his own role in facilitating that very same mass sickness and death.

Most obviously, Giuliani’s declaration raises profound questions about medical ethics. As Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s good piece details, with the coronavirus surging amid limited access to special treatments, health professionals face incredibly difficult questions about how to ration out those treatments, and more broadly, how to allot medical supplies in general.

Giuliani has said he received “exactly the same” cocktail of drugs that Trump did, which suggests he got antibody treatments that are in short supply. It’s still unclear exactly what he took. But Giuliani himself admits he received special care, and as Stolberg reports, even some administration officials are privately concerned that people close to the White House are getting special treatments.

Whatever did happen there, for our purposes what’s crucial is Giuliani’s description of himself as a “celebrity.”

I direct you to Sargent’s piece for more on this resource grab. Brief version follows.

Why Giuliani is a ‘celebrity’

Giuliani’s current celebrity is primarily based on one thing: He has spent the past two years trying to corrupt and even steal the 2020 election to ensure that Trump does not face accountability at the hands of American voters.

Enter Ted Cruz

Take, for example, the latest antics from Ted Cruz. The Republican senator’s state of Texas is asking the Supreme Court to invalidate millions of votes in four states on fictitious grounds of fraud, echoing ones already shot down by numerous courts. Cruz has reportedly agreed to “argue” this case before the high court, at Trump’s request.

It’s the perfect coda to all this that Giuliani’s own perversely earned celebrity — mainly for trying to secure impunity for Trump after his years of wreaking so much destruction — has gained him special medical treatment not afforded to countless others who have been sickened or killed amid that destruction.

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