Under today’s safetyism mentality, sacrifice and risk-taking become unthinkable. The martial virtues of courage and stoicism have been sidelined and pathologized. When Trump briefly left Walter Reed on Sunday in a motorcade to greet supporters, a doctor at the hospital complained that the Secret Service agents in Trump’s limousine “might get sick. They may die.” These are the same Secret Service agents who are expected to take a bullet for a president. They were behind a plexiglass barrier in the car; all occupants were masked. Under our feminized ethos, showing resoluteness during a crisis, reassuring the public about one’s well-being, are no longer positive traits in a leader; they are violations of maximal risk aversion. (Of course, medical information about a president’s condition should be transparent.)
Reopening is still the right policy. Mandatory outdoor mask-wearing is merely a way for government to turn citizens into walking billboards of fear, sending the false message that danger is everywhere. Infection rarely leads to death. Most of the infected recover. Given his governmental duties, the surprise is that Trump—as president, another kind of front-line worker—has not gotten sick before now.
Last week, Trump gave a debate performance embodying what the Left likes to call toxic masculinity. Today, anticipating his departure from the hospital, Trump tweeted: “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.” The mainstream media blew its top, calling the tweet “dangerous,” “gross,” and “almost impossible to believe.” Let them fume. Trump is now modelling masculine leadership at its best: upbeat, rational, and unbowed.