Part of Trump’s superpower is his ability to frame how we see reality. This ability makes him very dangerous to fellow Republicans who need the approval of his fans to win primaries. It makes his good favor very desirable to radio and TV hosts who need his fans for ratings. And so they join in the game of constructing a reality that becomes, in a way, self-fulfilling.

As a result, smart people can actually be convinced that the same man who gave the worst nationally televised address since the invention of the television is a victim of bad staffing while simultaneously believing he is a brilliant manager and an even more brilliant communicator (“Stupid stock market! Be more reassured!). When things go well, it’s a direct result of his managerial and policy genius. When they go poorly, it’s because of the Deep State, the media, the globalists, and the rest of the Legion of Doom unfairly undermining him. Tails, Trump wins. Shut up, NeverTrumper.

But here’s the problem: The coronavirus doesn’t give a crap about any of this. The math is the math, the science is the science. And however terrible the New York Times or MSNBC may or may not have been on the issue of the Mueller probe, it doesn’t change the infection rate if we do nothing. Just ask the families of all those dead Italians.

Sometimes the social construction of reality runs head-on into generic reality.