I miss those daily White House press briefings. You remember: the ones purported to begin at five P.M. (according to the official White House Web site) but which actually started around six, leaving our nation flummoxed, unsure of whether to cheer out our windows at seven P.M. or jump out them.
What delayed those daily rallies sometimes up to an hour? I Trojan-horsed the Oval Office in a tanning bed to get to the bottom of things …
JARED KUSHNER enters the Oval Office at 5:13 p.m. E.S.T. pushing a Solar Storm 48ST Stand-Up Tanning Bed, a big red bow affixed to it. TRUMP, feet kicked up, sits at his desk. PENCE sits across from him.
Jared: A gift, Mr. President. (He removes a letter and reads it.) “Donny—Enjoy! Sending peace and love (until we go to war with you). Love, Kim. PS, Zoom Thursday?”
Trump: He’s a beautiful, really tremendous friend. Kim. K-L-M-N. North. He runs North Korea. We have a tremendous relationship. I went to the TMZ. Stepped over the border. Boom—besties.
Jared: And I just ran into Melania, sir. She has a social-distancing proposal.
Jared: She’s moving—
Trump: To the Lincoln Bedroom?
Jared: Ljubljana, sir. Her suggestion.
Trump: Mike, where are we on testing?
Pence: Mr. President, the coronavirus task force has made great progress today. We’ve updated our guidelines to include a serenity prayer, virtual trust falls, and invoking gods of every creed and faith, all to ensure the American people no longer will worry about facts but will now resort to religion for salvation and a cure. We have pastors at the state level brainwashing our community members, with bishops managing the process at the federal level. God has also graciously offered to have Jesus join our task force. He’s understandably still jet-lagged from all the traveling from Earth to heaven during Easter week, but he’s committed to flattening the curve.
Trump: And how many tests will we have? The fake news keeps pestering me.
Pence: At week’s end, by the grace of God, we’ll have millions of tests available for the American people.
Trump: I’m worth billions.
Jared: Me too.
Trump: And where are we with the ventilators, Mike?
Pence: I spoke with G.E. and—
Trump: G.E. Homonym for General Electric. Tremendous American company. Great people.
Pence: God-fearing people, sir.
Trump: My people. C.E.O. is a friend. He’s rich. So am I.
Pence: G.E. has assured us they’ll be able to double manufacturing capacity of ventilators by the end of the week.
Trump: And you told them about the thing?
Pence: They’re well aware the governors are in desperate need—
Trump: The other thing …
Pence: Each ventilator will be engraved, “Courtesy of Dr. Donald John Trump.”
Trump: Make sure we get plenty of footage of the actual engraving. And not just B-roll. I want the good stuff. Jared, find that guide Kimmy sent me on how to cut and edit footage for state-run media—real news! And Mike, if those factory workers give us any lip, you grab ’em by the—
DR. DEBORAH BIRX dashes in.
Dr. Birx: The results from the trial you requested are in, Mr. President.
Trump: Just a second, Deb. Mike, if the factory workers you interview give any lip, you grab ’em by the P.P.E.
Pence: The workers don’t have P.P.E., Mr. President.
Trump: Who cares? I still don’t know what it stands for. So Deb—how’d the experiment go? Lay it on me, doctor to doctor.
Dr. Birx: The results aren’t promising, Mr. President.
Trump: You sure you did it right? There was an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy where he did something similar. Bill’s a tremendous friend. Really tremendous. He’s not rich. But he’s a friend.
Dr. Birx: Yes, Mr. President. No matter what materials we used, building a wall between human skin and the virus didn’t yield effective clinical results. And we’re still experiencing issues with contact tracing.
Trump: Have you tried it freehand?
Dr. Birx: I don’t follow.
Trump: Yah’re fired!
Dr. Birx: Thank Go—
Pence: Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain, goddammit!
Jared: Mr. President, the young, female journalist who asks you layups has arrived in the briefing room.
TRUMP, PENCE, and DR. BIRX head for the door. Before exiting, Trump yells over his shoulder …
Trump: Jared, fire up the new tanning bed! I feel a tickle in my throat.
TRUMP, PENCE, and DR. BIRX exit. JARED plugs in the tanning bed.
As the UV rays begin their medicinal magic, I hear the rapid succession of lamestream-media cameras capturing the image of our supreme leader as he enters the press-briefing room.
Maybe the real enemy isn’t invisible after all.
Bill Keenan is Chief Operating Officer for Air Mail and the author of Discussion Materials