You can be forgiven for forgetting—especially after his “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” tweet, sent out while cities burned—that Trump’s personal Twitter feed occasionally suggests normality. With the approach of Memorial Day last weekend, he was retweeting a series of public service announcements from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: “STOP THE SPREAD OF GERMS … Wash your hands often …. Be mindful of social distancing this Memorial Day weekend …”
The tweets wafted through in late afternoon, evoking the languor of approaching dusk. For a moment, the illusion of a public-spirited chief executive rises up, encouraging his fellow citizens with paternal care, alert to alarms that might upset the commonwealth but eager to give reassurance. Night fell.