To the editor:

I recently submitted a letter to the editor in which I lamented Donald Trump’s leading role in not just stoking racial tensions in the country, but racial violence as well.

In that letter, I also pointed out that Trump’s minimizing, denying and flat out lying about the viral danger bearing down on the nation last winter, when he knew all along how serious the threat was, something he admitted in his interviews with Bob Woodward in March, is perhaps the biggest contributing factor to the dire public health straits the nation finds itself in today.

This is Donald’s disaster, and no one else’s.

I decided to write and submit this updated letter in the wake of learning Trump had tested positive for COVID-19.

Unlike some anti-Trumpers, I took no pleasure in the news the Donald had become infected.

I took no pleasure in Donald’s diagnosis because I am all too aware that there is never a good time for a president, even one as corrupt, incompetent, and malignant as Donald J. Trump, to be incapacitated.

Such a situation has major implications for the country, particularly in relation to domestic stability and national security.

Ironically, as I watched a masked, slightly hunched over Trump lumbering slowly across the White House lawn, alone, to board Marine One to be transported to Walter Reed Medical Center, I found myself thinking, “What a sad, pathetic and tragically ironic figure.”

The man who repeatedly lied to the American people for months about the dangers COVID-19 posed to the nation is now a victim of COVID-19.

There is something almost Shakespearean in such irony.

But that moment of empathy quickly ended when the details of Donald’s activities and behavior in the days following the Rose Garden event in which he announced his nominee to replace Justice Ginsburg on the Supreme Court became public.

The White House tried to keep the news Hope Hicks, one of Trump’s closest aides, had tested positive just days before the Rose Garden event under wraps.

Whether it was his close contact with Hicks that resulted in Trump becoming infected we may never know.

But what is clear is the Rose Garden event proved to be a big factor in what I call the “White House Whammy.”

The president, first lady, former senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, three Republican senators, and the president of Notre Dame, are all now positive and they all were present in the Rose Garden.

Staying true to form, Donald continued to lie, now about when he learned he had tested positive.

On Thursday, Oct. 1, he lied on national television. In an interview with his good buddy, Sean Hannity of Fox News, Trump said he would be getting his test result the next day, Friday.

We have since learned Trump actually received his positive test result on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

That means Trump, wearing no mask, attended a high rollers’ campaign fundraising event at one of his New Jersey golf clubs, likely knowing he was infected.

New Jersey public health officials say Trump’s actions have endangered the health and lives of the several hundred people who attended that event.

You can’t make this stuff up, and if such behavior doesn’t convince people Donald Trump is malignantly narcissistic, what will?

In just a few short weeks, Cape Ann voters will have an opportunity to do their part to return this most vile of men to private life and, hopefully, into the hands of federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

Please, please, do not squander such an important and historic opportunity.

Michael Cook

Gloucester

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