In 1981, John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate president Ronald Regan. He opened fire from short range, seriously injuring both Reagan and, even more critically, White House Press Secretary James Brady. Also caught in the crossfire were police officer Thomas Delahanty and Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy.

Tim McCarthy wasn’t even supposed to be working that day. When an extra agent was needed, he and a co-worker flipped a coin. McCarthy lost the toss, and he was the one who, when the shooting started, got in front of president Reagan, made himself as big a shield as he could (while another agent shoved Reagan into the car)… and then, literally, took a bullet for the president. That is indeed part of the job description, and he did it admirably and heroically, for which he was greatly admired and celebrated. It takes quite a mindset and commitment to serve and protect in that capacity.

It brings to mind the guys currently tasked with the job, who might be wondering when they signed up for this particular detail, if taking a bullet from the president was part of it. Throwing a couple of secret service agents into a hermetically sealed and bullet-proof car, as masked and protected as they may have been – just so the president can go for a joyride? Not the heroism they were expecting.

The lunacy of all of this has brought up comparisons with movies; all of them comedies. “Weekend at Bernie’s” comes to mind; how long they’d maintain the charade if he actually died, taking a page out of the Soviet dead-leader playbook. As stated, it’s hard to figure out the truth. The cocktail of medicine administered to Trump has the flavour of “throw everything at him” despair… the antibodies, the remdesivir, the dexamethasone (which has been shown to be life-saving in the sickest of C19 patients, but risky and potentially dangerous if taken earlier in the course of the disease). All of that on top of the other vitamins and medicine he’s been on, perhaps still hydrochloroquine. And don’t forget the Clorox/Ajax/UV IV… all of this implying he’s really sick; on the flipside, he’s demanding to go home, and might already be back at the White House by the time you read this. If this were a movie, you’d be walking out of thinking… “this would never happen.”

Actually, another movie that comes to mind is the 1993 movie “Dave”, with Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver, where the president falls into a coma and a temporary look-alike suddenly finds himself in a more permanent role.

But my favourite movie, on this related topic, goes back to 1988 – a movie called “Moon Over Parador”. If you haven’t seen it, there’s tonight’s movie for you. Richard Dreyfuss, Sonia Braga… and many surprising cameos.

Indeed, all of these movies are comedies… and while Abraham Lincoln never actually said, “Don’t believe everything you see on the internet”, he did say this: “I laugh because I must not cry”

It helps to laugh, if for no other reason than it deflects attention away, at least briefly, from the emerging multi-faceted tragedy that the president seems to like to mock… and ignore.

Closer to home, let’s not ignore the rising numbers… which unfortunately we may have to get used to, as the weather gets worse. Canada was averaging less than 600 new cases a day at the start of September. That number is now over 1,800.

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