Strategy session

High-level White House COVID-19 team meeting in progress!

[The President’s bedroom in the White House residence. Not much has changed since the scene in “Journal of the Plague Year,” except daylight now comes through the gauzy curtains and there are fewer KFC buckets and soft drink cups lying around; TRUMP is sitting up on a sofa, covered in blankets; his face is damp and his nose seems to be running. He looks like he’s in a trance, staring at nothing. Presidential Son-in-Law JARED KUSHNER is back in the room, still in his orange Level A Hazmat suit. He is holding a clipboard and his voice is heard coming out of a little speaker in his helmet.]

KUSHNER: Okay, ready?

[Silence.]

Okay, I’m just going to say this and you let me know what you think. First, we have to close something ourselves. The governors and the mayors are all closing things and everyone’s making a big deal about it. It makes us look like we don’t know how to close things and so we should close something and I thought, how about we close the National Parks? Because we want to sell them, right? And if we close them, that means less wear and tear, so we’ll get a better price. In fact — wow, I just thought of this — maybe while they’re closed we send people in to clean them up and maybe if we have a customer, we can give them a private tour. Think of it! We walk Bill Gates around a completely empty Grand Canyon! He’ll be so impressed.

[Silence.]

Well, whattaya think?

TRUMP: [Voice very scratchy, not looking at him] Jared.

KUSHNER: Uh huh?

TRUMP: What are the odds this thing goes till November?

KUSHNER: Oh no, that won’t happen. I mean it can’t.

TRUMP: What if we make it happen.

KUSHNER: What do you mean?

TRUMP: We send guys around. Sick guys. Sick and they make other people sick, like they spit on things, go around sneezing on people.

KUSHNER: Uh —

TRUMP: Or maybe we just say everyone’s still sick. They gotta believe us, right?

KUSHNER: Uh, sure. But why do you want people to be sick? Isn’t it better if they get well?

[Suddenly White House physician SEAN CONLEY comes in. He is also wearing a Level A Hazmat suit, but periwinkle in color. He carries a shopping bag and goes straight to TRUMP.]

CONLEY: Okay, Mr. President, time for your spray.

KUSHER: Where’d you get that?

[CONLEY takes what looks like a giant asthma inhaler out of the bag and holds it up to TRUMP’s face.]

CONLEY: Deep breath.

[CONLEY sprays — a fine mist comes out, a leave a whitish patina on the President's face.]

One more!

KUSHNER: I didn’t know they made them in colors, where’d you get that?

[CONLEY repeats the procedure. Then he puts away the device and takes out a giant wet-wipe, swabs off TRUMP’s face; he then pulls out a powder puff, dabs him dry.]

Hey, listen to me!

CONLEY: How do you feel, Mr. President?

TRUMP: [A little less scratchy] Better. Better.

[MEADOWS takes the device back out.]

CONLEY: Once more, right in your mouth this time.

[CONLEY aims the device straight at TRUMP’s open mouth, double-sprays.]

How about now?

TRUMP: [Clears his throat] Beautiful.

[TRUMP's voice is only scratchy-wheezy in his usual manner now. He throws off the blankets, under which he’s wearing his usual suit. KUSHNER goes to the bed, reaches under it, starts pulling something out.]

This stuff is great. I want this instead of the formula from now on.

[TRUMP stands up, smooths down his clothes. MEADOWS takes out the powder puff, dusts TRUMP’s face again; puts it away, gets a MAGA hat out of the bag, sticks it on TRUMP’s head. KUSHER has set up an easel and put a board on it with a picture of the COVID-19 virus with satellite trails going around it, like as parody of the Starfleet Command patch.]

CONLEY: Can’t, sir. After a few months your endocrine system would disintegrate.

TRUMP: Totally worth it.

CONLEY: Okay, ready to face your public?

TRUMP: I could bang two hookers and eat a steak.

CONLEY: I don’t see why not.

[KUSHNER clears his throat.]

TRUMP: [Gestures to board] What’s this?

KUSHNER: I wanted to get your input on the new logo. Vanky’s making the jackets next week.

TRUMP: [Absently] Yeah sure, fine. Hey Jared —

[TRUMP grabs ahold of KUSHNER’s suit, pulls open a flap, and coughs violently into it. KUSHNER screams and flails, spinning, crashing into the easel and knocking it and himself down as TRUMP and CONLEY leave. CURTAIN.]