The daily farce of Impeached President Donald Trump’s alleged coronavirus briefings might be funny if we weren’t all uncredited extras in his you-know-what-show. Most days, I skip them. When I do watch, I keep the TV on mute until Dr. Fauci or someone else there to share actual information takes the podium.

I glanced up from my laptop yesterday and caught a glimpse of a speaker I didn’t immediately recognize.

Is that the My Pillow Guy?

It was. MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell ostensibly visited the White House Rose Garden to pledge 90% of his company’s production power to make face masks. His real mission — kissing the president’s ring on national TV — became apparent soon after he stepped to the microphone. Lindell listed his company’s challenges during the crisis and promised to meet them and the nation’s face mask needs at a fair price.

And now, a word from one of Trump’s most devoted sponsors…

“Thank you, Mr. President, for your call to action. Which has empowered companies like MyPillow to help our nation win this invisible war,” Lindell said.

“God gave us grace on November 8th, 2016, to change the course we were on. God had been taken out of our schools and lives; a nation had turned its back on God. And I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the word, read our Bibles, and spend time with our families.

“Our president gave us so much hope….with this administration and all the great people in this country praying daily; we will get through this and get back to a place that is stronger and safer than ever.”

Those of us who survive, anyway. For months, the president Lindell so lavishly praises downplayed this crisis as a “small problem” that was “under control” and would “magically disappear.” Yesterday, Trump said that if the coronavirus only kills 100,000 Americans, he and his misadministration will have done “a very good job.”

Thank God Trump is not actually in charge. From the beginning, he has been the Bystander-in-Chief, an empty figurehead with a bad dye job who doesn’t care to know about anything other than his latest ratings. For an hour or so each day, Trump plays the President on TV. The rest of his day is devoted to tweeting and gazing into the magic mirror of Fox “News.”

The networks are repeating the sins of 2016, when they gave Trump billions of dollars in free advertising and helped him get elected. Carrying his “briefings” live affords Trump a daily opportunity to obscure the hard truth: During the worst disaster this nation has faced in at least a century, the President of the United States is a bystander at best, an obstacle at his typical worst.

To know what’s really going on, turn to The Times-Tribune. Get complete COVID-19 coverage here. A 50-year-old woman found dead in her West Scranton home was a coronavirus victim. Read Staff Writer Joseph Kohut’s story here. Coronavirus test kits are in short supply. Read Staff Writer Borys Krawczeniuk’s story here. Borys also reports here that Monday was Pennsylvania’s worst so far for deaths and new cases of coronavirus.

On the brighter side, Staff Writer Sarah Hofius Hall has the story of Scranton DJ E.J. Dougher’s daily online dance parties Facebook, which are more entertaining and less stressful than the reality TV star in the White House.

How are you spending this strange day? Email me at or and I’ll share your stories in my daily diary. The Times-Tribune is still here, and so are you. We will get through whatever comes next together, one day at a time.

Hang in there, hunker down and wash your hands. If you get stressed, hug your pillow.