Hi, Dear Reader. It’s late morning here in New Hometown, Florida on Tuesday, August 3, 2021. Presently, it’s cooler than usual for an August day; the current temperature is 75˚F (24˚C) under partly sunny skies. With humidity at 73% and the wind blowing from the south-southeast at 4 MPH (6 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 76˚F (24˚C). Today’s forecast states that thunderstorms will move through our area, and the high will be 86˚F (30˚C). Tonight, we can expect rain showers. The low will be 76˚F (24˚C). The Air Quality Index (AQI) is 16 or Good.
A thunderstorm already passed through the area earlier this morning, and my Weather app’s radar map shows a huge clump of thunderstorms and rain showers in the general vicinity, so it is quite clear that today is going to be Thunderous Tuesday – or, at the very least, Soggy Tuesday.
As you know, last week I bought a trio of books related, in one way or another, to Donald Trump and his accursed Presidency. One – I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year – is nonfiction, while the other two, MacTrump: A Shakespearean Tragicomedy of the Trump Administration and And the Last Trump Shall Sound: A Future History of America – are parodies or dark political satires.
I am, as is my habit – inherited from my mother and maternal grandfather – “cycling” through this Trumpian trio, but since I am particularly interested in hard news and history, I am getting more into I Alone Can Fix It, which was written by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.
I’m trying to not skip ahead to see how the Trump Administration was undone by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the spiky sphere-shaped critter that causes COVID-19, but while I was browsing through I Alone Can Fix It after breakfast (the usual cup of café con leche and a piece of Cuban bread), I came across this passage in Chapter Six – Refusing to Mask Up:
Here, Leonnig and Rucker describe Trump’s reaction when Alex Azar, the secretary of Health and Human Services, reports to the President that the government has signed a $1.2 billion deal with Oxford-AstraZeneca for 300 million doses of its new COVID-19 vaccine:
From his kitchen at home, Azar called Kushner. “Jared, we got it,” he said. “We got AstraZeneca! Three hundred million doses!”
Kushner said that sounded great, but asked Azar to hold on. He was at the White House late with the president. Kushner put Trump on the phone.
“Mr. President, we just got the first deal with AstraZeneca,” Azar said. “It’s the first one ever. It’s incredible.”
Azar explained how sensitive it was.
“It’s going to be announced at four o’clock tomorrow,” he said. “You can’t talk about it. It will be released when the British stock market opens.”
“What?” Trump asked. “It’s a British company?”
“They are the first with a vaccine, Mr. President,” Azar said.
Trump sounded deflated. “I’m going to get killed,” he said. “Oh, this is terrible news. Boris Johnson is going to have a field day with this.”
Azar wasn’t sure what to say about the British prime minister.
“Why aren’t we doing this with an American company?” Trump asked.
“This is the first one that is available,’ Azar explained.
“I don’t want any press on this,” Trump said. “Don’t do any press on this.”
Azar was stunned. He’d been angry and frustrated in this job, many times. But in this moment, he was flat-out depressed. He had imagined the president would thank him. Instead, Trump had acted as though Azar had failed him.
Kushner, Hope Hicks, and Dan Scavino were in the room and heard Trump’s side of the conversation. They were surprised.
“Secretary Azar has just delivered you a vaccine and you just yelled at him,” Hicks told Trump. “Why did you do that?”
“This is great news,” Scavino added. “We should be promoting this.”
Kushner, too, tried to correct the president.
“This is a real big advance,” he told his father-in-law. ‘That was not helpful.”
And Trump supporters still profess that he is the “best President” the U.S. ever had.
Well, Dear Reader, I’m afraid that’s all the news I have for today. I hope that when the thunderstorms pass through they will not be too severe or slow-moving. I’ve seen instances – more in my old Miami digs than here on the opposite coast of Florida – where a thunderstorm will sit overhead for an hour or more, dumping rain and lightning bolts galore. Once, in April of 1979, a single rainstorm dumped 14.85 inches of rain over 24 hours. I don’t recall if there was a lot of lightning then, but I do remember the rainfall totals. Ugh.
If the thunderstorms pass by as quickly as they did this morning I should be able to work on my main PC once the thunder cells are a fair distance away from the neighborhood. If not, I’ll try using my laptop on battery power. Or I’ll read a book.
In any case, I’ll close for now. Stay safe, Dear Reader, and stay healthy. I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things…unless, of course, it’s raining.
 I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year, pp. 143-144
 It was on this occasion that my mother first realized that maybe buying the townhouse in East Wind Lake Village might have been a mistake. Due to shoddy construction work, the roof sprung several leaks, and water flooded in from the balcony into my bedroom through the sliding door railing. Boy. that was a mess.