Saturday, May 9, 2020

A mind at work

Donald Trump* yesterday, outing a previously unidentified member of Mike Pence’s staff:

“She tested very good for a long period of time, and then all of a sudden today she tested positive. She hasn’t come into contact with me. She’s spent some time with the vice president. It’s, I believe, the press person, right? It’s a press person. So she tested positive out of the blue. This is why the whole concept of tests aren’t [sic ] necessarily great. The tests are perfect, but something can happen between the test, where it’s good and then something happens and all of a sudden. She was tested very recently and tested negative and then today, I guess, for some reason, she tested positive.”
What I find remarkable is the president’s inability to acknowledge (or even understand?) the reality of cause and effect. Trump* sees a positive result is an inexplicable fluke, something “out of the blue”: “I guess, for some reason, she tested positive.” And he sees a positive result as evidence that “the whole concept of tests aren’t necessarily great” (although “the tests are perfect”). Add the awkward diction (“she tested very good”) and repetition (“she tested positive,” “she tested positive,” “she tested positive,” “the press person,” “a press person, ”“something can happen,” “something happens”), and it’s clear that we’re watching a failing mind at work.

Trump* went on to explain that Mike Pence was “on an airplane going to some faraway place.”

The staff member, identified by Trump as “Katie,” is Katie Miller, Pence’s press secretary and Stephen Miller’s wife.

[My transcription.]

comments: 3

Chris said...

I like the comment someone posted below it: "This is why I don't buy into the whole pregnancy tests market. A woman can test negative her entire life, then all of a sudden, she tests positive. They aren't great."

Fresca said...

"Some faraway place"?

Pence was going to Iowa.

shallnot said...

“False positive” and “false negative”—how can it be so difficult to explain these two terms? After reading the above my brain hurts. I’m glad I resist the temptation, and it’s not a great one, to listen to this guy in video form.