After World War II, Germany was subject to a round of de-Nazification. When Saddam Hussein was routed, Iraq underwent de-Bathefication. When Joe Biden moves into the White House, there’s no doubt the whole government is going to need a serious round of de-Trumpification to clear the lobbyists, zealots, and simple incompetents that Donald Trump has spread around federal agencies. But before any of that can happen, Biden is calling in the cleaners to scrape away the heavy coating of Trump-shed coronavirus.
As Politico reports, the General Services Administration (GSA) is bringing in a private contractor once Trump has been escorted off the premises. The specialist will go over every surface in both the East and West Wing. The plan is to “thoroughly clean and disinfect” everything from doorknobs to desks before anyone on the Biden team has to touch them. The GSA will also bring in a commercial mister to kill viruses in the air and on fabrics. It is not known whether this will remove the odor of Filet O’ Fish or clean up orange stains that could be either nacho cheese or excess “bronzer.”
Cleaning up the White House is only step one of how Biden’s team plans to handle COVID-19 differently. And by differently they mean … Biden’s team intends to handle COVID-19 as if it is a real issue.
The incoming White House staff will practice strict use of masks and social distancing, which may require some officials to work somewhere other than their usual location, or possibly offsite. Some meetings will continue to be conducted with some or all members attending remotely. Many member of the White House staff will actually be working from another house: their own.
Republicans are almost certain to scoff at the precautions, but there is a point worth noting: Unlike Trump (or Rudy Giuliani, or Chris Christie) Joe Biden has not contracted COVID-19. Neither has Jill Biden. Neither has Kamala Harris. Neither have members of their direct staff. Biden and his team will bring their coronavirus precautions to the White House because those precautions have worked.
And it’s critical that both Biden and his team remain healthy. Trump is going out the door, leaving behind a disaster of biblical proportions. On Wednesday, American deaths from COVID-19 topped 3,200 and there is currently little sign that this third surge of cases is being brought under control. In addition, Trump is leaving an economy in recession, a foreign policy that has divided America from its allies, and a raft of executive orders that are affecting everything from air quality to worker safety. It’s critical that Biden, Harris, and all of their staff stay healthy and on the job. Especially since unlike Trump, Biden isn’t likely to call up doctors every time a member of his team gets ill and force them to hand out critically rare treatment.
So call in the disinfecting team. While they’re at it, the GSA might want to see if the Catholic Church can arrange an exorcism. And what about the Ghostbusters? Are they available?