During last year’s second presidential debate, Donald Trump made certain to note how horribly things were going on his watch:
“We have to open our country,” the big, dumb adobe mud hut brayed. “We’re not going to have a country. You can’t do this, we can’t keep this country closed. It is a massive country with a massive economy. People are losing their jobs, they’re committing suicide. There’s depression, alcohol, drugs at a level that nobody’s ever seen before. There’s abuse, tremendous abuse. We have to open our country. You know I’ve said it often—the cure cannot be worse than the problem itself, and that’s what’s happening.”
As we all know, the only thing Trump was actually concerned about was his reelection. I know this because nothing would have contributed more to our citizens’ flagging mental health than seeing Trump’s clammy, ramshackle corpse trundled up to the inauguration dais for another four years of ungodly terror.
Of course, Trump continually made a big deal out of all the suicides that were supposedly happening—again, on his watch—as a result of COVID-related closures. But, as usual, Trump was wrong.
We now know that suicides actually went down last year. No one is quite sure why, though it could be because people wanted to stay alive long enough to see Trump’s head spontaneously devoured by seagulls as he dribbled Filet-O-Fish on his chin. Or maybe that was just me. Sometimes I overgeneralize a bit.
The number of U.S. suicides fell nearly 6% last year amid the coronavirus pandemic — the largest annual decline in at least four decades, according to preliminary government data.
Death certificates are still coming in and the count could rise. But officials expect a substantial decline will endure, despite worries that COVID-19 could lead to more suicides.
One possible explanation for the decline is that people were uniting against the invisible enemy. No, not Trump’s brain. The coronavirus, of course.
“There’s a heroism phase in every disaster period, where we’re banding together and expressing lots of messages of support that we’re in this together,” said Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “You saw that, at least in the early months of the pandemic.”
Yeah, and people really band together the moment they realize their leader is the functional equivalent of a baboon brain floating in a vat of flop sweat.
So add this to your rhetorical arsenal, folks. I can’t help you if your sister is an anti-vaxxer or your brother still sprinkles hydroxychloroquine on his waffles, but at least now you know Donald Trump was wrong about … well, lots of things, but this is a pretty big one. Spread the word, if you are so inclined. If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. Visit the Lifeline website, where you can chat with someone now, or call any time: 1-800-273-8255
”This guy is a natural. Sometimes I laugh so hard I cry.” — Bette Midler on author Aldous J. Pennyfarthing via Twitter. Need a thorough Trump cleanse? Thanks to Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, Dear F*cking Lunatic, Dear Pr*sident A**clown and Dear F*cking Moron, you can purge the Trump years from your soul sans the existential dread. Only laughs from here on out. Click those links, yo!