This is kind of like the Pope calling for an International Day of Whoring. It is tough to imagine Trump on his knees, humbly imploring the Almighty for anything. Although he is surrounded by evangelical preachers, at least when he wants to be for photo ops, they are all universally the sort of preachers that own their own private planes. None of them cancelled services Sunday in response to health authorities’ call for social distancing—these fine Christians don’t want to get their yachts repossessed by not being able to pass around the collection plate.
No, Trump would rather cheat than pray any day of the week. But, as does so often, he’s really failed to think this prayer thing through. By asking the entire nation to pray, he’s not just asking white Protestant Americans to bow their heads in a mega-church and beg for virus relief. He’s actually asking Muslims to put their heads on their prayer towels and implore Allah. He’s asking Hindus to jangle their prayer beads. He’s asking illegal immigrants to stop sneaking over the border for just one fucking minute and loft a petition heavenward on behalf of the nation they’re trying to smuggle themselves into. He’s asking Mormons to beg for mercy from the virus until they sweat through their prayer underwear, and also to quit voting for Mitt Romney. He’s asking Scientologists to get all Scientological, or whatever they do, over the coronavirus.
Even if we manage to belch a unified national prayer towards the clouds, it will not have any effect on the virus. God will not drop 350 million Covid-19 testing kits upon a thankful nation no matter how hard we pray. True, He allegedly dropped manna from the sky once upon a time, but now that would require FDA approval. He won’t even go the mysterious ways route, and have the World Health Organization find an extra hundred million test kits it had accidentally left in a bus station locker. WHO would generously offer them to the USA one more time, because they pity us for being able to come up with new chicken sandwiches way faster than we can manufacture vitally needed medical products.
The virus will just ignore the nation’s prayers and plow ceaselessly towards the heartland, like an infected teenager skateboarding through a nursing home corridor. When God does not answer our prayers, His apologists will say it is because we baked too many gay wedding cakes, or watched too much porn.
Trump will provide his idea of leadership, which is bragging on how great his leadership is, no matter how many of the elderly and infirm keel over on his watch.
We’re fucked. Put an Amen on the end of that, and you’ll be uttering a prayer that has a chance of being answered.