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Geraldo Rivera suggested we name the COVID-19 vaccine after Trump—for real

The fact that he said all of this with a straight face is really something.

Geraldo Rivera, who somehow went from talk show host to political commentator on Fox News, has had some pretty off-the-wall takes over the years. But this one might take the cake.

On a Fox News segment, Rivera suggested that we help Trump find his big boy pants so he can concede the election by naming the coronavirus vaccine after him.

"I had an idea, with the world so divided, and everybody telling him he's got to give up, and time to leave, and time to transition and all the rest of it. Why not name the vaccine 'The Trump'? You know, make it like, 'Have you gotten your Trump yet?'"

Cue appropriate laughter from one of the hosts—because OMG that's so absurd it's funny—but Rivera was inexplicably serious.

"No, it would be a nice gesture to him. And years from now it would become just a kind of generic name. 'Have you got your Trump yet? Yeah, I got my Trump, I'm fine.' You know, I wish we could honor him in that way because he is definitely the prime architect of this Operation Warp Speed, and but for him, we'd still be wading into the grim winter for these amazing, miraculous medical breakthroughs."

Hoo boy. So much to say here.

First, one big reason the world is so divided is because of Trump's own behavior. What he's doing right now is exactly what many of us predicted before he won the 2016 election, and is the reason the entire resistance movement arose after it. He's a power-hungry malignant narcissist who will do literally anything to avoid having to admit defeat, including destroying the very foundations of our democracy. So framing this bizarre suggestion as a remedy to the division in the country is just...bizarre.

Second, Rivera is suggesting that since poor Mr. President is being told that he has to leave and engage in a peaceful transition of power *like every other president after their term is up* we should appease his hurt feelings by naming a vaccine after him. The idea that a leader of a country needs to have his ego stroked in order to do the right thing is preposterous. And the idea that we should just embrace that need for coddling as if 1) it's perfectly reasonable, and 2) it would even get him to embrace reality, is just dumb.

Third, why on God's green earth would we name a vaccine after a man who botched the response to the virus it was created for so badly that we have nearly 20% of the world's deaths despite having less than 5% of the world's population? Trump's COVID response has been labeled a failure by experts across the field of medicine. He held superspreader events at the White House, refused to lead by example, and ended up hospitalized himself with the disease because he was careless and foolish in his own behavior.

Fourth, Trump was absolutely not the "prime architect" of Operation Warp Speed. First of all, the idea that scientists and pharmaceutical companies were just going to take their sweet time coming up with a vaccine in a global pandemic if it weren't for Trump saying, "Hey, let's do this thing as quickly as possible," is laughable. Every single vaccine maker in the world was on that research immediately, in January, while Trump was busy downplaying the virus to the American people. The coordination between institutions and private companies that Operation Warp Speed helped with is great, no doubt, but it's something that any president with two brain cells would call for. "Let's do what we can to get a vaccine made and distributed as quickly and safely as possible because we're in a global pandemic" is not some stroke of genius—it's common sense.

It's an absolutely absurd suggestion to say that we should name a coronavirus vaccine after Trump. Like, beyond the pale, crazy-even-for-Geraldo, completely alternate reality kind of absurd.

Then again, look at where we are. As crazy as this segment is, it's not even close to the craziest thing we've seen this week. Welcome to America 2020. It's nuts here.

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