It's been less than one week since President Trump announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and just days since he left Walter Reed hospital for an excruciatingly belabored White House photo-op, ostensibly to demonstrate his ability to breathe normally (a task at which he failed).
In this short span of time, the West Wing has become one of the most active coronavirus hot spots in the country, racking up infections and precautionary quarantines as only an insular compound of dedicated narcissists can. From the White House press shop to the majority of America's national defense apparatus, no corner of the administration has been spared this entirely predictable outcome of the president's utter disregard for the health and safety of anyone not named "Trump."
Which brings me to Stephen Miller.
On Tuesday evening, Miller — the president's chief domestic policy advisor and the architect of the administration's "family separation" policy — confirmed that he too had tested positive for coronavirus.
"Over the last five days I have been working remotely and self-isolating, testing negative every day through yesterday," Miller said in a statement. "Today, I tested positive for COVID-19 and am in quarantine."
Miller is now one of at least a dozen administration officials and allies who have contracted the virus — notably, seemingly from being in contact with the president and his entourage, rather than from his pregnant wife, who had been infected with COVID-19 last month. There are also countless others whose coronavirus diagnosis might be tied to Trump's recklessness, including members of the White House press corps, West Wing employees, and others in the president's orbit, both by choice, or necessity.
But Miller's diagnosis feels different. Miller is perhaps the single most reviled member of the Trump administration outside the president himself, given his penchant for policies that veer unambiguously into white nationalism. Indeed, at nearly the exact same moment he was confirming his coronavirus diagnosis, The New York Times published a report offering horrifying new details on top Trump administration officials actively pushing to enact Miller's grotesque anti-immigrant agenda, including separating nursing infants from their breastfeeding mothers.
On Twitter, jokes at the expense of Miller's just-announced diagnosis were immediate and merciless:
Given the Miller family's proximity to both Trump, and Vice President Mike Pence (Miller's wife Katie is Pence's press secretary), it seems fair to assume his diagnosis — and his boss's continued refusal-cum-inability to handle the pandemic both nationwide, and now within his own house — will come up at some point during Wednesday evening's vice presidential debate between Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris. For now, add Miller to the ever-lengthening list of Trump associates who've contracted coronavirus despite their apparent believe in the impenetrable armor of denial.