A short opinion piece:
It’s a mistake to think that Trump taking hydroxychloroquine is merely a sign of stupidity, anti-science narcissism, or a red flag for flogging something he can profit from in some way. It’s likely all of these things, yes, but I believe there’s something deeper going on.
Remember when he stared directly at the eclipse? Also a moment of stupidity, the machismo of a ten year-old, and a big F-U to so-called “experts”. He shows the same face in relation to the legal system when he fantasizes about gunning people down on 5th Avenue with impunity.
But when he challenges the *actual sun*, i.e., the source of all power on earth, he’s putting something at stake that his draft-deferring, germophobic soul rarely risks: his body. He’s showing off to his base, yes, but he’s doing it by showing them he has skin in the game. That his body is tougher than the game.
How much more extreme is it to take a medication that is both unrecommended by “experts”, and that has become an article of faith for those believing in his leadership? If he survives (if he took it at all), he gets to say:
The experts are so very wrong, they called the cure a poison. Sad!
But the unspoken somatic implication of this is:
I am so immensely sure of myself, and my body is so excellently powerful, I can magically turn what “experts” call poison (which it may actually be, I dunno) into medicine. Great!
It’s a kind of ultimate charismatic act: he’s digesting a symbol of his own insanity in order to become stronger.
If he could stage it, he’d walk on water.
Another indication of the increasingly shamanic or alchemical construction of Trump’s body is his refusal to wear a mask. I don’t believe it’s just vanity. It’s not just disbelief in the science, or a sense of libertarian entitlement.
I believe it may go farther than this: towards the conviction that his exhalation is righteous. If it makes some people sick, it would make the right people sick. Everyone else will feel its warm, moist blessing.
Back to pills though: IMO there’s a connection here between Trump’s pills and Elon Musk and Ivanka tweeting about taking the red pill.
Forgetting the MRA and 4chan connections for a moment: like hydroxychloroquine, the red pill is positioned as a dangerous but necessary challenge for the Übermensch to digest and transform. It’s a spiritual dare.
So now we have charismatic men, surrounded by enablers, cosplaying as divinities and avatars, consuming poison for personal enlightenment, and to show the people that they too can be magical.