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“Live and Let Die”: Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Approach Summed Up in One Factory Tour Photo Op Gone Wrong

Donald Trump gives a thumbs up while touring a Honeywell International Inc. factory producing N95 masks

Throughout the growing coronavirus pandemic, Donald Trump has acted callously. He set up daily press briefings, it seems, just to be able to spend hours at a time praising himself, attacking Democrats and the media, and pushing untested medications. The Washington Post noted that in the first three weeks of those briefings, Trump spoke for more than 13 hours, during which time only 4 1/2 minutes were spent talking about the victims of the coronavirus and offering them sympathy.

So it’s not like we were expecting an outpouring of compassion from Trump as he toured an N-95 mask facility in Arizona Tuesday. But what we got is … you know what, you have to just watch for yourself.

Yes, that’s Donald Trump touring a mask facility while not wearing a mask (despite saying he would) while Guns N’ Roses’ version of “Live and Let Die” blares over the speakers. It’s hard to believe the video is real, and yet it is.

We don’t know whose decision it was to play the song. Was someone at that facility sending a sly message to Trump? Was it a total coincidence? Did Trump’s team pick the playlist? Multiple outlets have noted that the music playing during Trump’s tour resembled his campaign rally playlist, but it’s not clear if that’s because they were playing an actual rally playlist or because Trump’s playlists are just deliberately curated to sound like what you’d expect to hear walking on a red state factory floor.

“Live and Let Die” is one of the songs on what is believed to be Trump’s official rally playlist, so either explanation could apply, though either way, someone dropped the ball on recognizing the optics on this moment in advance or at least while it was happening.

Since we don’t have any official answers, I’m going to choose to believe that this was not a slip-up and that someone at that factory wanted to let Trump know what they think of the way he’s handling this pandemic.

(image: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.