“You take a solid flu vaccine, you don’t think that would have an impact, or much of an impact, on corona?”— Donald Trump, 3/2/20
It was the most important day of my scientific career. It threw everything we thought we knew about vaccines and therapies out the window. Before, we believed each virus or infection needed its own treatment or prevention. But then President Trump was like, “Have you thrown a solid flu vaccine at corona?” and we were like, “Duh, no.”
But later on, I got to thinking, Why not? So I ran some tests in my lab and, what do you know, it worked.
Trump’s question changed everything about our approach. We threw a solid flu vaccine at corona case after corona case and sat back in amazement, watching it do its thing. It cured all infections in the United States, then China, then everywhere else on the globe. It was glorious.
I remember being at the CDC, surrounded by epidemiologists, all of us crying with joy, yet at the same time, a little embarrassed by our initial obliviousness. A “solid flu vaccine” — of course! Here’s this guy, the president, with zero medical training and a history of being — let’s face it — not the brightest bulb in the box, who, for some reason, thought it would be a great idea to give highly specialized medical professionals advice, and yet it worked like a charm.
In 2021, after we ended COVID-19, we wondered if the solid flu vaccine could be used for other diseases. So we whipped up a good-sized vat of the stuff and put it out in the field, running a double-blind test on malaria clusters and, hot damn, the vaccine not only prevented new cases, it actually cured all of the existing ones. We kicked malaria’s ass in Asia and Africa in about a year — all thanks to a solid flu vaccine!
My colleagues and I at the World Health Organization then came up with a list of viruses and bacteria to go after next. We tried the solid flu vaccine on TB first, but it didn’t work. Then yellow fever. Nothing. Zika? Nope. Ebola? Nada. What a downer it was, especially after such an extraordinary year.
Shortly thereafter, I became head of the CDC. My first day on the job, I went straight to the president and asked him if he had any insight on how we could stop these other infectious diseases. I mean, the man was clearly an untapped resource; we had to ask his advice. I placed a mason jar of solid flu vaccine on his desk. “Help us, sir,” I pleaded. He picked the jar up, swirled the solution around a bit, gazed up at the ceiling, then said — I’ll never forget this — he said, “Not solid enough.”
I rushed back to the lab, held the jar up to the light, did the swirly thing, and gasped. He was right! How were we so blind? Our vat was NOT A SOLID FLU VACCINE. We quickly upped the solidness of the vaccine, made it really super-solid, like really rock-solid, and put it back out to trial. Within days — boom — TB was cured. Yellow fever? Gone. Zika? History. Ebola? Bye-bye!
By Trump’s third term in 2027, the CDC didn’t exist, and the WHO was on the way out. There was just no need for them: all that money, so little disease. We turned away from viruses and bacteria, and focused our efforts on cancer. We asked the president what we could do about breast cancer. He paused, gazed up at the ceiling for a few seconds, and said, “You know, what about Old Spice?” Sure, on the surface, it seemed like a bonkers suggestion, but with the president’s history of being a scientific savant, we couldn’t dismiss the idea.
So we popped down to Costco, bought a pallet of Old Spice, and then headed to the nearest hospital. By the end of the day, all breast cancer cases had been cured.
Eventually, we were running back and forth like kids, from the White House to Costco to the hospital and back to the White House. He had ideas for all malignancies. Testicular? Lady perfumes. Lymphoma? Cheese. Melanoma? Rub a well-done steak on their cheeks. By the end of the year, cancer was a memory. Soon after, at his suggestion, we ended all parasitic diseases by whispering insults through a patient’s skin to make the parasites feel bad. In 2030, we closed the National Institutes of Health. Medical schools and nursing programs shut down. Big pharma went out of business.
Ironically, in 2032 there was just one disease left: influenza. We tried everything President Trump suggested, but nothing worked. The flu kept infecting people and people kept dying. We were bummed. The president was bummed. The president’s fawning Pence clones were bummed. It was all one big giant bummer.
But one day, in 2033, while the president scrolled Twitter atop his mighty throne of bones (Stephen Miller resting his eldritch spider legs in one corner of the oval entertainment center, Bill Barr’s brain bubbling in a jar in another), Trump paused, gazed up at the ceiling, and said, “How about my own flesh?”
We fell before him weeping. His own holy flesh — of course! I quickly carved a chunk from his ample left buttock and synthesized a new vaccine.
Well, we all know what happened next. We had done it: no more influenza. All disease was finally eradicated.
A few days later, satisfied with himself yet again, the president sighed contentedly and took a bite from a nearby well-done hamburger. Unfortunately, he failed to notice that it was not a burger but a hockey puck that had been given to him by Senate Majority Leader Kid Rock as thanks for wiping out Canada. There was nothing we could do. The puckburger lodged in his throat, and he soon lost consciousness.
That’s how our dear leader died. It’s also how I learned that there will always be one thing that medicine cannot cure and that is being an enormous dumbass.