Chris Hayes Deploys ‘This Is Fine’ Meme to Mock GOP Plans for Outdoor Convention in Jacksonville Amid Pandemic Surge

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes pitched his — very tongue-in-cheek — idea for a summer destination on Tuesday night. And as he listed off a one alarming, unattractive attribute after another about his travel choice, it became increasingly clear he was describing the on-the-ground conditions for the 2020 Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida.

That city has just been recognized as national hotspot for Covid-19 and last week the federal government targeted it for a “surge” of federal testing capacity, all while the state of Florida has been reaching new, single-day levels of coronavirus cases higher than at any previous point in the nation’s outbreak.

“I know we’re in the midst of a pandemic, hard to know where to go. But how does this sound?” Hayes breezily snarked to begin his show. “Jacksonville, Florida, late August, three straight days, outside. The temperatures will likely be around 95, humidity 80%, so it could feel like it’s 105, 110, who knows? Oh, and you will not be at the beach. No, no, you’ll be walking on hot pavement or in an arena, surrounded by a big group of people screaming and cheering, kind of like this, in the middle of a pandemic, in one of the hardest hit places in the entire world. Oh, and one more thing. If you’re coming from any of these states, you’ll be asked, and in many cases, required to self-quarantine for 14 days when you get back before you can resume your life. If this sounds like a terrible idea, well, I hope you’re not planning attending the Republican National Convention in August.”

“Due to the pandemic, Republicans are planning to move much of the convention outside. This is the latest move in the RNC debacle, and absolutely perfect microcosm of every way the president and his party has failed to deal with this public health crisis,” Hayes argued, before putting up on screen a well-known meme. “It reminds me of this cartoon, very popular, I’m sure you’ve seen it, where a dog sits at a table in a room that is burning and he declares, ‘This is fine.’ And that’s what Trump’s been doing the entire pandemic. His approach to all of this, the whole thing, is to deny it, pretend it’s not happening, and hope he can will it away, this is fine.”

“And now his lack of action, his ‘This is fine’ approach, is ruining his own Republican National Convention,” Hayes explained. “Things in Florida have gotten very, very bad. The state has seen a dramatic increase in cases. 15,000 on Sunday alone, shattering records previously held by California and New York. In one day, Florida alone saw more cases than all of Europe. Yes, you heard that right, all of Europe.”

“One by one, day by day, Republicans are saying they’re just not going to go. Either because they don’t want to be associated with the president in an election year, or because they’re people who are at risk for contracting the virus, possibly dying,” Hayes said, before noting that numerous Senate Republican politicians have publicly sworn off attending the Jacksonville convention.  In addition, in a recent USA Today poll, more than a third of Republicans disapproved of the party’s plans for holding a massive, in-person convention. “Donald Trump wants to pretend the virus does not exist. And he’s willing to risk infecting his most loyal supporters for the brief rush of serotonin than an arena of cheering, adoring fans.”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

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