I flew into New York on the day the Ebola screening started. I was expecting chaos. I'd already seen photos of crazies sitting at departure gates in homemade protective suits and Donald Trump had taken to Twitter to demand all flights from Africa be banned. Trump is particularly keen on closing down the United States – only a couple of weeks ago he was screaming at Obama to close the Mexican border because of infiltration of Isis terrorists from that hotbed of Islamic terrorism. I'd chosen Newark airport rather than JFK, as the queues are often a lot shorter. As I got to the passport line there seemed to be no special screening for Ebola. There was an enormous sign that warned about the threat of … measles, and how to spot the symptoms, but nothing Ebola-related.
The Chinese know how to screen for stuff. Landing in Beijing once during a Sars scare we were faced with a frightening-looking soldier who boarded the plane armed with a thermometer that looked like a large ray gun. We were all commanded to sit still as said soldier marched down the aisle ramming the ray gun against people's foreheads. One passenger failed whatever the test was and he was bundled off the plane. This seemed curious as you would think the idea would be to leave him on the plane and send him back but you learn not to argue with Chinese bureaucracy pretty fast.
Back in New York, I arrived at my hotel and turned on the television. The news networks were going Ebola mad. Fox News was tracking the ambulance carrying a nurse around Dallas while CNN appeared to have constructed a set made out of the jazzy Ebola DNA. Dallas had become Ground Zero for the US Ebola experience and a couple of networks were calling it the "City of Fear". It all seemed a little over the top. Pretty soon however, President Obama was forced to cancel a golf game to address the nation. You get the sense with Obama that the thrill of being President is long gone and that he can't wait for it to be all over.
Meanwhile on Twitter Donald Trump was ramping up his own, laughable presidential ambitions. Leadership and decisiveness was what the President lacked, ranted the Donald. Quite why the President of the United States doesn't listen to the foreign-policy advice of a bewigged golf-course developer is beyond me.
Donald Trump is my all-time favourite bugbear on Twitter – a constant wall of self-congratulation and glorious delusion. He genuinely seems to believe that Americans are waiting for him to plonk an enormous Trump sign on the White House. He and Lord Sugar, respective hosts of The Apprentice, once had the most glorious Twitter spat with them name-calling and waving online wads of money at each other in a show that made the morons on The Apprentice look like amateurs.
If I were Obama I would appoint Donald Trump US ambassador to Liberia, starting tomorrow. Go on Potus, you know you want to.Reuse content