#AgentOrangeVirusMan: An American Nightmare


In December 2017, inspired by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton: An American Musical, I recreated Fidel Castro’s history as narrated by the Cuban people he subjugated for over five decades of dictatorship. (You can listen to that song here; trigger warning: it’s in Spanish.)

After the 2016 election, I wrote an opinion piece for NBC News about the moral dilemma that teachers would face in the age of Trump; since then, I have made a point of not normalizing his execrable behavior. Other than tweets (I know, the irony!), I didn’t write anything of greater length about him because I had nothing new to offer that hadn’t been already said by someone else. Until yesterday, when, frustrated by having to advocate for starting the fall semester remotely (isn’t it obvious?), I asked myself, “How does a deadly virus…” and realized that I had to go back to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s song and answer that question and pose others with his familiar beat and his memorable melody.

At home we avoid saying the name of the current president of the United States, as we believe that his ego inflates anytime anyone mentions him. So, to the question, posed by Valerie Block, my wife, of what would I call him, she herself responded on the spot with “Agent Orange Virus Man.” She gets full credit for the title. (Thank you, @vblock12!)

That’s the tea. If you record it, please upload it, use the hashtag #AgentOrangeVirusMan, and tag me on social media.

And remember that Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020.


Agent Orange Virus Man: An American Nightmare
Music: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lyrics: Alexis Romay

How does a deadly virus, deeply ignored
by a Statesman, strutting in the middle of a golf course
in Florida with his third wife in their manor,
create such disaster and such squalor?

[US Electorate:]
The tax-hiding con got a loan from his father,
got a lot farther by shouting a lot louder,
by threatening a lot faster,
by pretending to be smarter.
By his teens, he’d learned nothing that really mattered.

[US Electorate:]
And every day while people were dying and being carted
away because Covid, he lied and kept his guard up.
Inside, he was longing for something to be a part of.
The whiner was ready to beg, steal, borrow, or barter.

[Puerto Rico:]
When a hurricane came, and devastation reigned,
the man threw paper towels with contempt and with disdain.
Put a finger to his Twitter, connected it to his brain
and he wrote his first refrain: a dog whistle to white pain.

[US Congress:]
Well, the word got around, they said, “This guy is insane, man.
Let’s get him impeached and see if we can save this land.
Remote education for next fall will be the game, and
the world’s gonna know your name. What’s your name, man?”

[Agent Orange Virus Man:]
Agent Orange Virus Man.
My name is Agent Orange Virus Man.
Four million cases as of yesterday.
Let’s not test more today…

[US Electorate:]
Every time he is criticized, he promptly cries, “FAKE NEWS!!!”
He’s demonized Black people, Brown people, Muslims, Jews…
He’s called for white suburban mothers to rise up from their pews.

[Friendly Reminder:]
So on November 3rd remember this before you choose.

[US Electorate:]
Moved into the White House, and his wife was not by his side,
the inauguration crowd left him with nothing but ruined pride,
a voice saying: “Agent, you gotta fend for yourself.”
He started retweeting and tweeting every thought that crossed his brain.

[US Electorate:]
There would’ve been a lot left to do
for someone more astute.
He wouldn’t have tweeted past midnight
just to make this country fight.
Started talking about hydroxychloroquine,
and when I heard that, I almost lost my mind.
Scanning for every woman he can get his hands on.
Planning for postponing an election as he stands on…
Wait. What? That’s not the Law of the Land.
Congress is not going to back up that plan.

[US Electorate:]
Congress is not going to back up that plan.
Congress is not going to back up that plan.
Congress is not going to back up that plan.
Is not…
Scratch that plan!

[US Electorate:]
Agent Orange Virus Man (Agent Orange Virus Man),
we are not going to vote for you (not going to vote for you).
You always double down,
you always have to insult everyone. Oh.
Agent Orange Virus Man (Agent Orange Virus Man),
when people don’t vote for you,
they will know what they overcame.
They will know that they saved the game.
The world will never be the same, oh.

[US Electorate:]
The election is within sight now.
See if you can spot it.
And no more children
coming up from the border
will be locked up in cages
‘cause you shouted, “LAW AND ORDER!!”

[US Congress / US Senate:]
We fought with him.

[Roger Stone:]
Me? I lied for him.

Me? I trusted him.

Me? I love him.

And me? I’m the party that propped him.

[US Congress / US Senate:]
Four million cases as of yesterday.
Do more tests!

[Влади́мир Пу́тин:]
Как тебя зовут?

[Agent Orange Virus Man:]
Agent Orange Virus Man!

Lyrics: Alexis Romay
Based on Hamilton: An American Musical, by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Music: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Orchestration: The Hamilton Instrumentals, by Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton
Illustration: Garrincha

2 responses to “#AgentOrangeVirusMan: An American Nightmare

  1. Pingback: Hipólito: un musical cubano | Belascoaín y Neptuno

  2. Pingback: Apuntes sobre el populismo | Belascoaín y Neptuno

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