Mark Meadows’ new book The Chief’s Chief has irked Donald Trump. The former president is reportedly furious at his former chief of staff for revealing some damning details about his battle with Covid-19, most notably that he concealed a positive test result before one of his debates with Joe Biden. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Trump was “particularly upset” because his hair was “a mess” while he was sick in the White House residence.
Trump told a confidante, “This guy is talking about what I look like, in my bedroom.”
Trump is far from the only American who would prefer not to have the details of their shabby appearance published for millions to read. It’s possible, however, that the former president is more concerned with how his hair looks than anyone else in the country, and he never seemed to let the duties of the nation’s highest office obstruct this concern. In fact, Trump actively used the presidency’s powers to maintain the integrity of his coif, primarily through a bizarre, protracted crusade to loosen water efficiency restrictions on bathroom fixtures.
“You turn on the shower, if you’re like me, you can’t wash your beautiful hair properly,” Trump griped at an Ohio Whirlpool manufacturing plant last August. “You waste 20 minutes longer. ‘Please come out.’ The water, it drips, right? You know what I’m talking about.”
TRUMP: "They didn't have enough water. The same thing with sinks, toilets, and showers. You go into a new home, you turn on the faucet, no water comes out. You turn on the shower, if you're like me you can't wash your beautiful hair properly … I got rid of that." pic.twitter.com/PAQdJwmipK
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 6, 2020
He raised the issue for the first time a year before, in one of the most ridiculous rants of his presidency. It’s worth reading in its entirety.
“We have a situation where we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms where, uhh, you turn the faucet on, in areas where there is tremendous amounts of water, where the water rushes out to sea because you could never handle it, and you don’t get any water,” Trump said in Dec. 2019. “You turn on the faucet and you don’t get any water. They take a shower and water comes dripping … out. It’s dripping out very … quietly dripping out. People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once. They end up using more water. So EPA is looking at that very strongly, at my suggestion.”
The issue at hand was a conservation standard enacted by Congress in 1994 that stated that showers could not have a flow rate of more than 2.5 gallons per minute. The rule was updated by the Obama administration to clarify that this means 2.5 gallons for the entire shower head, regardless of how many nozzles it has. Last August, a week after Trump lamented in front of a group of factory workers in Ohio that he couldn’t properly wash his beautiful hair, the Department of Energy released a proposal to ease these restrictions.
“Shower heads. You take a shower and the water doesn’t come out,” Trump said at the White House in touting the proposal. “So what do you do? You stand there longer? You take a shower longer? I don’t know about you, but my hair has to be perfect. Perfect.”
Does trump’s hair have a Twitter account? pic.twitter.com/fqtH5iNrkX
— MS Warrior 🌊🧡💙 (@cindylocke47) December 16, 2021
In December, the Department of Energy finalized new rules that allowed shower heads to produce 2.5 gallons per minute per nozzle while also relaxing restrictions on other water-based appliances.
“It is a big deal because potentially you have shower heads that are using five, seven and a half gallons a minute, and that’s a lot of water,” Andrew deLaski, the executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, said at the time. “If you have a shower that uses that much water, you’re going to run out of hot water within as little as 10 minutes in the house. So whoever is second in line for the shower is going to get a cold shower.”
— ChicagoMike (@ChicagoMyk) December 18, 2021
DeLaski also stated that consumers were saving an estimated $500 per year on water utility bills as a result of the recently repealed standard by the Department of Energy. Trump claimed that the standard was imposed by “a lot of people that don’t understand life.”
But, alas, Trump’s campaign to transform the United States into a utopia of unrestricted water pressure has failed. President Biden’s Department of Energy reversed the rule and reinstated the 2013 version on Tuesday, limiting shower heads to a total of 2.5 gallons per minute.
The Washington Post is reporting that Trump is really mad at Mark Meadows because he described in his new book how Trump was sitting in bed sick with covid-19 in the WH, saying that Trump had “red streaks” in his eyes and that “his hair was a mess.”
What a baby! pic.twitter.com/PokL8jl8fH
— Republicans against Trumpism (@RpsAgainstTrump) December 16, 2021
It was the correct decision, but it didn’t really matter. Shower head manufacturers largely continued to produce the same shower heads they did before Trump changed the rule. “This was a silly loophole from the beginning, and the department was right to fix it,” deLaski told the Post. “The good news is there was no clamoring for products that took advantage of this, and we can put this whole episode in the past.”
Trump’s rants about water flow restrictions, like many of his rants, always included mentions of “people” who kept approaching him and complaining about low-flow shower heads. These “people” almost certainly did not exist, as neither manufacturers nor consumers seemed to have a problem with the 2.5-gallon standard. It was simply Trump, who had a bad shower somewhere and decided to mobilize the federal government to ensure it never happened again.
We can only imagine how Trump feels about Biden’s callous undoing of his administration’s hard-won progress on the issue.