ARLINGTON, VA – Classified documents leaked over the weekend show that the Department of Defense has been planning airstrikes and subsequent troop deployments in China in an effort to minimize the perceived harm caused by the coronavirus.
The documents, entitled “Pentagon Papers II: You Thought There Wouldn’t Be a Sequel?” outline the reason for the proposed invasion: the frequent comparisons by news publications of the number of fatalities from COVID-19 and those from every war in which the U.S. has fought.
The genesis of the idea was a comment over the phone by President Trump to Defense Secretary Mark Esper that was one of his ambiguous tangents and therefore an order. “Boy, it sure would be nice if there were more memorials on the National Mall,” Trump said, according to someone who overheard the call, even though it wasn’t on speaker phone. “Maybe someone can take care of that, you know?”
Initially, top officials were unsure of how to proceed. In order to lower the ratio of coronavirus to combat deaths, some suggested boosting the death tolls of previous wars by overdubbing Ken Burns documentaries, paying unemployed alt-right trolls to edit Wikipedia pages, and recruiting Turning Point USA interns to infiltrate school libraries armed with jugs of Wite-Out. Others suggested extending the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and filling its online casualty database with thousands of AI-generated images, misaligned teeth and all. But President Trump dismissed these ideas, citing a need to not pervert the nation’s past based on present political needs.
Instead, the military would begin Operation Chinese Takeout with staggered offensives in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Wuhan, in that order. The first three cities were selected by spinning a roulette-style wheel like the one on Wheel of Fortune, in this case with the value of each tile in the billions of dollars and with a negative sign in front of it, indicating the estimated cost of a five-year engagement. Wuhan was automatically chosen, per the president’s wishes, with the idea being that all the gunfire would scare any more coronaviruses from surfacing.
In the meantime, the Pentagon’s public relations department had already begun a comprehensive effort to blackmail headline writers. Having acquired compromising phone, internet and bitcoin records from the National Security Agency, the department contacted editors via the postal service, with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy mandating that these envelopes take priority over any and all mail-in-ballots. Staffers at The New York Times and The Washington Post were not immune, and neither were those at northern Idaho’s Bonner County Daily Bee, a staple of Beltway front porches for some reason.
Most importantly, a ground war in China would not require congressional approval, according to the documents. Instead, President Trump would justify the invasion by accusing the Chinese of discriminating against blondes – an urgent national security risk warranting swift executive countermeasures. One triggering event that officials considered would be President Xi Jinping declining to follow back Trump on Twitter within 24 hours.