American Horror, Starring Donald Trump.
The coronavirus pandemic is spiraling out of control, largely because of the president himself.
By Charles Blow, New York Times, July 12, 2020
I think I echo many Americans, and people of the world in general, when I say that I'm having a hard time fully grappling with the gravity of this moment.
It is still hard to absorb that a virus has reshaped world behavior, halted or altered travel, strained the economy and completely reshaped the nature of public spaces and human interaction.
It is also hard to absorb that this may not be a quickly passing phase, an inconvenience for a season, but something that the world is forced to live with for years, even assuming that a vaccine is soon found.
There's this notion that things could turn on a dime, not because of a human action, but rather because humans are under attack.
The idea that years of planning for graduations and weddings, home purchases and retirement, might all come to a screeching halt is humbling and disorienting. The confusion over how and when children can safely return to school and adults can safely return to work is frustrating because it leaves people's lives in the lurch.
The idea that face coverings and elbow bumps may be the new normal is a shock to the system.
It seems that on multiple levels, society is being tested, and often failing.
People are rebelling against isolation, and against science and public health. They want the old world back, the pre-Covid-19 world back, but it cannot be had. The virus doesn't feel frustration or react to it. It's not aware of your children or your job or your vacation plans. It's not aware of our politics.
The virus is a virus, mindless, and in this case, incredibly efficient and effective. It will pass from person to person for as long as that is possible. The political debate over mask wearing is a human concern, one that works to the virus's benefit.
And it is these politics, particularly as articulated by Donald Trump, that are allowing the virus to ravage this nation and steal tens of thousands of lives that should not have been stolen.
It is Trump's politicization of the virus that has resulted in a new surge of cases in this country when many other developed nations have been able to shrink the number of cases among their people.
It is because of Donald Trump that America has now reported 3.2 million cases and has tallied nearly 135,000 deaths.
But, instead of centering on the sick, dying and dead as the true victims of his malfeasance, Trump casts himself as the victim of circumstances. As The Washington Post reported last week, Trump has adopted a woe-is-me attitude with visitors. As the paper put it:
"Trump often launches into a monologue placing himself at the center of the nation's turmoil. The president has cast himself in the starring role of the blameless victim — of a deadly pandemic, of a stalled economy, of deep-seated racial unrest, all of which happened to him rather than the country."
How are we supposed to comprehend this idea that the president is eschewing that responsibility for political purposes, and in the process, putting untold American lives in danger and actually costing some?
How did it come to such a pass that scientists and experts could be hamstrung, that governors and mayors could be bullied, that millions of Americans could risk their own well-being and the well-being of others to make a political point?
This is the America we are all now navigating.
We've witnessed scene after scene of minimum-wage workers in conflict with customers — many no doubt who came in search of conflict, in search of a stage on which to perform their drama of defiance — who refuse to wear masks inside stores.
Part of the issue is that the virus is not only being politicized, its effects are also racialized: Black and brown people are having worse outcomes. Some of the states now seeing the greatest surges in cases are those in the South and West with large Black or Hispanic populations.
The effects of the disease are also ageist: Older people are more likely to die from it. Florida not only has a large Hispanic population, it also has a large population of retirees.
I believe that these variances add to the political callousness America is seeing: If the disease is seen as disproportionately hurting others — a Boomer killer, or a Black "Brotha" killer, or an abuela killer — then some younger, healthier white people might believe that the threat to themselves is lower and the restrictions on them should be looser.
We have a situation in this country where a disease is spiraling out of control, largely because of the president himself, and there is little sign or hope that it will be constrained soon.
We are living in a horror film, one starring Donald Trump.
July 12, 2020
Voices4America Post Script. Charles Blow- It is hard to cope in this world upended by Covid. Trump made/makes it worse. Blow is right, right, right.
Now Trump is trying to blame Fauci?! Pleeze.
This is a summary of the Trumpian attack schedule against Fauci -“Last week, Mr. Trump told Fox News that Dr. Fauci had been wrong about many aspects of the pandemic. Dr. Fauci "is a nice man, but he's made a lot of mistakes," the president said." (source.New York Times, July 12, 2020)
His White House took their attacks on him from there.
On principal, I won't disseminate Trump's attempt to blame Fauci for his mess.
A poll conducted for The New York Times by Siena College last month showed that 67 percent of Americans trusted Dr. Fauci when it came to the virus; only 26 percent trusted the president.
In an interview with FiveThirtyEight.com last week, Dr. Fauci said that a few states had the virus under control but that "as a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don't think you can say we're doing great. I mean, we're just not."
According to USAToday this morning, “The U.S. has surpassed 3.3 million cases with over 135,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Globally, there have been 12.9 million cases and over 569,000 deaths.
The "current best estimate" from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that approximately 40% of people infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic. The chance of transmission from them is 75%, the data reports."
Florida, opened up as Trump sycophant Ron DeSantis, gave us a new American high in new disease yesterday - 15,200 new cases. Death tolls are rising in Florida, Arizona and Texas, where governors followed Trump advice and demands.
Here are two Impeachment lawyers on Twitter, recognizing the Trump pattern - “Mommy, he did it!":
Now Trump and Education Secretary Betsy Devos are urging, indeed, demanding schools reopen as soon as possible, despite warnings from the CDC. Here is Time mag's account of the DeVos interview and Trump's position on schools re-opening:
Sunday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos reiterated the Trump Administration's risky push for schools to fully re-open in the fall. This despite CDC guidelines warning that children meeting in groups could greatly increase the spread of the coronavirus.
"Kids need to be back in school and that school leaders across the country need to be making plans to do just that," DeVos said Sunday on CNN's State of The Union. "There's going to be the exception to the rule, but the rule should be that kids go back to school this fall. And where there are little flare ups or hotspots, that can be dealt with on a school-by-school or a case-by-case basis."
DeVos dismissed the importance of CDC guidelines in influencing school re-openings, saying they are "meant to be flexible and meant to be applied as appropriate for the situation." She added that the CDC is "very much of the posture that kids need to be back in school for a multitude of reasons."
In the absence of a concrete federal plan for school reopening, CDC guidelines appear to be the closest thing to a coordinated U.S. approach. The guidelines recommend that schools space desks six feet apart; seat only one child per row on school buses; discourage students from sharing toys, books or sports equipment; close communal spaces, such as cafeterias and playgrounds; and create staggered drop-off and pick-up schedules to limit contact between large groups of students and parents.
But President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he disagreed with the CDC guidelines to open schools, calling them "very tough and expensive." CDC Director Robert Redfield resisted calls from the White House to revise guidelines, saying they would not be loosened.
Here is Steve Schmidt of the Lincoln Project responding from Twitter.
This is from Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Democrat, Massachusetts. “ I wouldn’t trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child.”
.@BetsyDeVosED you have no plan. Teachers, kids and parents are fearing for their lives. You point to a private sec… https://t.co/c5knbSHVyU— Ayanna Pressley (@Ayanna Pressley)1594577481.0
As Speaker Pelosi said on Sunday, “The President and his administration are messing with the health of our children. We all want our children to go back to school: teachers do, parents do and children do but they must go back safely."
Oh and the teachers and their safety, in this New York Times story , teachers say that their districts have not developed coherent enough COVID-19 safety plans to allow their return. In Los Angeles, the teachers' union is demanding full-time remote learning when the 2020-2021 school year begins. "I want to serve the students, but it's hard to say you're going to sacrifice all of the teachers, paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers, and bus drivers," added Hannah Wysong, an Arizona teacher. (Source, Broadsheet today).
Sample new horror. ABC News, Ben Gittleson, this morning:
As the novel coronavirus spreads across the country -- leading to record numbers of cases and increased deaths in several states -- President Donald Trump shared a message on Twitter saying doctors and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are "lying."
"The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19," the game show host and conservative commentary Chuck Woolery wrote, in a tweet the president shared with his over 83 million followers on Twitter. "Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most ,that we are told to trust. I think it's all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I'm sick of it."
Trump shared the message without comment or elaboration. There is no evidence the CDC, a federal agency, or doctors are "lying."
The president also shared a message critical of the nation's foremost infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases."
#TrumpLiesAmericansDie #TrumpVirus #TrumpHatesAmerica #IStandWithFauci #SaveOurChildren