Experts and medical staff across the country are screaming, pleading for him to act. But every move he makes is about reelection. President Trump’s reprobate leadership has cost, and will cost, thousands of American lives through corrupt responses and non-responses to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Let me count the ways:
1) He discounted the virus for two months, still downplays it, to keep markets up.
2) He won’t nationalize social distancing policy because he fears GOP governors’ wrath and favors business over lives.
3) He won’t nationalize the supply chain, refusing to interfere with private business, leaving profiteers to leverage states’ desperation.
4) He won’t sufficiently nationalize production (DPA) for desperately needed supplies and ventilators, fearing the “socialism” label.
5) He won’t compel needed mass test production because fewer tests mean lower “numbers.”
6) He won’t sufficiently deploy military medical personnel to desperate private hospitals. (scroll down for full article)
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Every move he makes is about reelection. President Trump’s reprobate leadership has cost, and will cost, thousands of American lives through corrupt responses and non-responses to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Let me count the ways:
1) He discounted the virus for two months, squandering critical preparation time, and still downplays it when he can. He had January intelligence reports with explicit warnings of an impending pandemic. One of his favorite aides, Peter Navarro, warned in a Jan. 29 White House memo (and again in a Feb. 23 memo) that America could suffer 500,000 deaths if it didn’t prepare properly. President Trump said he missed that memo. His HHS secretary tried in vain to get the president to take the virus seriously, but Donald called him an “alarmist.” Trump balked at taking earnest action for fear of the “numbers” (infections, deaths) going up and the markets being spooked. He did call for a questionably effective, exception-laden ban on China-America travel, after U.S. airlines (and 38 other countries) had already stopped service. He still is selectively silencing aides and government scientists, promoting his “the cure can’t be worse than the problem” theme, and again pushing for a deadly premature reopening of the country.
2) He won’t nationalize the medical policy of his own scientists, specifically, their social distancing order recommendations. This puts the entire country at higher risk. He’s allowing 8-10 venal GOP governors to use their “best judgement.” He refuses to overrule them because it would hurt his reelection chances: A) he doesn’t want to alienate business; B) he doesn’t want to alienate Republican governors he needs to win; C) he wants to keep the country open and markets up at any cost; D) he doesn’t want to oppose GOP “states’ rights” dogma; and E) he’s afraid opponents will turn the “socialism” label back on him in November. The only reason he’s taken the minimal actions he has is because advisers have convinced him that too many deaths will cost too many votes.
3) He won’t nationalize the supply chain, refusing to interfere with private business. (“We’re not a shipping clerk.”) Meanwhile, all 50 states and FEMA are bidding against each other for PPE and ventilators, driving up prices, while opportunist profiteers, domestic and foreign, are exploiting the desperation. The president blames states for not being prepared, essentially saying the shortages are their tough luck.
4) He won’t sufficiently nationalize supply production (Defense Production Act) to produce desperately needed medical supplies and ventilators (even though affected companies would be compensated fairly). Again, this refusal is for reelection reasons: to keep markets up, economic fear down, and the “socialism” label at bay.
5) He won’t fully compel needed mass test kit production because fewer tests mean lower “numbers.” His failed leadership and continued corrupt decision-making — by refusing foreign help, putting business concerns over lives, etc. — is killing thousands of people unnecessarily. This is not hyperbole. Virtually all experts point to widespread testing as the way out of this crisis, and medical personnel across the country are screaming about the frightening, demoralizing shortages.
6) He won’t sufficiently deploy military medical personnel to the most desperate large-city hospitals. Yes, Saturday he did finally call up 1,000 military staff to help out in New York hospitals, after weeks of Gov. Cuomo begging him. But there are tens of thousands of doctors and nurses in the armed forces. A majority of those could be redeployed temporarily to the worst hit areas of the country. This is part of the military’s purpose. Civilian medical staffs are pleading, praying for help because they are completely overwhelmed.
Add to all That These Nuggets:
— He continues to disparage certain Democratic governors. He blames governors who are not loyalists and rewards those who are with favorable supply shipments.
— He’s turned his daily near-two-hour press briefings into low-key campaign rallies, complete with consistent Trumpian journalist invective and free-for-all mendacity.
The largest elephant in the Trumpian herd of pachyderms (sounds cerebral, but I don’t know what it means) is the consistent, colossal obliquity, the willingness to fabricate corruptly at every turn. Now it’s producing unnecessary death and will produce more. Donald lies about the numbers, lies about the testing, the supply chain, the DPA, responsibility, favoritism, journalism, drugs, reopening the country by Easter.
But what really irks me is the prevarication about hand-size and BMI.
Historian and presidential biographer Jon Meacham recently characterized the crisis as the first “partisan pandemic” in history. What he meant was that beliefs about the cause of, effects of, and response to the pandemic fall into two camps: the science and reason camp, and the Trump-supporter camp. Because of this president’s depraved influence, the Trump-supporting camp — cult — refuses to believe science, i.e., truth, because Donald has inculcated in them the precept that science — truth — is out to hurt their leader. The overriding problem is that the cult comprises a massive 30-40% of America, which has morally paralyzed invertebrate Republican legislators, separating them from all ethical clarity.
Meacham’s simile is this: “It’s like The Enlightenment itself is on trial.”
I’ll sign off on Jon Meacham’s analogy the way many MAGA lemmings love to close their social media entries after posting an article purporting that Nancy Pelosi starves her grandchildren while voting to feed illegal alien children, no matter what planet they’re from:
“Let that sink in.” ■
Click here for a comprehensive history and explanation of President Trump’s massive, deadly incompetence in handling the pandemic – from a prominent conservative and pre-Trump Republican.
Trump Corruption Chronicles — We Must Never Forget