This week the U.S. passed its grimmest of milestones — 100,000 pandemic deaths — and President Trump ordered churches opened for business. The order doesn’t consider how any given state’s pandemic curve is trending or if that church is in a county hot spot. It doesn’t consider if the meat packing plant down the road was shut down recently due to an explosion of COVID-19 — then forced to reopen because the president’s meat producer CEO buds convinced him America needs its meat at any cost. To their credit, many faith leaders and governors are keeping their houses of worship closed to save lives, despite Donald’s order. They know the Lord also lives on the internet and in one’s home and heart. The country is not safe for churches to reopen across the land. Every new coronavirus death suffered by a churchgoer will be tied directly to Trump. There’s no way around this. Maybe he thinks a certain number of deaths among the faithful is the “price of liberty.” Maybe it will be 100 or 1,000. Or maybe it will be 100,000 MORE in a second wave — caused by his inept, corrupt pandemic response. Either way, he’ll be responsible directly for them all. (scroll down for full article)
— RECENT HEADLINES –
“PANDEMIC: Experts Warn of 2nd Wave Across South, Midwest if Reopen Push Continues” (5/21/2020)
“PANDEMIC: Trump Says He Will Not Shut Down Country if 2nd Wave Comes” (5/21/2020)
“PANDEMIC: Columbia Univ.: Social Distancing 1 Wk. Earlier Would’ve Saved 36K U.S. Lives” (5/21/2020)
“PANDEMIC: Trump Visits Ford Plant, Refuses Mask, Refuses to Model Safe Behavior” (5/21/2020)
“PANDEMIC: Ford Had to Re-Close 2 Mich. Plants Due to New Infections” (5/21/2020)
“PANDEMIC: Under-Counting System Problems Discovered at CDC for 6 States” (5/21/2020)
“PANDEMIC: Ariz., Iowa, Neb. GOP Govs. et al. Refusing to Release Meat Plant Case Totals” (5/21/2020)
“PANDEMIC: Trump Orders Governors to Open Churches as ‘essential,’ Without Authority” (5/22/2020)
“MINNEAPOLIS BLACK MAN GEORGE FLOYD MURDERED: POLICE KNEE ON NECK FOR ALMOST 9 MIN., HANDCUFFED, UNARMED, REPEATEDLY SAID ‘I CAN’T BREATHE,’ PLEADED ‘MAMA, I LOVE YOU’ IN FINAL MOMENTS (HIS MOTHER DIED 2 YEARS AGO)” (5/25/2020)
“Twitter Refuses Grieving Husband’s Request to Take Down Vile Trump Tweets About Wife’s Death 19 Yrs. ago, but Has Posted Fact-Check Link (for Mail-in Voting) to a Trump Tweet for 1st Time” (5/26/2020)
“Trump Attacks Twitter for Fact-Checking His Tweet, Threatens to Shut It Down, Doubles Down on Vile Attacks on Joe Scarborough and Pain for Dead-19-Years-Staffer’s Widower, Family” (5/26/2020)
“PANDEMIC: 20 (Mostly Southern) States Have Rising Infection Numbers This Week, Still Reopening; Up From 13 States Last Week; Many States Covering Up, Suppressing Numbers” (5/26/2020)
“PANDEMIC: Multiple Mem. Day Photos of Mass Gatherings Horrify World, Embarrass U.S.” (5/26/2020)
“PANDEMIC: WH Nursing-Home-Testing Voluntary ‘Deadline’ Missed by Half of Facilities, Many Not Even Trying; WH Refused to Regulate Testing or Supply any Materials, Other Help” (5/26/2020)
“PANDEMIC: Congress’ Deadline for WH to Post Nat’l. Testing Plan: WH Leaves It to States” (5/26/2020)
“PANDEMIC: OSHA Restricted by WH From Mandating COVID-19 Workplace Rules, Only Allowed to Make Voluntary Guidelines; WH Doesn’t Want to ‘burden companies’” (5/26/2020)
“PANDEMIC: Trump Mocks, Criticizes Joe Biden, Reporter for Wearing Masks in Public” (5/26/2020)
“China Smothering Hong Kong Independence; SOS Pompeo Agrees, No HK Autonomy” (5/21/2020)
“PANDEMIC: U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Pass 100,000 Mark, Just Before 6 p.m. ET” (5/27/2020)
“PANDEMIC: Only FoxNews.com Has No 100K-Deaths Headline, Helping Trump to Ignore It” (5/27/2020)
“PANDEMIC: At 100K Grim Milestone, Joe Biden Comforts Nation, Trump Says Nothing” (5/27/2020)
“Major Cities Experience 2nd Night of Violent Protests Over Police Killing of George Floyd” (5/27/2020)
“ECONOMY: U.S. Jobless Claims: This Week, 2.1M; 10-Week Total, 40M+, 25% of Workers” (5/28/2020)
“PANDEMIC: U.S./World: 1.7M/5.7M Cases; 100.4K /356.1K Deaths; 7:52 a.m. ET” (5/28/2020)
2/06/2020 — U.S.: 1 | World: 620
5/27/2020 — U.S.: 100,000 | World: 354,584
“I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now. If there’s any questions, they’re going to have to call me, but they are not going to be successful in that call. … The people are demanding to go to church, and synagogue, go to their mosque. Many millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life. … The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now — for this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors. In America, we need more prayer, not less.”
(Trump, Donald, R-Fla., U.S. president; White House briefing room; 5/22/2020.)
It’s official: The same week the U.S. passed its grimmest of milestones — 100,000 pandemic deaths — President Trump ordered churches and other houses of worship opened for business as of Memorial Day weekend. (Clearly he did this to shore up his evangelical base.) The order doesn’t consider how any given state’s pandemic curve is trending. It doesn’t consider if a church happens to reside in a county hot spot. It doesn’t consider if the meat packing plant down the road was one of the many in the country recently shut down due to an explosion of COVID-19 infections and deaths — then forced to reopen by the president because his meat producer CEO buds convinced him America needs its meat at any cost.
To their credit, many faith leaders and governors are keeping their houses of worship closed to save lives, despite Donald’s order. They know the Lord also lives on the internet and in one’s home and heart.
Trump Owns Future Churchgoer Deaths
The country is not safe enough for churches to reopen across the land. This means that every coronavirus death suffered by a churchgoer, starting in about three weeks, will be tied directly to Trump. There’s no way around this. Maybe he thinks a certain number of deaths among the faithful is the “price of liberty.” Maybe he thinks that number will be 100 or 1,000. I mean, any of these numbers would be — in The Donald’s words — only “a small percentage” of total pandemic deaths. Or maybe it will be 100,000 more or 200,000 more in a second wave — caused by President Trump’s corrupt, incompetent, and amoral pandemic response. Either way, he’ll be responsible directly for them all.
The president said that if governors defy his order, he “will override the governors.” Of course, he does not have that power. Even his normally equivocating press secretary, whom he left dangling in the wind to answer reporters’ questions after his statement, grossly fumbled this equivocation about “hypothetical questions” of presidential power.
In his statement, Trump noted he has called upon the CDC to issue reopening guidelines for churches, and that state and local officials should reopen “safely.” He’s given himself an out. If 100,000 churchgoers die over the next few months, he can blame governors for not reopening houses of worship “safely.”
Churches should not be reopened. Churches pack together many bodies into enclosed spaces — creating exactly the best conditions for virus spread, exceeded only by nursing homes, prisons, and meat plants. It was reported this week that 20 states are experiencing increases in pandemic infections and deaths, up from 13 states last week. I see a trend. Only a handful of states have met the White House’s own guideline prerequisites for reopening: including recording a two-week daily decrease in numbers. Yet, at the president’s urging, all 50 states are at some stage of reopening, for the first time since Washington state started shutting down early in the year.
Much of the Real Power Resides in Presidential Influence
The president does not have the power to override governors. But he does have the mighty power of influence, especially over his supporters and passive news consumers. When the president plays down the intensity of the pandemic and importance of safety guidelines, he influences people toward sickness and death. When he refuses to model safe behavior like wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing, he influences people toward sickness and death. When he says he can override governors, he can’t, but his followers believe he can — thus they are influenced toward sickness and death in the name of supporting their cult leader.
Why does President Trump do this? Does he want more people to die unnecessarily? I don’t believe the president wants more people to die, but he is willing to allow and accept more death to shore up the economy to win reelection. I know. As I write this, it’s still hard to believe this is true of an American president. But the facts are not in dispute. This comprises the corruption and amorality components of Trump leadership.
Power of Incompetency
Here is the great irony: If he would have done the right thing in the beginning: led by (good) example; shut down or tighten government facilities and businesses where possible and issued guidelines for governors to do the same; established and supported national social distancing guidelines; let the CDC do its job; fully implemented the Defense Production Act to produce ventilators and PPE; established a national response for testing, tracing, and isolation; instituted a national supply chain so states would not be competing with HHS, FEMA, and other states for supplies — if the president would have done this, he’d have half the total death count, a recovering economy, and the admiration of a grateful nation.
In other words, if he had done what President Obama would have done, President Trump would have strengthened his reelection chances anyway. This the incompetence component of Trump leadership.
Presidential Response to a Grim Milestone
By the way: How did the two presidential candidates, the Democratic challenger and the Republican incumbent, mark this most solemn of dark milestones, the 100,000th COVID-19 death of an American?
Senator Joe Biden
“My fellow Americans, there are moments in our history so grim, so heart-rending, that they’re forever fixed in each of our hearts, as shared grief. Today is one of those moments: 100,000 lives have now been lost to this virus, here in the United States alone. Each one leaving behind a family that will never again be whole.
“I think I know how you’re feeling. You feel like you’re being sucked into a black hole in the middle of your chest. It’s suffocating. Your heart is broken, and there’s nothing but a feeling of emptiness. For most of you, you weren’t able to be there when you lost your beloved family member, or best friend. For most of you, you weren’t able to be there when they died, alone. …
“To all of you who are hurting so badly, I’m so sorry for your loss. I know there’s nothing that I or anyone else can say or do to dull the sharpness of the pain you feel right now. But I can promise you from experience, the day will come when the memory of your loved one will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes. My prayer for all of you is that day will come sooner rather than later. But I promise you it will come. And when it does, you know you can make it.
“God bless each and every one of you and the blessed memory of the one you lost. This nation grieves with you. Take some solace from the fact that we all grieve with you.”
(Biden, Joe, D-Del., 2020 U.S. presidential candidate; video address to nation; 5/27/2020.)
President Donald J. Trump
“‘[Donald Trump] is arguably the greatest president in our history.’ Thank you @LouDobbs!”
(Trump, Donald, R-Fla., U.S. president; Twitter post; 5/27/2020.) (President Trump made no mention of the 100,000-death marker today, but he did re-tweet this obsequious pronouncement from Fox News’ Lou Dobbs about an hour after the marker was hit)
Trump Corruption Chronicles — We Must Never Forget