We warned America, and Democrats delivered an impeachment to underscore the seriousness of the matter: Donald Trump wasn’t fit to be president. Republicans didn’t care, because tax cuts and judges, and now here we are.
Today, we’ll hit two Sept. 11ths’ worth of deaths, easily blowing by the 6,000 mark just two days after hitting a single 9/11. We’ve just about to reach a quarter-million cases, which is a whopping one-quarter of the total confirmed cases worldwide. By any measure, this is an abject disaster. Yet in a breathtaking display of goalpost moving, Trump said a couple of days ago, “[if] we have between 100 and 200,000 [deaths], we altogether have done a very good job.”
Yeah, nice try.
Trump is in a politically perilous position, for sure. His inability to respond to the crisis—from dismantling the institutions designed to identify (CDC outpost in China) and respond to such a crisis (the pandemic preparedness task force and FEMA), to incompetent staff, to an utter inability to be forthright and truthful to the American people, to simply misplaced priorities (stock market > grandma)—our nation never stood a chance.
Indeed, the only thing mitigating a death toll in the millions is the quick action of governors and local governments around the country. And even on that front, there was too much delay, particularly in Republican states, precisely because Trump was pretending things were okay to protect his donors’ stock portfolios.
But let’s consider Trump’s new thesis: that as long as national deaths number below a quarter million, he will “have done a very good job.” Does he think that people will applaud him?
Yesterday, 1,049 people died of the disease, and we’re nowhere near the peak. So every single day, we’ll be seeing 1,000, then 2,000, then a 9/11 (3,000 deaths), until who knows when. Every single day will see the kind of carnage we haven’t seen since World War II.
Every day, people will have to face the death of someone they know, someone they love, someone they respect or admire. Artists, movie stars, athletes, politicians, religious leaders, musicians, business leaders, and so many grandmas. Their stories will be broadcast across all media, all of them a dagger in our hearts.
And shock and sorrow will then give way to anger. It’s a stage of grief, after all.
Conservatives will work overtime to deflect: It’s the fault of the Chinese! People die all the time (flu, car crashes, heart disease, insert random other cause of death), this is nothing special! It’s the fault of open sanctuary cities like New York! No one could’ve predicted! And yet, the American people have already decided that they can’t and don’t trust trump.
NEW POLL >> The credibility gap between Dr. Fauci and Trump on coronavirus is a stunning 65 POINTS. Cuomo is 25 points better than Trump. A majority of Americans distrust Trump to tell the truth about the virus. via @NavigatorSurveypic.twitter.com/fMMQNQtGfL
Those numbers will only get worse. And those excuses might work in Fox News land, but that’s not where Trump needs to hold his numbers. Arkansas isn’t going to be competitive at any level this year.
There are seven states that will decide the presidential election: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. All seven are on a razor’s edge. A shift of even a few points can take these states from “coin flip” to “lean Biden.” And already, we’re seeing the largest Democratic lead in Trump’s reelection numbers all year:
If you have seven states that are essentially 50-50 ties, then a one-point shift makes it 51-49. Two points, its 52-48. See?
This is why Trump is freaking out. He can’t afford to bleed even marginal support, because every vote will matter. That’s why he’s trying to shift the goalposts.
But there is no way in hell that people look at thousands dying every single day and give Trump any kind of credit. NONE. The toll on our nation is too great. The impact we’re suffering is so much worse than what other countries have experienced that it’s impossible to blame the fates. This may be an act of god, but the aftermath isn't. How we prepared isn’t. How we responded isn't. How we move forward isn’t.
And we haven’t even discussed the economic devastation.
NEW with @AlexNBCNews: Week of April 13 is earliest Americans will see direct deposit relief payments from the government; paper checks could take as long as 20 weeks -- nearly 5 months -- for some Americans
Five months? The amounts being mailed out are already not enough. Just watch the Trump administration bungle this, too. Remember that 6.65 million workers filed unemployment claims last week, breaking the previous record by10 times. And with congressional Republicans ruling out further stimulus at this time (they’ll be forced to relent, eventually), the economic pain is only going to get worse.
Presidents don’t get reelected when they bungle the economy. How are they supposed to do so when they also preside over a mass-death event ?
So no, Trump isn’t getting credit if we see hundreds of thousands of deaths. And if we ultimately do see those kinds of numbers play out, his reelection prospects will be around zero percent, and we’ll be talking about how much damage his entire party will face all the way down the ballot.
Adam Schiff says he will introduce a bill to create a “nonpartisan” 9/11-style commission to study why America was “so unprepared” for the coronavirus pandemic.
Let’s repeat that.
The man who bogged down an entire nation with impeachment dreams while the coronavirus was beginning to flourish, is mobilizing the House Intelligence Committee, which he chairs, to figure out why the country wasn’t necessarily focused on the problem at hand.
Pearl Harbor, 9/11 … Coronavirus
Schiff shared an article from the Washington Post that cited his desire to begin an investigation once the crisis subsides.
“After Pearl Harbor and 9/11, we looked at what went wrong to learn from our mistakes,” Schiff (D-CA) tweeted. “Once we’ve recovered, we need a nonpartisan commission to review our response and how we can better prepare for the next pandemic.”
“I’m working on a bill to do that,” he added.
The Post article goes on to cite positive and negative actions taken by the Trump administration, leaving little doubt as to who Schiff is actually going after.
After Pearl Harbor and 9/11, we looked at what went wrong to learn from our mistakes.
Once we’ve recovered, we need a nonpartisan commission to review our response and how we can better prepare for the next pandemic.
Further proof that Schiff is focused not on “our mistakes” but the supposed mistakes made by President Trump himself are comments the impeachment manager made the night before.
In an appearance on MSNBC, Schiff said those blaming his impeachment sham for distracting the country were inadvertently admitting that “the administration screwed up this response.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed the highly partisan effort for distracting lawmakers when coronavirus was.
“It came up while we were tied down in the impeachment trial,” McConnell asserted. “And I think it diverted the attention of the government because everything every day was all about impeachment.”
Rep. @AdamSchiff wants a congressional committee to investigate federal response to coronavirus. @RepDougCollins: “You know, for him to come back at this point and try to regain the spotlight from his failed attempts at impeachment is just sad for the American people.” pic.twitter.com/zt6S4ntk1u
Donald Trump's delays in responding to the building wave of a COVID-19 pandemic have now created a "best case" scenario of between 100,000—240,000 American deaths, according to government experts. The result: A new push by Donald Trump to insist that he had never downplayed the virus, despite many weeks and videotaped speeches in which Trump did exactly that. Already supported by Mike Pence and other fawning officials, it will be the greatest test yet of the administration's gaslighting strategies—a new claim that the virus killing family members, neighbors and friends was being taken seriously all along, despite weeks of Fox News coverage directly showing, and arguing for, the opposite.
• Three weeks ago Trump stood with the CEOs of Walmart, Target, Walgreens and other companies to announce nationwide testing centers hosted by the huge retailers. The total number of testing centers opened three weeks later: 5. Of 30,000 locations. And of the five, most offer testing "only to first responders and health care workers," not the general public.
• Recent Republican claims that Trump's incompetent pandemic response was caused by the distraction of impeachment were leveled flat by Trump himself, who says "I don't think I would have done any better had I not been impeached."
In an interview with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff says that his staff is now working on a "discussion draft" for creating an independent commission to investigate the failures of the United States in preparing for the COVID-19 pandemic. The commission would be modeled after the 9/11 Commission, created to investigate the events leading up to the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon.
Schiff told Ignatius that that would be delayed "until the crisis has abated to ensure it does not interfere with" agencies' ongoing response efforts.
The most obvious concern, of course, is whether Trump and surrounding loyalists ignored warnings about the rapidly spreading virus due to Trump's obsession over his own self-interests. Ignatius reports that intelligence officials are already concerned that new acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, a partisan Trump loyalist, is "trying to shape intelligence that might challenge or embarrass Trump."
If this is the case, and there is absolutely no reason to believe Grenell would not act in such a fashion, an investigation of administration actions cannot be delayed for long. The Trump administration has already been caught once engaging in criminal conduct intended solely to benefit Trump's own reelection, resulting in impeachment; there is no question that Trump's team, having been immunized from consequences for those acts by a similarly corrupt Republican-held Senate, may engage in more.
Barack Obama took a not-so-veiled swipe at President Trump, accusing his administration of ‘denying’ warning signs of a pandemic.
The former President took the jab on social media, sharing an article that discussed the White House’s efforts to roll back Obama-era regulations on gas mileage and emissions.
“We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic. We can’t afford any more consequences of climate denial,” he wrote. “All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall.”
Texas senator Ted Cruz responded by pointing out the obvious – that while President Trump was implementing travel restrictions to slow the pandemic, Nancy Pelosi and Obama’s former VP Joe Biden were fighting it.
“Bold: Obama calls for the overwhelming electoral defeat of Joe Biden [and] Nancy Pelosi, after they opposed [and] demagogued Trump’s China travel ban, which helped slow the coronavirus pandemic,” he wrote.
There is little doubt at this point that Trump’s actions did just that, with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, pointing out repeatedly that the President’s actions slowed the spread and saved lives.
Bold: Obama calls for the overwhelming electoral defeat of Joe Biden & Nancy Pelosi, after they opposed & demagogued Trump’s China travel ban, which helped slow the coronavirus pandemic. https://t.co/DaRygnaMQb
Cruz is right – it was Democrats like Biden and Pelosi who hammered the President for daring to implement travel restrictions to combat the pandemic or ignored his warnings.
“This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria xenophobia, hysterical xenophobia, and fear-mongering to lead the way instead of science,” Biden said on the day Trump announced the restrictions.
House Speaker Pelosi meanwhile, has been accused by President Trump of ignoring his attempts to tighten travel restrictions.
“All she did was focus on impeachment. She didn’t focus on anything having to do with pandemics,” he insisted.
She also must have missed when Trump addressed the coronavirus outbreak in his State of the Union speech, perhaps more focused on her staged protest – ripping up her copy – than on what he was actually saying.
It takes a tremendous amount of chutzpah for Obama to accuse Trump of denying the pandemic knowing full well his administration helped handcuff any actions he may have taken.
In 2009, the H1N1 swine flu pandemic triggered a massive deployment of respirators and masks, but the Obama administration never set about replenishing the stockpile, despite warnings from multiple experts.
Also that year, Obama scrapped the White House Health and Security Office, which worked on international health issues.
And a Fox News report, citing yearly budget requests, reveals “the Obama administration repeatedly sought to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”
In recent days, government experts have been floating a new estimated eventual death toll of 100,000—200,000 Americans. Trump has seized upon that number, if it creeps no higher, as representing a possible "very good job" by him.
In today's pandemic updates:
• It is now evident that the Trump administration and its congressional allies had overwhelming evidence of the pandemic's dangers during the same period of time they were publicly downplaying the threat of the virus—and, in the case of several Republican senators, cashing out of the stock market before those markets collapsed.
• Republicans coordinated to again push the notion that January’s impeachment trial of Donald Trump "diverted" the Trump administration's attention away from the pandemic. Attempting to address Trump's known criminality, in other words, only exacerbated his known incompetence.
• A majority of Americans disapprove of Trump's handling of the pandemic, and 69% support a "national quarantine." Republicans, however, remain "remarkably insular" in their support for Trump and his (non)responses.
Everything about that is stupid. Canadians have better health care and are giving better cash payments to individuals to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a massive border and there’s no way anyone can seal it, much less some poor sap in combat boots. Symbolically, it’s the world’s largest demilitarized border. Why mess with that? There's nothing useful or practical about it! Well, there’s one benefit to Donald Trump: He can pretend that he’s “doing something.”
Remember, everything Trump does is predicated on his reelection. That’s why he tried so hard to limit testing in the early days. Instead of working to stem the spread of the disease, he decided that rising numbers were a threat to his political standing and he reacted accordingly. You can see it in this new ad by the Joe Biden campaign:
The past month has been about minimizing the impact of the pandemic, promising that the numbers will fall, promising snake oil cures, dismissing it as “just like the flu,” and as of late, demanding that people get back to work because “the cure can’t be worse than the disease.”
“The cure,” of course, being people losing their jobs, while “the disease” is people losing their lives.
But there’s a method to the madness. Whether it’s closing the border, or comparing COVID-19 to the flu, or demanding people get back to work, it all has an underlying electoral purpose. Remember that solutions to the pandemic are liberal ones: government support of individuals, government intervention in the economy, better health care, better social safety net, communal action, etc. This isn’t 9/11, when conservatives could bloat the Pentagon budget even further, ride a new wave of racism, and curtail civil liberties. So how do Trump and the Republicans work this to their favor?
Here’s what they’ll do (and they’re already doing it):
1. TRUMP IS DECISIVE
Oh my god, Trump can’t stop being the best leader the world has ever seen! Did you see? He closed the border to China. Biden didn’t want Trump to close the border to China, but he did so anyway, because that’s the bold kind of leadership that saved thousands of lives.
Trump also closed the borders with Mexico and Canada and deployed our troops, because fuck yeah America is the greatest and so are our troops, and Trump is taking action while liberals want open borders.
What about testing kits, shuttering the pandemic preparedness task force, and months of promising that things were “beautiful” and “perfect” and everything would be fine just around the corner? Those are nasty questions and Trump is too busy being decisive anyway to answer them. Next!
2. LIBERALS BROKE THE ECONOMY
The flu will kill 60-80,000 people this year, and we didn’t shut down the economy because of it. Only a few hundred/thousand/tens of thousands have died because of this virus, and we had to destroy the economy as a result? This was just a liberal plot to defeat Donald Trump at the ballot box. They were angry because the impeachment hoax failed, and they decided to punish the whole country as a result.
Why do you think it’s Democratic governors that are closing their states? Republicans tried to keep America working, and Democrats took your jobs away to punish Donald Trump for being the best president in history. It’s their fault the economy is bad. Only Republicans can fix it.
The Chinese created this virus and infected America with it. No one could’ve predicted that our enemies would be so ruthless and calculating and effective in conducting a biological attack on our country. It’s their fault. We need Republicans to stand tough against the Chinese for their cowardly attack on our soil.
If liberals and their sanctuary cities weren’t so “welcoming” to all manners of riff-raff, the disease wouldn’t have spread throughout America. Where did the “Chinese virus” take hold? Seattle. San Francisco. New York. It figures that those liberals would infect the rest of Real America with their virus. Trump is trying to protect the Heartland from the evils of urban liberals.
So yeah, that’s their campaign. It’s already started. The pieces are already in place. And when you see a conservative or Trump say something seemingly insane, note how it fits one of those categories above. For example:
Ã¢Â�Â�Approximately 7500 people die every day in the United States. ThatÃ¢Â�Â�s approximately 645,000 people so far this year. Coronavirus has killed about 1,000 Americans this year. Just a little perspective.Ã¢Â�Â� @RealCandaceO
Will it play with their base? Undoubtedly. They’re too stupid for words.
Will it play with Democrats? Clearly not.
Will it play with Independents? Well, “independent” is not an ideology, and spans everything from Alex Jones crazies to Bernie socialists to the politically apathetic. We do know that government (read: Trump) approval ratings for managing the crisis are ebbing down among independents.
So maybe it won’t work, in the aggregate, amongst that group.
The one wild card is the death rate. If coronavirus deaths remain below or equal to flu deaths, then the argument that the Democrats blew up the economy for no reason will have added salience to the stupidity. So for that reason alone, you’d think that Trump would be working overtime to bend the curve. Yet he’s doing quite the opposite, in fact. It boggles the mind.
Stem the death toll, and Trump has a ready-made excuse for the shitty economy: The Democrats overreacted. Instead, his actions are pushing us closer to the nightmare scenario. For example, look at what happens if Florida doesn’t take action within the next couple of weeks:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is among the fiercest Trump allies, and will not do anything to contradict or undermine the impeached president’s words and actions. So we’re talking somewhere in between “no action” and “social distancing.” No matter what happens in New York and California (fiercely working to stop the spread of the disease), Florida alone may be Trump’s undoing. Even if those numbers are overly dire, one-third of the “social distancing” death toll is a horrifying 100,000. With numbers like that, Trump and the GOP won’t be able to compare COVID-19 to the flu anymore.
Furthermore, the more the disease ravages red states and rural America, the harder it’ll be to dismiss it as a creation of New York City and San Francisco. Oh, they’ll try anyway! But local politicians will bear the brunt of explaining why they didn’t take the necessary precautions, especially if small-state death tolls end up exceeding those of New York and California—which is quite plausible.
For example, the models that drive the CovidActNow.org projections estimate that California’s death toll, with its shelter-in-place already in action, will be around 11,000. Meanwhile, Missouri, which hasn’t taken any action at all, could see up to 122,000, Oklahoma could see 79,000 deaths, and Tennessee 136,000. As horrific as things look in New York right now, measures in place may limit the damage to 38,000. (California looks as good as it does because it was the first to start shutting down, particularly the five pioneering Bay Area counties that beat anyone else by almost a week.)
In any case, if we see that kind of death toll play out around the country, Trump’s goose is cooked, and so is his entire party. Otherwise, whether by luck (a vaccine or better treatment emerges), or by action (militarizing the Canadian border stops the spread of COVID-19 in Arkansas!), Republicans will use that mix of liberal-blamin’, big-city-hatin’, racism creatin’, and grandiose Trump myth-makin’, to explain away the economic collapse, and pin the blame squarely on the Democrats.
President Trump couldn’t resist taking a jab at Mitt Romney after hearing the news that Utah’s Senator would have to self-quarantine.
Romney announced that he would have to take the responsible action upon learning that Senator Rand Paul had become the first of his colleagues to test positive for coronavirus.
He had been in close proximity to Paul recently.
“Since Senator Romney sat next to Senator Paul for extended periods in recent days and consistent with CDC guidance, the attending physician has ordered him to immediately self-quarantine and not to vote on the Senate floor,” Romney’s office said in a statement.
President Trump learned of Romney’s self-quarantine through a White House reporter who noted four senators in total had moved to isolate.
“Romney, Senator Lee, Senator Gardner and Senator Rick Scott, also,” the reporter conveyed. “Two of them were in contact …”
“Romney is in isolation?” Trump interrupted. “Gee, that’s too bad. Go ahead.”
Late last month, Romney took a jab at President Trump claiming he was unprepared for the coronavirus crisis.
“I’m very disappointed in the degree to which we’ve prepared for a pandemic, both in terms of protective equipment and in terms of medical devices that would help people once they are infected,” Romney criticized.
In reality, the President was already taking action in trying to quell the spread of the virus.
Are we on the same trajectory as Italy in fight against #coronavirus? @NIAIDNews head Dr. Anthony Fauci says “Not necessarily at all.”
He notes the country adequately shut out the input of the virus from China early on. “You can never keep up with the tsunami,” he says. pic.twitter.com/cGAZ00lYTt
He took those steps despite a looming impeachment trial.
Perhaps if Romney hadn’t joined his Democrat buddies in becoming the only Republican senator to break party lines and vote in favor of Trump being impeached, he could have focused his efforts on advising the President or working with the administration to solve this problem.
The American people are voicing their approval of how President Trump is handling the coronavirus crisis, with a new poll showing his approval ratings skyrocketing.
In the span of just one week, the President turned his negative approval ratings in dealing with the pandemic completely around.
According to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll released on Friday, 55 percent of Americans approve of the President’s management of the coronavirus problem, while just 43 percent disapprove.
These numbers mark a nearly exact reversal of results from one week earlier.
We would argue that it occasionally takes time for the truth to come out in the United States when the entire media complex is hell-bent on destroying the President.
Yes, Trump did try to quell panic by downplaying the threat early on. But as any good President does, he evolved on the matter. Remember when Barack Obama was hailed as a hero for ‘evolving’ on things?
The President quickly – faster than any Democrat who was more focused on impeachment – buckled down and got to work trying to solve this crisis.
“Over the course of a week, the president has shifted his approach and tone, giving daily briefings on the crisis since Saturday, alongside the White House task force leading the response to the coronavirus and announcing some severe measures to combat the virus,” ABC News reported.
“He’s also taken on a more somber tone, saying of his own tenor ‘people actually liked it’ as the reality of the scale of the virus set in.”
Here’s where things get a little shocking – Despite every attempt by prominent resistance lawmakers to paint Trump as a racist for calling the pandemic a “Chinese virus,” Democrat voters’ support for the President has doubled.
“30 percent of Democrats approve, which is about double the number from last week’s poll, and 69 percent disapprove, down from 86 percent,” reports ABC News. “Meanwhile, an overwhelming 92 percent of Republicans approve, up from 86 percent last week.”
President Trump recently signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which will provide economic assistance to America’s businesses and workers.
At the same time, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn noted the “record time” it’s taking to pursue a coronavirus vaccine due to an “impressive public-private partnership,” something the President has been advocating.
You know the tide has to be turning on public opinion when even Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Trump-hater to the extreme, is praising the President for an “incredible” and “right response” to the coronavirus crisis.
“[Ayanna Pressley] always says, unprecedented times require unprecedented leadership and we are seeing that in our country right now,” Omar wrote.
Ronny Jackson, the former lead White House doctor appointed by Barack Obama, praised President Trump saying his ‘quick and decisive’ actions have saved “countless American lives.”
The situation in Italy is spiraling out of control, with infections and deaths spiking by the hour.
BREAKING: Another HUGE increase in #CoronaVirus infections in Italy Ã°Â�Â�Â®Ã°Â�Â�Â¹ 3 590 infected and 368 dead today alone. - 24 747 infected. - 1 809 dead. - 7.3% death rate. This is a human tragedy Ã°Â�Â�Â
The United States is on track to emulate Italy, both in the reach and severity of the human and economic toll. One party is doing its best to save lives. Unfortunately, it’s not the party in control of the White House, Senate, or wide swaths of the media. And those Republican efforts to confuse, obfuscate, and obstruct a real response are dismayingly effective. Let us count the ways.
Impeached President Donald Trump
From disbanding the White House pandemic preparedness task force to refusing to let the U.S. use the World Health Organization COVID-19 test, to his daily lies, it’s obvious that the rot starts at the very top. What did people think was going to happen when they put a bigoted, serial sexual harasser reality TV star in charge of the country? Those who vote on racial animus and misogyny are getting a daily reminder of what that costs our country. And ironically, or perhaps not so much so, they are the ones who will bear the brunt of the coming pandemic.
Meanwhile, Trump continues to model poor behavior; he shows on a daily basis that he is the single biggest impediment to the kind of national behavioral changes we need to see to arrest this disease with the least amount of damage possible.
Trump has decided the entire coronavirus mess is a dastardly plot to deny him a second term. He is incapable of considering the human toll of the disease, or the economic ramifications to everyday Americans. He’s concerned only about how it affects his reelection. And again, his acolytes take their cues from the top, such as the Trish Regan abomination that adorns the top of this post.
Regan did end up losing her prime time show over that segment, showing that at least someone at Fox corporate realizes that killing off their core demographic (their median age is 65). But she’s not the only pushing the theory that this is all one big political ploy to damage Trump. Trump’s very own outgoing chief of staff has been making that case for weeks. “The press was covering their hoax of the day because they thought it would bring down the president,” Mulvaney told attendees at the conservative CPAC conference, at the same time the disease was spreading among its attendees. “The reason you’re seeing so much attention to [the coronavirus] today is that they think this is going to be what brings down the president. That’s what this is all about.”
And of course, let’s not forget Trump:
Ã¢Â�Â�TheyÃ¢Â�Â�re trying to scare everybody, from meetings, cancel the meetings, close the schools Ã¢Â�Â� you know, destroy the country. And thatÃ¢Â�Â�s ok, as long as we can win the election,Ã¢Â�Â� POTUS told guests at Mar-a-Lago last weekend. https://t.co/UxZb0GumFU
He literally says it’s okay if the country is destroyed as long as he wins reelection. He doesn't give a shit about the economic or human toll of the pandemic and will act only to safeguard his electoral effort. And that’s why we don’t have testing. He thinks a higher number of confirmed cases makes him look bad.
President Trump "did not push to do aggressive additional testing in recent weeks [because] more testing might have led to more cases being discovered of coronavirus outbreak, and the president had made clear the lower the numbers on coronavirus, the better for the president" https://t.co/aa2QHQVbPk
We all knew this. Even Republicans knew this when they acquitted him during the impeachment trial. Yet they didn’t care. So they own this: Every death, every job lost. It’s all on them.
The Trump executive branch
Donald Trump had white nationalist Stephen Miller and idiot-boy Jared Kushner whip up a random-ass “I’m doing stuff” speech just hours before airing, with little regard to any consequences their spur-of-the-moment “proposals” would create. Among them, a complete ban on all travel and commerce between the United States and Europe that single-handedly almost completely crashed the US economy. Embarrassingly, the administration had to walk that back—no, it didn't apply to the cargo. And no, it didn’t apply to Americans. (So … what’s the point? Americans have super awesome immunity powers?) Yet in the panic that situation created, Americans rushed back home and … created these kinds of scenes at US customs points of entry:
#BREAKING: Passengers stuck in long lines for immigration at @DFWAirport tell us there are no offers of hand sanitizer, gloves, or masks from U.S. Customs / Immigration. Travelers say theyÃ¢Â�Â�ve had no screenings of temp yet and no one following #coronavirus protocols. pic.twitter.com/9viCnWdncz
By supposedly acting to prevent the disease from entering the United States (even though, um, it’s already here), those morons in the executive branch didn’t think “maybe we should bolster staffing at customs checkpoints. Maybe we should create a plan to space out people, so we wouldn’t create the Petri dish we’re supposedly trying to prevent.”
It is in precisely older, rural counties that hospitals are being closed in record numbers. “The hospital closure crisis is most pronounced in states that have declined Medicaid expansion, the policy in the Affordable Care Act that offers coverage for individuals whose income is at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty line,” reported Mother Jones. “Of the 106 rural hospitals that have shut down since 2010, 77 were located in states that hadn’t expanded Medicaid, the study found.” In their zeal to stick it to Obamacare, those older rural areas are losing exactly the one thing that saves the lives of the elderly and those with compromised immune systems once infected—hospital beds.
This novel coronavirus is treatable as long as severely impacted patients can be hooked up to respirators. But given available hospital beds, that becomes impossible once a critical mass of patients is infected, they outstrip the supply of hospital beds, and they are then left to die, gasping for air. That’s why the Italian death toll has climbed so high, with doctors having to perform battlefield-style triage—is this patient too old? Too (otherwise) sick? Do they have small children at home? Even patients who survive initial triage may be unplugged if someone with a greater survival chance shows up. It is beyond nightmarish.
And you know what? The United States has fewer hospital beds, per thousand people, than even Italy.
South Korea: 12.3
United States: 2.8
South Korea has handled the virus better than anyone else, and guess what, having hospital beds is part of the answer. Meanwhile, thanks to conservative hostility to the Affordable Care Act and its fealty to a for-profit health care system, our number of beds has fallen between 2010 and 2017, despite the population having grown by 16 million in that time frame.
Republican elected officials
The Democratic House passed a coronavirus response bill on Friday. Republican Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went on vacation over the weekend, adjourning the Senate as a result. He doesn’t plan on checking on that House bill until Tuesday, lunch, at the earliest, even though Trump has signaled that he will sign it.
They just don’t give a shit.
Here’s Oklahoma’s Republican governor Kevin Stitt, Friday night, in a now-deleted tweet:
Of course, it stands to follow that if Trump doesn’t think this is a big deal, then those who blindly follow him will shrug off any attempts to contain the virus, or “flatten the curve.” Flattening the curve is slowing the rate of transmission so that people don’t get sick all at once. The more you can spread it out, the less stress on those limited hospital beds.
Trump’s favorite bootlicker, Rep. Devin Nunes, went on Fox to tell viewers to go out on the town. “One of the things you can do, if you're healthy you and your family, it's a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant,” he said, dooming who knows how many people to death. “Likely you can get in easily. There's, you know, let's not hurt the working people in this country that are relying on wages and tips to keep their small business going. [...] Go to your local pub.”
It’s no surprise that most of the irresponsible dismissing of COVID-19 featured above is happening on Fox News. The network has prostrated itself before Trump, effectively becoming like a state-run propaganda arm. They won’t do anything to get on the wrong side of Trump. It’s a feature, not a bug.
On Fox & Friends, Jerry Falwell Jr claims people are "overreacting" to coronavirus, the national response is "their next attempt to get Trump," and the virus itself is a North Korean bioweapon. pic.twitter.com/2JPuNBW7C3
— McSpockyÃ¢Â�Â¢ Ã°Â�Â�Â½Ã°Â�Â�Â�Ã°Â�Â�Â� #VoteBlue2020 (@mcspocky) March 15, 2020
If you’re sitting here wondering what the hell is wrong with these people, you’re not alone. Trapped in their conservative anti-science media bubble, they’re whipping themselves up into a fervor of denialism and frothy conspiracy theories.
The results are devastating. Republicans simply don’t believe that they should take COVID-19 seriously.
The coronavirus partisan divide is real. Twice as many Democrats (60%) are changing plans or taking precautions than Republicans (31%). 88% of Republicans are satisfied with the government's response. Among Democrats? 11%. Survey report @Civiqs 3/8-11: https://t.co/sGoSTbhEsI
And it’s even worse among Fox News viewers, only 9% of which are “extremely concerned” about the virus. These are the same people who live in mortal fear of an “illegal” coming and murdering them. The big difference? They will definitely end up knowing about someone who died of the novel coronavirus, while those mythical hordes of undocumented murderers only exist in the imagination of the network’s most bigoted hosts. (48% of MSNBC viewers are “extremely concerned,” which is still low. It should be 100%. But that network isn’t sowing misinformation.)
I used to joke that Republicans would come out in favor of cancer if President Barack Obama ever declared his opposition to it publicly. At least, it was supposed to be a joke. Now we find out that a global pandemic killing tens of thousands has become a partisan issue. Not because it is a partisan issue. There is nothing Republican or Democratic or liberal or conservative about a deadly disease. But because Trump’s botched handling of the pandemic makes him “look bad,” and there is no greater sin in the world than making Trump look bad.
It might be funny or the material for easy partisan points, except people are dying, and a lot more will die before scientists find a vaccine. And while we could be making efforts to mitigate the carnage, both in human and economic terms, we have an entire half of the country’s divide refusing to accept our new reality and demanding we pretend all is well, nothing to see here, please carry on, preferably at your local pub or cruise ship.
It’s staggeringly irresponsible. The final culmination of an ideology so divorced from reality, that it will literally kill, disproportionately, the older and rural people that form its base. And—this is legitimately ironic—it is liberals trying to save their lives.