Once again, the rush is on to drop mask mandates and “get back to normal.” Because, Freedumb. This past Presidents Day weekend we visited Wilmington and places along the way. Masks were already the marked exception, even for restaurant staff. Signs referring to masks were mostly gone or disregarded. In our 10-story hotel, one of the two elevators was out of service, many people were perfectly content to, maskless, get on the elevator with you.
As a society we have asked, nay, demanded of our health care workers in hospitals and elsewhere an extraordinary degree of commitment and sacrifice, not to mention life-threatening risk. Small wonder that so many have quit in exhaustion & despair. For a while we made celebrated their sacrifice as we would have for soldiers in time of war (Vietnam excepted)., but that time has passed, it seems.
There are other phrases for what we’re doing now. “Whistling by the graveyard” comes to mind. Dr. Chris Beyrer, professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, summed it up nicely: “… this does look like the beginning of a next phase and let’s hope it lasts.” https://bit.ly/3smMxqk Indeed, let’s hope. Experience suggests otherwise but we’ll see. I will be quite happy to be wrong about my skepticism.
The over-privileged whiny babies seem to have carried the day with their relentless complaining, arrogant ignorance about the science of the virus and violence. Their hatred and fear of the federal government, their obeisance to the Liar King Trump and other factors have led them to a degree of self-indulgence and dangerous behavior to themselves and others that defies understanding. They must have their seat at the bar, their time at the gym, whatever, and many will simply not accept anything else. Freedumb.
Now, we are on the verge of a shooting war with Russia, a nuclear-equipped country dominated by a former and ruthless KGB operative now essentially Russia’s president for life. Republicans around the country and in Congress have now progressed from the Big Lie of Donald Trump to overt support for a country with which the United States may be at war soon. Their traitorous conduct in supporting, perhaps even planning and certainly defending, the January 6 coup attempt has moved on to more adventurous treasons. Here are their names:
Rep. Elise Stefanik
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
Rep. Lauren Boebert
Rep. Paul Gosar
Rep. Matt Gaetz
Rep. Andy Biggs
Rep. Jim Jordan
Rep. Greg Steube
Rep. Byron Donalds
Rep. Jody Hice
Rep. Thomas Massie
Rep. Kat Cammack
Rep. Jim Banks
Rep. Lee Zeldin
Rep. Bill Johnson
Rep. Dan Crenshaw
Sen. Ted Cruz
Sen. Tom Cotton
Sen. Ron Johnson
Sen. Marsha Blackburn
Sen. Tim Scott
Sen. Rick Scott
Sen. Marco Rubio
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith
Sen. Cynthia Lummis
Sen. Lindsey Graham
GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy
GOP Candidate Ronny Jackson
There was a time when American politicians would not criticize an American president when we was conducting the nation’s business overseas. And while they reserve the right to oppose U.S. engagement in armed conflict or declarations of war/authorization for the use of force, it was rare that they would overtly side with the enemy in an armed conflict.
No so, today’s Republicans. Given their statements and conduct, it does not challenge the imagination to think they would support Russia’s declaring that all of Europe was Russian territory. Recall Hitler. “The troops massing on your border are just a military exercise. Don’t be alarmed. Our territorial ambitions are quite limited. Believe me.”
But that is a subject for another day. In this post, I want to remind everyone, and hope they share it with others I can’t reach, how Donald Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States, deliberately and repeatedly lied to the American people for over two years about the COVID-19 virus. In his constant lying, he persuaded his gullible followers that the virus was no threat, that masks were evil, that even the vaccine he claimed to have inspired was not to be trusted, and more. He admitted to having deliberately downplayed the threat in his interview with Bob Woodward. Of course, to deny that he downplayed it would have been another blatant lie because the record of his lies is clear and unflinching.
As a result, Donald Trump is personally responsible for the avoidable deaths of, most likely, hundreds of thousands of Americans. If you think that number is too large, remember that, as of February 22, 2022, the U.S. death total attributable to COVID is 932,894. It seems clear we will come near to or exceed a million dead before this is “over,” if it ever is.
Trump is responsible for many of those that could have been, and still could be, avoided if public health advice had been fully respected. Instead, acts of violence are perpetrated every week in airports and on aircraft, in restaurants and elsewhere – all in the name of Freedumb, encouraged by Trump and his cabal of traitors and incompetents.
It’s tempting, of course, to point fingers at the tens of thousands, or millions, of Americans who have fallen prey to Trump’s siren song. And they are worthy of profound disdain, particularly those who followed his call to storm the Capitol on January 6 and steal the election. Many Americans have proved themselves unworthy of the designation, “American.” They are soft, entitled, and unbending in their disrespect of the needs of others.
And, yet, here we are again, making political decisions about medical issues in our rush to deflect the anger of the self-absorbed cry babies who refuse to wear masks, reject vaccines, and generally behave in a way that assures the pandemic will remain with us longer, perhaps forever. Mostly, if not entirely, in the service of the lies told by Donald Trump and the sycophants who continue to surround him and do his bidding to unlawfully reinstall him as president. It’s a pathetic display of ignorance, arrogance, and insolence. It will not end well.
Here is a chronology of Trump’s lies and deflections about COVID-19. I don’t expect you to read all of the detail, but it may be useful in the coming elections. You may want to just skim through it to get the gist of just how many lies and deflections Trump said just in 2020.
The Year 2020 [italics & bolding added]
January 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine,”
January 30: World Health Organization declares a public health emergency of international concern.
January 30: “We think we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five — and those people are all recuperating successfully. But we’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for us … that I can assure you.”
January 31: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declares a public health emergency for the U.S.
January 31: HHS Secretary Alex Azar announces travel restrictions, effective February 2, prohibiting non-U.S. citizens, other than permanent residents and the immediate family of both citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled to China within the prior two weeks from entering the U.S. No consideration is apparently given to people coming to the U.S. from Europe who had been in China or in contact with Chinese people.
February 7: Trump Interview with Woodward: “It goes through air, Bob. That’s always tougher than the touch … You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And, so that’s a very tricky one. … It’s also more deadly than your – you know, your, even your strenuous flus. … This is more deadly. This is 5, you know, this is 5% versus 1% and less than 1%. You know, so, this is deadly stuff.
February 10: You know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April.
February 24: Trump in a tweet: The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!
February 25: China is working very, very hard. I have spoken to President Xi, and they’re working very hard. And if you know anything about him, I think he’ll be in pretty good shape. They’re — they’ve had a rough patch, and I think right now they have it — it looks like they’re getting it under control more and more. They’re getting it more and more under control. So I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away.
February 26: …when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.
February 27: It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear. And from our shores, we — you know, it could get worse before it gets better. It could maybe go away. We’ll see what happens. Nobody really knows.
March 2 — 5 average daily new cases
March 6 — 32 average daily new cases – increase of 5.4 x over 4 days
I don’t think people are panicking. I said last night — we did an interview on Fox last night, a town hall. I think it was very good. And I said, ‘Calm. You have to be calm.’ It’ll go away.
March 10 — 102 average daily new cases – increase of 2.2 x over 4 days
We’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.
March 12 — 201 average daily new cases – increase of 2x over 2 days
You know, we need a little a separation until such time as this goes away. It’s going to go away. It’s going to go away.
March 29 — 15,514 average daily new cases – increase of 76 x over 17 days prior
March 3O: Stay calm. It will go away. You know it — you know it is going away, and it will go away. And we’re going to have a great victory
March 31 — 19,337 average daily new cases – increase of 24 % over two days
It’s going to go away, hopefully at the end of the month. And, if not, hopefully it will be soon after that.
April 3 — 26,081 average daily new cases – increase of 35 % in 3 days
It is going to go away. It is going away.
April 7 — 31,238 average daily new cases – increase of 20 % over 4 days
It did go — it will go away.
April 28 — 28,568 average daily new cases – decrease of 8 % over 21 days
But a lot of movement and a lot of progress has been made in a vaccine. But I think what happens is it’s going to go away. This is going to go away. And whether it comes back in a modified form in the fall, we’ll be able to handle it.
April 29 — 28,171 average daily new cases – decrease of 1 % over 1 day
It’s going to go. It’s going to leave. It’s going to be gone. It’s going to be eradicated. And it might take longer. It might be in smaller sections. It’ll be — it won’t be what we had. And we also learned a lot.
May 5 — 27,134 average daily new cases – decrease of 4 % over 7 days
And I think we’re doing very well on the vaccines but, with or without a vaccine, it’s going to pass, and we’re going to be back to normal.
May 6 — 26.830 average daily new cases – decrease of 1 % over 1 day
Because, you know, this virus is going to disappear. It’s a question of when. Will it come back in a small way? Will it come back in a fairly large way? But we know how to deal with it now much better. You know, nobody knew anything about it, initially. Now we know we can put out fires.
May 8 — 25.475 average daily new cases – decrease of 5 % over 2 days
Well, I feel about vaccines like I feel about tests. This is going to go away without a vaccine. It’s going to go away, and it’s — we’re not going to see it again, hopefully, after a period of time. You may have some — some flare-ups and I guess, you know, I would expect that. Sometime in the fall, you’ll have flare-ups maybe. Maybe not. But according to what a lot of people say, you probably will. We’ll be able to put them out. You may have some flare-ups next year, but eventually, it’s going to be gone. I mean, it’s going to be gone.
May 15 — 22.337 average daily new cases – decrease of 12 % over 7 days
We think we’re going to have a vaccine in the pretty near future. And if we do, we’re going to you had a problem come in, it’ll go away — at some point, it’ll go away. It may flare up, and it may not flare up. We’ll have to see what happens.
May 19: “When we have a lot of cases, I don’t look at that as a bad thing,” the president said. “I look at that in a certain respect as being a good thing, because it means our testing is much better. So, if we were testing a million people instead of 14 million people, we would have far few cases, right?
“So, I view it as a badge of honor. Really, it’s a badge of honor,” he added. “It’s a great tribute to the testing and all of the work that a lot of professionals have done.”
Days later, the U.S. recorded 100,000 known deaths from COVID-19.
June 15 — 21.987 average daily new cases – decrease of 2 % over 31 days
So I think that’s — but even without that [a vaccine or therapeutics], you know, at some point this stuff goes away and it’s going away.
June 16 — 22,613 average daily new cases – increase of 3 % over 1 day
I always say, even without it [a vaccine], it goes away.
June 17 — 23,380 average daily new cases – increase of 3 % over 1 day
…if you look, the numbers are very minuscule compared to what it was. It’s dying out.
But I will tell you, we’re very close to a vaccine, and we’re very close to therapeutics, really good therapeutics. And — but even without that — I don’t even like to talk about that, because it’s fading away. It’s going to fade away.
June 18 — 24,195 average daily new cases – increase of 3 % in over 1 day
And it is dying out. The numbers are starting to get very good.
July 1 — 44,875 average daily new cases – increase of 85 % over 13 days
And I think we are going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that, at some point, that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope.
July 19 — 64,754 average daily new cases – increase of 44 % over 18 days
I’ll be right eventually. I will be right eventually. You know I said, ‘It’s going to disappear.’ I’ll say it again. It’s going to disappear, and I’ll be right.
NPR: July 19: Trump Interview: “Many of those cases are young people that would heal in a day,” “They have the sniffles, and we put it down as a test.” He added that many of those sick “are going to get better very quickly.”
At the time of Trump’s interview, more than 3.7 million coronavirus cases had been confirmed in the United States, and more than 140,000 Americans had died.
July 21 — 65,073 average daily new cases – increase of .5 % over 2 days
Well, the virus will disappear. It will disappear.
July 22 — 65,321 average daily new cases – increase of .4 % over 1 day
We’re gonna beat it, yeah. We’re going to beat it. And with time, you’re going to be it — time. You know, I say, it’s going to disappear. And they say, ‘Oh, that’s terrible.’ He said — well, it’s true. I mean, it’s going to disappear. Before it disappears, I think we can knock it out before it disappears.
August 5 — 56,585 average daily new cases – decrease of 13 % over 14 days
This thing’s going away. It will go away like things go away…
It’s going away. No, it’ll go away like things go away. Absolutely. No question in my mind. It will go away. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
August 7 — 54,756 average daily new cases – decrease of 3 % over 2 days
And we’re getting them [manufacturing jobs] even in a pandemic — which is disappearing; it’s going to disappear.
August 13 — 56,371 average daily new cases – increase of 3 % over 6 days
Think of it, we’re almost back to where we were [stock market], and we’re still in the pandemic, which will be going away, as I say, it’ll be going away. And they scream, how you can you say that? I said, because it’s gonna be going away.
August 17 — 51,244 average daily new cases – decrease of 9 % over 4 days
And as soon as the plague is gone — we have vaccines coming, we have therapeutics coming, and it’s going to be gone. And it’s gonna be gone soon.
And the China Plague will fade.
August 24 — 42,123 average daily new cases – decrease of 18 % over 7 days
It’s all coming back so fast and you’ll see it, and the pandemic goes away. The vaccines are going to be, I believe, announced very soon.
August 31 — 41,719 average daily new cases – decrease of 1 % over 7 days
Well, once you get to a certain number — you know, we use the word herd, right. Once you get to a certain number, it’s going to go away.
September 15 — 38,922 average daily new cases – decrease of 7 % over 16 days
It is gonna disappear. It’s gonna disappear. I still say it.
NPR: September 21: Interview: “It affects elderly people, elderly people with heart problems, if they have other problems, that’s what it really affects, that’s it. In some states thousands of people — nobody young — below the age of 18, like nobody — they have a strong immune system — who knows?” Trump said.
“Take your hat off to the young because they have a hell of an immune system. It affects virtually nobody,” he added. “It’s an amazing thing — by the way, open your schools!”
October 10 — 47,466 average daily new cases – increase of 22 % over 25 days
But it’s going to disappear. It is disappearing. And vaccines are going to help, and the therapeutics are going to help a lot.
October 15 — 53,152 average daily new cases – increase of 12 % over 5 days
The vaccine will end the pandemic. But it’s ending anyway. I mean, they go crazy when I say it. It’s going to peter out and it’s going to end. But we’re going to help the end and we’re gonna make it a lot faster with the vaccine and with the therapeutics and frankly with the cures.
October 16 — 55,144 average daily new cases – increase of 4 % over 1 day
Even without the vaccine, the pandemic’s going to end. It’s gonna run its course. It’s gonna end. They’ll go crazy. He said ‘without the vaccine’ — watch, it’ll be a headline tomorrow. These people are crazy. No, it’s running its course.
All of the foregoing occurred in 2020. Through Oct. 19, 2020 more than 220,000 people had died from Covid-19 in the US. Well over a year after Trump’s last quoted remark above, the pandemic death toll in the U.S. is approaching 1,000,000 human beings of all ages and stages of life and health. We will never know precisely how many deaths and other long term/permanent devastating health impacts could have been avoided if Trump had not consistently and repeatedly misled his devoted followers, but it not unreasonable to believe that the pandemic would have entered the endemic stages long ago. Instead, the death and destruction continue. And Trump, well, Trump has moved on. His sole concern is with being restored to the presidency by whatever means – lying, cheating, stealing – will work.