Over the last few days most of the political attention has been focused on the Supreme Court vacancy. Rightfully so, but there is much else going on in both America and the world. I’d like to address one aspect of that today. Let’s explore.
The pandemic is getting worse and will soon explode again in America. That’s not the ranting of some left wing lunatic; it is fact based on deciphering intentionally manipulated evidence. It is also something Donald Trump really doesn’t want leading the news so he is happy to hear coverage of the Supreme Court vacancy.
We just surpassed 200,000 American deaths officially attributed to COVID-19 (we know that number is low). Trump doesn’t want to talk about that. In fact he and his minions are touting what a great job they have done, that all is fine, we can come out now and all celebrate. If only that were the case!
Trump is like a street hustler trying to play on the level of a magician. Like a shell game operator or a magician his success is based on diversion and deception. Trump has fooled a lot of Americans to date and just may fool enough when coupled with foreign interference and corrupting the system to win another term. That is his goal. If the election becomes a referendum on him or his handling of the conoravirus pandemic he will lose so he has to divert attention.
Following the facts is the best way to evaluate a situation. The problem with the pandemic is that the “facts” are being manipulated. The most glaring example is the CDC whose website changes more often than Mitch McConnell’s stance on filling Supreme Court vacancies. It has become obvious that political hacks, not legitimate scientists, are controlling the content of the site rendering it suspect at best and most likely useless.
A lot is made of the percentage of tests coming back positive. I contend that that figure by itself is useless information. If we change who we are testing and/or how representative of the population at large the sample is we will certainly alter the results.
If we make the situation appear to be less serious than it is that clears the way for returning to the old normal. That very much includes sending children back to school for in classroom instructions; which we are starting to do. The first phase in many cases is to send elementary school children back. (Don’t forget the fact that this fulfills what sadly too many Americans –very much including greedy employers who want to pay low wages – feel is the primary function of our public school system: “free” day care.) The “thinking” is that young children can’t catch COVID-19 which is demonstrably untrue. They are less likely to contract it or die from it but are far from immune. The larger fly in the ointment is that the children become carriers (often asymptomatic), come back home from school and interact with parents and grandparents who are much more susceptible to the virus. Effectively you trade free day care and mommy being able to go to a job where she is underpaid for grandma’s life. If you are Donald Trump or Wilbur Ross that is probably a trade you are willing if not happy to make. How do you feel about that trade?
On the higher level there was a great rush on the part of too many colleges to reopen with in person classes. Some “geniuses” thought they were going to be able to control the outside the classroom behavior of thousands of young people living in close proximity. The predictable result is thousands of new infections. Now what many campuses have done is send the kids home. All that has done is spread the virus over a wider geography by releasing often asymptomatic but nonetheless infected people about the country.
The rush to reopen schools (for all the wrong reasons) is exploding in our faces. Under Trump’s “leadership” America blew its chance to take advantage of the advance warning it had and blunt this virus during the first round. It also eliminated what should have been a “break’ between waves. Now in a desperate effort to refute reality it is insuring the second wave will be even more deadly.
We, under Trump’s “leadership” are proving to be our own worst enemy. The Trump plan is to deceptively bury the facts and quietly bury the dead.
Remember the current administration claims to be the friend of the religious right. This situation reminds me of the juxta positioning of two partial lines in Barry McGuire’s song Eve of Destruction, “You can bury dead …but don’t forget to say grace.”?
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