For some time now I have called for a warning label on ballots similar to the one on cigarette packages. It would read WARNING: Voting for a Republican may be hazardous to your health. The events of the last several days offered only further proof of the need for the label. I know it won’t happen but that doesn’t diminish its need. Let’s explore.
Friday morning Americans awoke to the news that President Trump and the First Lady had tested positive for the coronavirus. Since so little news coming out of this White House can be trusted I immediately considered the possibility that the announcement was a lie. Tuesday night’s debate was a disaster for Trump so the possibility that he was trying to avoid the next scheduled debate on October 15th without appearing to back out had to be considered. The initial news coming out of the White House was that Trump was experiencing very mild symptoms – little more than a cold. The only reason people would have had to speculate that Trump was more ill than the White House was letting on to was his absence from Twitter. (Much later we found out that he missed a noon “Zoom-type meeting”. Not the actions of a man feeling just a bit under the weather.)
At 5:30pm he was moved to Walter Reed Hospital on very short notice to the press and public. Almost immediately it was disclosed that he would be staying for several days. I’ve had a lot of colds in my life (and in my younger days several hangovers that were much worse than what the White House Press office was leading us to believe that Trump was experiencing) and I never contemplated going to the hospital. That’s when I was convinced that Trump really was positive for COVID-19 and was in fact experiencing its effects. What he had initially labeled as a hoax was certainly not; in fact he was now experiencing it up close and personal.
As the day (particularly the evening) wore on we learned of several other prominent Republican who had tested positive including RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, along with current 2020 Trump Campaign Manager Bill Stepien. We also learned that Trump was receiving an experimental treatment for COVID-19.
Especially when you are dealing with a group – very much led by Trump – that had been practicing irresponsible and reckless behavior it is exceedingly difficult to ascertain the origin of the current dilemma but the most likely suspect as of this writing is the Saturday Rose Garden event where Trump announced Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee. The event was attended by most of the above, it was almost a totally maskless crowd and social distancing was not practiced. In addition several others including at least three members of the press and one intern have tested positive. This is a case where the powerful harmed the relatively powerless.
Subsequent to Saturday Trump held several events including rallies and fundraisers. They continued even after close aide Hope Hick experienced symptoms and tested positive. I’m not an attorney and never attended law school but that sounds like criminal behavior to me. At the least it is irresponsible!
The Trump contingent attended Tuesday night’s debate in Cleveland with his four chronologically adult children in the front row remaining maskless even after being informed by a medical professional that masks were required. Arrogance and willful ignorance are a dangerous, and sometimes deadly, combination!
I really think everyone should have the right to commit suicide if they so choose but, reckless endangerment, manslaughter and murder are different stories. Tuesday night’s audience was limited but a Biden contingent was also there. The danger to society is that people who attend Trump events/pep rallies then interact with totally innocent people. There were several Coronapalooza events last week with mostly maskless, shouting crowds who did not practice social distancing.
Where this merry-go-round ends and what its repercussions are is at this point unknown. However this much is known: we now have even more proof of the need for a warning label on ballots.
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