Remember Covid-19? That deadly pandemic that’s killed more than 80,000 Americans – and counting? President Trump apparently doesn’t.
Neither do the hosts of any Fox News program. Or most Republican members of Congress.
It’s simple: All of Trump’s denials and deflections are coming back to roost. All his predictions have failed. And – oh, yeah – an election is on the horizon.
The result? A sudden uptick in accusations against President Obama. That’s all the GOP can talk about now. Obamagate. Obama’s crimes. The conspiracy against Trump.
The Right has resurrected this long-disproven chestnut, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, to throw smoke when the whole coronavirus battle is heading down the toilet.
Trump has declared “Mission Accomplished,” so it’s time to move on. (Remember how well that worked for Dubya?)
Cash First, People Second
President Trump knows his chances of reelection shrink with the economy. So, he’s made a calculation: Better to lose a few thousand lives than lose an election.
American voters are expendable in his eyes. Especially when the risk is greater to the poor and ethnic minorities. Both groups that tend to vote Democratic.
In other words, the rush to reopen the economy is a win-win for Trump. He gets whatever short-term boost may come to the economy, and he may see a decline in the number of Democratic voters.
His cronies agree. Texas’ Republican lt. governor suggested we should sacrifice the old to get the economy running again. And Chris Christy tried to compare the pandemic to World War II in terms of sacrifice.
Can you imagine a more cynical view? It’s okay to sacrifice thousands of American lives… if it’ll start lining the pockets of the rich again.
What’s worse, Trump and his cronies were behind the whole problem in the first place.
Doomed by Trump’s Magical Thinking
Over and over again – for two months – Trump and his allies claimed this pandemic was nothing to worry about. It’ll miraculously disappear. One day, you’ll wake up to warm weather and no more coronavirus. We have it under control.
By the time team Trump began to take the problem seriously, the genie was long out of the bottle. Two months of testing, gone. Two months of mitigation, passed by.
Even after the president woke up, he dithered. He argued with governors. Dragged his feet on testing and stocking supplies. Put Jared in charge of a supply team that accomplished virtually nothing.
His daily updates were mostly long rants about how unfair the news media were being… how the governors didn’t show enough appreciation… how good his ratings were. And every step of the way, medical experts had to correct his lunatic ideas, while trying not to insult his fragile ego.
Then came injecting disinfectants. Forcing packing plant employees back to work – without requiring safety improvements. And it’s all China’s fault.
Trump and his team refused to follow their own guidelines. Until two close staffers got sick. He pushed for states to reopen too soon. And even instigated protests against stay-at-home orders. (“Liberate Michigan!”)
Now it’s come completely unraveled, so it’s time to declare victory and move on.
Time to Open Up, Folks
So, Trump has essentially washed his hands of the Covid-19 crisis. It’s re-open the economy or bust. And to distract from that nagging health issue.
So, Trump and his cronies have trotted out “Obamagate” again. It’s almost all you hear from Fox News pundits and hosts. Right-wing radio talk shows are full of it. And Trump’s bootlicking lapdog of an attorney general is back on the case.
The smoke from this smokescreen is getting kind of thick.
Except that Covid-19 is still here. Still killing thousands of Americans. And still spreading in many states. Georgia re-opened and saw a big spike in cases.
Thousands of out-of-staters flooded into Georgia to take advantage of the loosening of restrictions. Who knows how many brought a hitchhiker home with them, creating new hotspots?
And you know it’s not a good sign when Republican governors begin burying the numbers… or stop reporting them altogether.
Time to open up, they say. Time to get the economy moving. Except what they’re really saying is its time for thousands more Americans to die needlessly.