A callous disregard for human life has become the hallmark of the Donald Trump presidency. He has made repeated attempts to terminate and/or sabotage Obamacare. His economic and tax policies have punished millions of working people, while benefiting corporations and the wealthy. He has presided over the decimation of the environment. And as a result of his negligence, incompetence, and even deliberate malfeasance, more than 116,000 American have been lost to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
This week Trump will resume the cult rallies that, until the coronavirus pandemic, were the primary source of the ego-stroking that his malignant narcissism requires. Every public health expert has warned that it is too soon – and therefore gravely irresponsible – to hold such an event while infections are continuing to rise. That’s specifically true for Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of Trump’s rally on Saturday. The Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Bruce Dart told The Tulsa World that…
“‘I’m concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends a large, indoor event, and I’m also concerned about our ability to ensure the president stays safe as well. COVID is here in Tulsa, it is transmitting very efficiently,’ Dart added. ‘I wish we could postpone this to a time when the virus isn’t as large a concern as it is today.'”
These warnings are falling on deaf ears in the Trump camp. Just as he did in the early months of the pandemic’s spread, the Trump administration is dismissing the risks and pretending that everything is just fine. Several weeks ago he ceased to hold the daily briefings by his White House Coronavirus Task Force. Perhaps he believes that by selling his Trump-branded face masks everyone will be immunized. This second wave of Trump delusionally downplaying the scientific realities is certain to have the same disastrous results. Not that Trump cares about any of that. He tweeted Monday morning that…
The Far Left Fake News Media, which had no Covid problem with the Rioters & Looters destroying Democrat run cities, is trying to Covid Shame us on our big Rallies. Won’t work!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2020
That is a Twitter tirade that is just oozing with the block-headed idiocy for which Trump is so well known. First of all, Trump is unsurprisingly lying about the press coverage of the demonstrations where citizens were spontaneously expressing their outrage over the murder of George Floyd and other unarmed African-Americans at the hands of the police. The media extensively reported on the potential health risks posed by demonstrators. However, they also made obvious distinctions between these protesters (not “rioters and looters” as Trump derisively calls them) and Trump’s cultists. The demonstrations were all outdoors, where the risk of transmission is lower. And the vast majority of protesters wore masks. Trump’s rally will be held indoors with people who, like Trump, reject the necessity for social distancing and facial coverings.
Trump is also purposefully misleading with his assertion that the demonstrations were limited to “Democrat run cities.” Even if that were true, it wouldn’t make any difference. They’re still Americans in massive numbers speaking out about injustice. But the fact is that these protests stretched across the nation with hundreds of thousands of participants in more than 2,000 cities, many of which are run by Republicans. For instance, San Diego, CA, Waco, TX, Mobile, AL, Colorado Springs, CO, and Palm Beach, Fl, to name just a few.
Perhaps the most disturbing part of Trump’s tweet is his stand in defiance of what he imagines to be the media “trying to Covid Shame” him. Really? Is he really taking a stance against this imaginary media plot to humiliate him by doubling down on his commitment to put the lives of his own supporters at risk? Just to show the press that he has no capacity for shame? Most Americans already knew that.
As for Trump, he knows full well the peril that his rally poses for those who attend. That’s why he is forcing all of them to sign an agreement not to sue him or his campaign if they contract or die from the coronavirus. That’s an outright admission of knowledge of harm, and an overt attempt to dodge accountability. You would think that would be a red flag for potential rally-goers. But these are Trump supporters and, as he has said, he loves the poorly educated. And with this rally they are getting yet another opportunity to prove him right.
UPDATE: Trump Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway says that there will be temperature checks for rally-goers and that masks and hand sanitizer will be distributed. For a million people? Of course there won’t really be a million people, but the venue holds 19,000. It is highly improbable that they will have 19,000 face masks and bottles of hand sanitizer to give away. And temperature checks for that many people (at 5 seconds each, if that’s possible) would take more than 26 hours.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.