FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Trump Minimizing and Sugarcoating Coronavirus Perils

Donald Trump can’t fake his way through the coronavirus. It’s spreading and doesn’t respond to his delusions. Donald is flailing, failing, fibbing, stumbling, and scapegoating. With the stock market collapsing and the economy shaking, Donald fears defeat in November. Trump is a daily clear and present danger and he is the worst person to handle the COVID-19 crisis.

Last weekend, Trump and Mike Pence met with Brazilian officials at Mar-a-Lago, after which Brazilian President Bolsonaro’s press secretary tested positive for COVID-19. Despite his potential exposure, Trump refuses to take the test for coronavirus. He should take paid sick leave and let competent, experienced people take the reins to combat the virus.

“Be calm,” he says, “it will go away.” “This is like the flu.” On February 26, he falsely said the number of U.S. COVID-19 cases “within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.” The dangerous falsehoods continue to pour from his fevered mind.

Trump knows that during his tenure, he took innumerable actions that have made the United States more defenseless against this pandemic and other threats. He and the evil John Bolton, aggressively moved to disable pandemic prevention forces in the U.S. government, boosted by supine, maniacal right wing talk radio show hosts (Rush Limbaugh said the virus is “just a cold”). In 2018, the head of the pandemic response team, Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer, left the National Security Council amid Bolton’s restructuring. Once Ziemer was gone, Bolton dismantled the entire pandemic response team. Trump also pushed to slash the budgets of the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health. Congress stopped the cuts but couldn’t repeal the destructive policies of Trump and his henchmen.

Trump insanely decided to cut USAID’s Predict program, a critical federal program that tracked infectious diseases. At the same time, he poured hundreds of billions of dollars into the bloated military empire budget with congressional complicity. According to Public Citizen, Trump wanted to cut the CDC’s 2021 budget by $1.3 billion, down 19% from the previous year. The proposed CDC budget cuts included cutting $25 million in funding for the “preparedness and response programs.”

This is sheer madness: Trump has chosen death over life. Draft-dodger Trump is stockpiling mass destruction weapons that can blow up the world many times over. But the determined golfer, right in the midst of this COVID-19 surge, did not stockpile ventilators, face masks, testing kits and other critical equipment and materials. Hospital capacity is perilously low and the number of reserve medical and nursing personnel is too small. What about readiness here at home?

Failing to head off a pandemic is what can be expected from a regime that sugarcoats and covers up its criminal negligence by not protecting the American people. Trump blathered about China since day one, but he allowed the U.S. drug companies to continue to outsource production of most drugs to China and India. We’re utterly dependent on that fragile supply chain because Big Pharma wanted to make even bigger profits—despite the handouts they already get in the form of big tax credits and free research and development of drugs by the National Institutes of Health. The U.S. government doesn’t even have price ceilings on drugs, allowing pharmaceutical companies to gouge Americans. There’s a real possibility of drug shortages soon.

Trump is trying to buy himself out of trouble through red ink deficit spending in the tens of billions to cushion businesses. At the same time he balks at eliminating the huge tax cut he gave to big business and the wealthy to provide paid sick leave, paid medical care for the uninsured, and other assistance people will need. Poor people will especially need broader medical coverage, protections from evictions, and food assistance during the predicted crisis. Unemployment compensation funds need to be expanded during this coming recession.

New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo wrote that “We’re all socialists in a pandemic.” That brings us to the daily vindication of the Bernie Sanders campaign. Suddenly, everyone – the banks, Wall Street, the airlines, the hospitality and tourist business, beleaguered small business, and others are expecting government agencies to help in all kinds of ways. The same CEO fat cats who, in the past decade, dumped seven trillion dollars of profits into unproductive, stock buybacks for their compensation metrics are looking to the government to stabilize their debt-ridden companies.

When I was campaigning for president in 2008 during the stock market crash, we hoisted a large banner at an anti-Wall Street rally that read, “Socialism bails out Capitalism.” Bernie recognizes our mixed private/public economy. He wants a better balance so that the few/powerful, in their greed do not disproportionately benefit while the many powerless suffer. Bernie wants what western European democracies have long provided for all their people: Universal health care, tuition-free education (like we have for public high schools), living wages, stronger labor unions and cooperatives, and other social safety net benefits long overdue in the world’s biggest economy.

So long deprived of what they’ve earned, from frozen wages to looted pensions and consumer gouging, the people should shout out “what’s the big deal, we are long overdue.”

Bernie needs to continue his campaign to the Party’s convention. Just like Jesse Jackson did in 1984 and Ronald Reagan did in 1976. To drop out is to calamitously let down his supporters, including voters yet to vote. He would forfeit going after Trump, with media coverage, in ways faltering and gaffe-prone Joe Biden can’t or won’t. He would lose his leverage, backed by legions of small donors, to get concessions from Biden and his entrenched Democrats. Besides, Biden could stumble before the convention.

So it’s not just about voting margins in primaries; it’s about policies for the present and future of America. Politics is about timing; now Bernie’s proposals will receive more attention from everybody affected.

And everybody is affected by the looming coronavirus pandemic.

More articles by:

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! 

July 09, 2020
Richard D. Wolff
COVID-19 Exposes the Weakness of a Major Theory Used to Justify Capitalism
Ahrar Ahmad
Racism in America: Police Choke-Holds Are Not the Issue
Timothy M. Gill
Electoral Interventions: a Suspiciously Naïve View of U.S. Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War World
Daniel Falcone
Cold War with China and the Thucydides Trap: a Conversation with Richard Falk
Daniel Beaumont
Shrink-Wrapped: Plastic Pollution and the Greatest Economic System Jesus Ever Devised
Prabir Purkayastha
The World Can Show How Pharma Monopolies Aren’t the Only Way to Fight COVID-19
Gary Leupp
“Pinning Down Putin” Biden, the Democrats and the Next War
Howard Lisnoff
The Long Goodbye to Organized Religion
Cesar Chelala
The Dangers of Persecuting Doctors
Mike Garrity – Erik Molvar
Back on the List: A Big Win for Yellowtone Grizzlies and the Endangered Species Act, a Big Loss for Trump and Its Enemies
Purusottam Thakur
With Rhyme and Reasons: Rap Songs for COVID Migrants
Binoy Kampmark
Spiked Concerns: The Melbourne Coronavirus Lockdown
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela is on a Path to Make Colonialism Obsolete
George Ochenski
Where are Our Political Leaders When We Really Need Them?
Dean Baker
Is it Impossible to Envision a World Without Patent Monopolies?
William A. Cohn
Lead the Way: a Call to Youth
July 08, 2020
Laura Carlsen
Lopez Obrador’s Visit to Trump is a Betrayal of the U.S. and Mexican People
Melvin Goodman
Afghanistan: What is to be Done?
Thomas Klikauer – Norman Simms
The End of the American Newspaper
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Merits of Medicare for All Have Been Proven by This Pandemic
David Rosen
It’s Now Ghislaine Maxwell’s Turn
Nicolas J S Davies
Key U.S. Ally Indicted for Organ Trade Murder Scheme
Bob Lord
Welcome to Hectobillionaire Land
Laura Flanders
The Great American Lie
John Kendall Hawkins
Van Gogh’s Literary Influences
Marc Norton
Reopening vs. Lockdown is a False Dichotomy
Joel Schlosberg
“All the Credit He Gave Us:” Time to Drop Hamilton’s Economics
CounterPunch News Service
Tribes Defeat Trump Administration and NRA in 9th Circuit on Sacred Grizzly Bear Appeal
John Feffer
The US is Now the Global Public Health Emergency
Nick Licata
Three Books on the 2020 Presidential Election and Their Relevance to the Black Live Matter Protests
Elliot Sperber
The Breonna Taylor Bridge
July 07, 2020
Richard Eskow
The War on Logic: Contradictions and Absurdities in the House’s Military Spending Bill
Daniel Beaumont
Gimme Shelter: the Brief And Strange History of CHOP (AKA CHAZ)
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s War
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Racism May be Blatant, But the Culture He Defends Comes Out of the Civil War and Goes Well Beyond Racial Division
Andrew Stewart
Can We Compare the George Floyd Protests to the Vietnam War Protests? Maybe, But the Analogy is Imperfect
Walden Bello
The Racist Underpinnings of the American Way of War
Nyla Ali Khan
Fallacious Arguments Employed to Justify the Revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s Autonomy and Its Bifurcation
Don Fitz
A Statue of Hatuey
Dean Baker
Unemployment Benefits Should Depend on the Pandemic
Ramzy Baroud – Romana Rubeo
Will the ICC Investigation Bring Justice for Palestine?
Sam Pizzigati
Social Distancing for Mega-Million Fun and Profit
Dave Lindorff
Private: Why the High Dudgeon over Alleged Russian Bounties for Taliban Slaying of US Troops
George Wuerthner
Of Fire and Fish
Binoy Kampmark
Killing Koalas: the Promise of Extinction Down Under
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail