“I don’t think we can ignore how disastrous their performance has been. In many ways this was the moment we feared: a true security threat to the nation and a president who can’t tell the truth, who can’t organize a consistent response and doesn’t have enough experienced people on the job.”
— Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)
“No, I think the U.S. has done a very good job on testing.”
“But be calm. It’s really working out. And a lot of good things are going to happen.”
— David Gura tweet regarding Trump, following meeting with GOP Senators (3/10/20)
By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (3/12/20)
Dear Fellow Readers,
I’ve taken a few liberties, noted appropriately, to weave this coronavirus, mostly through Trump’s own comments.
Us: Mr. Trump, what is your reaction to the World Health Organization declaring coronavirus a pandemic?
Trump: “…be calm. It’s really working out. And a lot of good things are going to happen”.
Us: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) were tested after possible exposure to coronavirus; Gaetz, was on Air Force One with you after the exposure, why did you not get tested as well?
Us: One of the most effective ways to manage the spread of coronavirus is to avoid social gatherings; will you be cancelling your reelection rallies?
Us: Wouldn’t it be wiser to act according to the recommendations of your own health experts and the CDC?
Trump (wearing his trademark MAGA hat): “I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it. Every one of these doctors say, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should’ve done that instead of running for president.”
Us: You have always touted the Dow Jones as an indicator of your administration’s economic performance, what does an almost 20% drop in the market mean?
Trump: “So much FAKE NEWS! (Trump also called for Department of Justice investigation of the media for market manipulation.)
Us: There is much in the news about a proposed emergency financial bailout, can you tell us about the plan?
Trump: My Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says “this is not a bailout”.
Us: Mnuchin saying “this is not a bailout” is as suspect as Russia saying the rewrite of their constitutional announced on Monday is not about allowing Putin to stay in office. Can you tell us anything about your ‘not a bailout’ financial plan? Some are saying you are planning a Brown New Deal with a bailout of the shale oil industry and specifically a bailout for your personal friend and supporter Harold Hamm, owner of shale oil firm Continental Resources? Isn’t this corporate socialism?
Us: But the drop in oil prices is not even related to the spread of coronavirus, it’s a price war brought on by your friend Putin in response to a production increase by the Saudis. You once said you could bring down the price of gas by calling your friends the Russians and the Saudis and telling them to ‘open the spigots’, instead of a corporate bailout for shale oil companies, can’t you call your friends the Russians and Saudis and ask them to close the spigots? Especially since many are saying this is a direct attempt by Putin to undermine the US shale oil market?
Trump: “It’s Saudi Arabia against Russia and Russia against the United States. I think that’s what it is. The Russians can’t increase production much and the Saudis can.” (quote is by Daniel Yergin, vice-chair of IHS Markit; )
Us: Aren’t you prioritizing the financial markets over the health of Americans? How does a shale oil industry bailout or a bailout of cruise ship companies so they can book cruises keep us safer?
Trump: My czar VP Mike Pence says testing will ramp up quickly, on Monday he noted, “There will be more cases. But we simply ask today for the American people to engage in the commonsense practices.”
Us: But your CDC Director Robert Redfield said he is “not confident that U.S. labs have adequate stock of the supplies used to extract genetic material from any virus in a patient’s sample — a critical step in coronavirus testing.”
Trump: “This blindsided the world, and I think we’ve handled it very, very well, they’ve done a great job.” (Guardian article above)
Us: Well how many Americans have been tested? Isn’t it critical to know this number?
Trump: “I could not give you a number of how many Americans have received a test because many have received a test through hospitals or public health labs.” (Per US health secretary Alex Azar.)
Us: So I may not be able to get tested, but if I can, what if I can’t afford to pay for a test?
Trump: I am pledging ““very substantial relief” for payroll taxes”.
Us: But watching the Tuesday democratic primary results it was noted that 40% of the jobs in Michigan are ‘gig’ jobs, this won’t help those people. And Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors during the Obama administration, said, “A one-year payroll tax cut of 2% of income would provide up to a $5,508 tax cut to a high-income couple, only $500 to a single parent getting by on $25,000 a year, and nothing for a worker placed on leave without pay.” 40% of people with jobs wouldn’t benefit, and a person with a low paying job might only receive $500; a coronavirus test could cost thousands of dollars so how does this help?
Us: Okay, but 28 million American don’t even have health insurance? Doesn’t the coronavirus pandemic make the case for Medicare for All as the best way to keep Americans healthy, doesn’t that benefit everyone?
Clearly — tragically — Trump does not have a response plan.
One final quick note. This court ruling will be appealed so a simple headline is sufficient: Justice Department must disclose secret Mueller grand jury evidence to Congress, appeals court finds
Do note this comment from the article for how Trump’s personal lawyer and attorney general Bill Barr’s Justice Department argued the case:
“Justice Department lawyers suggested a previous Watergate-era ruling affirming that grand-jury materials could be shared with the House during the investigation of President Nixon had been wrongly decided.”
Trump can’t ‘spin’ a pandemic and his lies and distortions, and even his selfish choice to continue his rallies, put people needlessly at risk. Imagine a financial bailout plan instead of a plan for how to NOT provoke a crisis. Why not a plan to make sure our health care capability is not put at risk of collapse? Or a plan to make sure every citizen has affordable access to testing and care as required?
Trump values his own appearance and money over the health and well being of Americans. A phony populist who demonstrates every day that he has no idea how we lead our lives. He is selfish and paranoid; I’ll end with this about the Vanity Fair article used above.
“Stories about Trump’s coronavirus fears have spread through the White House. Last week Trump told aides he’s afraid journalists will try to purposefully contract coronavirus to give it to him on Air Force One…”
Vote. Vote Against Trump.
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2020. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )