“It is what it is.”
— Trump characterizing the 156,000 US coronavirus deaths during Axios interview with reporter Jonathan Swan (8/4/20)
By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (8/7/20)
Dear Fellow Readers,
There is no one better at showing Trump to be a liar, ignorant, callous, argumentative, divisive, self-aggrandizing… than Trump. On Tuesday August 4th Heather Cox Richardson offered her view of the Axios interview that led to the opening quote:
“…reporter Jonathan Swan challenged Trump’s assertions and revealed just how shallow the president’s understanding of the pandemic, mail-in voting, and so on, really are. The interview showed little that we didn’t already know, but to see the president dismiss the 156,000 deaths from coronavirus, for example, by saying “it is what it is,” was nonetheless shocking.”
Trump is the master of false choice and divisiveness. His positions are fact-free personal grievances. We know that Trump never admits to being wrong, so he came ready to argue how he is really doing a great job with the pandemic. Watch for yourself with a 3-minute version of the interview is here.
Did you hear his empathy for our fears as the US leads the entire world in cases and deaths? Did you hear his empathy for the now over 160,000 US deaths? No, you didn’t, because it wasn’t there. Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) tweeted, “It’s like an episode of Veep but real.” Sad that Trump is closer to winning an Emmy for comedic fiction than he is for any meaningful recognition for leadership.
Trump focuses on what he wants, regardless of the consequences, and fixates. He’s incapable of the hard work and that leaves us at risk. Trump focuses on reopening the economy and ignores the wildfire of increasing cases and deaths. Meanwhile, European countries that were the worst of the early crises did that hard work and now retail sales in the Eurozone are at pre-COVID levels.
Here’s what CNN reporters Jim Acosta and Maegan Vazquez report from a source, “He still doesn’t get it,” the source said. “He does not get it.”
Those around him like VP Mike Pence, and to a lesser degree, his task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, strive to stay “in lockstep with Trump” – to our peril. This from Trump’s appearance on Fox and Friends on Wednesday:
“”We’ve done it right,” Trump said of the US’ handling of the pandemic. Now (our economic bounceback) looks like a very strong ‘V,’ based on the all of the numbers we’re getting.”
“He added: “My view is the schools should open. This thing’s going away. It will go away like things go away.””
Except the economic recovery is not a ‘V’ and schools are not safe for reopening. Even Trump’s youngest son knows better, Barron’s private school is delaying opening.
Pence and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited Thales Academy in North Carolina crediting the school for being “in the forefront” for reopening on July 20. On Monday the school was notified that an asymptomatic fourth grader tested positive after exposure to an infected family member. Now the class is being asked to quarantine for 14 days.
The New York Times offers a US map showing predictions of how many students will show up for school coronavirus-positive based on county and size of school. As an example, in La Crosse County 2 students could be expected to be positive out of a school of 500 students. For Milwaukee this would be 5 students for a population of 500. For Miami-Dade the number is 19. The point is, kids are bringing infections to school, they will take them back home their famillies.
Parents are justifiably concerned
Common Dreams reports: Poll Reveals Surge of Fears Over In-Person Learning as Expert Warns School Reopenings in US ‘Guaranteed’ To Fail. The article cites a Gallup poll showing only 36% of parents “want full-time, in person schooling”. The same poll taken about a month ago then had 56% support.
A NBC News poll found only 31% trust Trump’s pandemic leadership while 58% do not trust Trump. Who are these 31%? Of course they are persons identifying as Republicans, but even then trust is only 69%.
Send your kid to school, but don’t worry about Barron, his school reopening is delayed. You don’t need testing but the White House is now imposing mandatory testing for their own safety. Vote by Mail is questioned by Trump, but he’ll Vote by Mail in Florida as he touts their recent improvements while suing the state of Nevada over plans to expand mail-in voting.
The above statements are contradictory but should not be confused with his nonsensical lies. Absentee voting is safe, but not Vote by Mail — they are the same damn thing. Trump told Swan in the Axios interview that when he took over, “we didn’t even have a test.” Swan — credited for confronting nonsense — noted, “Why would we have a test? The virus didn’t exist.”
One point of consistency with Trump, just as he threatens schools with their federal funding if they don’t do his bidding and reopen, he is threatening Nevada and Michigan that he will “hold up” federal funding, calling their plans to increase Vote by Mail “illegal”.
If you push on one lie, Trump charges forward with another lie. If we take steps to be safe and it runs counter to Trump’s plans for us he will threaten and punish. But Trump can’t ‘lie’ away a pandemic like he does with his fraud, corruption, sexual assaults…
I will leave you with two closing thoughts. The Atlantic offers a very detailed accounting of Trump’s coronavirus failure.
If you prefer to look ahead and not take the time to look in the rear view mirror as yet, here is director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the University of Minnesota Dr. Michael Osterholm’s advocating for a renewed lockdown as the only effective way to knock back the “wildfire” as he warns that with this pandemic: “it’s not a ‘wave’ – it’s a wildfire”.
Don’t be fooled by the voices touting no symptoms and simple coronavirus recovery. Hannah Davis offers her story through The Guardian referring to herself and others as ‘long hauler(s)’ after four months of being sick in spite of being young and healthy. She offers valuable perspective on when best to test to have the highest likelihood of accurate results – ‘only’ a 20% false negative rate at Day 3 of symptoms.