As of a March 31st press conference, our medical experts, Dr. Tony Fauci in particular, are finally allowed to tell the American public the sobering, (perhaps staggering) truth that perhaps more than 150,000 deaths are very well within the realm of possible consequences of the spread of the Coronavirus, and maybe as many as 250,000 even if every combat measure goes 100% right. The White House has known since mid-January what measures need to be in place. Their denials to the contrary are lies designed to cover up a deliberate decision to minimize the possible catastrophic consequences, which would have depressed Donald’s poll numbers. That was the benefit the Trump administration sought to achieve by suppressing the truth. And that is why there has been almost no organized national effort put into place by the White House since that time. But now there is no more time to waste. If ever there was a time for the national government to totally Federalize the effort against this national health disaster and to create a tough, top down, nationalized (federalized), coordinated effort dictating to business what to manufacture and where it should be distributed, including every piece of equipment, testing kits, medications, protective clothing and masks, etc., it is now. And also include developing staffing rotations from city to city as each area’s needs increase or decrease. Until such co-ordination fully happens, people are going to die unnecessarily, and the blood will be on the hands of those “non leaders” who support this continued type of dis-jointed and “less than optimally effective” effort that is supported by a Trump administration who is taking way too long to catch on.
And let us be clear about why these delays have happened. This is more than just Steve Bannon type of ideology as in “ Let’s deconstruct the “dark” administrative State; Let’s dismantle liberal (Democratic) big government which just wastes our money”. Our federal government under the control of GOP conservatives has wasted plenty of money when they are so inclined on such stupidities like building useless walls to keep Mexicans out; or giving away close to 2 trillion dollars in tax giveaways to wealthy Americans who need tax breaks as much as they need a case of Covid-19. There was always plenty of money to fund those projects. But when the country needed money to staff protective and regulatory agencies like the EPA, or like fire departments, or like our public education systems, or more to the point, a budget that would not decimate the CDC or the NIH, suddenly the GOP (and Donald Trump) cry, “not enough money”.
And yet proper funding and staffing of these agencies would have saved billions if not trillions that this runaway pandemic is probably going to cost. Talk about faulty cost/benefit analyses! Donald Trump’s calculation was really a gamble, as follows: His “instincts” told him that the scientists were wrong; that this Coronado virus was like the flu; it would disappear quickly at not a very great cost; he could continue to down play it so that his popularity would not suffer (the benefit). This is not only unprecedented incompetence. It is deliberate, willful ignorance, for which an accounting must and will occur at a later and more appropriate time.
Businessman and philanthropist, Bill Gates, gets it! Every governor and mayor in the country gets it. The question is why doesn’t Donald Trump get it. The answer is EGO. Senator Chris Murphy has a theory that I think is correct. He characterizes Donald Trump not as a national leader, but more as the CEO of a public relations firm, which is more interested in protecting and projecting an image for his client, who is himself. He sells himself as some brilliant businessman who is solely responsible for our strong economy. He gambled that he did not need to acknowledge a “minor flu bug” which would temporarily depress his polling numbers. But he lost his gamble, and the cost to the world may be incalculable.
Perhaps you believe, as I do, that continual lying by a White House who minimizes the severity of the damage it has caused; who fabricates phony excuses for its mistakes; and who falsely shifts blame for its failures on to others, is its own form of toxicity. This Trumpian toxicity is not helpful. This is not a case of fighting fire with fire. In fact, the Trump toxicity, the lying, the spinning , the wishing, the bullying, the bribing or the blackmailing all have met their match. They are useless against a Covid-19 pandemic. Only hard work, honest accountability and a laser focused, joint, national effort will prevail.
Until this inept and corrupt President starts listening to people who actually know what must be done, which is to invoke the Defense Production Act in its full authority, our country and our people will suffer unnecessarily.
The math is pretty easy. Hopefully, Donald Trump is finally figuring it out. It is never too late to start doing the right thing.