The headline is a bit of a paraphrase of famous quote from John Kerry before a Senatorial committee investigating the Viet Nam War. Nearly 30 years later this quote is in many ways applicable to the top issue of the time. Let’s update Kerry’s quote a bit to fit today:
“How do you ask anyone to die for Trump’s lies that have unleashed a pandemic on his own country?”
As I am sure most everyone knows we found out that Trump had been advised just how serious and potentially damaging the corona virus was back in early February. Journalist Bob Woodward revealed that amazing fact as he shilled for his new book last Tuesday. Woodward also had audio recording to prove that Trump had said what Woodward reported.
Trump then went on to lie to America about the seriousness of the virus in order to buoy his chances at re-election. Rather than take actions that most prudent leaders would take in a pandemic to slow the spread of the virus, Trump lobbied to open the economy back up and other actions that would serve to spread the virus like a raging wild fire.
Trump also knew that age was not a factor in the spread of the virus. He has been agitating to get schools reopened and classrooms back to “normal” to prove that the virus is a “hoax.” As if his push to reopen the economy in May wasn’t bad enough for spreading the killer virus, reopening schools and putting children and teachers in close proximity to each other will be just as bad if not worse.
However, Trump couldn’t force the opening of schools himself. For that he needed compliant governors to push for opening schools in their own states. We have the epitome of a compliant governor here in Iowa. Kim Reynolds has bent over backwards to push every Iowa kid into classrooms. She has also done all she can to make it nearly impossible for schools to close even if the virus roars through a school.
Reynolds has also gone out of her way to keep information on schools virus rates from the public and from parents within a district. In short Kim Reynolds acts as if she is on the virus’s side in this war.
At this point I am so mad I am spitting bullets. So this post may be a bit incoherent. I have so many thoughts I want to express, but it all comes back to the fact that it has now been proven what Trump knew and that he knew it in plenty of time to save tens (soon maybe hundreds) of thousands of Americans and he not only did nothing, he employed a strategy that would enable the virus to ravage the country AND the economy AND the future of our children.
We now have a country with thousands upon thousands of families that have lost members all because of Trump’s actions. Death is always a tragedy within families, but to lose family to a virus because the president didn’t want to do the right thing makes the loss even more painful. That these deaths were often alone and extremely painful makes it even worse. It is as if the president was telling families that their family member was not worth the effort to stop the virus.
We know that Republican members of congress knew that the virus was going to be bad. We had a couple selling stock positions following a briefing for Republican Senators only. We had Republican governors who hesitated to open businesses back up only to be hounded by the Trump administration to reopen.
The US will record its 200,000th death next week – although excess death comparisons with last year indicate that number is probably closer to 250,000. How many could have been saved had Trump only acted as any prudent human would have acted? 50,000? 100,000? 150,000? Of course we don’t know, but we do know our losses would be much lower than what we currently have.
Remember each one of those who died was a member of someone’s family – a grandmother or grandfather, a father or mother, a brother, sister or niece or nephew. They were someone’s employee or a business owner. Each and every death was felt within a circle of people. Many families could not even have a funeral- a further deep insult in an already bad situation.
Don’t forget those who had the corona virus and recovered. The virus is so new that we have no idea what long term effects might be. Remember how shingles became a surprise later-in-life hangover from the childhood chicken pox? We have no idea if there will be any long term effects from corona virus. We do know that organ damage has been found even in those who had no symptoms.Forty years from now this may come back to haunt those who survived the virus.
One last note: Shame on Joni Ernst for claiming that the virus is responsible for far fewer deaths than is being reported. She needs to apologize to Americans, Iowans and especially doctors and nurses. Ernst, it is time for you to step out of your fantasy world and face reality. Reality is a virus that shows no signs of lessening and will continue to devastate families and our medical personnel and other essential workers.
I am old enough to remember when our leadership put the health of the country before their desires. As a matter of fact I remember a recent administration that wrote a book on what actions to take in a pandemic. I believe that administration was the Obama/ Biden administration.
The very first step we must take toward recovery is to throw these losers out into the street and get some decent leadership that has a plan on what to do. And we must throw out those who have simply shut up and gone along with the insanity that Trump fostered. Joni Ernst’s response is not even worthy of a fifth grader, let alone a US senator. C’mon Iowa, we can do better than Ernst.
Biden will need a Democratic congress to get the legislation needed to combat the virus and to restart a broken economy. Republicans will only do anything they can to make Biden and the country fail.
VOTE! Get an absentee ballot and vote it early! Walk it down to the courthouse if you need to. Your vote has never been more important!