Not all that the White House says is true
Donald Trump is a damn bully and the best way to deal with him is to stand up to him. Aside from the on-going self-adulation, dislocated policies and dangerous theories, Trump has managed to confuse his experts, the leaders in the House and Senate, and bamboozle his employers, the American public. I am not a doctor or virologist, but I know how to read and research and today I’d like to bring some logic into the public realm.
As we nearly reach 144,000 coronavirus deaths with four million infected Americans, let’s look at the lies, the myths, the misdirects and the reckless musings of an idiot:
- The COVID-19 virus is a novel virus, meaning it has not been seen before and thwarting this evil germ will take techniques that differ from the way doctors treat a flu. The first myth from Donald Trump and many other crazy dictators and leaders around the world was that COVID-19 was just like the flu and not as dangerous. The numbers show otherwise. The global pandemic is twice to four times as dangerous. It’s just math, not myth.
- The idea of one country containing a virus might be a semi-valid criticism, and just like Donald Trump downplayed the virus at its start here, President Xi in China did the same. Their motivation was stock market stability. Trump’s over-stated fantasy claimed that he saved two million lives. He also said that keeping the death count below 100,000 would be a total success. What? If we could have confined the virus to those first hotspot states, Washington, California and the tri-state area of New York, we would have saved many of the lives that are now lost. It’s a damn myth that China could have stopped the coronavirus and we can’t either. Calling COVID-19 the “China virus” is like calling a mental disability the Trump syndrome.
- If you ignore a virus, it will just go away. Trump’s glowing statements about what he has accomplished when facts prove otherwise, make him look senseless. Here’s a great quote from the highly intelligent Ron Brownstein, “In some ways, Trump has become a prisoner of his own base.” He doesn’t test what he’s about to say against any other measure, than what those red hat heretics want to hear. The fact that Trump said, “If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.” Even a dead person, if given the chance, would muster enough strength to suggest, “It’s the death, stupid!”
- Keeping people away from work, entertainment and school is going to kill them just the same. Trump and his other propagandists have stated that if the economic shutdown continues, deaths by suicide “definitely would be in far greater numbers than the numbers that we’re talking about” for COVID-19 deaths. That is totally insane, but let’s not get confused by the sad statistics on suicides in America. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in America. We had 48,344 people die by suicide in 2018 and they believe there were 1.4 million attempts. In a world where Donald John Trump is so loose with the facts, why would he give anyone the suggestion of suicide as a cure for being confined at home? It’s downright dangerous, but the man never filters his words.
- We have heard the distortion by our President that, “99% of COVID-19 cases are totally harmless.” Excuse my French, but “C’est l’idée la plus stupide que quiconque ait jamais dite.” Translation, Trump is fucking nonsensical beyond belief. The facts: 15% of COVID-19 cases become “very serious” and as many as 5% can lead to death. When someone uses the word, “harmless,” the logical conclusion is it’s benign to most people. The jury is still out regarding the long-term effects of COVID-19 and the true percentages. When the word, “harmless” is used, it connotatively suggests we can let our guard down. We cannot.
- The latest myth that has crept into the speech patterns of Trump and his clueless sycophants in Congress and around the country is that young kids are not as susceptible to getting COVID and do not spread it as much as adults do. Now I am going to make this personal. My daughter has always worked in daycare and she has been around two-year-old kids for years. In any given year, she and her five-year-old daughter will get as many as five colds and suffer through whatever the current yearly flu might be. To suggest that it’s okay to allow kids to be exposed to the virus and then go home is a form of government sanctioned murder of our teachers and other school workers. Here’s some true bad news for our schools. The Secretary of Education is Betsy DeVos, a rich donor with no experience or expertise in education or medicine; she is simply a useless public servant.
- There are no quick fixes like using disinfectants, untested drugs or sunshine to kill the virus. For months we were fed the drivel it will go away as soon as it gets warmer. That lie was based not on specific, scientific COVID data, but on the experiences we’ve had with normal influenza. The successful path would have been rigorous testing to determine who was infected then keeping healthy people away from them. We are doing a terrible job with contact tracing, which could help stop the spread of COVID. If you must go out in public, you should wear a mask. Dr. Debra Birx should be ashamed for not jumping out of her chair saying, “NO, NO, NO,” when Trump suggested ingesting or injecting bleach could cure the virus.
- You can trust what is coming out of the President’s mouth regarding the COVID crisis. It’s all defensive posturing, political hogwash and very little useful advice. Any intelligent person watching this governmental cluster-fuck can clearly see that Donald Trump’s approach has made our situation worse, not better. According to Forbes magazine, “64% of Americans distrust what Trump says about the Covid-19 pandemic—including 46% who say they don’t trust him ‘at all’—while only 34% trust what he says.”
I just read something brilliant from Marshall Shepherd, Director of the Atmospheric Science program at the University of Georgia. He has coined the term, “Wishcasting.” This is what we get daily from Donald Trump. Mr. Shepherd amplified his concept, “People ‘wishcast’ scenarios in our minds, but they don’t jibe with what the science or the data is actually bearing out.” When we hear about someone winning the lottery, our first thought is that it should have been us. We don’t feel good for the person who won a million dollars. We “wishcast” our thoughts and prayers every day, but that isn’t how we solve a problem. You could buy a lottery ticket every day of your life and never win a million dollars.
Hopefully, this list of myths will not grow, but I suspect it will. By the way, that is not a wish, just an educated guess. A friend of mine just wrote that in her school district in Georgia, three of her co-worker principals are on ventilators and one high school coach in his twenties has died, I wished it were better there. I know that opening schools is just more “wishcasting” by Trump, who would rather kill some people and win another election then do what is right for America. That isn’t a myth, it’s just who he is.
The book that tells it like it is…
Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conservation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”