Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Seeking Death(s)

We owe President Donald Trump; an apology- sort of. On October 1, 2017 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch spoke for many of us sentient Americans when he wrote

In the days before (Hurricane) Maria's landfall on Sept. 20, the anxiety was palpable — not just from the storm but over the question of whether Trump would marshal the massive response the hurricane would require, when the island's residents are primarily black and brown, and when they can't cast a single ballot in the 2020 election. It didn't seem possible, but the White House response — both logistically and morally — to the growing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands has been even worse than many of us dared to imagine. And it's been fueled by something else that America saw coming from miles and miles away, from that day in June 2015 when the short-fingered vulgarian descended an escalator in Trump Tower to announce his divisive candidacy — and that is the racism of Donald Trump.

The attack on science, reason, and the American people continues as

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wants to have the country getting back to business by the Easter holiday, April 12, even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen.

“I would love to have the country opened up and raring to go by Easter,” Trump said during a Fox News interview.

Public health experts and local and state leaders have cautioned against easing restrictions too early, saying it could put an enormous strain on hospitals and lead to even more deaths and economic damage. But Trump said Tuesday that he believed the human toll would be greater should Americans continue to stay at home.

"This cure is worse than the problem," Trump said, adding that "in my opinion, more people are going to die if we allow this to continue."

That of course is absurd, as he is well aware.

In a tweet on Tuesday in which he pushed back on GOP suggestions that the death of a few elderly people is an acceptable price to pay for economic rejuvenation, New York governor Cuomo charged "no one should be talking about social darwinism for the sake of the stock market." At his briefing a little earlier, he asked "What is this, some modern Darwinian theory of natural selection? “If you can’t keep up, then you just fall be the wayside of life?

Yes. And it's refreshing that at least one politician has picked up on this. President Trump clearly knows that it isn't only "black and brown" people who have died or, if his hopes are fulfilled, will die. The casualties will be disproportionately elderly, those whose health already is compromised, and probably poor. 

We don't owe Trump an actual apology, for the ethnic animus is still there, lurking. But neither racism nor ethnic prejudice generally fully accounts for the President's approach to the coronavirus.  The deceased will be people, white and minority, whom he believes are unworthy and expendable. There are many things Donald Trump doesn't understand, but social Darwinism is not among them.

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