Friday, March 13, 2020

Trump's Success Our Ruination


Julia Ioffe is approximately 98% right when she eloquently writes

None of this is surprising, just as there was nothing even remotely unexpected about President Trump’s Oval Office address on Wednesday night. The goal was to reassure a nation staring down a global pandemic and awash in conflicting information. Trump, true to type, did nothing of the kind. Dryly plowing through some words that his son-in-law and Stephen Miller reportedly put into a teleprompter for him, Trump still managed to get key facts wrong about his own government’s response, thereby sowing the very panic and lack of clarity the address was meant to allay. Late into the night on Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security was sending out clarifying statements on what Trump meant to say when he announced his ban on all cargo and passenger flights coming from Europe. In fact, what he was supposed to say was that the United States was banning non-U.S. residents from a select list of European countries but that cargo would continue coming and going as before. Trump’s decision was apparently made without consulting with America’s European allies, who were blindsided and, predictably, infuriated by the unilateral declaration. Panicked Americans surged into European airports on Thursday, paying as much as $20,000 for a last-minute flight home.

There was little in Trump’s address about increasing the availability of Covid-19 tests, about providing crucial help to hospitals to keep them from being overrun and strained as they have been in Italy, and the little he said about helping patients afford the emergency care and testing they might need as a result of the pandemic was not quite right either. The health insurance industry wasn’t consulted or warned of Trump’s pronouncements, and had to issue its own late-night comments clarifying that, contrary to Trump’s diktat, only copays for testing, not treatment, would be suspended....

You get a president who shuts down the global health security team in the National Security Council so that there’s no one but his son-in-law to advise him when a global pandemic reaches our country’s shores. You get a president who doesn’t care about whether people live or die, he just wants the numbers to look good for him, wants the number of cases down and the numbers on the stock indices up, and the best way to do that is to keep Covid-19 testing and public information at a minimum. You get a president who doesn’t believe in science when it doesn’t suit him and who, as recently as three days ago, declares a virus that had already claimed thousands of lives around the world a “hoax” and “fake news”—or a president that simply focuses, falsely, on how well his administration is responding to the crisis—because the pandemic might hurt the economy and jeopardize his reelection. You get a president who thinks he can do anything, who off-the-cuff announces a rally in Florida, where the governor has suspended all official travel as medical experts advise people practice “social distancing” by avoiding crowds. You get a president whose response to an invisible virus is to blame foreigners.

Trump blames foreigners, and this time it's not only "black and brown" people.  In his speech Wednesday night, the President blamed the pandemic on Europe, claiming "the E.U. failed."  He exempted the United Kingdom from travel restrictions because he has three golf courses in Europe, two of which, by sheer luck, are located in the UK's Scotland.

The other is in the Republic of Ireland, which Trump erroneously believed is in the United Kingdom, hence a third reason for giving the United Kingdom a pass.   If he had known otherwise, it would have been "these restrictions will also not apply to the United Kingdom and the Irish Republic."

Nonetheless, Trump is concerned not only with maximizing his business opportunities as President. He is concerned also with the American people- but not in a good way. 

Ioffe considers Trump "a president who doesn’t care about whether people live or die." Yet, he does care.  If he didn't believe in the racehorse theory of human development, that putting together a genetically superior man with a genetically superior woman produces a genetically superior baby, he wouldn't have said

Well I think I was born with the drive for success because I have a certain gene."

“I'm a gene believer... Hey, when you connect two race horses, you usually end up with a fast horse.

“I had a good gene pool from the standpoint of that, so I was pretty much driven.”





By and large, the people who die from Covid-19 will be the the elderly, the poor, those with a compromised immune syatem.  It's easy for Trump to believe they are not the individuals with this kind of gene, one who can be expected to survive, reproduce, and give birth to exceptional human beings as the product of two exceptional beings.

It's why Donald Trump (reportedly) once kept a Hitler's "My New Order" by his bed, why he wants immigrants only from Norway, why he has rejected widespread testing, and why he has promoted a policy he knows will lead to more deaths.



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