Monday, April 27, 2020

A Good Show Or Two

This is good policy, from President Trump's perspective. It will mean more death, primarily among people whose health is already compromised and thus don't project the strength Trump adores. However, it's also good politics that the President will be speaking at the West Point graduation ceremony.  Business Insider notes that Trump's recent announcement

stunned officials at the school and raised serious concerns about the safety of the 1,000 cadets who are being recalled as a result, The New York Times reported on Friday. 

Universities across the US, including West Point, have sent students home due to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19.

The graduation ceremony had initially been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Trump's April 17 announcement reportedly kicked planning for the event into gear.

"I'm doing it at West Point, which I look forward to," Trump said at the daily White House press briefing a little over a week ago. "I did it last year at Air Force, I did it at Annapolis, I did it at the Coast Guard Academy, and I'm doing it at West Point.  And I assume they're — they've got it, and I understand they'll have distancing. They'll have some big distance, and so it'll be very different than it ever looked."

This is smart politics because the optics are great. Also smart politics, and great public relations is the event in which

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels will salute front-line healthcare and emergency response workers Tuesday afternoon when they fly down the Delaware River between Camden and Philadelphia.

The two precision flying demonstration teams have announced the flight, which will begin in New York City and fly over Newark and Trenton before heading to South Jersey along the river and then over Philadelphia.

“We are truly excited to take to the skies with our Navy counterparts for a nation-wide tribute to the men and women keeping our communities safe,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John Caldwell, Thunderbird 1 and mission commander for the flyover.

“We hope to give Americans a touching display of American resolve that honors those serving on the front line of our fight with COVID-19.

A formation of six F-16C/D Fighting Falcons and six F/A-18C/D Hornets will conduct these flyovers as a collaborative salute to healthcare workers, first responders, military, and other essential personnel while standing in solidarity with all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, the announcement said.

Not one pair of gloves, face mask, or ventilator will be manufactured or delivered as a result of either performance, nor will either deter the President from continuing to pit one state against another. Nor do we learn in news reports of the cost of either performance. But that's par for the course because when it comes to the military, no expense is too large ever to be questioned. And when it comes to a pandemic, bread and circuses always comes in handy.

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