FEATURE ARTICLE

Monday, April 20, 2020
banantex2020@gmail.com
Atlanta, GA, USA
AMERICA AND THE DEADLY POLITICS OF THE CORONAVIRUS (1)

predicted correctly, that the convergence of arrogance, impatience and politics would exacerbate the pace of infection and death from the covid-19 virus in the United States. To make matters worse for America, we now have a political party in power, the Republican party, which traditionally places premium on political power and profit for business corporations over human lives. It has been laid bare, how Donald Trump’s mania and dirty and mean- spirited politics is fueling both the spread and astronomical death rate of the Covid-19 virus in the United States.

Americans are naturally very arrogant and unpliable. And they can be unreasonably impatient. How disgusting it was to see that guy on national television lashing out while arguing that the government has no business telling people what to do and what not to do. Foolish pride, that is. Yet, the government as it should be, is in the business of saving lives, as it directs citizens to isolate and limit activities in their own (citizens) interest .

You see, Americans were deriding the Chinese authorities for applying “draconian” measures in stemming the tide of spread of the covid-19 virus infection in their nation. However, it has borne out that it was those “draconian” measures that slowed down the rate of infection and death there. Americans or is it the American government, should be ashamed to note that China with a population of over a billion people managed to record far less infection rate and death than the United States with a population of about 350 million. This would still be true even as we acknowledge that the Chinese authorities under report cases there.

Now, Donald Trump and the Republican party are trying to adopt blackmail and open thuggery to hang on to power, at all cost; at the cost of human lives. Donald Trump has in an unprecedented manner as a sitting president, shamelessly incited his mob of followers to riot and harass Democratic governors in the name of protesting restriction measures put in place to curb the spread of the covid-19 virus. By the way, so why on earth should these mobs reportedly sponsored by conservative groups and Trump political allies, protest against measures which is proving to be saving lives, by reducing the spread of the pandemic? And to think of how people are dying in droves in America while these political protests instigated by Donald Trump are going on, makes one to wonder what their goals are. And what has guns and confederate flags got to do with protests about business closings? At least hunger is not yet killing people in America, but covid-19 is.

Meanwhile, it is outrageous for Meghan McCain, the schizophrenic daughter of late Senator John McCain, to defend those gun totting protesters, and describing the guns they are carrying as “cultural symbol”. For gun worshippers like Meghan McCain, guns could be “cultural symbols” but to some of us they represent instruments of intimidation, if not outright death threats.

Donald Trump, the supposed sitting president of the United States is openly calling on those protesters to defend their Second Amendment right and liberate selected Democratic controlled states, like Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia. It is most irresponsible for a president to instigate insurrection in his own country. However, for Donald Trump the bar for civil discourse has been lowered to pit bottom. And the Republican party does not care whatever he does or says, as long as he keeps them in power, even as he continues to ridicule America’s image abroad.

As if the charade of those protests is not bizarre enough, Trump’s Attorney General, William Barr, has threatened to join the protesters in suing state governors who are imposing restrictions to keep their citizens safe from the coronavirus. This is a guy who has all along enabled Donald Trump to unleash lawlessness on Americans, with impunity. William Barr talks about enforcing the so-called rights of a lunatic fringe of the society. By the way, the most fundamental right of man is the right to life; which the state governors are striving to enforce by enacting those restriction measures to contain the spread of the Covid-19. Donald Trump’s instigated mobs care less about the on-going harvest of death in America, arising from the COVID-19 infections.

Now, in his latest gimmick of deflection and diversion of attention from his culpability in the onslaught of COVID-19 in America, Donald Trump has just announced an executive order, suspending immigration to the United States. The impression created here is that it is people immigrating to the United States that are responsible for the spread of the infection here. That is not true. In fact, it is Donald Trump with a stint of politics, down-playing the seriousness of the covid-19 outbreak that led to the astronomical rise in infection and death rate in the country. Then he delayed taking any action to slow down the spread of the infection for two long months. And to make matters worse, Donald Trump started to incite his supporters to recklessly pour out on the streets to protest measures put in place, in the first place, to protect them and other Americans.

Like the governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer, rightly remarked, by their reckless action of coming out in the open in close proximity, and in some cases without wearing masks, the protesters are aiding the further spread of the virus and more deaths. And their foolish action may further prolong the lock down they claim to be protesting against. However, they care less as their actions are politically motivated and mean spirited. Then consider the fact that Republican politicians like the Texas lieutenant governor and the Louisiana senator, John Kennedy, have unabashedly stated that it would be okay to sacrifice the lives of some American citizens to “save the economy”.

Then consider the fact that those who are dying disproportionately from the covid-19 infection in America are black and brown people, who are again disproportionately engaged as grocery store workers,fast food workers, and janitors who must continue to report to work at great risks to their lives, because they are performing “essential services” even in pristine working conditions. Tragically a pattern has emerged of how a combination of pre-existing health and socioeconomic conditions is fueling the disproportionate covid-19 death rate among people of color in the United States. These are the “dispensable” for economic recovery.

Goaded on by Donald Trump, Republicans governors are now rushing to re-open businesses in their states, in total disregard to the mounting rate of infections and deaths going on. This is unconscionable. They know more people are going to die from their callous decisions, but they careless. They have to save the economy over human lives.

Perhaps more bizarre is the case of Georgia, where the covid-19 infection rate is trending up yet, Republican governor, Brian Kemp has reopened businesses against every medical advice and indeed commonsense. How dumb or heartless could this guy be? Of course, Brian Kemp would do anything to reduce the population of black people in Georgia. According to the governor that Georgia never had, Stacey Abrams, whereas African Americans make up of 32 per cent of the Georgia population, they have so far, registered 54 per cent of the state’s total death toll from the coronavirus pandemic. Doubling as Secretary of state, and governorship candidate in 2018, Brain Kemp embarked on a scorched-earth voter suppression tactic, targeting black voters and purging their names from the voter register. This was how he rigged the election to become the now unfortunate governor of Georgia. Black people in Georgia and all of America should heed the advice of the Mayor of Atlanta and stay home. We must resist Donald Trump and the Republican party’s poison pills for the black race.

Meanwhile, the performance of the White House coronavirus Task force director, Deborah Bix, on Meet the Press last Sunday is frustrating. She refused to rebuke or even caution against the risky and premature rush by Republican governors to “reopen” their states for businesses, even as they violate her task force’s recommendations. She seemed more concerned with avoiding drawing the ire of Donald Trump than protecting her own reputation, as she danced around answering the questions posed by the moderator, Chuck Todd.

As if things were not already bad enough for America, the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and prevention, has elected to cover up for Donald Trump by watering down its own safety standards for healthcare workers. The CDC has recommended the reuse of such vital PPEs as masks not because it is safe to do so but because the Trump administration woke up too late to be able to provide enough masks for the nation’s overstretched healthcare system. But like a nurse revealed the other day, it is this multiple use of these supposedly disposable PPEs that are getting American healthcare workers infected by the covid-19 virus. The nurse in question went on to compare the situation in Hong Kong, where she said the incident of healthcare workers infection is rare because they are not reusing their masks.

Now, a leaked memo from the VA, Veterans Affairs, hospital management, directing that healthcare professionals-physicians and nurses be issued a single surgical mask for two weeks (14 days) before they could get a new mask. This is a scandal of monumental proportions. Again, this is happening in the United States of America, the richest and most powerful nation on earth!

Thank God the nurses have now sued. A law suit filed by the nurses union in New York among other things allege inadequate protective equipment among other failures contributed to “ compromise the health and safety of nurses”. According to Pat Kane, executive director of New York State Nurses Association. These lawsuits are filed to protect our nurses, our patients and our communities from grossly inadequate and negligent protections”. I hope Mr. Barr will join in this law suit, to protect our healthcare workers. It is shameful seeing American nurses on television wearing garbage bags in place of medical gowns. Yet, this is not some Third World country, but the richest and most powerful nation on the planet.

What is more, the Coronavirus pandemic has exposed the moral bankruptcy of the for-profit healthcare system in America. Poor and colored people who lack access to quality healthcare are more impacted by the pandemic. And they are dying in droves. It is about time America adopted a universal government run healthcare system such as in the United Kingdom, which takes care of everyone in society, including the poor. If it be Medicare for all ,so be it. It is again, shameful that citizens of the richest and most powerful country in the world could just die if they fall sick simply because they could not afford health insurance.

The Republican party is decidedly heartless in its pursuit of political power and corporate greed. These people have no shame and indeed, no soul.

For decades, the Republican party has branded itself as pro-life, arising from its cynical anti-abortion stance. However, the coronavirus politics of choosing business profit and political power over the lives of Americans has exposed the Republican party’s hypocrisy. It is a death party. To paraphrase Ken Saro Wiwa, the Republican party is a Satanic octopus which demands men’s souls in exchange for profit and political power.

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