Monday, September 28, 2020
Atlanta, GA, USA

Continued from Part 3

“Trump lied and Americans died” -( Los Angeles Times editorial, September 10,2020)

n my previous piece, in this series, I described Donald Trump as behaving like a cult leader, who hypnotizes his followers. However, in this piece, I would reverse course and observe that it is Donald Trump's supporters who are actually treating him like a cult leader.

A day after Bob Woodward's bombshell recording for his book RAGE, came out, which shows Donald Trump admitting to the veteran investigating reporter and bestseller author, that he knew that COVID-19, was highly contagious, airborne and deadly, but decided to lie about it and “play it down”, the monster went to Michigan and held a campaign rally. His supporters showed up in large numbers, to hail "dear leader"; showing total disregard for social (physical) distancing, with only a small fraction of the happy crowd bothering to wear masks.

The event, as with many of Donald Trump's campaign rallies, was what health experts describe as super spreaders of the COVID-19 infection. But as the tyrant was literally infecting them with COVID-19 virus, his fanatical supporters were cheering him on, as he churned out one lie after the other to them. Then, they reportedly told him that they love him and Donald Trump asked them to stop telling him they love him or he would cry for them. Well, Donald Trump's supporters may love him but he hates them back. Otherwise he would not have lied to them that the deadly Covid-19 virus was just like a regular flu that would not kill them and that they should not give up their" freedom" by wearing masks, which would have protected them.

According to travel historian, Rick Steve, fascist leaders understand the propaganda power of large rallies. Sounds familiar? This explains why Donald Trump who is obsessed with crowd size always insists on large rallies; even in this covid-19 environment, with no regard to the safety of his audience/supporters. Donald Trump continues to expose his supporters to the COVID -19 infection as he brings them out in large rallies in close proximity without masks simply because as Olivia Troyle, former White House Adviser on the COVID-19 Task Force, said “Donald Trump has a brazen disregard for human lives.” And Dr. Anthony Fauci said the only thing that matters to Donald Trump is his reelection.

Yet, in one of his rallies, Donald Trump claimed that the CoVID-19 virus does not affect young people-just old people who have underlying medical conditions. Yet, he was caught on tape a few days earlier acknowledging that the virus actually affects the entire population including young people. At that rally, on that very day the COVID-19 death toll in the United States clocked a heart-breaking mile stone of 200,000, Donald Trump made a mockery of the Democratic party presidential candidate, former vice president Joe Biden, for wearing a mask. And the crowd pathetically cheered him on. They should have cried, instead.

However, to be fair to Mr. Trump, he did not ask his supporters not to use their brain. So, after hearing him in his own voice (on tape) admitting to the contagious nature and deadliness of the COVID-19 virus, they still refuse to protect themselves, if only to demonstrate to "dear leader" how much they love him, so much that they are willing to lay down their lives for his bloated ego. They do not have to believe what they hear from the scientists and medical experts-that COVID-19 is highly contagious and deadly. Suppose they do not know of a family member, relative, friend, or neighbor who died from COVID-19, they must have heard of one famous member in their fold, the foolish Herman Cain, a former presidential candidate of their party, who defiantly sat in a crowded Trump campaign rally in Tulsa Oklahoma, without wearing a mask only to die some two months later of COVID-19 infection.

Donald Trump's lunacy is infectious and deadly. In line with the tyrant's mantra, his supporters are ever emboldened to unleash violence on innocent Americans who do not share their belief. Trump's supporters were recently caught on camera, storming a Target store in Florida, yelling (actually harassing) shoppers to take off their masks. I hope when next they show up, they do not come along with guns. Donald Trump's white supremacist supporters have constituted themselves into armed militias, patrolling the streets of America, hunting down anyone who disagrees with "dear leader". Check out this caption: ARMED WHITE MEN PATROLLING KENOSHA. (The London Guardian, Wednesday, August 26,2020)

When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald Trump's strategy has been to ferociously discredit any scientific fact which does not align with his political calculation. When he brutally attacked the CDC director, Dr. Robert Redfield, on Wednesday September 16, 2020, for saying that wearing of face masks is more guaranteeing of protection against COVID-19 infection than vaccine is he did that not because he has any scientific fact to disprove what the professional scientist and medical expert said.

Surely, he knows that Dr. Redfield did not make any mistake when he made that scientifically informed analysis of masks versus vaccines. In fact, Dr. Redfield had explained that a vaccine may have a seventy percent chance of success but it would have to depend on the individual receiving it to produce immune response. But as much as Donald Trump looked miserable in his argument trying to discredit Dr. Redfield, he still trusts his supporters to believe his lies, to their detriment, over that of a medical expert. However, the tragedy of Donald Trump’s lies is that his supporters who continue to follow his lead and refuse to wear masks in public continue to spread the infection to the larger public.

However, what really sets off Donald Trump is that after spending months down-playing the seriousness of the COVID -19 pandemic and inciting his supporters, against the wearing of face masks thus exacerbating the spread of infection , all his political calculation now is that a hurried production of vaccines and a fast-track approval by the FDA at his behest, would make vaccines available before election day, November 3, 2020. Then, Donald Trump hopes that with the arrival of vaccines which he would conveniently claim credit for, Americans would see him as the Messiah who saved them from the scourge of COVID-19, as they momentarily forget the hundreds of thousands of souls his criminal negligence will have caused to be killed by election day. Then they reward him with reelection.

As Donald Trump goads on school administrators to re-open schools in a COVID-19 infested environment, school campuses have become new hotspots for the pandemic as infections continue to explode, with some colleges recording thousands of cases already. Yet, rather than closing down, school authorities have resorted to cover-ups. For instance, the University of Alabama reportedly sent a secret memo to professors asking them to stop reporting when their students test positive. And the mayor of the college town argued against reclosing the school because as he laments, closing back the school would drastically affect the local economy. No surprise. In Trump's America economic prosperity trumps protection of life.

They told us kids are not at risk of COVID-19 infection, so they must be sent back to school, but as soon as those kids return to school, they get infected. As for Donald Trump and the Republican party, the solution is to cover-up the figures of kids' infection. The governor of Florida, an arrogant maniac, and Donald Trump protégé, who has always insisted on kids returning to school against protests from school administrators, is now being accused of refusing to release the data on kids' infection in the state. This same guy is loosening COVID-19 restrictions on bars in his state even as the virus infection continues to ravage Florida. And as school kids are getting infected so also are their teachers. In fact, a number of teachers who have been forced back into those COVID-19 infested classrooms have died from the infection. In order to force teachers back to the classrooms, against their will, the Republican party has reclassified teaching as “essential service”. So as the teachers are dying from COVID-19 infection, Republicans in Congress are crafting into the Stimulus bill a draconian provision that shields employers from being sued should their employees contract COVID-19 as a result of being forced back to work. Yes, we already know that Republicans always side with corporate America against the people, but this one stings. Mean-spirited, or something much more than that. These are cold-blooded capitalists who sacrifice human lives for the “economy” and political power.

Donald Trump's dirty political tricks of discrediting any fact which does not align with his political calculation is again in full display when it comes to his attack on voting by mail. Donald Trump's political calculation is that his supporters would defy the COVID-19 pandemic and pour out to the polls, to physically cast their ballots, whereas Democrats, Biden's voters, who actually acknowledge the deadliness of the virus would largely stay away for fear of risking their lives. In fact, opinion polls show that seventy percent of Biden supporters plan to vote by mail while only twenty percent of Trump's voters plan to vote by mail. So, Trump's political calculation is that if he could shot down vote my mail, he will have substantially suppressed Biden's votes to give him advantage. By the way, voter suppression has been Republicans time- honored political playbook. Historically, Democrats win when voter turnout is high and Republicans win when voter turnout is low.

What makes Donald Trump especially dangerous is how much his supporters believe in him, like a cult leader. They are willing to do anything for him, including taking the lives of those who oppose him. And the tyrant himself would stop at nothing to sacrifice as many lives, (including those of his supporters) as it takes for him to "win" reelection and remain in power. Fact: a seventeen-year-old kid, Kyle Rittenhouse, a proud Trump supporter and self-described friend of the "blue devils"-the genocidal American police force, rushed into neighboring Kenosha, Wisconsin, from Illinois, armed with a military style AR-15 rifle and shot dead two protesters, injuring a third one. As if the political temperature in the country has not heated up enough Trump supporters have started threatening violent retribution and out right civil war in the country if he loses the forthcoming presidential election. Yet, things are not helped that Donald Trump routinely incites his supporters to commit acts of violence. He would remind them that there is that thing called the Second Amendment-the right to bear arms. Yet, his increasingly aggressive posture, daily lying about an impending voter fraud that he claims would occur in the November 3, presidential election; his drumbeat of war, is a way of calling on his already charged supporters to burn down the country should he lose the election. Donald Trump is not just wicked; he is evil.

In the first instalment of this series, I predicted that politics, arrogance and ignorance would ensure that the Coronavirus decimates the American population. And as events have shown, I was right on the money. Donald Trump and the Republican party have made the determination that American lives have to be sacrificed for them to hold on to power, in the forthcoming general elections. With over 200,000 Americans dead, and counting, Donald Trump, is escalating his cover-up campaign and criminally continuing to infect and kill Americans with the coronavirus. He showcases voodoo doctors who falsely claim that wearing of masks are not required to stem the tide of the coronavirus infection. He infests the CDC with political predators who take over the premiere disease control organization in the world and manipulates scientific reports to align with his political calculation. Worse still, he is viciously arm-twisting the FDA to rush a COVID-19 vaccine approval before election day. As a result of Donald Trump's manipulations of those regulatory authorities, Americans are already skeptical of the efficacy of any vaccines that are going to be rushed out the door to aid his reelection bids.

Aside from Donald Trump's persistent disinformation campaign, the professional messaging on the COVID-19 pandemic has been sometimes problematic. For instance, I cringe anytime I see medical experts on television appealing to young people to avoid contracting the virus in order not to infect their grandparents (the elderly) . So, the message here implies that but for their grandparent's sake, young people need not worry about their own infection. My concern with such messaging is that if young people are given the impression that they are not at risk themselves, they may not understand why they should forgo "enjoying life"- partying, going out to the beaches just to keep their grandparents safe. Remember, humans, more so, Americans, are inherently selfish. Of course, we now know that young people, at every age, are now dying from COVID-19 infection. And now they are asking school kids to go back to college campuses, and maintain social (physical distancing). Really? You are talking about American kids who are mostly spoiled from home. And as soon as they hit their college campuses they start partying and contracting and spreading the COVID-19 infection. So, you now have a nightmare situation of an explosion of COVID-19 infection on American college campuses. They know the right thing to do, but they elected to let politics of the economy get in the way. Donald Trump wants schools to reopen in order to generate economic recovery and pave way for his reelection, regardless of the exponential spread of the COVID-19 infections on college campuses generated by those reopening. The right thing? Put all school reopening on hold until vaccines are available.

Whom the gods want to destroy they first make mad. America is now suffering a humiliating loss of lives of monumental proportions. And this is a disaster that the richest and most powerful nation on earth was capable of averting but for lack of leadership at the top- a leadership suffering from political manipulations. The man who is leading America today is an absolute lunatic- a nation’s eternal shame. May God save America on November 3, 2020.

ALSO READ: Trump plays golf as Americans die in pandemic

Continued from Part 2