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There’s a reason why Trump, his spokespeople, his Fox News propagandists and the entire GOP leadership have launched an all-out attack on Democrats and the media regarding coverage of the coronavirus.
It’s not because the coronavirus is a media hoax.
It’s not because Democrats want millions to die.
It’s not because the media are being too alarmist.
It’s because the facts are getting out. And they are deadly to Trump.
Throughout his time in politics, Trump has been able to convince just enough people that he’s “their guy” despite all the evidence to the contrary. Poverty may be up in one third of U.S. counties, but at least he’s building a wall! He may be a thrice-married serial sex predator who paid hush money to a porn star, but look at those Christian extremist judges he’s giving us! He may be allowing corporate polluters to destroy the planet God told us to take care of, but at least we’re owning the libs again!
Trump has pushed the American perception that all politicians are corrupt liars beyond caricature.
But Americans draw the line at being lied to when other Americans are dying.
George W. Bush may have been an idiot who made gaffes and gave tax breaks to the rich and crashed the global economy but he lied the country into war and thousands of Americans died for his lies and that was unacceptable.
Trump has been lying to America about the coronavirus from Day One. And he’s still doing it.
Americans draw the line at being lied to when Trump says, as he did last Friday, “anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test.” (NOTE: The Kirkland, Washington nursing home at the center of that state’s outbreak didn’t even get adequate testing kits until after he made that statement. As of 4PM Monday, less than 4,400 completed CDC tests had been confirmed.)
Americans draw the line at being lied to when, after Trump’s former acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney launches the “hoax of the day” lie at CPAC and GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz mocks the COVID-19 crisis by wearing a gas mask to work, one of Gaetz’s own Florida constituents dies of COVID-19… and soon after that, just after Gaetz flies on Air Force One with the President, he himself goes into self-quarantine because of exposure to the coronavirus that he picked up…. at CPAC.
Americans draw the line at lies that jeopardize their—and their loved ones’—safety.
The biggest lie of all during this coronavirus crisis is the one that Trump and his enablers repeated, one way or another, over and over again, as the virus spread across America untested and unchecked: “Everything’s under control.”
Dear Leader repeatedly—and still—brags that his “bold” travel restrictions on passengers from China saved us. That’s not true. Especially because, even if those restrictions bought America a little time, Trump wasted every precious second.
In the second week of March, as The Atlantic points out:
The lack of testing means that it is almost impossible to know how many Americans are infected with the coronavirus and suffering from COVID-19, the disease it causes.
Trump’s delusional fantasy that he could somehow “lock the doors” on coronavirus and prevent it from coming into America was never going to work.
Even yesterday, Trump insisted that the coronavirus “blindsided the world.” But Germany wasn’t blindsided. Unlike Trump, the Germans didn’t waste nearly two months before starting to seriously test for COVID-19. As a result they had, as of yesterday, identified 1,112 cases but recorded only 2 deaths.
As of this morning, March 10, 2020, the U.S. has identified 729 cases of coronavirus, with 27 deaths. Mass testing has not even begun.
"The biggest lesson from the 1918 pandemic is clearly to tell the truth."
Yesterday, CBS News presented “A Cautionary Tale” that described the U.S. government’s response to the 1918 “Spanish Flu,” a pandemic which ultimately killed 675,000 Americans and 50-100 million people worldwide.
As author John Barry told CBS News:
(President) Wilson created what was called the Committee for Public Information. The architect of that committee said, “Truth and falsehood are arbitrary terms. The force of an idea lies in its inspirational value. It matters very little if it is true or false.”
In 1918, government officials were given a “license to lie” and Americans died.
In 2020, we have Trump’s top spokespeople, familiar faces such as Kellyanne Conway and Larry Kudlow telling us obvious, easily disprovable lies. We now have reports that the White House is blocking medical experts from advising older Americans not to fly. We have the President himself bragging just last Friday that, “We closed it down. We stopped it.”
One hundred years ago, President Woodrow Wilson was operating in a different age, one in which our medical understanding of novel viruses was sorely lacking but, as author John Barry told CBS News: “The biggest lesson from the 1918 pandemic is clearly to tell the truth.”
America’s lack of testing for coronavirus has been inexcusable. But Trump’s ongoing lack of truth is what is truly unforgivable.
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