This was always the fear: that a national or world crisis would occur while Donald Trump, our infantile president, was still in the White House. It has turned out even worse than we could have imagined.
The first warning about COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) came in late January when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency. As cases multiplied worldwide in early February, the WHO urged countries to “strike hard” during this “window of opportunity.” No such luck in Trump’s America. He and his co-conspirators Fox News, Breitbart News, and Rush Limbaugh ignored this warning and many more to come.
Instead, they peddled the pandemic as a hoax, fake news, and a Democratic plot to defeat Trump in November. As for their ridiculous claim that it was Obama’s fault: It was Trump who, in May 2018, dismissed the top White House official responsible for leading the U.S. response in the event of a pandemic.
As I write this on March 25 (the day this issue goes to the printer), Trump is comparing the pandemic loss of life to automobile fatalities and touting Easter as his deadline for removing restrictions so America can get back to the real work of saving the economy. He doesn’t seem to mind that infections and the death toll are still spiking or that health care workers, without proper gear, continue to put their lives at risk.
What troubles me as much as Trump’s callousness and incompetence is that Congressional Republicans, including our own Sens. Mike Braun and Todd Young and Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, are still too afraid or too immoral to break with this president.
Disturbing as well are recent polls indicating that more than half the country approves of Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I assume that most of these people watch right-wing media. Here is one example of what passes for journalism at Fox. Lou Dobbs, who hosts a program on the Fox Business network, asked his viewers to rate Trump’s handling of the pandemic in an online poll. “Superb? Great? Or very good? We’d like to hear from you on this important question,” he said, unironically. (Locally, Rep. Hollingsworth likes to take similarly absurd polls.)
Bloom, does not as a rule publish letters that come unsigned. But I’m making an exception for education’s sake. I received the letter below before COVID-19 reached America, but I believe it pretty much says it all about the rationale of people who continue to support Donald Trump no matter what. Even in the face of a deadly pandemic.
Editor’s note: Below, we have transcribed the letter in order to make it easier to read on a mobile platform.
12 February 2020
Yes, Mr. Abrams, there is a crack in everything.
Your escalating rhetorical diatribe against the most successful President we have had for decades continues to be annoying. You simply can’t stand success, can you? A businessman in the White House must really render you helpless and hopeless! I certainly can understand your Jewish, liberal, NYC delivery. Just can’t help yourself when describing our President as maniacal and immoral. Your apparent tacit refusal to recognize progress only “outs” you as a purely ignorant, uninformed New Yorker that should best serve our community by resigning and returning to the land of sanctuarialism. You and other literary geniuses back East can editorialize all day long, yet it is clear you are not one of the 79% of Americans in recent Gallup who admitted they are far better off than they were 3 years ago.
Crack #1 Mueller probe went nowhere but to embarrass Democrats.
Crack #2 Christianity Today’s diminutive editorial was castigated by its founder’s son as not at all representative of Christians in America, no or many polls subsequently released.
Crack #3 Impeachment! Hahaha. That little exercise in futility clearly put the Democratic part on its buttocks and will likely cost them the House in November. Even the Dean of the Kelly School agrees with me on that one. So do more professional people I work with and treat.
Crack #4 Iowa. Hahahaha. Not even worth expounding upon. NH not much better. Lets all embrace socialism, as it has such a great track record around the globe. It must really tickle your fancy to advocate for Left wing radicalism like AOC, the Muslim ilk, Bernie, and Elizabeth.
Crack #5 Why don’t you and your co-contributors just try sticking your heads out of the crack sometime and smell the roses, appreciate what a business approach to running this Country is all about and how virtually everyone of us can benefit…financially, morally, and in most functionalities that are important to our position in the world.
Finally, the 4 Republican gentlemen who you denigrated I happen to know. There is more INTEGRITY in any one of them than you can possible muster in a lifetime of editorial verbiage.