I may not be able to change your mind about supporting Trump in November, all I ask is that you think about where you and your family have ended up as you swap your red MAGA hat for a red MAGA surgical mask.
Just like the last Republican president, Donald Trump has led us into another era-defining disaster, but this one may well have an even higher domestic death toll.
How do I know this? Because for months now a lethal global pandemic has been brewing overseas and Donald Trump simply mocked it at his campaign rallies. It was all a big hoax, he told his laughing supporters. There was nothing to worry about, it only affected people in far-away countries, he had it all under control.
Control? 798 Americans are dead of the coronavirus as of today. New York City and state are now the epicenter and next week, statistics show us, the numbers will double and triple and quadruple.
For months Trump was criminally reluctant to grasp the danger and order medical supplies, instead, he literally tweeted out images of himself fiddling as the stock market burned. It's not quite as funny now that we're facing a once in a lifetime recession is it? He's the commander in chief but he was absent without leave. He refuses to take responsibility for his many failures, however.
inevitable.jpg h/t Fipi Lele pic.twitter.com/Xgq7hBXZqx— Bernie Beats Trump (@doctorow) March 22, 2020
If Trump has failed us, our two-tiered health service is doing likewise. For a start, many clinics are providing spectacularly better care to the better connected, to the celebrities and senators who seem to get all the testing and treatment they seek without any difficulty, but for the likes of you and I it may be a very long and possibly lethal wait. It's a tale of two Americas, where money and connections now means a longer life too.
On Sunday Governor Andrew Cuomo spelled out what we are all confronting with a clarity that Trump has yet to match. This isn't going to be a weekend thing, he told us. This could last for six or nine months. 40% to 80% of New Yorkers are going to catch the coronavirus, sooner or later. Most of us will have a bad but not fatal experience.
The reason we are asked to stay home now is to slow its spread to prevent the hospitals from becoming completely overwhelmed, he explained. We are buying the system and medical staff some time. If you want to blame someone, blame me he said.
Asked at the weekend if he had a message for Americans who may be feeling justifiably scared of the growing crisis Trump had no answer this week, other than to mock the journalist who had dared to ask him the question. Asked to reassure the nation this president threw a fit instead.
Later when asked about the shocking lack of masks and protective wear for our doctors and nurses he said they could simply recycle the ones they have (a thing that is impossible to do).
Then asked about a possible vaccine for the virus he said one would be made available shortly (but again this is impossible, it will take at least 18 months to test and produce).
So Trump is clearly trying to do what he always does, bluff his way through his latest three-ring disaster, but this time it's a deadly global pandemic and telling tall tales to the public isn't going to stop it.
New York doctors are currently posting Go Fund Me accounts on Facebook to try and get essential medical supplies to protect themselves and nurses from the coronavirus, meaning they have to appeal for public charity to save lives, including their own. It's obscene.
Meanwhile, 693,639 people applied for unemployment assistance last week, the highest number to file in over twenty years, surpassing even the 2008 recession numbers. Every gain the markets have made since Trump became president has now been erased and the public purse will be further drained in a desperate attempt to keep our economy afloat, and the utter lack of planning and foresight that has led us to this moment will be studied by incredulous historians.
Pres Trump on easing coronavirus guidelines: "Our country...It's is not built to shutdown...Our ppl are full of vim & vigor, they don't want to be locked into a house or an apartment or some space...You can destroy our country...by closing it down...We have to get back to work."— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) March 24, 2020
When you're in a hole, one that's deeper and more frightening than anything you can ever remember, it's time to ask yourself what or who has led you there? One man has no doubt. “The president of the United States is from New York City, and he will not lift a finger to help his hometown, and I don’t get it,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told the press on Sunday.
Where are the tests, where are the ventilators, where is the protective gear for the medical staff, where are beds, where is the help for the hundreds of thousands who now find themselves out of work and unable to pay their rent and utilities?
I may not be able to change your mind about supporting Trump in November and that's fine, all I ask is that you think about where you and your family have ended up as you swap your red hat for a red surgical mask.