What is less clear is why is our President, Donald Trump, is so resigned? Why does he shrug instead of shouldering the great challenge of our time? Why does he say "it is what it is" and absolve himself of the need to act?
Every day last week the United States beat its own daily record for the number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases. In Florida, Texas, and elsewhere Intensive Care Units have already reached capacity.
There are now more than 3.7 million coronavirus cases in the United States and over 140,000 Americans have died, so the crisis is clearly still spiraling out of control. Even the nation's top epidemiologists are on record claiming they are scandalized that the president is “unteachable” and “uninterested” in trying to stop it.
President Donald Trump has called the coronavirus a war and claimed that makes him a wartime president, yet where is his campaign to fight this war? Why has his administration simply refused to invest every resource possible to defeat this pandemic?
He has never once given a satisfactory answer to the simple question, why are you letting this happen? Why are you hoisting the white flag? Why are you insisting that other people's children (but not your own) must return to school in the autumn when the pandemic you ignore still rages and intensifies? How many deaths are you prepared to overlook?
Recall that last week the Trump administration insisted that coronavirus testing results must now be sent to the White House instead of to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Then on Friday, they blocked money for testing, tracing, and the CDC in the upcoming coronavirus relief bill. It's as if they want to keep us in ignorance of every stage of the infection, testing, and tracing process.
What's worse is that Trump repeatedly insists that if there were less testing there would be fewer coronavirus cases, an idea as stupid as it is insulting. If we stopped consulting passports would there be less illegal immigration? If we stopped signing death certificates would fewer people die?
If you want to live, if you want those you love to live, the only question to ask yourself about this president and this administration between now and November 3 is what do they plan to do to defeat this growing crisis? Because so far all Trump has offered is platitudes (“it's a hoax” and “it will disappear”) or complete silence.
Again, why? Why would a sitting president choose to ignore the greatest viral threat to the lives of American citizens in 100 years? Why will he not even do the bare minimum and lead by example, wearing a mask in public?
We know that his most swivel-eyed defenders say that masks take away your freedom. But by refusing to wear a mask you are simply clearing the way for the coronavirus to take your life. How many “I didn't believe this was real till I caught it” coronavirus videos do you have to watch on YouTube until you understand the danger?
What historians in centuries to come will puzzle over is why he didn't act decisively. Why was he content to simply sit it out in Washington D.C. as state after state fell to this ghastly pandemic? What made him so disinterested in the plight of ordinary Americans that he thought he could just ride it out by hiding the true numbers who are infected and die?
What may perplex these historians, even more, is that 38 percent of mostly white Americans still approve of his handling of this crisis, when the truth is he hasn't handled it at all.
Yes, the virus originated overseas, but so many people are infected it with here that it is now an American epidemic. What is new and troubling is that we have an administration that will neither care nor act decisively.
What we don't yet know is why they refuse to act? Epidemiologists have clearly and consistently warned them what that refusal to act will lead to, yet here we are, locked in and the key turned, just hoping not to pull the short straw.
And what that means is that we've been abandoned, left to our own devices, it means that all that's standing between us and our end now is luck.
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