Is Donald Trump really a murderer? What do I mean by that? What I mean is, is he actually a murderer in the legal sense of the word, in the sense that he could be indicted, found guilty in a court of law and sent to prison for murder?
I’ve spent most of my short career as a political observer referring to Donald Trump as a child-rapist. Only this year, by my lights, did he graduate to “child-rapist and murderer,” when he wilfully and needlessly allowed Americans to be exposed to the novel coronavirus. So I’m satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that, due to gross incompetence and abuse of authority, Donald Trump is directly responsible for those deaths. Were I serving on a jury I would vote him guilty of second degree murder, or manslaughter.
But, in asking the question if Trump is guilty of murder, I’m not interested in what I think is true morally, or what I would do if I was on a jury. I’m interested in what can realistically happen legally, beyond the rhetorical. And when I put the question to myself with those restrictions I must answer, frankly, that I do not believe he could be held criminally accountable for those deaths.
Until now. I think Donald Trump may have finally crossed a line. I think the line he has crossed is a clearly defined legal one. Donald Trump has told Americans that he wants their children back in school, and he has made no provisions for safeguarding the health of the children, the health of teachers and educators and the health of the parents of those children. What is more, Trump has threatened school systems with penalties for noncompliance, including denying them federal funding if they refuse to risk the health of their teachers and children.
Once children are returned to school and infecting adults at an alarming rate, some of those adults will die. Yes, I believe Donald Trump will be criminally liable for those deaths. The law Trump can be prosecuted for is known as “reckless endangerment.” Reckless endangerment is a criminal offense in which an individual recklessly engages in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or grievous bodily harm to another individual. The individual does not have to have been intentionally reckless with the purpose to cause that harm to be accused of reckless endangerment, they only have to engage in the action that leads to it.
Now, presidents take calculated risks with the health of people all the time. It’s the unavoidable nature of the job. But Trump’s reckless push to return children to school in the midst of a pandemic goes beyond the province of calculated risk. Trump has contravened the public trust and betrayed his oath of office. Specifically, Trump has sworn to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution, which includes requirements for government to “provide for the general Welfare” of the people.
As I write this, 140,140 Americans lie dead from COVID-19, which represents almost 24% of the world’s dead from the pandemic. As I write this, 3,549,519 Americans are COVID-19 positive, which represents more than 26% of the world’s infected from the pandemic. Those are scandalous statistics for a nation that comprises only 4.2% of the world’s population, let alone a country that used to be the most scientifically advanced nation on earth.
There is one reason and one reason alone for this brace of disgraceful statistics: Donald John Trump. Those statistics come from the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Meanwhile, Trump has ordered that all hospitals bypass the CDC and send coronavirus data directly to the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, where the fox can keep a baleful eye on the chickens. So with Trump now in charge of the data, you would be reasonable to expect him to lie about it, just like he lies about the polls that show he’s going to lose in November. Our days of being able to report reliable statistics about coronavirus may soon be over.
Trump hasn’t attended a Coronavirus Task Force meeting since April. He’s not interested in doing the work required to make Americans safe, preferring instead to hate-tweet, watch television, play golf and make free commercials for Goya foods from behind the Resolute Desk.
Meanwhile, 67,417 new coronavirus cases were reported for the United States on Tuesday. That’s the highest number of new coronavirus cases for a single day anywhere on earth. According to current mortality statistics, about 2,700 of those people will die. In other words, unless the government does something positive about it America is headed towards death rates on the order of September 11th, 2001 — every single day.
Meanwhile Trump is spreading lies about the pandemic and crowing about how great everything is. He’s also sowing the seeds to contest the election in the event he should lose, including claiming without evidence that all mail-in ballots are fraudulent.
Make no mistake, we can still lose this election through Republican fraud and dirty tricks. We must therefore turn out in November in numbers so overwhelming as to defeat this child-raping, murdering monster so decisively that no sane person could credibly dispute it. They call us “snowflakes,” so let’s prove it. Let’s come together and give them an avalanche. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.