Coronavirus continues to rage across the country, taking over 150,000 American lives to date. “President” Donald Trump has tried to downplay the virus from the beginning, and he continues to show his inadequate leadership skills, especially during national crises. His aides have tried in vain to make him look more presidential, but what they got was a robot, reading from a prepared script as if he were reading “Fun with Dick and Jane.” While Trump appeared to valiantly keep up his front, he threw it all away with his disinformation tactics.
What seemed most important to Trump during his briefing this week is the fact that Dr. Anthony Fauci has a better approval rating than he does. When that fell flat, he once again began touting the benefit of taking hydroxycholoroquine as a cure for coronavirus. As CNN pointed out, he could have used his time to encourage governors to safely open businesses or to support wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
Even as he stuck to the script he was given, Trump periodically went off on some tangent and seemed distracted, highlighting his incompetency. His focus remained on Dr. Fauci’s approval rating, and he openly wondered why Drs. Fauci and Birx are viewed more positively than he is. Perhaps the latest numbers in the south will give him a clue. Those are the very states he needs to win reelection, and they are led primarily by Republicans who followed Trump’s lead in pretending the virus was a hoax and should not stop businesses from continuing. A prime example is Georgia’s Brian Kemp.
When Kemp reopened Georgia in April, the state had 22,000 reported cases. Three months later, that number stands at 186,352 according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. 4,149 new cases were confirmed as of July 31, with 81 deaths. Dr. Joseph Varon, the Chief of Critical Care at Houston’s United Memorial Medical Center appeared on NPR on July 31 and brought home just how easily coronavirus is spread. Dr. Varon said that, on average, one infected individual can pass the virus to as many as 52 people per day.
Republicans like Kemp and Trump just do not seem to get it. They can open their precious businesses all they like, but if there is no one left to purchase whatever services or goods those businesses sell, they will fail. Are people’s lives worth this? Why not allow the medical professionals to get a handle on this extremely contagious disease first? Kemp even went so far as to sue Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms for mandating masks in the city, even though she is not the only mayor to do so.
It is frightening when our leaders care so little about citizens that they are willing to risk lives to continue business as usual without even considering that it is the very lives they risk that keep businesses going. This is more reason to vote Joe Biden into office, along with as many Democratic senators and congresspeople as possible. At least they are willing to listen to the science.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years