Wednesday’s deadly mob attack on the U.S. Capitol claimed the lives of four rioters and a police officer. Unfortunately, although several days have passed, the death toll may still be climbing. This is because the Trump-incited attack occurred at the height of the Trump-exacerbated pandemic, which has been fueled by Trump-inspired skepticism about the coronavirus. As we have seen time and again, when Trump’s name is all over something, it’s very bad news.
Robert Redfield, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned in an interview with McClatchy on Friday that the Capitol attack was likely a “surge event” that would trigger “significant” public health consequences across the United States. Redfield pointed out that the riot involved throngs of people marauding through the Capitol without masks. This has posed a serious health risk to members of Congress and law enforcement, not to mention the rioters themselves.
Making matters worse, after the rioters fled the crime scene they created, they may have then carried the virus home with them as an unwanted souvenir of their failed sedition, crossing the country in cars, trains, and planes. This all comes as the United States has averaged roughly 247,200 new infections per day in the past week, for the first time surpassing 4,000 deaths per day on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
As rioters forced their way into the House Chamber, Congressional representatives were sequestered for safety. However, in so doing, they may have ironically put themselves at risk of severe illness. In an interview with CNN on Friday, Democratic Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester explained that she was “very concerned we were sitting in a super-spreader event.”
Rochester decided to “go into action to try and persuade people” to put masks on. Not surprisingly, a video, courtesy of Punchbowl News, shows Rochester getting shunned by six Republican colleagues—Andy Biggs, Michael Cloud, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Doug LaMalfa, Markwayne Mullin, and Scott Perry—who insisted on sitting close to each other without masks as rioters trashed the building. Sure enough, Dr. Brian P. Monahan, Congress’s Attending Physician, issued an alert today to lawmakers and staff warning that “individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.”
As Donald Trump runs out of time, he has also run out of leadership tests to fail. America deserves a President of the United States who isn’t hellbent on putting as many citizens at risk of injury and illness as possible while lobbing frontal assaults on our democracy. This is the month we say good riddance to the madness. The light on the horizon is coming into view.