U.S. President Donald Trump launched a series of attacks against his political opponents leading up to the Senate testimony on Tuesday by director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, seemingly to distract from what was to be said.
Editor’s note: Bradley Blankenship is a Prague-based American journalist, political analyst and freelance reporter. The article reflects the author’s opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.
The New York Times revealed on Monday that Fauci would warn of “needless suffering and death” stemming from the hurried opening of states pushed by Trump, according to an email exchange the paper had with Fauci himself.
Trump’s rejection of the CDC’s 17-page report to guide the gradual reopening of America last week was the latest development in the administration’s full pivot from a scientific based approach to COVID-19 instead to the normalization of mass death. All of this just to preserve the visage of him and his failed political program.
When asked Monday by CBS’s Weijia Jiang, an Asian-American, about his focus on his administration’s image rather than the death of his own people, Trump responded:
“Well, they’re losing their lives everywhere in the world and maybe that’s a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me, ask China that question,” he said, standing between two large banners reading “AMERICA LEADS THE WORLD IN TESTING”.
Trump, ignoring that the U.S. is somewhere in the top-30 range in terms of tests per capita worldwide and surely not the first, again took a drive by shot at China, deflecting all responsibility for his murderous response and reopening strategy.
On Tuesday, hours before Fauci’s testimony, Trump launched a Twitter barrage against China, Democrats, Republicans, journalists, and more to further deflect.
Trump’s wanton attacks against seemingly everyone show a daily anti-intellectual strategy to deflect all blame for the tragic death of thousands of Americans every day. These attacks, dished out not only by Trump but by his party and supporters, reflect the Republican Party’s normalization of mass death.
From former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s famous “there are going to be deaths no matter what” to Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s there are “more important things than living”, high-profile Republicans have joined in on the push for some time.
Stoked by this, radical right-wing activists continue to take to the streets and to state capitols to push the dangerous, unguided reopening of America. Many falsely believe that death tolls are inflated or hyped up and others simply don’t care because “only” the weak will die thanks to their leader who has shown to be deliberately getting the facts wrong.
Only a few months ago, the thought of thousands of Americans dying per day would have been absolutely unthinkable. If you could go back in time and tell someone that a projected 135,000 deaths were likely to happen by August, you would be laughed out of the room. This is not normal.
Dr. Fauci made this idea clear during Tuesday’s Senate testimony in regard to the reopening of U.S. states in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, confirming that the virus is not under control and dismissing “cavalier” attempts to dismiss the seriousness of the still mysterious virus.
Ignoring guidelines and opening too fast would “paradoxically set you back, not only leading to some suffering and death that could be avoided, but could even set you back on the road to trying to get economic recovery,” Fauci said, earning the ire of Senator Rand Paul.
“I think we ought to have a little bit of humility in our belief that we know what’s best for the economy. As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don’t think you’re the end all, I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make a decision,” said Senator Rand Paul.
“You used the words ‘we should be humble about what we don’t know’ and I think that falls under the fact that we don’t know everything about this virus, and we really better be very careful, particularly when it comes to children,” Fauci slapped back at Senator Paul, pointing out to him – a medical doctor himself – the constantly changing information surrounding the disease.
It should be remembered that this disease is very new to the human population and is demonstrating an ever-changing spectrum of symptoms in different sectors of the population, which Fauci pointed out in the exchange. We also know little about the long-term health effects of COVID-19, which could in fact be very severe.
In the economic vein, Fauci is correct that opening up without guidance will inevitably create new flare-ups of the disease that could be impossible to contain thus sending the country back to square one. The likelihood is high even based on Senator Paul’s reasoning of antibody reactions because herd immunity in the interior of the country is relatively low.
The expert demonstrated during this hearing that he is truly the American Cassandra, fated to tell the truth yet remain an outcast, as it is unlikely that Trump or Republican leaders will give any credence to what the expert had to say.
Instead, they will continue to ignore bad news as it comes in and continue to normalize mass death, or as Chris Christie would call it, a “sacrifice” for the “American way of life.”