Quote of The Week: “Make the decisions on the virus based on the data and the science.”~ definitely not President Trump

This was New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in an exercise in pointing out the obvious that should not be necessary in the 21st Century, as the nation is being overwhelmed by a global pandemic, Covid-19, or as the President has labeled it, The Jynuh Virus. New York is currently the epicenter of the disease, with even that city’s immense medical infrastructure struggling to be able to treat the daily tsunami of new patients, and provide intensive care to the critically ill.

Governor Cuomo has been giving daily televised briefings for NY State residents that have become a nationally-broadcast hit, compelling Must-See TV for a President-starved nation in a time of traumatic crisis affecting every American. Cuomo’s brutally honest narrative of hard data, hard science and harder choices is tempered with humanity, empathy and solidarity with those he serves. 

Naturally Trump hates the guy, not only for stealing his TV ratings and media headlines, but for criticizing Trump’s inept and deceitful handling of the Coronavirus crisis and, worst of all, trying to show up the President with that hokey “leadership, ability, personality and compassion” schtick. Who does he think is, Mario Coumo’s son or something? ohwait…

Quote of the Week #2: “You want Ventilators & Masks from the Federal Government’s Reserves to treat your citizens? Well, Governors have to treat me well, it’s a two-way street.”~ definitely Trump

The Good News in Week #167 of The Trump Era is that America still produces magnificent people who rise up to meet a challenge with professionalism, brilliance, supreme ability and selfless dedication, not only luminaries like Dr Anthony Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx and General Todd Semonite of the Army Corp of Engineers, but the nation’s medical personnel, our first responders and tens of millions of anonymous but essential workers who keep the place well-fed, supplied and running. The masked and gloved rank & file has never had a finer hour.

The Bad News? Well, there’s more of that than you can fit in an encyclopedia, with the worst news being that this insidious virus is still with us and getting worse every single day. And so is the Covid-19 pandemic, rapidly becoming the second-most dangerous threat to America behind one Donald J. Trump. 

In the absence of direction and decisive action at the Federal level, individual States are left to their own devices (for better or worse), to formulate and enforce necessary restrictions, and to obtain medical supplies, with 50 states in a hideously expensive bidding war with one another for the desperately needed supplies that the President has the power to order to be mass produced immediately, but has so far refused to do so, claiming he “does not wish to interfere in Free Market,” even as Congress is preparing to hand the Free Market a trillion dollars so that it doesn’t collapse like a Free House of Cards.

Week #167 of the Trump Era begins on Friday with more and more State Governors announcing lockdowns, and more Trump idiocy with his continual denial of the severity of the crisis, crass insults of reporters and members of his own government, and his imbecilic repetition of a phony “cure for coronavirus” that resulted in deaths on 2 continents of people not only sick enough to be very desperate, but stupid enough to tune out Dr. Fauci and listen to Trump. 

On Saturday, Trump defended his refusal to mobilize America’s vast Federal resources to send life-saving help and materials to stricken American comunities by saying (!) “We’re not shipping clerks.” Which was only a warmup to a press briefing where the President of the United States visibly began to shrink before our very eyes, replacing answers to important questions with boasts and insults, denying the solid information his own scientist had delivered just moments before, and treating us to this response when he was asked by a reporter a question that is weighing on millions of American minds: “What do you say to Americans who are scared? Millions who are scared right now.” The Presidential reply? “I say that you’re a terrible reporter. That’s what I say. I think that’s a very nasty question.” Makes you all warm and tingly.

President Trump was then asked another question, one that makes sense to ask any President undergoing any crisis (and, for the bazillionth time in the past 3-plus years, we are forced to remind ourselves ‘that guy ain’t president anymore!’) “Mr. President, are you working with Speaker Pelosi?” His infantile reply was “I’m not going to tell you who I am, or who I am not working with. But let me tell you this, she was very mean to me and said some terrible things.” No doubt those wheezing patients waiting for a ventilator can feel his pain.

In the course of this bizarre and traumatic day, Trump provided his rival Joe Biden with his best campaign ad yet, the one where Biden does not say a word, instead being a film-clip montage of Trump’s most insane and false statements about the pandemic. Trump was furious at the Biden campaign for employing such an underhanded tactic as using his own words against him instead of having the wit and ambition to concoct a series of crazy lies like a proper presidential candidate, and vowed that his own campaign would stick to the tried and the true: crazy boasting, absurd lies, race-baiting, vicious insults and requests for Russian interference.

By Sunday, the rapid escalation of virus cases combined so quickly with a calamitous shortfall of medical supplies, that Trump had no other choice but to officially declare a National Emergency, but at the same time (!) decline to exercise the powers or undertake the necessary actions granted him by such a declaration. Instead, the President addressed a greater need, something that was cruelly taken from him by this dastardly virus, and left him with an Adoration Jones for his beloved MAGA rallies. Very unfair to him.

To fill this void, Trump turned his Press conference into a Mini MAGA rally, telling unbelievably delusional stories, all of them having a familiar hero, himself, and declaring that he is now “a Wartime President,” preening and boasting like a damned fool, fiddling while America burns with 100,000 fevers.

Trump also managed to give himself a “10 out of 10” rating for his response to coronavirus, but no adoring cheers from his adoring fans endorsed his judgment. He was addressing the nation’s Press Corps, not an arena full of sideshow marks. These professionals covered this story from Day One, and are all too aware that his stubborn denial of reality, his insistence on putting money ahead of lives, and his delayed and ineffective response only made matters exponentially worse.

It was that evening he began killing fools with this Tweet: “HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine.” Or a game-ender, for some.

Monday found Trump (surprise!) coming unhinged again, going full MAGA rally again, while the United Kingdom locked down the entire country, and several more American States did the same as new pockets of coronavirus popped up all over the map in not much more than the blink of an eye. Now, this is usually the part in the disaster movie where a once-skeptical President learns the dire truth, then swings into action and sends in the cavalry (again, that guy ain’t…).

Trump’s response? See you at the Easter Parade! Or words to that effect, as he declared that America would be “up and running and open for business by Easter,” only a scant 2 weeks hence, in complete denial of not only every single scientific projection of a pandemic that kills 3% of its victims, but the current reality of dramatically rising death tolls and dire shortages of medical supplies. He acted like a man convinced that none of this was happening, which is a scary thought.

Tuesday reminded us that there is only one man that Trump would not dare fire, as much as he would love to, and that is Dr. Anthony Fauci, world renowned Virologist and the head of the Virus Response Team of scientists and doctors combating Covid-19 and, along with Governor Cuomo, has become the most trusted man in America.

A 79 year-old ball of energy and blazing intelligence, the man runs 3 miles day, leads a team of world class scientists who are all under tremendous pressure to produce a vaccine, appears on countless TV shows patiently explaining the scientific facts and the health hazards to a grateful public, while at the same time functioning as human subtitles to Trump’s crazy lies at press conferences when he is invariably compelled to correct them on the spot.

Fauci has proven his genius by managing to convey the facts clearly, and by the uncanny force of will he has displayed by refraining from calling Trump a useless lying jackass, no doubt realizing there is no sense jeopardizing the search for a vaccine by openly insulting President Thinskin and getting fired. Trump called Fauci “a major television star,” Trumpspeak for “He’s a goner as soon as this is over.” Backing off last week’s prediction of a miracle, Wartime President Trump predicted “a very powerful victory over the virus,” not specifying which branch of the military he would mobilize against the microbes.

Then Trump waxed introspective and more than a little creepy as he wistfully predicted that the homebound social distancing mandated by his own public health officials and being practiced by most of the country would cause “suicides by the thousands” (you first, buster!), and then openly blackmailed State Governors to play ball with him or else risk massive death tolls in their States. Somewhere Torquemada’s ghost was asking “Seriously, DT?”

Wednesday began in the wee hours of the morning when the Senate reached a $2 trillion deal on a Virus Relief Bill after a marathon session, addressing an economy almost completely shut down and millions of workers idle and receiving no income. The workers will get modest checks to shut us up for a while, while industry gets hundreds of billions, more than is allocated to fighting coronavirus and hospitals.

The country woke up to this tentative relief deal, scheduled to be approved by the House of Representatives on Friday, and to President Trump backing off his Easter Grand Reopening, as the State of Louisiana had a Covid-19 explosion, going from no cases at all to hundreds of cases overnight, at the same time the neighboring Sate of Mississippi had its pro-Trump governor reverse local and county social distancing rules and business closings, in defiance of public health rules and reality. He reopened the bars, restaurants and public spaces his subordinates had prudently ordered closed, kept the schools open and demanded citizens to return to work. No word yet from this worthy on how many Mississippian lives sacrificed to Trump’s ego are acceptable.

Perhaps encouraged by this endorsement of his insanity by Mississippi, on Thursday Trump discussed relaxing the social distancing rules, then questioned the high number of ventilators requested by New York State, suddenly claiming an expertise in Intensive Care. He also proposed reopening the economy in sections of the country that are so far relatively unaffected by the virus (Not so fast, Louisiana!), proposing a deadly game of Whack-A-Mole with the virus, which thus far has shown no reluctance to defy President Trump’s wish list.

That was the day the Triump Campaign threatened to sue local TV stations in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin if they don’t pull that Biden Campaign ad, calling it “anti-Trump,” the one that uses clips of the president talking about the coronavirus outbreak. The campaign says the ad is false. To be clear, the Trump Campaign sued people to make them stop using Trump’s own words, because they are false. Well okaythen!

In direct contradiction to The President of the United States, Doctor Fauci topped off Week #167 of The Trump Era with this quote: “You’ve got to understand that you don’t make the timeline, the virus makes the timeline.” Clearly, Trump does not understand this. Fortunately for America, the right people do understand, and are putting their lives on the line to fight this deadly contagion for all of us.

What Trump does understand, however, is another timeline, the one upon which we are all laser-focused, and that is the time between right now and Election Day.

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