February 26, President Trump said to his fellow Americans, “And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” His misinformed declaration was his first national press conference addressing the coronavirus. Exactly one month later the number of infections topped 80,000 and the number of deaths exceeded 1000 people and counting. It is not news or a revelation that the President traffics in self-serving information, what is disturbing is that so many of his followers, who are the most vulnerable are walking in lock-step behind him. People over 60 and elderly Americans with pre-existing conditions are the most likely to die. A huge contingent of that demographic is the Trump voter.
We have entered a dangerous point with his [Trump] daily and dangerous propagandizing about the coronavirus in his briefings. One of the disappointments has been the repeating of the same media mistakes made in the 2016 campaign election. The little box in the corner of your TV screen, with a remote camera trained on an empty podium awaiting Mr. Trump’s entrance. The quick cutaways by the cable host from newsworthy experts to his indecipherable pablum. Followed by a barrage of unwarranted and cringe-worthy insults directed at the press. Most Americans, even his supporters, who consistently say, ‘I wish he would not tweet and say those things’ tired of his show, and now we get a re-run.
The saddest part of the deaths and tragic aftermath is how we have come to lessen the identity of people. We have begun watching the changing figures of the stock market, statistical boxes and fancy charts posted on the cable news channels as the story. I was reminded today, by the comedy team of Frances Callier and Angela V. Shelton—Frangela, that we refer to our dead and wounded in war as “souls” not numbers. Maybe we have so lost that connection that it allows, without much fanfare, a Texas Lt, Governor to speculate publicly about the exchange of human life for money, “No one reached out to me and said, as a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?” said Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, “If that's the exchange, I'm all in,” he concluded. In fairness to Mr. Patrick, I want to believe, he was expressing a skewed version of his sense of noble patriotism.
The fallacy in his statement is that the president, Patrick supports, has declared the coronavirus pandemic a war. If it is a war, as Mr. Trump has declared then we have all been conscripted to serve and fight on his battlefront. One of the credos of our military and militaries around the world is, to leave no man behind. Apparently, Dan Patrick is not only willing to throw himself on the grenade but grandma too. If you think this is overblown hyperbole remember these words:
First they came for the Communists/And I did not speak out/ Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists/And I did not speak out/ Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists/ And I did not speak out/ Because I was not trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews/And I did not speak out/ Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me/And there was no one left/To speak out for me – Pastor Martin Niemoller
Vote in 2020 for Change.