There could be a moment where the death toll could become a 9/11 every day, resulting in carnage that was avoidable.
It is about keeping numbers down, aided by testing undercounts and shortfalls in testing at the state level, while promising a vaccine “miracle” in time for election day.
Trump has not really altered his position from February 2020, people will be sacrificed for his reelection and it represents a GOP position on blaming cities while trying to revitalize a consumer-service economy at a regional unemployment level resembling the Great Depression.
Trump continues to fail at thinking his incompetence in shifting accountability to the states represents a conservative laissez-faire approach when it’s really about federal inaction and ineptitude. For example HHS Secretary Azar now blames the lifestyles of meat processing workers for the COVID-19 spread.
Health authorities in Nebraska will not be allowed to track COVID-19 cases among employees of meat processing plants, Gov. Pete Ricketts said https://t.co/vKhFOOTgnZ— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) May 8, 2020
In early March, he said he didn’t want to transfer potentially infected passengers off a cruise ship for treatment because he worried it would spike the number of recorded cases in the United States.
The number of tests needed varies by state, as you might expect. According to the NPR-Harvard analysis, only nine states are currently conducting the number of tests that would be needed to meet the standard the group set for testing. That standard isn’t universal; some researchers expect that the number of daily tests would need to be in the millions, not the hundreds of thousands.
The administration’s position on testing has mirrored its rhetoric on ventilators. After getting a slow start, it likes to hype how much it is doing, even as it blames others for failures and gaps.
As Trump downplays his interest in testing, he continues to push for the economy to reopen broadly — in other words, getting businesses to relax social distancing without enough testing to detect and trace new infections. The implications for employees is obvious: Many will have to return to work at risk of losing their jobs and, in many cases, they will lack protection from the infection. (A lengthy document from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention detailing measures that should be taken by employers to limit infections was reportedly shelved by the Trump administration.)
This choice between reopening and protecting lives is a false one, of course. Businesses in other countries are reopening with the virus contained and with measures in place to track new infections. The position the United States is in is largely one that is a function of the choices our leaders have made. That includes the choice in one workplace to implement a robust testing policy in defense of one particular employee, President Trump.
Five counties with COVID-19 rates that are 4% or higher. Three are prison-related, two are meat processing plant-related. Source: NYT Coronvirus in the U.S. pic.twitter.com/5Ub4C7y7Pa— Dan Hoyt (@d_hoyt) May 7, 2020