Trump believes that delivery of a vaccine will alter the election results, a quarter-million people might agree if they were still alive by election day. A similar ignorance of COVID has brought a similar disregard for human life and human rights.
The leader of Belarus urging his people to drink more vodka to prevent COVID-19 is more of a rule rather than an exception. It’s enough for a dictator to refuse to accept election results and institute repression. 6,000 people have been detained so far.
November in the US could be like Belarus now, complete with cops snatching people off the street with their unmarked vans, Oh wait, it’s already happening in Portland. Joe Biden has also noticed this.
80 some-odd days left. Trump wanting to foment urban violence is waning. And at the same time a common human rights crisis emerges,
Not Portland Oregon, but US reporters have yet to ask Trump whether he sees any similarities to Belarus, if only to draw out yet another instance of supporting Russian prerogatives.
MINSK, Belarus — Thousands of protesters rallied in Belarus’ capital and other cities for a fourth straight night Wednesday, decrying an election they say was rigged to extend the 26-year rule of the country’s authoritarian leader and the crackdown on subsequent demonstrations.
In several parts of Minsk, groups of hundreds of people formed human chains. Motorists blared horns in support and, in some areas, slowed to a crawl to block police vehicles. On one avenue, people stood on balconies, clapping in an expression of support. Riot police fired rubber bullets at them.
Similar protests were held in at least five other cities, according to the Viasna rights group, to contest the official election results, which show President Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth term with 80% of Sunday’s vote and the main opposition challenger garnered 10%. Crowds have taken to the streets every night since to demand a recount.
Earlier in the day, groups of hundreds of women formed human chains in several districts of Minsk, chanting “Shame!” and calling for an end to the crackdown on the demonstrations. Hesitant to use force against all-women rallies, police dispersed them without violence.
But in recent nights, authorities have responded with a level of brutality remarkable even during Lukashenko’s rule. Police have dispersed protesters with tear gas, stun grenades, water cannons and rubber bullets and severely beat them with truncheons. Black-uniformed officers chased protesters into residential buildings and deliberately targeted journalists, beating many and breaking their cameras.
“We stand for a peaceful protest,” said Ksenia Ilyashevich, a 23-year-old IT specialist who joined other women at a Minsk protest earlier Wednesday. “We worked up the courage and came out to rally. We stand here for all.”
In three previous nights of protests, at least 6,000 people have been detained and hundreds injured, according to the official count, but even that high toll appeared to downplay the scope. Anguished relatives were besieging prisons across Belarus trying to find their missing relatives.
Journalists, in particular, have been targeted. Boris Goretsky, vice president of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, said more than 20 reporters are currently in custody, waiting to see a judge, and several more have already been sentenced to jail terms ranging from 10 to 15 days.
“A deliberate hunt for journalists with independent Belarusian and foreign media has begun,” said Goretsky.
Protesting election results in Belarus resembles the oncoming potential for a contested US election, despite the results. The coming chaos is constrained by the possibility of vaccine availability, despite its risks.
A desperate Trump could kill even more Americans with a premature vaccine announcement (for a Russian windfall purchase).
Imagine the ultimate version of Trump’s 2020 con, where the Russians get all their economic sanctions lifted because they provide a COVID-19 vaccine to the US.
And then there’s the anti-government skeptics. plus people willing to risk their lives because of ignorance.
in a world of hand-sanitizer drinkers, some can't wait for a safe COVID vaccine – Trump doesn't care
C.D.C. has warned about the dangers of drinking hand sanitizer after four people died and nearly a dozen became ill.
Except we still don’t know how safe any of the vaccines will be until 2021 at the earliest.
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